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Samet v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

May 28, 2019

Joseph Samet, Plaintiff,
v.
LORIE DAVIS, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GRAY H. MILLER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, a state inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this section 1983 lawsuit against Texas Department of Criminal Justice ("TDCJ") officers Lorie Davis, Khari Mott, Wayne Brewster, and Jeania Pegoda and UTMB employee Jill Coleman, M.D., for the alleged violations of his federal constitutional and statutory rights. He seeks declaratory and injunctive relief with monetary compensation and punitive damages.

         Having considered plaintiffs section 1983 complaint (Docket Entry No. 1), supplemental complaint (Docket Entry No. 13), memorandum of law (Docket Entry No. 9), and the applicable law, the Court DENIES preliminary injunctive relief and ORDERS a partial dismissal of plaintiff's claims as follows below.

         Background and Claims

         Plaintiff claims that in October 2017, defendant Jill Coleman, a UTMB physician working for TDCJ, informed him that she could not renew medication for his "thyroid condition" without an updated blood draw and lab report. (Docket Entry No. 9, p. 5.)

         Plaintiff states that a blood sample was drawn and a lab report was sent to Coleman, but she failed to initiate treatment for his condition. Copies of select medical records submitted by plaintiff show that Coleman reviewed the lab results on November 15, 2017, ordered the tests rechecked, and scheduled his chart for review in two weeks. Id., pp. 21. Plaintiffs grievances suggest he failed to keep a scheduled follow-up appointment, but plaintiff states that Coleman failed to provide treatment even after his blood was redrawn at a later appointment.

         According to plaintiff, Coleman should have started treating him for hypothyroidism after she reviewed the first lab test results. In his layperson's opinion, the lab report "clearly showed a need to be treated." (Docket Entry No. 9, p. 8.) He complains that Coleman has yet to provide the necessary treatment, and that she was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs because untreated hypothyroidism can be a life-threatening condition. He also claims that Coleman denied him rights to which he was entitled under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") because hypothyroidism is a disability.

         Plaintiff further claims that defendant practice manager Khari Mott denied his administrative grievances, and that defendant library supervisor Jeania Pegoda denied him entitlements under the ADA by removing his medical storage box.

         Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief with $75, 000.00 in monetary compensation, and a preliminary and permanent injunction for thyroid treatment and a medical storage box.

         Analysis

         Eleventh Amendment Immunity

         The defendants in this case are sued for actions taken during the course of their employment with TDCJ and/or UTMB, which are state agencies. Thus, to the extent plaintiff seeks monetary damages from the defendants in their official capacity, the claims are barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity and are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. See Oliver v. Scott, 276 F.3d 736, 742 (5th Cir. 2001); Aguilar v. Texas Dep 't of Criminal Justice, 160 F.3d 1052, 1054 (5th Cir. 1998).

         Lorie Davis

         Plaintiff complains that defendant Lorie Davis "is responsible for the actions of all of TDCJ operations," and is thus liable for the alleged deliberate indifference of ...


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