United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. GARGIULO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
THE COURT are two motions for summary judgment: the Motion
for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 30) filed by Defendants Ronald
Woodall and Karen Deese, and the Motion for Summary Judgment
Based on Sovereign and Qualified Immunity (ECF No. 35) filed
by Defendant Marshall Fisher. Plaintiff filed respective
responses in opposition to each Motion (ECF No. 40); (ECF No.
41). Having considered the submissions of the parties, the
record as a whole, and relevant law, the undersigned
concludes that the Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 30),
filed by Ronald Woodall and Karen Deese, and the Motion for
Summary Judgment Based on Sovereign and Qualified Immunity
(ECF No. 35), filed by Marshall Fisher, will both be GRANTED.
Bobby Joe Campbell is a prisoner in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”)
housed at South Mississippi Correctional Institution
(“SMCI”) in Leakesville, Mississippi. He filed
his Complaint (ECF No. 1) on April 27, 2016, brought pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated
his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment. Although his Complaint requested an award of
damages, (ECF No. 1, at 4), he later clarified that he seeks
only injunctive relief in the form of Court-ordered medical
care, (ECF No. 30-2, at 35-36). Plaintiff proceeds pro
se and in forma pauperis.
16, 2016, the undersigned issued an Order (ECF No. 6)
directing Plaintiff to provide additional information about
how Defendants supposedly violated his constitutional rights.
Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 7) to that Order on June
2, 2016. On December 14, 2016, the Court held an omnibus
hearing, during which Plaintiff supplemented the
allegations in his Complaint and the Court set case
management deadlines. See Minute Entry Dec. 14,
2016; Transcript of Omnibus Hearing (ECF No. 30-2).
Defendants thereafter filed the instant motions for summary
judgment on April 21, 2017 (ECF No. 30) and April 28, 2017
(ECF No. 35), respectively.
alleges that in October or November 2014, he suffered a
chemical burn to both of his legs while assisting another
inmate pour cleaning chemicals out of a large drum and into a
smaller container. Plaintiff was on kitchen duty and went to
the laundry room to get chemicals for cleaning table surfaces
and the floor. He says the chemicals splashed up on to his
legs, ate through his pants, and burned both of his legs
below his knees. He immediately went to the infirmary, where
he was seen by either Defendant Karen Deese, a nurse
practitioner, or Defendant Ronald Woodall, a doctor.
written filing, Plaintiff explains that he “was
initially treated by Defendant R. Woodall, ” (ECF No.
7, at 5), but he testified at the omnibus hearing that he saw
NP Deese when he first went to the infirmary, see
(ECF No. 30-2, at 17-18). Furthermore, he testified that Dr.
Woodall never saw his legs and never spoke to him about his
condition of his legs; Dr. Woodall only responded to his
administrative grievance. See (ECF No. 30-2, at 23).
Either Dr. Woodall or NP Deese cleaned the burns, applied a
burn cream, and wrapped his legs. Woodall or Deese also
ordered him an ointment and told him to come back to the
infirmary every three days to have the wrapping changed.
Plaintiff thereafter returned to his work in the kitchen and
says that he went to the infirmary every three days as
instructed, and that NP Deese cleaned his burns and
re-wrapped his legs each time. He says he used the ointment
as instructed but that this treatment - his use of the
ointment and regular dressing changes - did not heal his
legs. Pain regularly persists and he has scabs on his legs.
Plaintiff believes that he should have been referred to a
burn specialist because he has diabetes: he fears that the
combination of the burn and his status as a diabetic
(presumably in reference to complications from diabetes that
affect his limbs) may lead to the loss of his legs. However,
no medical professional warned him of such a risk.
maintains that the prescribed ointment has not done anything
to help his legs heal, but he noted that he also applies
cocoa butter and baby oil to his legs in order to “keep
[them] moist.” (ECF No. 30-2, at 29). No medical
professional told him to use cocoa butter or baby oil.
Plaintiff does not propose an alternative treatment that he
should have received, but believes that something else could
have and should be done for his legs.
asked why he is suing each Defendant, Plaintiff explained
that he is suing Marshall Fisher because he is the final
policymaker at MDOC and responsible for the overall safety
and well-being of inmates housed in MDOC facilities. It is
worth noting that Plaintiff could not remember why he was
suing Marshall Fisher when questioned at the omnibus hearing.
See (ECF No. 30-2, at 23-24). Plaintiff stated that
he is suing doctor Ronald Woodall because Woodall (1) did not
refer Plaintiff to a burn specialist, (2) continued to
prescribe the same ointment despite Plaintiff's protests
that it was ineffective, and (3) is in charge of care
provided at the clinic. Finally, Plaintiff is suing NP Karen
Deese because she refused to refer him to see a burn
specialist even though he expressed fears of losing his legs.
See (ECF No. 1); (ECF No. 7); (ECF No. 30-2).
Summary Judgment Standard
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that summary judgment
is appropriate “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). “When the moving party has carried its burden
under Rule 56(c), its opponent must do more than simply show
that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). “[T]he nonmovant
must go beyond the pleadings and ...