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Cruse v. Ms. Dept. of Corrections

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

August 24, 2018

ANDREW CLINTON CRUSE, JR. PLAINTIFF
v.
MS. DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DAVID A. SANDERS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, appeared before the undersigned for a hearing as set forth in Spears v. McCotter, 766 F.2d 179 (5th Cir. 1985), to determine whether any claims in the present case filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 have sufficient merit to proceed. A plaintiff's claim must be dismissed if “it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact, such as when a prisoner alleges the violation of a legal interest that does not exist.” Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578 (5th Cir. 1998)(citations omitted). The plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides a federal cause of action against “[e]very person” who under color of state authority causes the “deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this lawsuit.[1] For the reasons set forth below, all of the plaintiff's claims will be dismissed with prejudice, except his claims of unconstitutionally harsh general conditions of confinement and failure to protect him against various threats.

         Discussion

         Mr. Cruse has made numerous allegations against the medical doctors and staff at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman regarding the level of his care. He testified at the Spears hearing that he was satisfied with the treatment he received while housed at the Marshall County Correctional Facility; as such, in the present case the court will consider only the treatment he received at Parchman.

         Mr. Cruse has also alleged that various members of the Parchman staff have violated his constitutional rights in other ways. To the extent that Mr. Cruse's allegations at his Spears hearing differed from those in his complaint, the court has considered the allegations given live and under oath at the Spears hearing. The court has set forth and discussed each allegation below.

         Medical Care

         Mr. Cruse alleges that he suffers from multiple serious medical conditions:

(1) degenerative joint disease in his left hip, which now grinds bone-on-bone when he moves it;
(2) C.O.P.D.;
(3) Serious rash that spread across his body and into his eyes;
(4) Congestive heart failure;
(5) High blood pressure;
(6) Allergies to common prison foods (oatmeal, bologna, salami, and hot dogs);
(7) Asthma;
(8) No teeth;
(9) GERD; and
(10) Neuropathy in his hands and feet.

         Hip Problems

         Mr. Cruse makes many medical claims, but his focus is on the lack of proper treatment for his arthritic hip. He would like to continue to receive cortisone shots every 90 days in the near term, but ultimately would like to undergo hip replacement surgery.

         Mr. Cruse alleges that Free World doctors examined him while he was housed in the Harrison County Adult Detention Center and told him that he required replacement of his left hip. He was, apparently, scheduled for hip replacement at a Free World doctor in Harrison County, but was transferred to the custody of MDOC before the surgery took place. Now that Mr. Cruse is in MDOC custody, prison doctors will not approve that procedure. He also alleges that medical personnel at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (“Parchman”) prevented him from receiving cortisone injections in his hip to relieve the pain during his stay there. After the one injection he did receive at Parchman (which he believes was a painkiller, rather than cortisone), he started vomiting and became feverish for ...


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