United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
CINDY DAVISON, as Administrator of the Estate of Randall Davison, Plaintiff,
STEPHEN NICOLOU, P.A., Defendant.
Randal Hall, Judge
the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment
(doc. 81) and Plaintiff's motion to exclude the testimony
of Dr. Kristine Patterson (doc. 80) . The Clerk has given
Plaintiff notice of the summary judgment motion and the
summary judgment rules, of the right to file affidavits or
other materials in opposition, and the consequences of
default. Therefore, the notice requirements of Griffith
v. Wainwright, 772 F.2d 822, 825 (11th Cir. 1985) (per
curiam), have been satisfied. For the following reasons,
Plaintiff and Defendant's respective motions are
Davison was an inmate at Georgia State Prison PGSP").
(Def.'s Answer, Doc. 54, ¶ 13.) In early January
2015, Mr. Davison received two tattoos from another inmate.
(Nursing Note, Jan. 26, 2015, Doc. 79-32) . One tattoo was on
Mr. Davison's neck and one was on his forearm. (Reed
Dep., Doc. 84-7, at 36.) On January 21, 2015, Mr. Davison
went to the GSP medical unit complaining of chest pain.
(Nicolou Dep., Doc. 83-3, at 48-49.) Mr. Davison was examined
by Defendant Stephen Nicolou, a physician assistant working
at the GSP medical unit. (Id. at 9-10.) Defendant
prescribed Mr. Davison antiinflammatory medication and sent
him back to his dorm. (Id. at 56-57.)
the next two days, Mr. Davison's condition deteriorated.
Due to what would later be discovered was an infection caused
by his tattoos, Mr. Davison's upper chest began to turn
red and his neck appeared swollen. (Kozachyn Dep., Doc. 84-3,
at 68.) On January 23, 2015, Mr. Davison returned to the GSP
medical unit. (Ball Dep., Doc. 82-1, at 34-35.) Paul
Kozachyn, another inmate who was waiting to be seen by a
provider, claimed that Mr. Davison's infection was
plainly visible and described his neck as "red and
swollen to three or four times its normal size on one side .
. . ." (Kozachyn Dep. at 67.) Mr. Davison was called
into the waiting room and then told he could not be seen
until the following Monday. (Id. at 34.) Instead of
returning to his cell, Mr. Davison slipped into
Defendant's office. (Id. at 36.) Defendant and
nurse Calvin Ball were in the office when Mr. Davison entered
and "demand[ed] antibiotics." (Ball Dep. at 32;
Thrift Dep., Doc. 83-4, at 35.) The meeting lasted a matter
of seconds as Officer Stacy Thrift, who was at the other end
of the hall, removed Mr. Davison and placed him in a holding
cell for "being disrespectful." (Thrift Dep. at 34,
37.) Defendant provided no additional treatment to Mr.
Davison. (Nicolou Dep. at 43.)
Monday, January 26, 2015, Mr. Davison was brought back to the
medical unit by wheel chair. (Oates Dep., Doc. 79-33, at 58)
. Nurse practitioner Timothy Hiller recognized that Mr.
Davison was suffering from an infection and needed to go to a
hospital. (Hiller Dep., Doc. 83-2, at 34.) He was then
transferred to Meadows Regional Medical Center
("MRMC") in Vidalia, Georgia. (MRMC Physician
Documentation, Doc. 79-6, at 6.) On February 8, 2015,
suffering from respiratory and renal failure, Mr. Davison was
flown to Atlanta Medical Center. (Atlanta Med. Ctr. Discharge
Summary, Feb. 15, 2015, Doc. 79-8, at 1.) He never recovered
from his infection and died on February 15, 2015.
April 4, 2016, Cindy Davison--Randall Davison's sister
and the administrator of his estate-brought the present
action against Georgia Correctional Health, Sergeant Dedrick
Anthony, and Defendant for violating Mr. Davison's Eighth
Amendment rights, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (Doc. 1.) Defendant now moves for summary
judgment and argues that he is entitled to qualified
motion for summary judgment will be granted if there is no
disputed material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Facts are material if
they could affect the results of the case. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The court
must view facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party and draw all inferences in its favor. Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S.
574, 587 (1986). The movant initially bears the burden of
proof and must demonstrate the absence of a disputed material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986). The movant must also show no reasonable jury could
find for the non-moving party on any of the essential
elements. Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d
1112, 1115 (11th Cir. 1993).
movant carries its burden, the non-moving party must come
forward with significant, probative evidence showing there is
a material fact in dispute. Id. at 1116. The
non-movant must respond with affidavits or other forms of
evidence provided by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.
Id. at 1116 n.3. The non-movant cannot survive
summary judgment by relying on its pleadings or conclusory
statements. Morris v. Ross, 663 F.2d 1032, 1033-34
(11th Cir. 1981). After the non-movant has met this burden,
summary judgment is granted only if "the combined body
of evidence is still such that the movant would be entitled
to a directed verdict at trial - that is, such that no
reasonable jury could find for the non-movant.'7
Fitzpatrick, 2 F.3d at 1116.
DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
claims that summary judgment is appropriate because he is
entitled to qualified immunity. Qualified immunity protects
government officials from suit so long as their conduct does
not violate clearly established law. Morris v. Town of
Lexington, 748 F.3d 1316, 1321 n.15 (11th Cir. 2014).
The defendant must first show he was acting within his
discretionary authority. Holloman ex rel. Holloman v.
Harland, 370 F.3d 1252, 1265 (11th Cir. 2004). The
burden then shifts, and the plaintiff must show qualified
immunity is not appropriate. Lee v. Ferraro, 284
F.3d 1188, 1194 (11th Cir. 2002).
survive summary judgment, the plaintiff must show the
officer's conduct (1) violated a constitutional right
that (2) was clearly established when the violation occurred.
Id. Clearly established rights are those set by
precedent of the United States Supreme Court, the Eleventh
Circuit, and the Georgia Supreme Court. Snider v.
Jefferson State Cmty. Coll., 344 F.3d 1325, 1328 (11th
Cir. 2003). The case does not need to be directly on point
and only needs to give the defendant fair notice that his
conduct was unconstitutional. Mitello v. Sherriff of the
Broward Sheriff's Office, 684 Fed.Appx. 809, 813
(11th Cir. 2017). Plaintiff does not dispute that Defendant
was acting in his discretionary authority. Therefore,
Plaintiff must show that Defendant violated Mr. Davison's
Eighth Amendment rights and that those rights were clearly