United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
ORDER REGARDING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
the Court are the Defendants' motions for summary
judgment. See Docs. #51 & #54. Plaintiff has
failed to submit a response to the motions, and the deadline
to do so has passed. For the reasons forth below,
Defendants' motions will be granted and judgment entered
in favor of Defendants.
Factual and Procedural Background
breaking his ankle at a different facility in March 2017,
inmate George Shinault was transferred to the Unit 42
hospital at the Mississippi State Penitentiary
("MSP") for treatment, where it was determined that
he needed a surgery consult. He awaited a surgery consult in
MSP's infirmary for approximately one month, and he
claims that when the consult was finally provided, surgery
was no longer an option due to the delay. Shinault asserts
that his bones-healed out of alignment during the delay,
which causes him to suffer with pain and arthritis. He also
alleges that medical staff at MSP applied a cast to his leg
that blistered his skin, thereby causing him further injury.
subsequently filed an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging that his constitutional rights were violated by the
improper medical treatment and delay. Named as defendants in
this action are the Mississippi Department of Corrections
("MDOC") and Dr. Gloria Perry, along with medical
providers Mrs. Willie Knighten, Angela Brown, Dr. Pamela
Jarrett, and Dr. Woodall. Shinault asks the Court to award
him monetary damages and disability upon his release from
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is proper only when the pleadings and evidence,
viewed in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party,
illustrate that no genuine issue of material fact exists, and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) and (c); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). A fact is deemed
"material if its resolution in favor of one party might
affect the outcome of the lawsuit under governing law."
Sossamon v. Lone Star State of Texas, 560 F.3d 316,
326 (5th Cir. 2009) (citation and internal quotation mark
omitted). "The moving party must show that if the
evidentiary material of record were reduced to admissible
evidence in court, it would be insufficient to permit the
nonmoving party to carry its burden." Beck v. Texas
State Bd. of Dental Examiners, 204 F.3d 629, 633 (5th
Cir. 2000) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317 (1986), cert, denied, 484 U.S. 1066
the motion is properly supported with competent evidence, the
nonmovant must show that summary judgment is inappropriate.
Morris v. Covan World Wide Moving, Inc., 144 F.3d
377, 380 (5th Cir. 1998); see also Celotex, 477 U.S.
at 323. That is, the non-movant must set forth specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986);
Beck, 204 F.3d at 633. The nonmovant cannot rely
upon "conclusory allegations, speculation, and
unsubstantiated assertions" to satisfy his burden, but
rather, must set forth specific facts showing the existence
of a genuine issue as to every essential element of his
claim. Ramsey v. Henderson, 286 F.3d 264, 269 (5th
Cir. 2002) (citation omitted); Morris, 144 F.3d at
380. If the "evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party," then
there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). If no proof is presented, however, the Court does not
assume that the nonmovant "could or would prove the
necessary facts." Little v. Liquid Air
Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994).
considering a motion for summary judgment, once the court has
"determined the relevant set of facts and drawn all
inferences in favor of the nonmoving party to the
extent supportable by the record, ... [the
ultimate decision becomes]... a pure question of law."
Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 381 n.8 (2007)
(emphasis in original). "When opposing parties tell two
different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by
the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a
court should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes
of ruling on the motion for summary judgment."
Id. at 380.
Summary Judgment Evidence
early morning hours of March 14, 2017, while George Shinault
was being housed in the Issaquena County Correctional
Facility, he jumped off a fixture approximately ten feet high
and was thereafter observed limping to the bunk area. Doc.
#54-2 at 22. The same day, he was transported to the
emergency room at the Mississippi State Penitentiary
("MSP") and was there evaluated by Nurse Angela
Brown, who placed him on a medical hold and ordered an x-ray
of his ankle. Id. at 5-9. After the x-ray showed a
fracture to Shinault's left ankle, he was admitted to the
infirmary, provided a cast and crutches, and advised not to
place weight on his ankle. Id. at 14-17. He was also
provided pain medication. Id. at 7, 15, and 22.
staff immediately requested an orthopedic consultation for
Shinault's ankle. See, e.g., Id. at 24 and 29.
This orthopedic consult remained pending during
Shinault's stay at the infirmary. See Id. at 24,
29, 48, 51, 56, 59, 67, 89, 101, 105, 113, 117, 121, 122,
131, 141 and 143. While the consult was pending, Shinault
remained on a medical hold where he received continuous
medical treatment, including the regular administration of
pain medication. See, e.g., Id. at 5-158. On March
17, 2017, a few days after Shinault injured himself, a second
x-ray was taken that showed the alignment of Shinault's
fractured ankle as stable. Id. at 36 and 268.
March 17, 2017, two small blisters were noticed on
Shinault's foot, and Defendant Jarrett removed his cast
and treated the blisters. Id. at 39-40 and 42-43.
The blisters were subsequently treated until they healed.
Id. at 42-43, 46, 48, 51, 53, 55, 57, 58, 63, 67,
69, 74, 77, 78, 82, 85, 89, 94, 99, 100, 101, and 105.
April 11, 2017, Shinault was examined by Dr. William Porter,
an outside orthopedist. Id. at 279-80. Dr.
Porter's notes of this visit indicate that he discussed
range of motion exercises with Shinault, as well as the
importance that the injury remain non-weight bearing.
Id. at 280. It was noted that there was
"minimal evidence of healing" to the injury at that
time. Id. at 279-80. Dr. Porter requested to see
Shinault for a follow-up in a month. Id. at 280.
Shinault was discharged from the MSP infirmary on April 12,
2017, at which time he was able to walk with the assistance
of crutches. Id. at 164-65. Upon discharge, Shinault
was prescribed a two-month lay-in with a tray. Id. at
had a follow-up visit with Dr. Porter on May 16, 2017, at
which time Dr. Porter noted the fracture's alignment was
without change, and that the injury was "healing
well." Doc. #54-2 at 184-85, 288-289. He instructed
Shinault to continue to be non-weight bearing and to return
in one month for a follow-up appointment. Id. at
288-89. On June 8, 2017, Shinault was seen by an outside
prosthetics provider for ...