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Noble v. Three forks Reg'l Jail Auth.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division

February 10, 2014

ARLIE NOBLE, Plaintiff,
v.
THREE FORKS REGIONAL JAIL AUTHORITY, et al., Defendants

Page 737

For Arlie Noble, Plaintiff: Joshua Ryan Kidd, LEAD ATTORNEY, Claycomb & Kidd, PLLC - OK, Stillwater, OK.

For Richard Adams, Chairman, Janet Kelso, Individually, Janet Kelso, Medical Staff, Three Forks Regional Jail Authority, Harvey Pelfrey, Individually, Harvey Pelfrey, Jail Administrator, Three Forks Regional Jail Authority, Keith Combs, Individually, Keith Combs, Employee, Three Forks Regional Jail Authority, Varian Rowland, Individually, Varian Rowland, Employee, Three Forks Regional Jail Authority, Ivan Fletcher, Individually, Ivan Fletcher, Employee, Three Forks Regional Jail Authority, Jason Dunaway, Individually, Jason Dunaway, Employee, Three Forks Regional Jail Authority, Defendants: Jonathan C. Shaw, LEAD ATTORNEY, Porter, Schmitt, Banks & Baldwin, Paintsville, KY.

OPINION

Page 738

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Danny C. Reeves, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Arlie Noble has sued Three Forks Regional Jail Authority and a number of its employees, individually and in their official capacities, alleging both constitutional claims and state law claims stemming from his incarceration. [Record No. 1] The defendants move for summary judgment, arguing that Noble's claims are barred by sovereign immunity and that the claims otherwise fail for a number of reasons. [Record No. 17] In response, the plaintiff argues that the allegations in his pleadings sufficiently set forth his claims and that the motion should be denied.[1] [Record No. 20-3, p. 3] For the reasons set forth below, the relief requested by the defendants will be granted and the action dismissed.

I.

Plaintiff Arlie Noble was convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography

Page 739

in 2011. [Record No. 16, p. 97 lns.10-13] He was sentenced to incarceration on September 16, 2011, and was housed at Three Forks Regional Jail [2] (hereafter, " Three Forks Jail" or " the Jail" ) until his release on June 1, 2012. [Record No. 1, p. 4 ¶ 13] Noble claims that he suffers from diabetes and Crohn's disease, and that he has undergone numerous surgeries for his conditions. [ Id., ¶ 14]

Noble alleges that his rights were violated in a number of ways while he was incarcerated. He names as Defendants Three Forks Jail, through its Chairman Richard Adams; Janice Kelso,[3] a nurse at the Jail; Harvey Pelfrey, an administrator at the Jail; Keith Combs, a guard supervisor at the Jail; and Varian Rowland; Jason Dunaway, and Ivan Fletcher, all guards at the Jail. [Record No. 1, p. 1] Specifically, Noble alleges that the defendants gave him his daily diabetes medication in a manner that was contrary to his doctor's advice. [Record No. 1, p. 5 ¶ 17-19] He also claims that the defendants fed him doughnuts, honey buns, and other foods high in sugar that exacerbated his diabetic condition. [ Id., ¶ 19] Noble claims that there is a policy at Three Forks Jail that restricts medical care to inmates to save money, and that Defendants Adams, Kelso, Pelfrey, Combs, Rowland, Fletcher, and Dunaway violated his rights by enforcing that policy.[4][ Id., ¶ 21] He contends that he has developed glaucoma, has internal organ damage, and has " dysfunctional" blood sugar levels as a result of the medical care provided while he was incarcerated. [ Id., ¶ 23]

Noble has asserted a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on alleged violations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights against all Defendants. [ Id., p. 6] In addition, he asserted the following state law claims: (1) Negligence -- Medical Malpractice claims against Defendant Kelso (Count II); (2) Negligence -- Medical Malpractice via Agency (Count III); (3) " Pain and Suffering" against all defendants (Count V [5]); and (4) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress against all defendants (Count VI). [ Id., pp. 7-11] He seeks past and future expenses arising from emotional distress, past and future medical expenses, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees and costs. [ Id., p. 10]

II.

Summary judgment is appropriate when " 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); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Chao v. Hall Holding Co., 285 F.3d 415, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). A dispute over a material fact is not " genuine" unless a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. That is, the determination must be " whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one

Page 740

party must prevail as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).

The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of showing conclusively that no genuine issue of material fact exists. CenTra, Inc. v. Estrin, 538 F.3d 402, 412 (6th Cir. 2008). Importantly, once the moving party has met its burden of production, " its opponent must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Sigler v. Am. Honda Motor Co., 532 F.3d 469, 483 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986)). Instead, the nonmoving party must present " significant probative evidence " of a genuine dispute in order to defeat the motion for summary judgment. Chao, 285 F.3d at 424 (emphasis added). The nonmoving party cannot rely upon the assertions in its pleadings; rather, it must come forward with probative evidence, such as sworn affidavits, to support its claims. Celotex, ...


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