United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
H. DAVIDSON SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
initiated this civil rights action arising under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging that Defendants have failed to
adequately treat his Hepatitis C. Before the Court are the
Defendants' motions for summary judgment, Plaintiffs
response, and Defendants' reply thereto. See
Docs. 52, 54, 60, and 63.
was diagnosed with Hepatitis C on or about August 21, 2013.
See Doc. #52-1 ¶ 5. After his diagnosis, Davis
was enrolled in chronic care and has received ongoing,
routine monitoring. Id. at ¶5; Doc. 52-2 p.
332, 337, 356, 400, 463-64, 513-15, 536-39, 559-64, 607-08,
610, 620-23, 632-33, 636-39, 704-08, 757-61. In October 2018,
medical personnel noted in Plaintiffs records that he should
receive chronic care monitoring for his Hepatitis C condition
in six months, noting his condition was "stable."
Doc. 52-2 p. 761.
chronic care services is the standard form of treatment for
Hepatitis C patients, so long as the patient's enzyme
levels remain under the appropriate threshold as determined
by the patient's Fibrosis-4 score. Doc. 52-1 at
¶¶ 6-7. The Fibrosis-4 score is a non-invasive
testing method to measure scarring of the liver. Id.
at ¶ 7. Once a patient's score approaches or exceeds
3.25, a patient is automatically referred to a specialist for
valuation of treatment with anti-viral medications.
Id. In this case, Davis' Fibrosis-4 score most
recently registered at .74, well below the threshold for a
referral for an off-site consult. Id. at ¶8.
Moreover, Davis' levels have never indicated that his
condition has worsened while in chronic care monitoring, nor
is there any indication that he has experienced liver damage.
Id. at 9.
concedes that he receives regular monitoring but alleges that
such does not constitute "treatment" for his
illness. Doc. #60.
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), (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 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) (citation omitted).
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).
non-moving party (the plaintiff in this case), must come
forward with proof to support each element of his claim. The
plaintiff cannot meet this burden with "some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts,"
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986), "conclusory
allegations," Lujan v. National Wildlife
Federation, 497 U.S. 871, 871-73 (1990),
"unsubstantiated assertions," Hopper v.
Frank, 16 F.3d 92 (5th Cir. 1994), or by a mere
"scintilla" of evidence, Davis v. Chevron
U.S.A., Inc., 14F.3d 1082 (5th Cir. 1994). In
considering a motion for summary judgment, a court must
determine whether the non-moving party's allegations
are plausible. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586 (emphasis
added). Determining whether a complaint states a plausible
claim is context-specific, requiring the reviewing court to
draw on its experience and common sense. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (discussing plausibility
of claim as a requirement to survive a motion to dismiss
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)) (quotation marks omitted).
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 ...