United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
DOROTHY LEE, as Wife and Personal Representative of John Morris Lee, Jr. and Estate of John Morris Lee, Jr., Deceased, and JOHN MORRIS LEE, III, as Son and Wrongful Death Beneficiary of John Morris Lee, Jr., Deceased PLAINTIFFS
JACKSON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, et al. DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT DR. SID ROSS'S 
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; DENYING AS MOOT DR. SID
ROSS'S  MOTION TO STRIKE TESTIMONY AND SUPPLEMENTAL
EXPERT REPORT OF MICHAEL STEVENS, D.O.; AND DENYING AS MOOT
DR. SID ROSS'S  MOTION TO STRIKE SUPPLEMENTAL
SULEYMAN OZERDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT are the Motion  to Strike Testimony and
Supplemental Expert Report of Michael Stevens, D.O., the
Motion  for Summary Judgment, and the Motion  to
Strike Supplemental Witnesses, all filed by Defendant Dr. Sid
Ross. These Motions are fully briefed. Having
considered the Motions, related pleadings, the record, and
relevant legal authority, the Court is of the opinion that
Defendant Dr. Ross's Motion  for Summary Judgment
should be granted, and that Plaintiffs' claims against
Dr. Ross should be dismissed in their entirety. Dr.
Ross's Motions ,  to Strike are rendered moot.
case arises out of the unfortunate death of John Morris Lee,
Jr. (“Mr. Lee” or “Decedent”) on
February 24, 2013, while he was incarcerated at the Jackson
County Adult Detention Center (“ADC”) in
Pascagoula, Mississippi. Mr. Lee was arrested and booked into
the Pascagoula City Jail on December 1, 2012, on a felony
shoplifting charge. Release Sheet [258-1] at 21. On December
5, 2012, Mr. Lee was transferred to the ADC. Booking Medical
Sheet [258-1] at 19-20; Booking Sheet [258-1] at 22-23. On
February 24, 2013, at approximately 7:11 a.m., other inmates
summoned deputies to the dayroom where Mr. Lee was located.
Death Investigation [258-1] at 1. Mr. Lee was reportedly
having a seizure and was found unresponsive and gasping for
breath. Id. Emergency medical technicians arrived at
approximately 7:18 a.m. and took over cardio pulmonary
resuscitation. Id. at 1-2. At approximately 7:58
a.m., Mr. Lee was transported via ambulance to the Singing
River Hospital emergency room, where he was pronounced dead
at 8:23 a.m. Id.
Dr. Ross's role at the ADC
Ross (“Dr. Ross”) began working as a contract
physician at the ADC in 2005, and worked in that capacity
through at least February 2013, during the time periods
relevant to this case. Dep. of Dr. William Ross [258-4] at
8-9, 23-24. Dr. Ross visited the ADC on Tuesday mornings and
would see all patients with complaints who were presented to
him by the ADC's nursing staff. Id. at 10,
12-13. According to Dr. Ross, he “would see any
[patients at the ADC] that the nurse felt that [he] needed to
see.” Id. at 14.
the nurse gave [Dr. Ross] a report and [he] didn't feel
comfortable with what was reported, [he] would ask to see
them, and [the nurse] would make sure that [he] saw
them.” Id. at 14-15. If an urgent need arose
while Dr. Ross was not at the ADC, the nurses would send the
patient to the emergency room. Id. at 17-18.
“And if [the nurses] were iffy about whether or not
they should go, [the nurses] would counsel [Dr. Ross] by
phone, and [Dr. Ross] would give advice to go or not.”
Id. at 18.
general matter, Dr. Ross did not recall seeing ADC
patients' initial intake forms. Id. at 18,
49-50. “The forms were not presented to [him].”
Id. at 71. Dr. Ross instead reviewed the medical
history of patients which were “garnered by the
nurse.” Id. at 18.
to Dr. Ross, when someone incarcerated at the ADC submitted a
request or a “kite” seeking the initiation of
medications for conditions that were chronic and ongoing,
“[t]he nurse will usually present [Dr. Ross] with the
statement that the patient has requested and that she has
submitted request for backup medical information.”
Id. at 29. “The kites were submitted to the
nurses, and the nurses deemed those that needed to be brought
to [Dr. Ross].” Id. at 72. Dr. Ross never
personally reviewed these kites. Id. at 72-73.
The ADC's nurses and work performed at the ADC
times relevant to this case, Defendant Jona Crowley was a
registered nurse (“RN”) who worked as the
ADC's “staff nurse” or “head
nurse.” Dep. of Jona Crowley [258-2] at 6. Junna
Jackson and Kristi Bourn were licensed practical nurses, and
Kelli Tassin was a registered nurse, all of whom also worked
at the ADC. Dep. of Jona Crowley [258-2] at 52; Dep. of Junna
Jackson [258-3] at 4, 22.
nurses received an inmate request for treatment, “any
of the nurses could have answered the kites.” Dep. of
Jona Crowley [258-2] at 9. “[T]he only time [Crowley]
would have had face-to-face contact with an inmate was on
Tuesdays, with the doctor, unless it was an emergency.”
Id. at 12.
to Crowley, protocol was that if an inmate responded on an
ADC questionnaire or informed one of the nurses to the effect
that he had been prescribed medication that he did not have
with him, the inmate needed to complete a Release of
Information (“ROI”) form in order for the ADC to
obtain additional information. Id. at 13-14.
Likewise, when an ADC inmate requested prescription
medication, Crowley explained that the inmate was required to
sign a ROI form in order for the ADC staff to determine what
medications the inmates had been prescribed. Id. at
9-10. The ROI was then sent to the inmate's doctor or
hospital. Id. at 10.
the ADC medical staff received the records back from the
inmate's physician, Crowley would read over them and
place them in Dr. Ross's bin for review when he came in
on Tuesdays. Id. at 10, 55-56. According to Crowley,
if something came up that needed attention before Tuesday,
she would call Dr. Ross, or send the inmate to the emergency
room if the inmate needed immediate medical attention.
Id. at 10-11. Dr. Ross described Crowley as a
“triage nurse” who would evaluate inmates
“and see when and how much treatment [was]
necessary.” Dep. of Dr. William Ross [258-4] at 60.
Mr. Lee's medical treatment at the ADC
Lee's December 5, 2012, Booking Medical Sheet at the ADC
listed a “Dr. McLossky” as his doctor. Booking
Medical Sheet [258-1] at 19. The Booking Medical Sheet
disclosed that Mr. Lee had, either in the present or the
past, suffered from epilepsy, fainting spells, heart
condition, high blood pressure, and seizures. Id.
The Booking Medical Sheet reflected that Mr. Lee was
prescribed medication by a doctor for high blood pressure and
seizures. Id. at 19-20. However, the Booking Medical
Sheet did not list any specific medications Mr. Lee took, nor
did it specifically identify what medical provider had
prescribed any such medications or what pharmacy Mr. Lee used
to fill prescriptions. See id.
had previously been incarcerated at the ADC on several
different occasions, for one day in May 2011, see
Booking Sheet [258-1] at 29-30, Release Sheet [258-1] at
42-43; from June to October 2011, see Booking Sheet
[258-1] at 27-28, Release Sheet [258-1] at 39-40; and from
January to April 2012, see Booking Sheet [258-1] at
25-26, Release Sheet [258-1] at 36-37. While Mr. Lee was
incarcerated at the ADC in June through October 2011, the
ADC's Medication Administration Records noted that Mr.
Lee had been prescribed Lanoxin 0.25 mg by a Dr. Hudson and
three Dilantin 100 mg daily by a Dr. Simmons. Medication
Record [258-1] at 59-62. During Mr. Lee's incarceration
from January to April 2012, the ADC's Medication
Administration Records indicated that Mr. Lee had been
prescribed one Digoxin 25 mg and three Dilantin 100 mg daily
by a Dr. Emerick. Medication Record [258-1] at 56-58.
January 6, 2013, during his final incarceration at the ADC,
Mr. Lee submitted an inmate request, also known informally as
a “kite, ” which read as follows:
I have a pass [sic] record her [sic] at the ADC, will you
check my record and you will see my medical history. I need
to be place [sic] back on my seziuer [sic] and heart M.E.D.S.
[sic] please. (1) I take Loxian [sic] 0.25 mg 1 time a day
→ mornings. (2) I take Dilantin 100 mg 3 time [sic] a
day → give all 3 at night.
Request [258-1] at 54. On January 7, 2013, Crowley responded
to Mr. Lee's request as follows:
Where are your meds? Have them brought to ADC. Sign ROI to
Id.; see also Dep. of Jona Crowley [258-2]
at 16, 58 (identifying this response as hers). When asked in
her deposition if she had informed Dr. Ross of Mr. Lee's
January 6, 2013, request, Crowley testified, “I
don't believe so.” Dep. of Jona Crowley [258-2] at
In an inmate request submitted on January 8, 2013, Mr. Lee
stated that: I was told by your [illegible] staff
“nurse” to write a kite to the head my pass [sic]
records from Dr. Ross. Please look into this matter. My
health condition is life threaten[ing]. I need to see a
* * * P.S. Read the response on back page. Sir, if I had my
on [sic] medication I wouldn't never ask [sic] the nurse
Mrs. Jonna [sic] ...