United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION  AND DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S
SULEYMAN OZERDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the Report and
Recommendation  of United States Magistrate Judge John C.
Gargiulo, entered on January 2, 2018. Plaintiff Irvin Clark
(“Clark”) filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against Defendants Jacqueline Banks
(“Banks”), Ronald Woodall (“Dr.
Woodall”), and Mike Hatten (“Hatten”). The
Magistrate Judge recommended that the Motion  for Summary
Judgment based on Sovereign and Qualified Immunity filed by
Banks and Hatten and the Motion  for Summary Judgment
filed by Dr. Woodall both be granted, and that Clark's
claims be dismissed. R. & R.  at 14-15. After due
consideration of the Report and Recommendation, the record,
and relevant legal authority, the Court finds that the Report
and Recommendation should be adopted as the finding of this
Court, and that Clark's claims should be dismissed.
is a prisoner in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections (“MDOC”) housed at South Mississippi
Correctional Institution (“SMCI”) in Leakesville,
Mississippi. Clark alleges that beginning in November 2015,
he experienced pain in his left shoulder. Compl.  at 4.
Clark saw Nurse Practitioner Woodland for his shoulder pain,
and Woodland ordered a shoulder x-ray. Id. Clark was
next seen by Dr. McCleave, who referred Clark to be seen by
an outside specialist at Southern Bone and Joint in Jackson,
alleges that months went by without the referral being
completed. Id. Clark was seen by Dr. Woodall on
February 27, 2016. Id. Clark states that Dr. Woodall
gave him a shot for “tendonitis, ” but that the
shot did not help the pain. Omnibus Tr.  at 12. Clark
testified that he received additional x-rays in April and May
2016, which produced conflicting results. Id. at
21-24. Clark states that he was frequently seen by medical
staff from March to May of 2016, and was offered shots for
pain and prednisone for swelling. Id. Clark alleges
that Woodland told him that nothing else could be done for
his arm besides these pain-management options. Id.
16, 2016, Clark filed a Complaint  pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Defendants. Clark claims that Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment. The Complaint requests the Court to order
a MRI of Clark's shoulder and seeks $50, 000.00 in
damages from each Defendant. Compl.  at 4. Clark alleges
that pain and limited range of motion in his arm persist,
id. at 5, and that he repeatedly asked about
receiving an MRI to determine the cause of his condition, but
that he has yet to receive an MRI or see a specialist,
id. at 13.
claims that Banks, the superintendent of SMCI, knew of
Clark's ongoing medical problem but failed to solve the
situation. Id. at 5-6. Clark complains that Hatten,
the medical director of SMCI, has shown deliberate
indifference to his medical treatment. Id. at 7-8.
Clark asserts that Dr. Woodall, as the senior physician at
SMCI, has not ensured that Clark be seen by the Southern Bone
and Joint Clinic as ordered by Dr. McCleave. Id. at
6. Clark has amended his Complaint to advance a claim that
Dr. Woodall also lowered the dosage of his chronic pain
medication in retaliation for filing this lawsuit. Omnibus
Tr.  at 30; Am. Compl.  at 2.
March 24, 2017, Banks and Hatten filed a Motion  for
Summary Judgment, arguing that they are entitled to sovereign
immunity on Clark's claims for monetary damages against
them in their official capacities, and are otherwise entitled
to qualified immunity against Clark's claims. Banks and
Hatten also contend that Clark has failed to establish that
they were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.
April 3, 2017, Dr. Woodall filed his own Motion  for
Summary Judgment. Dr. Woodall asserts that Clark's
allegations fail to establish either that his alleged
shoulder pain amounted to an excessive risk to his health or
that Dr. Woodall's treatment of Clark's shoulder pain
evinced deliberate indifference towards Clark's serious
medical needs. Dr. Woodall alternatively posits that the
undisputed record establishes that he was not deliberately
indifferent to Clark's serious medical needs. Dr. Woodall
also alleges that Clark failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies for his claim that Dr. Woodall retaliated against
Clark for filing this lawsuit.
Magistrate Judge first found that the Eleventh Amendment bars
Clark's claim for monetary damages against Banks and
Hatten in their official capacities because Banks and Hatten
are employees of MDOC, which is an arm of the State of
Mississippi. R. & R.  at 8-9. The Magistrate Judge
next concluded that all Defendants are entitled to qualified
immunity because Clark has failed to state a constitutional
violation. The Magistrate Judge further determined that Banks
and Hatten are merely administrators, not medical
professionals, and thus have no authority or responsibility
to evaluate patients or order any type of medical treatment.
Id. at 12-13.
respect to Clark's claim of deliberate indifference
against Dr. Woodall, the Magistrate Judge found that Dr.
Woodall afforded Clark with medical care for his shoulder in
that he evaluated Clark in the medical clinic, provided Clark
with medication for pain relief, and ordered an x-ray of
Clark's shoulder. Id. at 13. The Magistrate
Judge further found that the failure to arrange for an MRI
did not constitute deliberate indifference to Clark's
medical needs, id., and that Dr. Woodall is entitled
to qualified immunity from Clark's deliberate
indifference claim, id. at 14. Lastly, the
Magistrate Judge concluded that Clark's retaliation claim
should be dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative
accordance with the above findings, the Magistrate Judge
recommended that both Motions for Summary Judgment should be
granted, that Clark's deliberate indifference claims
should be dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a
claim, and that Clark's retaliation claim should be