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Roesner v. McCracken County Jail

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

October 10, 2017


          Nicholas Roesner, pro se Plaintiff.



         This matter is before the Court upon two motions: First, Defendants Melanie Tynes and Greg Kingston have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. [DN 33.] Plaintiff Nicholas Roesner has responded, [DN 36], and Tynes and Kingston have replied. [DN 37.] Second, Defendants Bill Adams and McCracken County, Kentucky have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. [DN 34.] Adams and McCracken County construed Roesner's above response as addressing their Motion as well, and so they have replied. [DN 38.] This matter is now ripe for adjudication. Because Roesner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law, and their Motions, [DN 33; DN 34], are GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of Nicholas Roesner's claims against Melanie Tynes, Greg Kingston, Bill Adams, and McCracken County, Kentucky. Roesner claims that, while incarcerated at the McCracken County Jail from May 2015 to December 2016, his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment was violated when he allegedly received inadequate medical treatment for a shoulder injury he sustained while playing basketball at the jail. Tynes is a licensed practical nurse (LPN), and Kingston is a nurse practitioner, and both work for Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc., a company that provides medical care to inmates at this facility under contract. Adams is the McCracken County Jailer.

         Roesner named Tynes and Kingston, alleging that they inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on him, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, by failing to provide him with adequate medical care and by failing to take his shoulder injury seriously. Roesner named Adams as a defendant and alleges that Adams “violated [Roesner's] rights to proper medical care due to the fact that he is the…jailer at the McCracken County Jail and through countless administrative grievances he should have been made aware of [Roesner's] condition….” [DN 1, at 4.] Roesner goes on to allege that Adams “inflicted cruel and unusual punishment upon [Roesner] by not making sure that [Roesner] had proper medical care while in the jail….” [Id. at 5.]

         Roesner's shoulder injury occurred in the middle of May 2016. On June 12, 2016, Roesner filled out a medical request regarding the injury and was seen for treatment on June 15. At the conclusion of this examination, Roesner was instructed that his shoulder was inflamed and he was prescribed ibuprofen to treat it. A week later, on June 23, Roesner filed another medical request form and was seen again. This time, Kingston was present and he ordered an x-ray of Roesner's shoulder, which, according to Kingston, returned normal. Thereafter, Roesner filed six successive inmate grievances regarding what he alleges was inadequate medical care:

         Grievance One: Roesner filed his first grievance on July 5, 2016. In it, Roesner claimed to be in serious pain, which was not alleviated by the ibuprofen he was prescribed. In Grievance One, he claimed to have sent three medical requests regarding his shoulder and the x-ray scan he had taken, and described his symptoms as having gotten worse.

         Grievance Two: Roesner filed his second grievance on July 15, 2016. In it, Roesner again claimed that he was “being denied proper medical care, ” and that “something very serious [wa]s wrong with [his] left shoulder.” He went on to describe the limited mobility in his left shoulder and the perceived lack of concern from the medical staff. The Grievance Two Response noted that Roesner was taken to the medical area and given an x-ray weeks before and that the results of the x-ray were negative.

         Grievance Three: Roesner filed his third grievance on July 20, 2016. In this grievance, Roesner claimed that he had, at this time, filled out four “sick calls, ” or doctor requests, and that when he was seen by Kingston, nothing of substance was done to actually examine his shoulder. He stated further that he was instructed to purchase ibuprofen with funds from his inmate account if the pain persisted.

         Between the time that Roesner filed Grievance Three and Grievance Four, he wrote a letter to the Kentucky Department of Corrections again alleging that he was being denied adequate medical care. Additionally, on July 22, Roesner was treated by a different nurse practitioner at the Orthopaedic Institute of Western Kentucky, during which time he was given an MRI.

         Grievance Four: Roesner filed his fourth grievance on August 6, 2016, complaining that he had not received the results from his MRI, [1] and that his symptoms had gotten worse. Specifically, Roesner noted that he was in constant pain and that his left arm had begun to turn purple. He also complained that he was not being given the prescription medication that the doctor at the Orthopaedic Institute had given him.[2] Roesner was again advised to purchase ibuprofen. It appears from the record that the only time both Tynes and Roesner were in an examination room at the McCracken County Jail at the same time was on September 13, 2016, when Kingston was going over the MRI results with Roesner.

         Grievance Five: Roesner filed his fifth grievance on October 4, 2016, again claiming that he was being denied proper medical care for his left shoulder and arm.

         Grievance Six: Roesner filed his sixth grievance on October 18, 2016. This was Roesner's final grievance before he was transferred to the Ballard County Detention Center (“BCDC”) on December 19, 2016. In it, Roesner ...

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