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 IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS JACKSON COUNTY AND JONA CROWLEY'S  MOTION
TO STRIKE PLAINTIFFS' EXPERT DR. LORI E. ROSCOE; GRANTING
IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS JACKSON COUNTY AND
JONA CROWLEY'S  MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; AND
DENYING AS MOOT DEFENDANT JACKSON COUNTY'S  MOTION
TO STRIKE SUPPLEMENTAL WITNESSES
SULEYMAN OZERDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT are the Motion  to Strike Plaintiffs'
Expert Dr. Lori E. Roscoe and the Motion  for Summary
Judgment filed by Defendants Jackson County, Mississippi, and
Jona Crowley, and the Motion  to Strike Supplemental
Witnesses  filed by Defendant Jackson County,
Mississippi. These Motions are fully briefed.
considered the Motions, related pleadings, the record, and
relevant legal authority, the Court is of the opinion that
the Motion  to Strike Plaintiffs' Expert Dr. Roscoe
should be granted in part and denied in part, that the Motion
 for Summary Judgment should be granted in part and
denied in part, and that the Motion  to Strike
Supplemental Witnesses should be denied as moot. Dr. Roscoe
will be prohibited at trial from testifying about Jackson
County's purported breaches of care and medical causation
and from drawing a legal conclusion regarding
“deliberate indifference.” Plaintiffs' claims
against Crowley pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985 and
1986 should be dismissed with prejudice, and all claims
against Jackson County should be dismissed with prejudice.
Plaintiffs' claims against Crowley pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 will proceed to trial.
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 [256-1] at 1. On December
5, 2012, Mr. Lee was transferred to the ADC. Id.;
Booking Sheet [256-2] at 1. On February 24, 2013, at
approximately 7:11 a.m., other inmates summoned deputies to
the dayroom where Mr. Lee was located. Death Investigation
[256-11] 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.
relevant times, Defendant Jona Crowley was a registered nurse
(“RN”) working as the ADC's “staff
nurse” or “head nurse.” Dep. of Jona
Crowley [256-12] 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. Id. at
nurses would receive an inmate request or a
“kite” at the ADC, “any of the nurses could
have answered the kites.” Id. 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 that he had
been prescribed medication that he did not have with him, a
Release of Information (“ROI”) form would need to
be completed by the inmate 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 an ROI form in
order for the ADC staff to determine what medications the
inmate 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 the bin of the ADC's contract physician,
Dr. Sid Ross (“Dr. Ross”), for review when he
came in to the ADC 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 she
would send the inmate to the emergency room if immediate
medical care was necessary. Id. at 10-11.
Lee's December 5, 2012, Booking Medical Sheet at the ADC
listed a “Dr. McLossky” as his doctor. Booking
Medical Sheet [256-3] at 1. The Booking Medical Sheet
disclosed that Mr. Lee had, either at the time or in the
past, suffered from epilepsy, fainting spells, a heart
condition, high blood pressure, and seizures. Id.
The Booking Medical Sheet stated that Mr. Lee was taking
medication prescribed by a doctor, specifically medications
for high blood pressure and seizures. Id. at 1-2.
However, the Booking Medical Sheet did not list any specific
medications Mr. Lee took, nor did it specifically identify
what medical provider had prescribed such medications or what
pharmacy Mr. Lee used to fill his prescriptions.
had been incarcerated at the ADC on several previous
occasions.While Mr. Lee was incarcerated at the ADC
during the months of July 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 Records [271-4] at
4-7. During another period of 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.
Id. at 1-3.
January 6, 2013, during his final incarceration at the ADC,
Mr. Lee submitted an inmate request 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 [271-2] at 1. 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 your Dr[.]
Id.; see also Dep. of Jona Crowley [256-12]
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 [256-12] at
to Crowley, Linda Richardson from the ADC had contacted Mr.
Lee's sister about the medications, but no one was
willing to bring his medications to the ADC. Id. at
59. It is unclear from the record when this purported contact
with Mr. Lee's sister occurred.
was asked at her deposition whether she had checked Mr.
Lee's medical history after receiving Mr. Lee's
January 6, 2013, kite. Id. at 17. Crowley testified
A. Those are -- those weren't at our disposal. Those were
being stored, like, from a previous time he was there, those
records, when he left, are taken out of medical, scanned in,
and they're stored at the Homeport.
Q. Okay. Where are they scanned into?
A. They're scanned into the computer.
Q. Can you look on the computer?
A. You can look on the computer.
Q. Did you look on the computer?
A. I don't remember.
Q. So you did have access to them?
A. I'm sure I had access.
Q. Okay. And so you are sure you had access to his previous
A. If they were scanned in.
* * *
[Q.] Don't you think it would be prudent to look at his
A. I would agree, yes.
Q. So if he's complaining of seizures and he's had --
you all had possession, the Jackson County ADC had possession
of his medical records, do you think it would be a good idea
to look at his medical records?
A. I would have reviewed them.
Q. But you don't know if you did or not?
A. No. I don't remember.
Id. at 17-19.
inmate request submitted on January 8, 2013, Mr. Lee stated
I was told by your [illegible] staff “nurse” to
write a kite to the head nurse Mrs. Jonna [sic]: To inform
her that I needed to be place[d] back on my medication which
the A.D.C. medical records should show from 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] to place me back on my M.E.D. [sic]
Request [271-2] at 2. The ADC response bearing the stamp of
Captain Ray Bates read:
She told you what you need to do. We can't give you meds
w/o a prescription regardless of past records. Have someone
bring them or sign a Release of Information.
Id. It is unclear from the record whether Crowley
ever saw this particular request and response prior to Mr.
Lee's death, but according to Crowley's deposition
testimony, it appears that she may not have received Mr.
Lee's January 8, 2013, kite. Dep. of Jona Crowley
[256-12] at 21 (“The next one was Kelli. I didn't
February 22, 2013, Mr. Lee completed another inmate request.
Inmate Request [271-2] at 3. Mr. Lee stated as follows:
I need to see a doctor soon. I've been have-ing [sic]
seizures from the brain surgery in 1994. I have an A.V.M. on
my brain. I haven't been under a doctor lately only at
the Singing River E.R. I also have same problem with my heart
condition. I have A-fib heart failure. I'm having cool
sweats and my blood pressure is low. Or please ask the nurse
to send me a release of information to send to Singing River
Hospital E.R. for my medical record please.
Id. The unsigned response to Mr. Lee's Kite
stated that the “ROI has been sent already. See nurse
at cart to check B/P / pulse if needed.” Id.
It is not clear from the record who at the ADC drafted this
response or whether Crowley ever saw this kite or response
prior to Mr. Lee's death. Crowley testified that she did
not recognize the handwriting, but that is was one of the
other nurses who worked at the ADC. Dep. of Jona Crowley
[256-12] at 52.
same day, on February 22, 2013, Mr. Lee signed an ROI for his
medical records from Singing River Hospital. ROI [271-12] at
1. ADC records indicate that the ROI was faxed, presumably to
Singing River Hospital, at 4:38 p.m. that day. Id.
respect to Mr. Lee's February 22, 2013, request, counsel
asked Crowley at her deposition “would it have been
proper protocol to notify the doctor that [Mr. Lee was]
having seizures?” Dep. of Jona Crowley [256-12] at 41.
Crowley responded “[w]e notify him when you get the
release of records, you get the records in.”
Id. Instead of notifying Dr. Ross of a specific
inmate request, Crowley testified that “protocol was to
get the records for Ross to review and make the decision what
meds he's been on and what we're going to put them
back on.” Id. at 44.
was asked if she had any reason to believe that Dr. Ross was
advised of any issue that Mr. Lee was having with seizures
during his last incarceration at the ADC. Dep. of Jona
Crowley [256-12] at 56. Crowley responded, “I have no
idea.” Id. at 56-57.
the delay in completing the ROI, Crowley testified:
[t]hat's one of the things that I don't understand
because he had been there before and he knew procedures, and
he knew what a Release of Information was. And it was
available to him from day one on the cart twice a day. So I
don't know why he waited.
Id. at 20-21. According to Crowley, she never saw
Mr. Lee during his last incarceration. Id. at 60.
Mr. Lee had “[n]o face-to-face with ...