United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING  MOTION FOR SUMMARY
H. WALKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Keith La-Dale Porter, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prisoner
civil rights complaint alleging, among other things,
inadequate medical care for injuries sustained prior to his
arrest on the evening of August 28, 2015. The Court conducted
a screening hearing on December 13, 2016. Doc. .
Defendant Correctional Medical Associates, Inc. (CMA) has
filed a motion for summary judgment. Doc. . With respect
to CMA, Plaintiff alleges that CMA employees were
deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's injuries.
Plaintiff countered CMA's motion for summary judgment
with what he has titled as a motion to dismiss. Doc. .
the medical provider of health services for inmates at the
Harrison County Adult Detention Center (HCADC). Doc. [86-1].
Plaintiff was transferred to HCADC on August 29, 2015,
following his arrest and booking by the Gulfport Police
Department. Doc.  at 33-35. Patricia Perkins conducted a
medical questionnaire at the time of transfer. Doc.  at
2-5. Plaintiff's signature is on the intake form.
Id. at 3. At the screening hearing, Plaintiff
verified that his signature is on the intake form. Doc. 
at 60-61. According to the medical intake information,
Plaintiff did not exhibit any injuries at the time of his
arrival at HCADC. Doc.  at 2- 3. There is no indication
in the medical records that Plaintiff submitted sick calls or
received any treatment for injuries to his head. See
Doc. . At the screening hearing, Plaintiff testified that
he sued CMA simply because it employs the nurses at HCADC.
Doc.  at 70-71.
provides that “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment
if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Sierra Club,
Inc. v. Sandy Creek Energy Assocs., L.P., 627 F.3d 134,
138 (5th Cir. 2010). Where the summary judgment evidence
establishes that one of the essential elements of the
plaintiff's cause of action does not exist as a matter of
law, all other contested issues of fact are rendered
immaterial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323 (1986); Topalin v. Ehrman, 954 F.2d 1125, 1138
(5th Cir. 1992). In making its determinations of fact on a
motion for summary judgment, the court must view the evidence
submitted by the parties in a light most favorable to the
non-moving party. McPherson v. Rankin, 736 F.2d 175,
178 (5th Cir. 1984).
moving party has the duty to demonstrate the lack of a
genuine issue of a material fact and the appropriateness of
judgment as a matter of law to prevail on its motion.
Union Planters Nat'l Leasing v. Woods, 687 F.2d
117 (5th Cir. 1982). The movant accomplishes this by
informing the court of the basis of its motion, and by
identifying portions of the record which highlight the
absence of genuine factual issues. Topalian, 954
F.2d at 1131. “Rule 56 contemplates a shifting burden:
the nonmovant is under no obligation to respond unless the
movant discharges [its] initial burden of demonstrating
[entitlement to summary judgment].” John v. State
of Louisiana, 757 F.3d 698, 708 (5th Cir.
1985). Once a properly supported motion for summary judgment
is presented, the nonmoving party must rebut with
“significant probative” evidence. Ferguson v.
Nat'l Broad. Co., Inc., 584 F.2d 111, 114 (5th Cir.
a private corporation providing medical care at HCADC.
Nevertheless, it may be sued under § 1983 by a prisoner
who has suffered an alleged constitutional injury. See
Rosborough v. Mgmt. & Training Corp., 350 F.3d 459,
461 (5th Cir. 2003). Section 1983 does not create
supervisory or respondeat superior liability.
Rios v. City of Del Rio, Texas, 444 F.3d 417, 425
(5th Cir. 2006); Williams v. Luna, 909
F.2d 121, 123 (5th Cir. 1990). Although not
subject to vicarious liability for the constitutional torts
of its employees, a private corporation such as CMA may be
held liable under § 1983 when an official policy or
custom of the corporation causes, or is the moving force
behind, the alleged deprivation of federal rights. See
Rouster v. County of Saginaw, 749 F.3d 437, 453
(6th Cir. 2014); Rice ex rel. Rice v.
Correctional Medical Servs., 675 F.3d 650, 675
(7th Cir. 2012); Austin v. Paramount Parks,
Inc., 195 F.3d 715, 728 (4th Cir. 1999).
Based on Plaintiff's own testimony, his lawsuit against
CMA is based on a theory of vicarious liability or
respondeat superior. Plaintiff admitted that he sued
CMA only because it employs the nurses at HCADC. Doc.  at
70-71. Such a theory fails to state a claim against CMA.
Moreover, Plaintiff fails to identify a policy or custom that
cause, or was the moving force, behind Plaintiff's
alleged inadequate medical care.
response to CMA's motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff
argues that Defendant CMA “failed to see the Plaintiff
which resulted into a violation of the Plaintiff's
constitutional rights by a delay in treatment of never seeing
the Plaintiff”. “Defendant” is a
corporation. The corporation cannot examine or treat
Plaintiff except through its employees. As explained above,
the corporation cannot be held vicariously liable for the
constitutional torts of its employees. Hence, Plaintiff's
response fails to identify a genuine issue of material fact.
response, Plaintiff further asserts that CMA's failure to
provide medical attention violated CMA's “Standard
of Care” policy. Plaintiff's argument fails to
identify a policy or custom that was the moving force behind
the alleged deliberate indifference to his medical condition.
To the contrary, Plaintiff identifies a CMA policy to provide
adequate care to inmates. If a CMA employee failed to follow
CMA's own policy, and if the employee was thereby
deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical
condition, then CMA still cannot be held vicariously liable
for the constitutional tort of its employee.
alleges that the medical records provided in support of
CMA's motion for summary judgment are void. He asserts
that the records contain the wrong social security number and
birth date, and that his signature was forged. For purposes
of CMA's motion, the authenticity of the medical records
is irrelevant. Plaintiff attempts to sue CMA on the basis of
vicarious liability. He fails to identify or allege a custom
or policy that was the moving force behind the constitutional
violation. As such, Plaintiff's claims against CMA fail
regardless of the authenticity of the medical records.
Plaintiff simply fails to identify any wrongdoing on the part
of CMA apart from the alleged conduct of CMA's employees.
THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant CMA's 
Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED. Plaintiff's
claims against Defendant Correctional Medical Associates,
Inc. are hereby dismissed with prejudice.
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's  Motion ...