Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Weavel v. Angie Pleasant

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

July 31, 2013

JOE DON WEAVEL, Plaintiff,
v.
ANGIE PLEASANT et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOSEPH H. McKINLEY, Jr., Chief District Judge.

Before the Court are cross motions for summary judgment (DNs 24 & 25). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendant's motion and deny Plaintiff's motion.

I. FACTS

Plaintiff, a convicted prisoner incarcerated at the Hopkins County Jail (HCJ), sued HCJ medical staff person Angie Pleasant and HCJ Jailer Joe Blue in their official capacities. He alleged that in May 2012 he informed HCJ medical staff during a physical examination that he needed treatment for Hepatitis C and physical therapy for a shoulder problem. According to the complaint, Plaintiff was informed that therapy and Hepatitis C treatment were not provided at the HCJ. In response to a grievance, Defendant Pleasant stated that Plaintiff would not receive "physical therapy bands in this facility." On a sick-call request form filled out by Plaintiff and attached to the complaint, he stated that he wished to be seen at sick call for "a joint condition called sublexing shoulders that affects both my shoulders." That sick-call request form continued: "I am supposed to use therapy bands to keep my shoulder muscles toned up to help keep them in their socket. Since I haven't had them my shoulder muscles have deteriorated and my joints are coming out of socket more often. Is it possible to receive exercise bands here." An HCJ Requisition Form dated May 14, 2012, regarding his need for therapy exercise bands and treatment for Hepatitis C was responded to by Defendant Pleasant in pertinent part, "You will not receive exercise bands in this facility."

On initial review, the Court determined that the Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants Blue and Pleasant should be construed as against Hopkins County.

II. ANALYSIS

Summary-judgment standard

Summary judgment is proper "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(a). The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).

The moving party's burden may be discharged by demonstrating that there is an absence of evidence to support an essential element of the nonmoving party's case for which he or she has the burden of proof. Id. Once the moving party demonstrates this lack of evidence, the burden passes to the nonmoving party to establish, after an adequate opportunity for discovery, the existence of a disputed factual element essential to his case with respect to which he bears the burden of proof. Id. If the record taken as a whole could not lead the trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, the motion for summary judgment should be granted. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).

Where the nonmoving party bears the burden of proof at trial, "a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. The nonmoving party must do more than raise some doubt as to the existence of a fact; the nonmoving party must produce evidence that would be sufficient to require submission of the issue to the jury. Lucas v. Leaseway Multi Transp. Serv., Inc., 738 F.Supp. 214, 217 (E.D. Mich. 1990). The moving party, therefore, is "entitled to a judgment as a matter of law because the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of [his] case with respect to which [he] has the burden of proof." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

In Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (DN 24), he states that he had a routine physical on May 9, 2012, because he was new at the facility. Plaintiff states that he informed medical that he needed treatment for Hepatitis C and that he had a shoulder joint condition. He states that he was told that he would not receive treatment for Hepatitis C or any form of physical therapy for his shoulder.

In its motion for summary judgment and response to Plaintiff's summary-judgment motion, Defendant argues that it is immune from suit because Plaintiff has failed to show a custom or policy giving rise to the alleged constitutional violations and because it cannot be held responsible based on the doctrine of respondeat superior. Defendant further argues that Plaintiff has not shown a sufficiently serious medical need because he has failed to show that his Hepatitis C was anything but dormant. Defendant argues that, although since filing this lawsuit Plaintiff has claimed that the Hepatitis C has caused him fatigue, nausea, body aches, and liver damage, he has failed to show that these symptoms are connected to his Hepatitis C or that he ever made jail staff aware of these symptoms.

Defendant further argues that the record evidence disputes Plaintiff's contention that he has a shoulder condition. Defendant points to a document granting Plaintiff trustee status which does not mention any shoulder problems. Defendant attaches the affidavit of Jailer Blue who avers that Plaintiff is given time and space for recreation and exercise three times per week. Blue also averred that he viewed a surveillance video of an altercation on July 12, 2012. Blue avers that the fight was initiated by Plaintiff who punched another inmate, and that Plaintiff "appeared to be physically healthy in that video." Finally, he avers that he will not allow Plaintiff to have exercise bands in the jail because they could be used as a weapon and that his review of the jail medical records indicates that Plaintiff never complained of Hepatitis C symptoms to the staff at this facility.

In his response (DN 30), Plaintiff argues that, although he does have the opportunity for recreation three times per week, there is no equipment in the recreation area to do physical-therapy type of exercises, nor can Defendant expect Plaintiff to have the knowledge to perform exercises correctly without medical staff assistance. Plaintiff argues that Blue could not make a determination as to Plaintiff's health by watching a video of a fight Plaintiff was involved in because adrenaline could mask any pain or sickness temporarily. Plaintiff further takes issue with Blue's determination that Plaintiff may not have ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.