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Hinojosa v. Livingston

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division

January 16, 2014

RAMONA HINOJOSA, Plaintiff,
v.
BRAD LIVINGSTON, et al, Defendants

For Ramona Hinojosa, Individually as a Wrongful Death Beneficiary and as the Heir to the Estate of Albert Hinojosa, Plaintiff: Jeffrey S Edwards, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Edwards Law Firm, Austin, TX.

For Brad Livingston, Rick Thaler, William Stephens, Defendants: Demetri Anastasiadis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of Texas Attorney General, Austin, TX.

For Ernest Guterrez, Jr., TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, Defendants: Bruce R Garcia, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the Attorney General, Austin, TX.

For University Of Texas Medical Branch, Defendant: Kim J Coogan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the Atty Gen of Texas, Law Enforcement Defense Div, Austin, TX; Shanna Elizabeth Molinare, Office of Texas Attorney General, Austin, TX.

OPINION

Page 841

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH'S MOTION TO DISMISS

NELVA GONZALES RAMOS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Before the Court is Defendant University of Texas Medical Branch's Motion to Dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(6). (D.E. 4). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is DENIED.

I. Background

On October 15, 2013, Plaintiff, the mother of a former inmate at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), filed suit against multiple defendants, including the

Page 842

University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB or Defendant). On August 29, 2012, Plaintiff's son, who suffered from hypertension, diabetes, depression, schizophrenia, and obesity, died of hyperthermia while incarcerated at TDCJ's Garza West Unit. Plaintiff alleges that the decedent's medical conditions rendered him disabled, and Defendant's failure to make accommodations for those disabilities resulted in the decedent's death. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that a combination of the medical conditions and medications of the decedent made him more vulnerable to suffer adverse consequences as a result of the extreme heat that the inmates at the Garza West Unit must endure. This failure to accommodate, Plaintiff urges, constitutes a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)[1] and the Rehabilitation Act.[2] Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney's fees.

Defendant urges that Plaintiff's claims against it should be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Alternatively, Defendant asks that Plaintiff be ordered to " re-plead sufficient facts to identify the elements of her causes of action under the ADA and Rehabilitation Acts." (D.E. 4, p. 5). In support of its motion, Defendant argues that Plaintiff " has not alleged a single fact stating 1) how the inmate was discriminated against by being treated differently than any other inmate, or even other inmates with the same disabilities; 2) what accommodations, if any, the inmate sought for his disability, but was refused or denied; 3) what accommodations, if any, should have ...


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