United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate incarcerated at Hays State Prison in Trion,
Georgia, commenced the above-captioned case pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 concerning events that occurred at Johnson
State Prison ("JSP"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis ("IFP").
Because he is proceeding IFP, Plaintiffs complaint must be
screened to protect potential defendants. Phillips v.
Mashburn. 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984);
Al-Amin v. Donald. 165 F.App'x 733, 736 (11th
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names the following Defendants: (1) Georgia Department of
Corrections ("GDOC"); (2) Wesley O'Neal,
Correctional Unit Manager; (3) Correctional Officer Poss; (4)
Correctional Officer Scott; (5) Correctional Officer Taylor;
(6) Correctional Officer Lordge; and (7) Correctional Officer
James Mason. (Doc. no. 1, p. 4.) Defendant GDOC is sued in
its official capacity, and Officers O'Neal, Poss, Scott,
Taylor, Lordge, and Mason are being sued in both individual
and official capacities. (Id. at 6.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
suffers from chronic instability of the left shoulder due to
tendon and ligament damage, and has a history of recurring
anterior dislocations, subluxation, and pains in the left
shoulder. (Id. at 7.) The Georgia Department of
Corrections ("GDOC") has issued Plaintiff a medical
safety profile which requires all prison personnel to
handcuff plaintiff with his hands in front. (Id.) If
Plaintiff is not handcuffed with his hands in front, he risks
recurring shoulder dislocations. (Li at 9.) On October 28,
2015, Dr. James M. Seward evaluated Plaintiff and renewed
Plaintiffs medical safety profile requiring that he be
handcuffed from the front. (Id. at 8.) On October
29, 2015, Plaintiffs front cuff medical profile was posted on
the GDOC state wide computer database. (Id. at 7.)
December 8, 2015, Officer O'Neal examined Plaintiffs
medical safety profile instructions which were posted outside
Plaintiff's cell. (Id. at 10.) Officer
O'Neal told Plaintiff he did not have "a valid front
cuff profile, " and Plaintiff expressed disagreement.
(Id.) Without further discussion, Officer O'Neal
marked out the medical safety profile instructions requiring
Plaintiff be handcuffed from the front, and wrote "do
not handcuff in front." (Id.)
December 9, 2015, Officers Poss and Scott came to Plaintiffs
cell to escort Plaintiff to the showers. (Id. at
11.) Plaintiff told Officers Poss and Scott about his
shoulder condition, advised them about his medical safety
profile, and requested to be handcuffed in the front.
(Id.) Officers Poss and Scott examined the medical
safety profile instructions, told Plaintiff they were
required to follow Officer O'Neal's instructions not
to handcuff Plaintiff from the front, and ordered Plaintiff
to turn around to be handcuffed. (Id. at 12.)
Plaintiff complied and when the handcuffs were applied,
Plaintiff felt pain in his entire left shoulder area.
(Id.) After Plaintiff expressed his discomfort and
pain, Officer Poss expressed his sympathy but told Plaintiff
they were just following orders. After Plaintiffs shower,
Officers Poss and Scott handcuffed Plaintiff from the rear
again and escorted Plaintiff back to his cell. (Id.
Poss told Plaintiff he would speak with Officer O'Neal,
and roughly thirty minutes later Officer O'Neal arrived
for inspection. (Li at 14.) When Officer O'Neal arrived,
Plaintiff again explained his shoulder condition and advised
Officer O'Neal about his medical safety profile and front
cuff requirements. (Id.) In response, Officer
O'Neal told Plaintiff to "get used to it."
(Id. at 15.) When Plaintiff asked why Officer
O'Neal had written "do not handcuff in front"
on Plaintiffs medical safety profile, Officer O'Neal told
him it was because he "was in charge, " not
Plaintiff. (Id.) Officer O'Neal then
sarcastically offered Plaintiff Tylenol for his lingering
pains. (Id.) Sometime later Plaintiff was issued a
"treatment card" from Dr. Seward instructing
Plaintiff was to be handcuffed from the front. (Id.
December 11, 2015, Officers Taylor and Lordge came to
Plaintiffs cell to escort him to the showers. After Plaintiff
explained he needed to be cuffed from the front, he advised
the officers to examine his medical safety profile.
(Id. at 18.) Officers Taylor and Lordge read the
medical safety instructions and the order from Officer
O'Neal and told Plaintiff they were required to handcuff
him from the rear. (Id.) After he was handcuffed,
Officers Taylor and Lordge escorted Plaintiff to the showers.
Plaintiff immediately felt pain in his left shoulder.
(Id. at 19.) From December 12-13, 2015, Plaintiff
experienced increased levels of pain in his left shoulder,
and on December 13, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a sick call
request seeking treatment for his shoulder pain.
(Id. at 20.)
December 14, 2015, Officer Poss escorted Plaintiff to the
showers but handcuffed Plaintiff from the front.
(Id. at 21.) Plaintiff did not experience shoulder
discomfort. (Id.) On December 16, 2015, Officer
Mason came to Plaintiff's cell and escorted him to the
showers. (Id. at 22.) Plaintiff informed Officer
Mason of his need to be handcuffed from the front but Officer
Mason told Plaintiff he had no choice but to follow Officer
O'Neal's orders and handcuff Plaintiff from the back.
(Id. at 23.) After Plaintiff showered, Officer Mason
reapplied the handcuffs and Plaintiff felt his left shoulder
"pop and slip-out of socket." (Id. at 24.)
Plaintiff requested emergency medical assistance and was
taken to the emergency room at Fairview Park Hospital.
(Id. at 25.)
Fairview Park Hospital, Plaintiff was admitted to the
emergency treatment area, given an IV, and his shoulder was
X-rayed, revealing dislocation. (Id.) Plaintiff was
sedated and his left shoulder was relocated and secured in a
shoulder immobilizing brace. (Id.) Plaintiff was
discharged to the prison the same day and escorted back to
his cell. (Id. at 26.) Plaintiffs pain has continued
for more than ten months, and the shoulder still continues to
cause severe pain and discomfort. (Id. at 28.)
Plaintiff is now required to wear a shoulder immobilizer
brace at all times except when showering. (Id.)
argues Defendants were deliberately indifferent to an
excessive risk of serious harm to his health and safety and
were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in
violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
(Id. at 32-36.) Plaintiff also raises two negligence
claims against Defendants, for failure to protect and for
negligent medical care. (Id. at 37.) Finally,
Plaintiff argues Defendants violated his rights under Title
II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA")
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. (Id. at
39.) For relief, Plaintiff requests an injunction requiring
Defendants to handcuff Plaintiff from the front and make
reasonable accommodations for his disability. (Li at 43.)
Plaintiff also seeks compensatory, punitive, and special
damages. (Id. at 43-44.)
construing Plaintiffs allegations in his favor and granting
him the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be derived
from the facts alleged, the Court finds Plaintiff has
arguably stated Eighth Amendment claims for deliberate
indifference to an excessive risk of serious harm and to a
serious medical need against Defendants O'Neal, Poss,
Scott, Taylor, Lordge and Mason. See Farmer v.
Brennan. 511 U.S. 824, 834-39 (1994); Lane v.
Barley. No. 115CV03298TWTJCF, 2015 WL 8488585, at *3
(N.D.Ga. Nov. 16, 2015), report and recommendation
adopted sub nom. Lane v. Fraley, No. 1:15-CV-3298-TWT,
2015 WL 8492469 (N.D.Ga. Dec. 10, 2015) (finding Plaintiff
stated plausible claim under Eighth Amendment when officers
ignored "cuff to front" medical profile resulting
Court also finds Plaintiff has arguably stated
viable ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims against Defendant
GDOC. See United States v. Georgia. 546 U.S. 151,
158 (2006) (finding inmate's claims against Georgia
Department of Corrections under Title II of the ADA abrogated
state sovereign immunity, creating private right of action).
Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination in services,
programs, or activities of a "public entity" or
"discrimination by such entity." 43 U.S.C. §
12132. With the exception of the federal funding requirement
under the Rehabilitation Act, claims under the ADA and the
Rehabilitation Act are governed by the same standards, and
both can be applied to prisons. See Cash v. Smith,
231 F.3d 1301, 1305 (11th Cir. 2000); Everett v. Cobb
Cntv. Sch. Dist, 138 F.3d 1407, 1409 (11th Cir. 1998);
see also Davis v. Georgia Dep't of Corr., No.
CV-311-009, 2011 WL 1882441, at *5 (S.D. Ga. Apr. 21, 2011),
report and recommendation adopted. No. CV 311-009,
2011 WL 1884193 (S.D. Ga. May 17, 2011) ("Title II of
the ADA includes state correctional facilities.");
Henderson v. Thomas, 891 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1308-09
(M.D. Ala. 2012) ("Given that the ADA and Rehabilitation
Act apply to prisons, these statutory protections extend to
programs and accommodations at [Alabama Department of