United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
se Plaintiff, a former inmate at McRae Correctional
Facility (“MCF”), commenced the above-captioned
civil rights case. Before the Court is Defendant CCA McRae
Correctional Facility's unopposed motion for summary
judgment. (Doc. no. 60.) For the reasons set forth below, the
Court REPORTS and RECOMMENDS the motion for summary judgment
be GRANTED (doc. no. 60), this case be DISMISSED, and this
civil action be CLOSED.
filed this case on July 23, 2014 against CCA McRae
Correctional Facility; Stacey N. Stone; Warden, Lynette
Harris, Unit Manager; Charles Stapes, RN; and Stacey Giles,
Health Services Administrator (See doc. no. 1, p.
1.) Plaintiff generally alleges that Defendants failed to
treat and accommodate his lower back pain. (See
generally doc. no. 1.) Plaintiff's claims can
generally be divided into six separate incidents: (1) a
two-week delay in treatment upon arrival at MCF (Id.
at 3); (2) the size of his cell during his time in the
Houston Unit (Id. at 4); (3) the number of seats in
the “day room” in the Houston Unit; (4) a fall
caused by pain Plaintiff suffered after visiting the medical
unit and not receiving treatment (Id. at 6); (5) the
prison's refusal to give Plaintiff a rolling walker
(Id. at 8); and (6) the prison's refusal to give
him new mattresses (Id. at 9).
arrived at MCF on November 7, 2013, experiencing pain from
the four-hour bus ride to the facility and a previous fall at
Fort Dix Correctional Facility. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 2-3, 29.)
Upon arrival, Plaintiff explained to Defendant Staples that
he was in severe pain. (Id. at 3; doc. no. 41, p.
3.) Despite his complaints, Plaintiff was not seen by a
medical professional for two weeks, and upon his first visit,
he was given two mattresses to accommodate his back problems.
(Doc. no. 1, p. 3; doc. no. 41, p. 3.)
January 23, 2014, the prison assigned Plaintiff to Houston
Unit, F Pod. (Doc. no. 41, p. 6.) In the Houston Unit,
prisoners are housed in “cubicles” that are seven
feet by seven and half feet with “day rooms” that
are freely accessible by the inmates throughout the day.
(Doc. no. 41, p. 7; Declaration of Allen Smith, doc. no.
41-1, pp. 20-24.) The maximum occupancy of the day room is
forty-three inmates even though fifty-four inmates lived in
the Unit while Plaintiff was located there. (Declaration of
Rashford Galloway, doc. no. 51, p. 29.) Plaintiff shared his
private cubicle with two other inmates, with two bunks being
located in the cubicle along with his walker. (Galloway Decl.
¶ 16; doc. no. 1, p. 4.) In addition to the day room,
inmates moved between the cubicles, bathroom areas,
recreation areas, the library, and medical unit throughout
the day. (Declaration of Lynette Harris, doc. no. 41-1, p.
30.) However, all inmates were required to return to the
Houston unit from 6:45 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 9:45 a.m. to 11:00
a.m., 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
(Galloway Decl., ¶ 17.) Plaintiff alleges that the
mattresses he received in the Houston Unit were “the
worst of all.” (Doc. no. 1, p. 9.)
February 5, 2014, Plaintiff visited the medical unit because
of severe pain, and he was given an injection and ordered a
rolling walker. (Doc. no. 1, p. 8; Declaration of Stacy
Giles, doc. no. 41-1, p. 15.) The medical unit waited several
weeks before giving Plaintiff the rolling walker, which
Defendant Staples then took away from Plaintiff. (Doc. no. 1,
p. 8.) Defendant Giles, in a sworn declaration, avers that
the walker was taken away because it was not medically
indicated by Plaintiff's condition. (Giles Decl.
¶¶ 9, 10.) Plaintiff does not contest that the
Utilization Review Committee denied his request for a rolling
walker and that he received a non-rolling walker on April 1,
2014. (Doc. no. 1, p. 8; doc no. 51-1, p. 35.) Before the
walker, Plaintiff used a cane to ambulate. (Doc. no. 1, p.
February 20, 2014, Plaintiff arrived at the medical unit
complaining of back pain without utilizing the prison's
sick call procedure. (Declaration of Charles Staples, doc.
no. 41-1, p. 27.) Because Plaintiff had not utilized the
procedure, he was turned away and told to have his unit
officer call the medical unit and report his medical
condition. (Staples Decl., ¶ 3; doc. no. 1, p. 6.) Upon
walking away from the medical unit, Plaintiff fell down in
the hallway. (Declaration of Henry McMillian, doc. no. 41-1,
p. 49; Galloway Decl., ¶ 24.) Defendant Staples
responded to the call for medical assistance and found
Plaintiff lying in the hall in no apparent distress. (Staples
Decl., ¶ 3.) Defendant Staples reminded Plaintiff faking
an illness was prohibited and could be punished by a
disciplinary report. (Staples Decl. ¶ 4.) Prison
officials then placed Plaintiff in cell 151 by himself for
approximately two hours without medical attention and then
released him back to the housing unit. (Decl. Staples ¶
Stone is required to defer to medical staff for decisions
regarding medical treatment for inmates because he has no
professional medical training. (Decl. Stone, ¶, 4.)
Defendant Stacy Giles is a registered nurse and Health
Services Administrator at MCF. (Decl. Giles, ¶ 1.) Nurse
Giles does not deliver direct medical care to patients at
MCF, and she is aware of Plaintiff's condition only
through review of his medical records. (Decl. Giles, ¶
1.) However, she does sit on the Utilization Review
Committee. (Decl. Giles, ¶ 1.) Defendant Lynette Harris
is a unit manager and does not make medical decisions as to
what type of mattresses an inmate receives. (Harris Decl.,
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate only if “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
When seeking summary judgment, the movant must show that
there are no genuine issues of material fact to be decided at
a trial. Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d
604, 608 (11th Cir. 1991). “The mere existence of some
factual dispute will not defeat summary judgment unless that
factual dispute is material to an issue affecting the outcome
of the case.” McCormick v. City of Fort
Lauderdale, 333 F.3d 1234, 1244 (11th Cir. 2003)
burden of proof at trial rests with the movant, to prevail at
the summary judgment stage, the movant must show that,
“on all the essential elements of its case . . ., no
reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party.”
United States v. Four Parcels of Real Prop., 941
F.2d 1428, 1438 (11th Cir. 1991) (en banc). On the
other hand, if the non-moving party has the burden of proof
at trial, the movant may prevail at the summary judgment
stage either by negating an essential element of the
non-moving party's claim or by pointing to specific
portions of the record that demonstrate the non-moving
party's inability to meet its burden of proof at trial.
Clark, 929 F.2d at 606-08 (explaining Adickes v.
S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970) and
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986)).
moving party carries the initial burden, then the burden
shifts to the non-moving party “to demonstrate that
there is indeed a material issue of fact that precludes
summary judgment.” Clark, 929 F.2d at 608. The
non-moving party cannot carry its burden by relying on the
pleadings or by repeating conclusory allegations contained in
the complaint. Morris v. Ross, 663 F.2d 1032, 1034
(11th Cir. 1981). Rather, the non-moving party must respond
either by affidavits or as otherwise provided in Fed.R.Civ.P.
56. “The evidence of the non-movant is to be believed,
and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his
favor.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255 (quoting
Adickes, 398 U.S. ...