United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
DINETHA L. RAYNER, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of KELSEY JEROME RAYNER, SR., Plaintiff,
APPLING COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, SHERIFF MARK MELTON, APPLING COUNTY CORRECTIONS OFFICERS ADAM BELL, ANTHONY BARWICK, JEFFERY HAMILTON, NADIA WATTS, ELAINE DOWNDEY, ERNESTINA MERCED, BRANDON GRIFFIS, and WILSON EDWARDS, Individually and in their Official Capacities, SOUTHEAST CORRECTIONAL MEDICAL GROUP, LLC, KACEY NEWBERRY, LPN, CHRISTI TURNER, LPN, LYNN MARSH, LPN, KNICOLE LEE, FNP, JOHN DOE, ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSE, AND JOHN ROE, M.D. Defendants.
GODBEY WOOD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are two motions: (1) Defendants Southeast
Correctional Medical Group, LLC ("SECMG"), Kasey
Newberry, Christi Turner, Lynn Marsh, and Knicole Lee's
Motion to Dismiss Count IV of Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint, dkt. no. 26; and (2) Defendant Sheriff Mark
Melton, in his individual capacity and official capacity as
Sheriff of Appling County, Adam Bell, Anthony Barwick,
Jeffery Hamilton, Nadia Watts, Elaine Dowdney, Ernestina
Merced, Brandon Griffis, and Wilton Edward's Motion to
Dismiss, dkt. no. 28. These Motions have been fully briefed
and are ripe for review. For the reasons provided below,
Defendant SECMG, Newberry, Turner, Marsh, and Lee's
Motion is DENIED. Defendant Sheriff Melton,
Appling County Sheriff's Office, Bell, Barwick, Hamilton,
Watts, Dowdney, Merced, Griffis, and Edward's Motion is
facts stated herein are taken solely from Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint and are assumed to be true pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6). On or about October 1, 2016, Sheriff Melton and
SECMG executed an agreement that provided in relevant part:
SECMG will provide emergency medical treatment to inmates as
necessary and appropriate on site. With the assistance of the
Sheriff's officers and 911 services, SECMG will arrange
for emergency service to be provided at local hospitals.
Appling County Sheriff's Office will be responsible for
the cost of emergency transportation and treatment.
Dkt. No. 24 ¶ 14.
April 16, 2017, Decedent, Kelsey Jerome Rayner, Sr., was
booked into the Appling County Jail. Id. ¶ 15.
On April 17, 2017, SECMG employees performed a
triage/receiving screening on Decedent. Id. ¶
16. During the screening, Decedent's medical history
showed that he suffered a "nervous breakdown" in
2008, that he had "a history" of being prescribed
Risperdal and Prozac, and that he had been diagnosed with
manic depression and schizophrenia. Id. ¶ 17.
On April 18, 2017, Decedent bonded out of the Appling County
Jail. Id. ¶ 18.
28, 2017, Decedent was again arrested and booked into the
Appling County Jail. Id. ¶ 19. On June 29,
2017, Decedent was taken to the local ER because he
complained of chest pains. Id. ¶ 23. The test
results were normal, and he was returned to the jail.
Id. On June 30, 2017, SECMG again did a
triage/receiving screening on Decedent. Id. ¶
20. This time Decedent's medical history showed "a
history" of bipolar depression, prior use of Vistaril
and Clonidine, and hospitalization in 2012 for a
"nervous breakdown." Id. ¶ 21. During
this screening, Decedent was crying and speaking rapidly-both
signs of depression. Id. ¶ 22. Later that day,
Decedent bonded out and was released. Id. ¶ 24.
14, 2017, Decedent's bonding company "came off their
bond" on a misdemeanor charge against Decedent, but
Decedent's bond for pending felony charges remained in
force. Id. ¶ 25. On July 15, 2017, Decedent was
arrested by the Appling County Sheriff's Office.
Id. ¶ 26. On July 16, 2017, Defendants Lee and
Marsh performed another triage/receiving screening of
Decedent. Id. ¶ 27. During that screening,
Decedent had a 99.9 degree fever. Id. ¶ 29.
Also on that day, Decedent was placed in administrative
segregation. Id. ¶ 31.
20, 2017, Defendant Turner examined Decedent and performed a
urinalysis. Id. ¶ 32. The urinalysis indicated
high bilirubin. Id. Defendant Newberry was aware at
that point that Decedent had "something . . . going on
with the liver." Id. From this day to his death
on July 26, 2017, Decedent continued to exhibit signs of
intense stomach pain. Id. Indeed, on July 21,
Defendant Newberry noted in Decedent's chart that he was
complaining of stomach pain and that blood work was ordered
to be taken on July 22, 2017. Id. ¶¶ 33,
34. On July 22, Defendant Marsh was scheduled to be present
at the jail for the blood work, but he did not show up.
Id. ¶ 38. Instead, only Defendant Newberry was
there, but she did not take any blood for analysis because
she did not know how to do that. Id. ¶ 39. At
no time after July 22, 2017, was blood taken from Decedent
for analysis. Id. ¶ 40.
24, 2017, Decedent was in obvious physical distress.
Id. ¶ 44. Decedent was taken to the State Court
of Appling County that day, and he complained to the judge
that he had been passing blood and that he "really
need[ed] [his] body checked out." Id. ¶
45. Defendant Officer Bell was present when Decedent
complained to the judge. Id. ¶ 48. Officer
Bell, nevertheless, did not attempt to get medical treatment
for Decedent. Id. After returning from court on July
24, Decedent used his intercom system in his jail cell to
contact the guards at least five times prior to his death on
July 26, 2017. Id. ¶ 49.
to the Amended Complaint, on July 25, 2017, Decedent began
experiencing increased distress from the infection that would
soon kill him; he ate nothing that morning and was kneeling
down with his head and elbows on the floor. Id.
¶ 51. Decedent was not seen by Defendants John Doe or
John Roe, M.D., when they visited the jail that day because
Decedent's labs were not complete. Id. ¶
52. Decedent also did not eat that evening. Id.
morning of July 26, 2017, Decedent began repeatedly vomiting.
Id. ¶ 55. At around 3:00 pm, up until his death
that night, Decedent was either writhing in pain or
completely still "in a pain pose." Id.
¶ 60. Decedent could be observed by the guards on a
monitor. Id. Another inmate told the guards that
Decedent needed medical attention. Id. ¶ 61.
Later, an inmate used her intercom to call for medical
attention for Decedent so many times that the control tower
disabled her intercom button. Id. ¶¶
76-78. That inmate could hear Decedent groaning and crying
for help. Id. ¶ 76. After her intercom was
disabled, the inmate took off her bra and waived it in front
of the camera; the guards used the intercom to contact her,
and she again asked for medical assistance for Decedent but
to no avail. Id. ¶ 79. Several of the Defendant
Officers came and checked on Decedent that evening, but none
offered him assistance until he was found lifeless at about
9:57 p.m. Id. ¶¶ 63, 70-75, 84, 88-89.
Prior to his death and because of the smell, one of the
guards even had to cover her mouth and nose with her shirt
when she entered Decedent's cell to check on him.
Id. ¶ 74. In the interim, Decedent's
stomach became massively distended, and he tried to push
himself up off the floor twice, but failed both times.
Id. ¶¶ 64-65, 82-83.
of these alleged events, Plaintiff, as the administratrix of
Decedent's estate, seeks damages for alleged ...