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Bonds v. Fowler

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

September 14, 2017

TODD BONDS PLAINTIFF
v.
CAPTAIN FOWLER, In her Individual Capacity DEFENDANT NO. 1

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GREG N. STIVERS, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (DN 35) and Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (DN 38). The motions are ripe for adjudication. For the reasons outlined below, Defendant's motion is GRANTED and Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.

         I. STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CLAIMS

         For time period relevant to this case, Plaintiff Todd Bonds (“Bonds”) was a convicted state inmate residing at the Todd County Detention Center (“TCDC”). Bonds is forty-year-old male with a history of diabetes and high blood pressure. (Pl.'s Reply Mot. Am. 1, DN 19). On the evening of January 27, 2016, Plaintiff informed Defendant Captain Fowler (“Fowler”), a correctional officer, that he felt like he was having a heart attack. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, at 13, DN 35-3). Fowler did not call the nurse;[1] rather, she took Bonds' vital signs herself and recorded his blood pressure as 107/76.[2] (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, at 13). Sometime after 11:00 PM that night, Bonds was given a medical request form because he complained of stomach ulcers and said he felt like he was dying. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, at 13). At 1:45 AM the next morning, Fowler took Bonds' blood pressure and recorded it as 178/115. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, at 13). Bonds contends that Fowler took his blood pressure multiple times, told him to relax so that his blood pressure would fall, but only recorded one of the readings. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. B, at 32, DN 35-4). Later that morning, at 8:00 AM, the nurse arrived, checked on Bonds, and recorded his blood pressure as 202/110. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, at 13). At that point, the nurse recommended that Plaintiff be transported to Logan Memorial Hospital. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, at 13).

         On February 16, 2016, Plaintiff filed this action asserting various claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against various parties. After an initial screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), the Court dismissed all but the claim against Fowler based on an alleged violation of Bonds' Eighth Amendment rights and permitted only that claim to proceed. (Screen Order 13). Following discovery, both parties have moved for summary judgment, which motions are ripe for decision.

         II. JURISDICTION

         This Court has subject-matter jurisdiction of this matter based upon federal question jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must determine whether there is any genuine issue of material fact that would preclude entry of judgment for the moving party as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial burden stating the basis for the motion and identifying evidence in the record that demonstrates an absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). If the moving party satisfies its burden, the non-moving party must then produce specific evidence proving the existence of a genuine issue of fact for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).

         While the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the non-moving party must do more than merely show the existence of some “metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986) (citation omitted). Rather, the non-moving party must present specific facts proving that a genuine factual issue exists by “citing to particular parts of the materials in the record” or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence . . . of a genuine dispute.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [non-moving party's] position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the [non-moving party].” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

         In moving for summary judgment Defendant asserts, inter alia, that the jail officials were not deliberately indifferent to Bonds' serious medical needs. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 5-9, DN 35-1). Construing the evidence in a light most favorable to Bonds, the Court agrees.

         To establish a claim under the Eighth Amendment, a plaintiff must demonstrate “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). Deliberate indifference is judged both objectively and subjectively. See Curry v. Scott, 249 F.3d 493, 506 (6th Cir. 2001). The objective element requires a plaintiff prove a defendant showed deliberate indifference despite being aware plaintiff was “incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). The ...


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