Laramy v. Garman, 021220 PACCA, 928 C.D. 2018

Docket Nº:928 C.D. 2018
Opinion Judge:MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, JUDGE
Party Name:Edwin Laramy, Appellant v. Superintendent Mark Garman; Deputy Gerald McMahon; Captain James Sutton; Ms. Sharon Clark, Unit Manager B Unit; Sargent Packard; and CO1 R. Rightnour
Judge Panel:BEFORE: HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, Judge
Case Date:February 12, 2020
Court:Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Edwin Laramy, Appellant

v.

Superintendent Mark Garman; Deputy Gerald McMahon; Captain James Sutton; Ms. Sharon Clark, Unit Manager B Unit; Sargent Packard; and CO1 R. Rightnour

No. 928 C.D. 2018

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

February 12, 2020

OPINION NOT REPORTED

Submitted: May 10, 2019

BEFORE: HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, JUDGE

Edwin Laramy (Laramy), proceeding pro se, appeals the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County (trial court) denying Laramy's petition to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP) and dismissing his complaint as frivolous pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 240(j)(1), Pa. R.C.P. No. 240(j)(1) (Rule 240(j)(1)). On appeal, Laramy argues that the trial court erred or abused its discretion by dismissing his negligence claims against employees of the Department of Corrections (Department), sua sponte. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Laramy is an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview (SCI-Rockview). On February 8, 2018, Laramy filed his complaint in the trial court against Department employees identified as Superintendent Mark Garman; Deputy Gerald McMahon; Captain James Sutton; Ms. Sharon Clark, Unit Manager B Unit; Sergeant Packard; and Corrections Officer 1 R. Rightnour (Rightnour) (collectively, Defendants), who at the times relevant to this matter were employed at SCI-Rockview. Laramy also filed an IFP petition, along with a verified statement.

In the complaint, Laramy pled three negligence counts: Count I -negligence, Count II - negligence by vicarious liability, and Count III - negligent infliction of emotional distress. In support, Laramy alleged that Rightnour falsely accused him of an infraction, which resulted in Laramy receiving a misconduct report. Original Record (O.R.), Complaint, ¶¶17, 19. Laramy also alleged that he suffers from known mental health issues and that a higher duty of care is owed to him in his custodial care and treatment. Id., ¶¶16-18. He asserted that the other named Defendants, who are Rightnour's supervisors, were liable for Rightnour's actions by vicarious liability under the theory of respondeat superior. Id., ¶¶22-32. He avers that Defendants' negligent conduct caused him emotional distress by subjecting him to a false misconduct report and attendant punishment. Id., ¶¶33-38. He requested compensatory damages in excess of $1 million dollars. Id., ¶42.

By opinion and order dated February 21, 2018, the trial court, sua sponte, denied Laramy's IFP petition and dismissed his complaint pursuant to Rule 240(j)(1). The trial court determined that Laramy's negligence claims were frivolous and without merit. The trial court opined that Laramy's claims against Defendants were for actions within the course and...

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