Erickson v. Pardus, No. 06–7317.

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation551 U.S. 89,127 S.Ct. 2197,75 BNA USLW 3643,167 L.Ed.2d 1081
PartiesWilliam ERICKSON, Petitioner, v. Barry J. PARDUS et al.
Decision Date04 June 2007
Docket NumberNo. 06–7317.

551 U.S. 89
127 S.Ct.
2197
167 L.Ed.2d 1081
75 BNA USLW 3643

William ERICKSON, Petitioner,
v.
Barry J. PARDUS et al.

No. 06–7317.

Supreme Court of the United States

Decided June 4, 2007.



[127 S.Ct. 2197]PER CURIAM.

Imprisoned by the State of Colorado and alleging violations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment, William Erickson, the petitioner in this Court, filed suit against prison officials in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. He alleged that a liver condition resulting from hepatitis C required a treatment program that officials had commenced

[551 U.S. 90]

but then wrongfully[127 S.Ct. 2198]terminated, with life-threatening consequences. Deeming these allegations, and others to be noted, to be “conclusory,” the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the District Court's dismissal of petitioner's complaint. 198 Fed.Appx. 694, 698 (2006). The holding departs in so stark a manner from the pleading standard mandated by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that we grant review. We vacate the court's judgment and remand the case for further consideration.

Petitioner was incarcerated in the Limon Correctional Facility in Limon, Colorado, where respondents Barry Pardus and Dr. Anita Bloor were working as prison officials. After Dr. Bloor removed petitioner from the hepatitis C treatment he had been receiving, petitioner sued under Rev. Stat. § 1979, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, complaining, inter alia, that Dr. Bloor had violated his Eighth Amendment rights by demonstrating deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. See, e.g., Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104–105, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976) (“[D]eliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain ... proscribed by the Eighth Amendment,” and this includes “indifference ... manifested by prison doctors in their response to the prisoner's needs or by prison guards in intentionally denying or delaying access to medical care or intentionally interfering with the treatment once prescribed” (footnotes and internal quotation marks omitted)); see also Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 35–37, 113 S.Ct. 2475, 125 L.Ed.2d 22 (1993).

Petitioner based his claim on the following allegations, which we assume to be true for purposes of review here: Officials at Colorado's Department of Corrections (Department) diagnosed petitioner as requiring treatment for hepatitis C. After completing the necessary classes and otherwise complying with the protocols set forth by the Department, petitioner began treatment for the disease. The treatment, which would take a year to complete, involved weekly self-injections of medication by use of a syringe.

[551 U.S. 91]

Soon after petitioner began this treatment, prison officials were unable to account for one of the syringes made available to petitioner (and other prisoners) for medical purposes. Upon searching, they found it in a communal trash can, modified in a manner suggestive of use for injection of illegal drugs. Prisoner Complaint in Civ. Action No. 05–CV–00405–LTB–MJW (D.Colo.), p. 3 (hereinafter Petitioner's Complaint).

Prison officials, disbelieving petitioner's claim not to have taken the syringe, found that his conduct constituted a violation of the Colorado Code of Penal Discipline for possession of drug paraphernalia. Letter from Anthony A. DeCesaro to William Erickson (Sept. 30, 2004), attached to Petitioner's Complaint. This conduct, according to the officials, led to the “reasonable inference” that petitioner had intended to use drugs, so the officials removed petitioner from his hepatitis C treatment. Ibid. “The successful treatment of Hepatitis C is incumbent upon the individual remaining drug and alcohol free to give the liver a better chance of recovery,” they indicated, ibid., an explanation they later offered to defend against petitioner's allegations of cruel and unusual punishment, see Defendants' Motion to Dismiss in Civ. Action No. 05–CV–00405–LTB–MJW, p. 10. Assuming that a person in the course of this treatment takes illicit drugs, the prison's protocol mandates a waiting period of one year followed by a mandatory drug education class lasting six months. Brief in Opposition 4. Petitioner therefore could face a delay of some 18 months before he would be able to restart treatment.

[127 S.Ct. 2199] In his complaint petitioner alleged Dr. Bloor had “removed [him] from [his] hepatitis C treatment” in violation of Department protocol, “thus endangering [his] life.” Petitioner's Complaint 2. Petitioner attached to the complaint certain grievance forms. In these he claimed, among other things, he was suffering from “continued damage to [his] liver” as a result of the nontreatment. Colorado Dept. of Corrections

[551 U.S. 92]

Offender Grievance Form (June 30,...

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48518 practice notes
  • Gifford v. Kampa, No. 2:17-CV-2421-TLN-DMC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 25, 2021
    ...to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all allegations of material fact in the complaint as true. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). The Court must also construe the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 23......
  • Marsilio v. Vigluicci, Case No. 5:11cv1974.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • February 14, 2013
    ...924–25 (N.D.Ohio 2009) (citing and relying on Tucker v. Middleburg–Legacy Place, 539 F.3d 545, 550 (6th Cir.2008) and Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) for the proposition that specific facts are not necessary). Defendant does not argue that Plaintiff ......
  • Praileau v. Fischer, No. 1:12–CV–1261 (GTS/RFT).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of New York
    • March 8, 2013
    ...the Court stated, “ Specific facts are not necessary” to successfully state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) [emphasis added]. That statement was merely an abbreviation of the often-repeated point of law—first......
  • Jones v. Int'l Ass'n of Bridge Structural Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers, Case No. 10–C–560.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • March 28, 2012
    ...fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swanson, 614 F.3d at 404 (quoting Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93, 127 S.Ct. 2197). Thus, “[t]he plaintiff must give enough details about the subject matter of the case to present a story that holds together. In other words......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
48393 cases
  • Gifford v. Kampa, No. 2:17-CV-2421-TLN-DMC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 25, 2021
    ...to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all allegations of material fact in the complaint as true. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). The Court must also construe the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 23......
  • Marsilio v. Vigluicci, Case No. 5:11cv1974.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • February 14, 2013
    ...924–25 (N.D.Ohio 2009) (citing and relying on Tucker v. Middleburg–Legacy Place, 539 F.3d 545, 550 (6th Cir.2008) and Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) for the proposition that specific facts are not necessary). Defendant does not argue that Plaintiff ......
  • Praileau v. Fischer, No. 1:12–CV–1261 (GTS/RFT).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of New York
    • March 8, 2013
    ...the Court stated, “ Specific facts are not necessary” to successfully state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) [emphasis added]. That statement was merely an abbreviation of the often-repeated point of law—first......
  • Jones v. Int'l Ass'n of Bridge Structural Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers, Case No. 10–C–560.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • March 28, 2012
    ...fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swanson, 614 F.3d at 404 (quoting Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93, 127 S.Ct. 2197). Thus, “[t]he plaintiff must give enough details about the subject matter of the case to present a story that holds together. In other words......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • POLITICS, IDENTITY, AND PLEADING DECISIONS ON THE U.S. COURTS OF APPEALS.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 169 Nbr. 8, August 2021
    • August 1, 2021
    ...perceived excesses (as in Erickson). Editorial, The Devil in the Details, 91 JUDICATURE 52 (2007). The reference is to Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007), a case decided a few weeks after Twombly (without argument and per curiam) in which the Court reversed the Tenth Circuit's affirmanc......
  • IN HONOR OF STEPHEN BURBANK: BEYOND THE FOREST AND THE TREES.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 169 Nbr. 8, August 2021
    • August 1, 2021
    ...(53) See Plausible, MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plausible [https://perma.cc/XC4S-RFXS]. (54) 551 U.S. 89 (2007). (55) Id. at 93 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). (56) 499 F.3d 663 (7th Cir. 2007). (57) Id. at 667. (58) 614 F.3d 400 (7th Cir. 2010......

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