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Holt v. Campbell County

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

July 5, 2013

ANTHONY HOLT, ET AL., Plaintiffs,



This is an action by former detainees at the Campbell County Detention Center (CCDC) against the County and Southern Health Partners (SHP) alleging cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments and plaintiffs' civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs also allege state law claims.

This matter is currently before the Court on the motion of the Campbell County defendants for partial summary judgment as to plaintiff, Elmer Ray Turner (Doc. 134), and the motion of Southern Health Partners for summary judgment as to plaintiff, Elmer Ray Turner. (Doc. 212).

Having reviewed the parties' briefs, the Court concludes that oral argument is unnecessary to the resolution of these motions. The Court therefore issues the following Memorandum Opinion and Order.

Factual and Procedural Background

A. Facts Common to All Claims

Since February 1, 2007, the CCDC has had a contract with SHP pursuant to which SHP provides "all professional medical, mental health, dental and related health care and administrative services" for CCDC inmates, including sick call, nursing care, regular and emergency physician care. (Doc. 132-1). SHP, in turn, contracts with a physician and employs nurses to staff the CCDC. These arrangements were in place at all times relevant to this action.

Plaintiffs filed this case on June 17, 2009, as a proposed class action. (Doc. 1). On June 1, 2010, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Class Action Complaint, which is the operative complaint herein. (Doc. 38). Plaintiffs allege that they were denied medical attention for their serious medical needs in violation of their 8th and 14th Amendment rights. (Doc. 38 ¶¶ 331-32). Plaintiffs also allege negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.

On July 9, 2010, this Court denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification. (Doc. 48). Discovery ensued and, after numerous extensions, the pending motions for summary judgment were filed and briefed.

B. Plaintiff Elmer Ray Turner

Plaintiff Elmer Ray Turner ("Turner") was incarcerated at the CCDC from October 6, 2009 to November 13, 2009, just over one month. (Turner Depo. at 13-14) (Doc. 153).

1. "Greens" Allergy

At the time he was booked into the CCDC, Turner told the CCDC staff that he was not undergoing any current medical treatment and did not have any of twenty-one listed medical conditions. However, he stated that that he was allergic to "greens." (Doc. 134 Exh. D).

Turner testified that his assertion that he was allergic to "greens" was based on the fact the he was told by his pediatrician some forty years ago[1] not to eat greens after Turner complained they made him sick. (Turner Depo. at 89-90). Turner alleges that the CCDC did not provide him with an alternate vegetable choice and a daily multivitamin that he needs as a result of this allergy.

On October 18, 2009, Turner made a written complaint to Colonel Nagle, complaining that the prior jail doctor had ordered him supplements, but that the current medical staff told him that he needed documentation from a doctor to support his request. (Doc. 134 Exh. E).

Two days later, on October 20, 2009, Turner submitted a sick call slip, stating: "Reminder! Foot fungus, teeth hurt, Neosporin and allergic [ sic ] to greens." ( Id. Exh. F). When the medical staff requested that Turner sign a release so that they could obtain records regarding his allergy from his doctor, Turner refused. ( Id. Exh. G). However, Turner denies that he refused to sign this release. (Turner Depo. at 161-62).

On October 29, 2009, Lt. Col. Fickenscher responded to Turner's complaint to Nagle:

Inmate Turner, I am in receipt of your grievance. This information was passed to medical for information for a response in regard to the medical issues in your note. Medical has advised that they asked you to sign a Release of Information so that they could get your allergy records, but you refused. Medical cannot request a different tray for you without proof of your allergy. Please cooperate with them and sign the release.

( Id. Exh. H).

Turner made no further complaints about his greens allergy while incarcerated at the CCDC. He also testified that he has had no ongoing problems as a result of not getting ...

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