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Moore v. Parker

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division

May 26, 2015

PHILIP PARKER, WARDEN, et al., Defendants.


THOMAS B. RUSSELL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Brian Keith Moore, a state inmate incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP), filed this pro se action against various KSP officers and employees. On initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), the Court allowed certain of Moore's claims for violation of the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act to proceed for further development. (Docket No. 6.) Defendants Jay Jones, Anthony Hale, Richard Moore, Douglas Mumma, and C. West have now moved for summary judgment. (Docket No. 26.) Moore has filed a response. (Docket No. 31.) As such, the matter stands ripe for decision. For the reasons that follow, the Court will GRANT IN PART and DENY IN PART Defendants' motion.

Factual Background

I. Moore's medical history

Because the instant lawsuit concerns in part Moore's knee injury, weight, and the effect of each upon his mobility, the Court will summarize the information that the parties have provided concerning Moore's medical history. There is no dispute that Moore suffers from "grossly morbid obesity and inability to negotiate normal movements." (Docket No. 26-22.) However, the parties seem to disagree as to the relationship between Moore's weight and his difficulty walking. Defendants say that the two conditions are linked. As far back as 2008, Dr. Steve Hiland of KSP described Moore's abdomen as abnormally "large and pendulous secondary to [a] large amount of visceral fat"; Dr. Hiland advised Moore to "lose weight and get some exercise." (Docket No. 26-1.)

On October 13, 2011, Moore participated in a fight with another inmate. He reported that the resultant injuries left him unable to bear weight on his right knee. (Docket No. 26-6.) After using a walker for several months, in February 2012, Moore complained that his right knee continued to "go out on him, " nearly causing him to fall. (Docket No. 26-13.) KSP physicians advised that he suffered from arthritis that could improve with weight loss, but that treatment options were limited due to Moore's weight, diabetes, and history of venous stasis with ulcers. (Docket Nos. 26-13, 26-14.)

Moore's condition apparently failed to improve. On April 4, 2012, medical staff advised Moore that he "ha[d] to make an effort" to walk with a walker to the gate where medical staff dispensed medication, including the insulin used to treat his diabetes. If he failed to do so, they warned, he would be housed in the infirmary. A report supplied by Defendants indicates that Moore replied that he did not have to take his insulin. (Docket No. 26-15.) Three days later, on April 7, 2012, Moore walked to the front of his housing unit for glucose testing; according to medical records, Moore moved with a "very slow[, ] steady [gait]" and expressed his displeasure that nursing staff refused to hand-deliver his medication.[1]

On April 23, 2012, one week before the incident that motivated this lawsuit, Moore again complained that he was required to walk to the gate to receive medication despite his ongoing knee pain. Per an order from Dr. Hiland, medical staff informed Moore that if he was unable to walk to the gate to undergo glucose testing, he would be admitted to the infirmary. (Docket No. 26-18.) Nursing staff observed, "[I]nmate is very obese and does not have an exercise [regimen] to follow to promote good health." (Docket No. 26-18.)

On April 29, 2012, the day before the incident at issue, Moore refused to leave his cell for glucose testing. Moore was again advised that he needed a dietary and exercise plan, as he had become "idle and severe[ly] obese." (Docket No. 26-19.) The same day, KSP nursing staff entered the following in Moore's medical chart:

Inmate does not utilize walker for ambulating short distances in cell. [I]nmate does not exercise to promote [strengthening] of muscles to lower extremities. Inmate now has begun to utilize a mop bucket to selfpropel... to have [Accu-Check] performed. [A]dvised to inmate not a safe mode of transportation. The mop bucket is not designed to carry people as a wheelchair. This inmate is severely overweight and diabetic and using poor eating habits[;] no exercise [regimen] to promote good health. Shift Captain has been informed of mop bucket and its use to this inmate and has been denied to use the mop bucket to transport self to gate. Inmate has been ambulating with walker, but quit and has been refusing to leave cell and wants medical to come to cell and perform [Accu-Check].

(Docket No. 26-20.)

II. The incident of April 30, 2012

Defendants contend that on April 30, 2012, KSP medical staff attempted to provide Moore with pain management medication but needed to ascertain his weight to determine whether more aggressive options were appropriate. Because Moore's weight exceeded the limits of the medical scale, KSP officials planned to weigh him on the facility's industrial scale. ( See Docket No. 27, Affidavit of Anthony Hale.) Moore estimates that he weighed approximately 400 pounds at this time. (Docket No. 1 at 11.)

At approximately 8:30 a.m., Defendant Corrections Officer Mumma ordered Moore to exit his cell to be escorted to the infirmary. Moore refused, telling Mumma, "I'm not walking out of here, you can get a wheelchair or guards to carry me out. But I'm not walking." (Docket No. 26-6, Disciplinary Report ...

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