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Taylor v. Perkins

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division

April 2, 2015

ENOCH TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
ERICA PERKINS, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

MICHAEL T. PARKER, Magistrate Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment [32] filed by Defendant Erica Perkins. After careful consideration of the submissions of the parties, the entire record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the Motion [32] should be granted, and that this matter should be dismissed with prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Enoch Taylor, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant civil rights action on or about August 14, 2013.[1] Plaintiff is a post-conviction inmate currently incarcerated at East Mississippi Correctional Facility ("EMCF") located in Meridian, Mississippi. This civil action arises from alleged events that occurred while the Plaintiff was incarcerated at Wilkinson County Correctional Facility ("WCCF"). Plaintiff's claims and requested relief were clarified and amended through his sworn testimony at a Spears [2] hearing held on May 22, 2014.[3]

Plaintiff alleges a claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Plaintiff alleges that on or about December 29, 2011, he was assaulted by another inmate at WCCF that resulted in several stab wounds to his hands, face and head. Plaintiff alleges that his injuries necessitated stitches and that he was airlifted to a hospital in Jackson to receive medical treatment. Plaintiff states that he suffered from a great amount of pain as a result of the assault and that he required more treatment than he received. Plaintiff also alleges that he was entitled to mental health treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Perkins - a correctional officer at WCCF - had a responsibility to follow-up on his condition and that she was unresponsive to his requests for treatment. Plaintiff claims that he had to fill out multiple sick calls to bring attention to his medical needs, and that he was charged for each sick call. He also claims that he submitted multiple administrative remedy procedure grievances (ARPs), but that no one responded to them.[4]

Plaintiff requests relief in the form of proper medical care for his injuries as well as reimbursement for submitting his sick call requests, courts costs, and filing fees. He also requests an unspecified amount of monetary damages for his pain and suffering.[5]

Defendant Perkins filed her Motion for Summary Judgment [32] on January 21, 2015, alleging (1) that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies; and (2) that in any event, Plaintiff received constitutionally adequate medical treatment for his injuries.

STANDARD

A motion for summary judgement will be granted only when "the record indicates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'" Causey v. Sewell Cadillac-Chevrolet, Inc., 394 F.3d 285, 288 (5th Cir. 2004) (citing FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)). The court must view "the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party." Id. However, the nonmoving party "cannot defeat summary judgment with conclusory allegations, unsubstantiated assertions, or only a scintilla of evidence.'" Turner v. Baylor Richardson Medical Center, 476 F.3d 337, 343 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994)). In the absence of proof, the Court does not "assume that the nonmoving party could or would prove the necessary facts." Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (emphasis omitted). A nonmoving party cannot rest on its pleadings to avoid a proper motion for summary judgment. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325-26.

ANALYSIS

Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires a prisoner to exhaust such administrative remedies as are available' before he may file suit under Section 1983. See Ferrington v. Louisiana Dep't of Corrections, 315 F.3d 529, 531 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing 42 U.S.C. ยง 1997e). Plaintiff alleges that he filed several ARPs over the course of two years, but that he received no response.[6] Defendant Perkins counters that Plaintiff's institutional file indicates that he never filed any grievance in connection with the alleged assault or deficient medical treatment.[7] The Court finds it unnecessary, however, to resolve this discrepancy, as Plaintiff's uncontradicted medical records show that he received constitutionally adequate medical care at WCCF.

Deliberate Indifference

A prison official violates the Eighth Amendment when he acts with deliberate indifference to a prisoner's serious medical needs. Domino v. Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, 239 F.3d 752, 754 (5th Cir. 2001). A plaintiff must meet an "extremely high" standard to show deliberate indifference. Gobert v. Caldwell, 463 F.3d 339, 346 (5th Cir. 2006) (quotations omitted). For a prison official to be liable for deliberate indifference, the plaintiff must show that "the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be aware of facts from which the ...


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