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Hefner v. Texas Health Memorial Hospital Fort Worth

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

March 30, 2017

BOBBIE JO HEFNER, Plaintiff,
v.
TEXAS HEALTH MEMORIAL HOSPITAL FORT WORTH, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN MCBRYDE DISTRICT JUDGE

         Came on for consideration the motions of defendants, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth (misnamed as Texas Health Memorial Hospital Fort Worth) ("Harris Fort Worth") and Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital (misnamed as Texas Health Memorial Hospital Arlington) ("THAM"), to dismiss. Plaintiff, Bobbie Jo Hefner, has failed to respond to the motions, which are ripe for ruling.[1] The court, having considered the motions, the record, and applicable authorities, finds that the motions should be granted.

         I.

         Plaintiff's Claims

         Plaintiff filed her original complaint on February 15, 2017, complaining of events that apparently occurred on, and within a few days of, February 4, 2015. Doc.[2] 1. The gist of plaintiff's complaint is that on February 4, 2015, she was experiencing significant duress and not eating or sleeping well, because her husband was scheduled for brain surgery. Doc. 1 at 5, ¶ 18. She sought "simple medical treatment" from Harris Fort Worth. Id. She hoped to stay in the hospital over a night or two to stabilize and get back to her husband and daughter. Id. Harris Fort Worth told plaintiff that it did not have room to provide treatment and that plaintiff needed to be transferred to another facility. Id. at ¶ 20. Plaintiff signed a number of papers and was transferred to THAM, where she was "mistreated and misinformed." Id. at ¶¶ 21-25.

         Plaintiff does not allege any other specific facts, other than to say that she has requested her medical records and believes that they will show that her admission was fraudulent and that she did not receive necessary treatment options. See, e.g., Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 30-31.

         Plaintiff asserts claims pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, for violations of the Mental Health Code (citing to various provisions of the Texas Health & Safety Code) and Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act, Tex. Bus. & Com. Code §§ 17.41-.63, for false imprisonment, medical negligence, common law negligence, conspiracy, and gross negligence.

         II.

         Grounds of the Motions

         Defendants each assert that plaintiff has failed to state any claim upon which relief can be granted. They request that all claims be dismissed, or, alternatively, that the Rehabilitation Act claim be dismissed and that the court decline to exercise jurisdiction over the state law claims.

         III.

         Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

         Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in a general way, the applicable standard of pleading. It requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), "in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, " Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotation marks and ellipsis omitted). Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, the "showing" contemplated by Rule 8 requires the plaintiff to do more than simply allege legal conclusions or recite the elements of a cause of action. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 & n.3. Thus, while a court must accept all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, it need not credit bare legal conclusions that are unsupported by any factual underpinnings. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) ("While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.").

         Moreover, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the facts pleaded must allow the court to infer that the plaintiff's right to relief is plausible. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. To allege a plausible right to relief, the facts pleaded must suggest liability; allegations that are merely consistent with unlawful conduct are insufficient. Id. In other words, where the facts pleaded do no more than permit the court to infer the possibility of misconduct, the complaint has not shown that the pleader is entitled to relief. Id. at 679. "Determining whether a complaint states a ...


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