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Adkins v. Lewis

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

July 31, 2018




         This is a pro se civil rights action brought by a convicted prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the Court for screening of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss some claims, and allow others to proceed.


         Plaintiff Carl Lee Adkins, Jr., is currently incarcerated at Green River Correctional Complex (GRCC). He was previously incarcerated at Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). He brings this action against six individuals - Lester Lewis, a doctor at KSP; Karen Ramey, a “provider” at KSP; Chase Byrum, an “officer” at KSP; DeEdra Hart[1]; Felicia Howard, a “unit administrator” at GRCC; and Tina Moore, a “case and training officer” at GRCC. He sues Defendants in their individual capacities only.

         Plaintiff states that he brings this § 1983 action “alleging denial of medical care, excessive use of force, and retaliation” in violation of his First and Eighth Amendment rights.

         Plaintiff alleges that he previously had foot surgery which resulted in him “having a metal plate being screwed into the heel bone of [his] right foot.” He then alleges that on March 28, 2017, while housed at KSP, he met with Defendant Ramey, told her about his surgery, and informed her that that he was experiencing “pain and mobility issues when [he] applies pressure to his right foot and also when the weather changes to cold temperatures.” He states the he further explained to Defendant Ramey that the condition became worse when force was applied to his ankle in the form of ankle restraints. Plaintiff states that he requested that Defendant Ramey provide him physical therapy and a cane to assist with walking. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Ramey never examined his foot but told him that she “did not see a problem” with the way he walked. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Ramey told him that she would not prescribe him a cane or physical therapy but that he should talk to the “provider” at the facility to which he was being transferred. Plaintiff states that he filed another sick call form regarding his foot on April 26, 2017, and that on May 5, 2017, an x-ray was taken of his foot. Plaintiff states that on May 11, 2017, Defendant Ramey informed him that the x-ray did not show any injury.

         Plaintiff next alleges that on May 17, 2017, he met with Defendant Dr. Lewis, explained the pain he was experiencing, and again requested a cane and “to have his foot properly examined.” Plaintiff states that Defendant Lewis agreed to have Plaintiff's foot x-rayed again but did not prescribe a cane for Plaintiff.

         Plaintiff then states that on August 13, 2017, he wrote to the KSP Warden to request a cane but that the Warden responded that Plaintiff's medical need for the cane had to be confirmed by Defendant Lewis.

         With regard to Defendant Byrum, Plaintiff alleges that although Plaintiff informed him of his foot injury, Defendant Byrum forced him to walk in ankle restraints to the infirmary even though Plaintiff asked him to remove the ankle restraints because they caused him pain. Plaintiff further states that, on this occasion, Defendant Byrum forced him to navigate several flights of stairs while bound in ankle restraints.

         Plaintiff states that he was transferred to GRCC on September 20, 2017. He alleges that on November 29, 2017, Defendant Howard told him to move “to a upper floor in Dorm One.” Plaintiff states that he explained to Defendant Howard that using stairs caused him pain in his foot and further informed Defendant Howard that GRCC “medical staff prescribed Plaintiff a cane and restricted Plaintiff to bottom bunk.” Plaintiff states that he implored Defendant Howard not to make him move to the upper floor, but that she “refused to acknowledge Plaintiff's injury” and told him “to move to the upper floor anyway.”

         Plaintiff states on that on December 6, 2017, Plaintiff wrote a letter to Defendant Hart stating that he had been erroneously moved to the upper floor and that the constant use of stairs caused him pain in his foot. Plaintiff states that he requested that Defendant Hart move him to a lower floor but that she refused.

         Plaintiff next alleges that on December 18, 2017, four officers came into his cell, cuffed him, and removed all of his personal property. Plaintiff states that he was advised that his property was being taken “per Defendant Howard's order” and that his property would be returned when Defendant Howard “was done with it.” Plaintiff states that he was left without clean clothes, hygiene, or correspondence materials for approximately three days. Plaintiff states that he was told by a former cellmate that his property was taken because Plaintiff was “crazy” and “keeps filing grievances.” Plaintiff also states that, when his property was returned, he noticed “relevant legal materials were missing.”

         Plaintiff next states that on December 25, 2017, he informed Defendant Moore of his medical condition and requested that he be housed on a bottom floor. Plaintiff states that Defendant Moore told him to “wait until after the holidays to be moved.”

         Finally, Plaintiff alleges states that on December 31, 2017, he fell down the stairs and “was rushed to the facility's medical unit” where he was “treated for head, foot, and leg injuries.” Plaintiff states that his right foot is “permanently bruised, swollen, and stiff” and that “the pain becomes so unbearable that he usually cannot walk.” Plaintiff states that “when he has severe pain, he becomes unable to flex his foot and when the pain ...

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