United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Kitsap
County's (“Kitsap County”) motion to dismiss,
Dkt. 15, and Kitsap County and Conmed, LLC's
“Defendants”) joint motion to dismiss, Dkt. 17.
The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of
and in opposition to the motions and the remainder of the
file and hereby grants the motions for the reasons stated
September 27, 2018, Plaintiff Rickey Clasablanca
(“Clasablanca”) filed a tort claim with the
Kitsap County Clerk of the Board of Commissioners alleging
negligence and deliberate indifference. Dkt. 14, ¶
1.1-1.3. On November 28, 2018, Clasablanca filed a complaint
against the Kitsap County Sheriffs Department
(“Sheriffs Department”), Kitsap County, and
Conmed in the Kitsap County Superior Court for the State of
Washington. Dkt. 1-1. On January 22, 2019, Kitsap County and
the Sheriffs Department filed a notice of removal in this
Court. Dkt. 1. On January 29, 2019, Kitsap County and the
Sheriffs Department filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 9. On
February 19, 2019, the parties stipulated that Casablanca
would amend the complaint and remove the Sheriffs Department
as a defendant and Kitsap County and the Sheriffs Department
would withdraw their motion to dismiss. Dkt. 12.
March 14, 2019, Clasablanca filed his amended complaint. Dkt.
14. On March 28, 2019, Kitsap County filed a motion to
dismiss. Dkt. 15. Also on March 28, 2019, Defendants filed a
joint motion to dismiss. Dkt. 17. On April 7, 2019,
Casablanca responded to Kitsap County's motion to
dismiss, Dkt. 19, and responded to Defendants' joint
motion to dismiss, Dkt. 21. On April 19, 2019, Defendants
replied to Casablanca's response to their motion, Dkt.
26, and Kitsap County replied to Clasablanca's response
to its motion, Dkt. 27.
was incarcerated in the Kitsap County Jail from February 12,
2016, to July 28, 2016. Dkt. 14, ¶ 2.2. Clasablanca
worked in the jail's kitchen. Id. ¶ 2.3. On
March 14, 2016, Clasablanca walked by an electrical outlet in
the kitchen and was shocked by electricity. Id.
¶ 2.10. He was “startled by a sudden
explosion and shower of sparks from the hazardous
outlet” and sustained a burn to his leg. Id.
¶¶ 2.10-2.11. Recoiling from the injury,
Clasablanca suffered a severe injury to his lower back.
Id. ¶ 2.11.
County was notified that Clasablanca was injured, “but
chose not to send medical personnel to examine and evaluate
[Clasablanca's] injuries.” Id. ¶
2.12. Through Clasablanca's release date, his back injury
was neither diagnosed nor treated. Id. ¶2.17.
During this period, Clasablana alleges that Conmed and Kitsap
County “engaged in, cooperated in, and displayed
deliberate indifference to [Clasablanca's] injuries and
not only denied him adequate diagnosis and medical care, but
engaged in concerted efforts to create a false justification
for refusing to diagnose and treat his severe back
injury” and that Conmed's employees
“intentionally [took] actions designed to ensure that
[Clasablanca] would be denied diagnostic and medical care
regarding his back injury.” Id. ¶¶
amended complaint alleges claims for premises liability,
negligence, and deliberate indifference against Kitsap County
and for “professional/medical negligence” against
Conmed. Dkt. 14. Kitsap County moves to dismiss
Clasablanca's claim for negligence and premises
liability. Dkt. 15. Conmed and Kitsap County move jointly to
dismiss “all claims arising out of medical care.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) Standard
to dismiss brought under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure may be based on either the lack of a
cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts
alleged under such a theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Department, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Material allegations are taken as admitted and the complaint
is construed in the plaintiff's favor. Keniston v.
Roberts, 717 F.2d 1295, 1301 (9th Cir. 1983). Despite
this, courts “are not bound to accept as true a legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). To
survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint does not require
detailed factual allegations but must provide the grounds for
entitlement to relief and not merely a “formulaic
recitation” of the elements of a cause of action.
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). Plaintiffs must allege “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570. “[A] court considering a motion to
dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that,
because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled
to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
Evidence Outside the Complaint
threshold matter, the Court must address Clasablanca's
argument that “the Court should consider the statutory
disclosures made prior to suit and take a dim view of a
12(b)(6) motion in which the Defendant pleads ignorance of
the basis for the allegations against it based on the
complaint alone.” Dkt. 19 at 9. Washington State
requires that individuals asserting a tort claim against
government defendants submit the claim for review 60 days
before filing their case in court. RCW 4.96.010, .020. The
required “Standard Tort Claim” form involves
substantial disclosure of information supporting the claim,
such as police reports and medical records. See RCW
4.92.100; Dkt. 22-3 at 2. Clasablanca argues that because he
complied with this requirement prior to filing his case,
Defendants have “received a veritable cornucopia of
evidence” and should fully understand the case against
them. Dkt. 19 at 9; see also Dkt. 21 at 13-16. In
support of his response briefs, ...