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Holt v. Hogsten

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London

March 13, 2014

DAVID LAWRENCE HOLT, Plaintiff,
v.
KAREN F. HOGSTEN, WARDEN, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE, District Judge.

David Lawrence Holt ("Holt") is currently incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution at Manchester, KY ("FCI-Manchester"). Holt, proceeding pro se, filed this action, pursuant to the doctrine announced in Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), against the following prison personnel at FCI-Manchester: (1) Karen F. Hogsten, Warden, (2) Robert D. Ranum, Associate Warden, (3) Angela M. Owens, Associate Warden, (4) Tim Powers, Safety Department Supervisor, (5) Pam Clark, Facility Department Supervisor, (6) Shirley Smith, Laurel-B Unit Manager, (7) Greg Hall, former Laurel-B Unit Manager, (8) Angel Wilson, Health Services Administrator, (9) Marguarite Carroll, Health Services Administrator, and (10) Michelle Hensley, Registered Nurse. Holt claims that these defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical condition, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, relative to the injuries he sustained on November 1, 2010, when a television set fell from its stand onto him. Holt seeks compensatory damages of $450, 000.00 against each defendant, punitive damages of $1, 000, 000.00 against each defendant, his costs, and a jury trial on all issues triable by jury.

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to dismiss, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b), or in the alternative, for summary judgment. [R. 63] This motion is ripe for review. Because the record establishes that Holt's complaint should be dismissed for his failure to exhaust his administrative remedies relative to his Bivens claims, Defendants' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment will be granted.

I

On November 1, 2010, at approximately 6:10 a.m., Holt was watching television in a common area of the housing unit. He climbed and stood on a handrail to reposition/adjust a television setting on a platform/shelf on a wall approximately ten feet above the floor. While Holt was repositioning the television, it tipped forward toward Holt, resulting in (1) his losing his balance on the handrail, (2) the televison set falling on him, and (3) Holt and the television both falling to the floor, with the television set striking and injuring him. The details surrounding this incident are set out in the following paragraphs of his complaint:

25.) On 11-1-10, at approx 6:10 a.m., Plaintiff entered the lower commonarea in L/B Unit to watch the "News TV", and as is the case most every morning, this particular TV was pivoted away from the support column, resting on several paperback books and on a non-news station (see par. 11 & 24 above).
26.) With no remote control or other available alternative, and believing it was acceptable, even permitted, Plaintiff, exercising reasonable care under the circumstances, climbed said handrailing and inmate phone station in order to reposition the "News TV" back to the proper viewing direction and news channel. That as Plaintiff was repositioning the unsecured "News TV" it freely slid forward, tipped off the 10 foot high steel platform and came down directly on top of plaintiff, causing him to fall. 27.) The unexpected danger compelled Plaintiff to instinctively attempt to protect himself while at the same time save the large "News TV, " but it was too heavy and awkward, forcing Plaintiff to lose his handhold and ultimately plummet headfirst [to] the 10 foot concrete floor....

[D.E. 1, p. 9].

Following this incident, FCI-Manchester personnel transported him to Manchester Memorial Hospital where he was examined and treated for some of his injuries and then transported by ambulance to the University of Kentucky ("UK") Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, for additional examination and treatment. He was released from the UK Hospital later that same day and was returned to FCI-Manchester at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Holt claims that subsequent to the injuries he received from this falling incident, FCI-Manchester personnel were negligent in the manner in which they attended to him immediately following this fall and that thereafter, the prison staff in the Health Services Department was negligent and/or deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, by the manner in which staff treated or failed to treat his numerous injuries.

Holt states that he was escorted unassisted to the prison's Health Services Department ("HSD"), for processing of the paperwork and hospital prescriptions he had received from outside the prison that day. Holt further states that he complained to HSD personnel of severe pain all over his body and head and requested a wheelchair or cane, as well as the recommended dose of medication from the hospital, but that HSD personnel "flat-out denied" all of his requests, informing him that he would have to return to the HSD the next day for sick-call and that in the interim, he could take ibuprofen for pain if he already had any in his possession that he had previously purchased from the commissary.

II

Holt has filed three Administrative Remedies (No. 651064-F1, R-1, and A-1) relative to this incident. All three of these remedy requests concern his claim that the defendants were negligent in the placement of the "News TV" and the alleged risk it presented to him. [R. 65-1, Declaration of Carlos J. Martinez, ΒΆ 5; Attachment B, Administrative Remedy Generalized ...


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