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Davidson v. Outlaw

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

July 16, 2019




         This matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner complaint of Jimmy Davidson, who challenges the conditions of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the purposes of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit. 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 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. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants subjected him to unconstitutionally harsh general conditions of confinement and delayed his access to medical care after he suffered a fractured hip. For the reasons set forth below, defendants Outlaw, Hill, Mildred, Boyd, Lang and Brown will be dismissed from this case. The plaintiff's claims against defendant Nurse Gail will proceed.

         Factual Allegations

         On November 15, 2014, Jimmy Davidson, who was housed at the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs, Mississippi, requested placement in a bottom bunk because of his age (51) and deteriorating joints. Warden Timothy Outlaw ignored this request. Case Manager Jones denied his request, stating that she did not do in-house movements. Unit Sergeant Mildred stated that she would take care of the problem, but she never did.

         On December 20, 2014, the plaintiff slipped while climbing down from the top bunk to go take a shower - leaving him in excruciating pain from a fractured hip. A few minutes later, a guard came by for count, and Davidson told him to send for medical staff. Two hours later, Nurse Hill and another nurse arrived with a wheelchair and transported him to medical. Nurse Hill caused the plaintiff pain while lifting him onto the examination table at medical. The nurses called for the doctor, but had to wait 90 minutes for a response. The doctor said to give Mr. Davidson some pain medication, return him to his housing unit, then transport him back to medical in the morning. The medical staff gave him a shot for pain and wheeled him back to his housing unit.

         Medical staff did not return the next morning, December 21, 2014. Davidson asked Sgt. Mildred when she came by that morning to please have his breakfast brought to his cell because he could not walk. She stated that she would bring him a breakfast tray that time, but would not do so for future meals. Davidson ate breakfast that day but had to skip lunch because medical had not yet arrived. Case Manager Lang told Sgt. Mildred that Davidson needed to fill out an inmate request form to inform medical of the seriousness of his injury so he could take his meals in his cell. He filled out a request, passed it to Sgt. Mildred, and did not see her again that day.

         At 4:20 p.m. medical still had not arrived, and Davidson was in terrible pain. Officer Moore told Davidson that medical had arrived and that he needed to walk up front so they could transport him. He told the officer that he could not walk at all and requested a wheelchair. Medical refused to send a wheelchair, informing him that if he wanted an x-ray, he must walk up front to meet them. Davidson offered to send someone from his unit up front to retrieve a wheelchair, but medical refused, again stating that he must walk up front to be x-rayed. Officer Moore informed Davidson that Nurse Gail was the one demanding that he walk up front with an injured hip. As he could not even stand, much less walk, he declined to do so. He did not get a meal tray that day.

         That night his cell mate brought him an eating bowl to relieve his bladder because he could not get up to do so himself. He did not get a meal tray the next morning (December 22, 2014) - because he could not get out of bed, and dining staff would not bring a tray to his cell. At 9:30 a.m. on December 22, 2014, medical sent for Davidson, and he again told them that he could not walk - and requested a wheelchair. An hour later, an officer arrived with a wheelchair and took him to medical. Soon after, Officer Boyd and another officer transported Davidson to the hospital in Holly Springs to be examined. He was taken directly to radiology to be x-rayed, and the nurse told them that there was a high probability that he would be transported to another hospital - and that a doctor would arrive soon. The nurses were waiting for instructions from the doctor.

         After 30 minutes, Officer Boyd asked how long it would take, and the nurse said she was still waiting for the doctor, but that Davidson was definitely being transported to another hospital. Officer Boyd said that she was leaving with Davidson, but the nurse refused. Officer Boyd again said that she was leaving with Davidson, but two nurses intervened, and Davidson was transported to Baptist Hospital in DeSoto County. He got to eat breakfast there at 7:00 a.m., his first meal in two days. Three days later, December 25, 2014, doctors performed surgery, repairing his broken hip with two rods.

         Davidson was transported to Parchman eight days later, and the doctors there changed the prescription for painkillers to something milder - which did not help much with the pain.

         Witnesses: Sergeant Mildred and Officer Moore

         Mr. Davidson stated at his Spears hearing that he meant for defendants Sergeant Mildred and Officer Moore to be witnesses, rather than defendants. As such, these two defendants will be dismissed with prejudice from this case.

         Supervisor Liability: Timothy ...

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