United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
DANYEL O. MARTIN, Administratrix of the Estate of Edward T. Burke, IV, deceased PLAINTIFF
SOUTHERN HEALTH PARTNERS, INC., et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment (DN 26), Plaintiff's Motions to Exclude
Expert Testimony (DN 24, 25, 28), Defendants' Motion to
Exclude Expert Testimony (DN 27), and Defendants' Motion
for Leave to Seal (DN 40). The motions are ripe for
adjudication. For the reasons outlined below, Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN
PART, Defendants' Motion for Leave to Seal is
GRANTED, and the remaining motions are
DENIED AS MOOT.
STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CLAIMS
Danyel O. Martin has brought this action as administratrix of
the estate of her son, Edward Burke (“Burke”),
who died while in the custody of the Warren County Regional
Jail (“WCRJ”) on February 1, 2016. (Compl. ¶
1, DN 1). Defendants in this action include Southern Health
Partners, Inc. (“SHP”), who contracted with the
WCRJ to provide medical care. The remaining Defendants are
Ronald Waldridge, M.D. (“Dr. Waldridge”), Barry
Dorrity, APRN (“Dorrity”), Talana Lasley, LPN
(“Lasley”), Lynn Gray, LPN (“Gray”),
and Tasha Hafley-Crane (“Crane”), who are all
employees of SHP. Plaintiff has asserted a claim under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 that Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to Burke's medical needs in violation of the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. (Compl. ¶¶
24-27). Plaintiff has further asserted state law claims that
Defendants were negligent in their treatment of Burke.
(Compl. ¶¶ 28-30).
events giving rise to this case began on November 5, 2015,
when Burke was admitted to the WCRJ following his arrest for
a parole violation. (Pl.'s Resp. Defs.' Mot. Summ. J.
Ex. 1, at 1, DN 32-1). The medical staff at the jail
conducted a screening upon admission, and Burke alerted jail
medical staff that he suffered from both diabetes and
Addison's disease. (Defs.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex.
2, at 2, DN 26-3 [hereinafter Defs.' Mot.]). Burke was a
brittle diabetic, meaning his blood sugar levels could make
sudden and dramatic fluctuations on a daily and sometimes
hourly basis. (Dahring Dep. 78:11-18, May 10, 2018, DN 26-4).
Burke had also suffered an Addisonian crisis leading to
cardiac arrest in early 2013. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex.
4, at 3, DN 26-5).
Burke received medication for diabetes, but he did not
receive prednisone to address his Addison's disease until
January 8, 2016. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 13, DN 26-14
[hereinafter Medication Administration Record]). Burke then
continued taking prednisone daily until January 30, 2016,
when he refused his dosage and signed a form documenting his
refusal of the medication and waiver of liability.
(Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 17, DN 26-18).
January 31, 2016, one day after refusing his prednisone,
Burke took the medication as prescribed. (Defs.' Mot.
Summ. J. Ex. 15, at 2, DN 26-16 [hereinafter Jan. 31 Progress
Notes]). That afternoon, however, he contacted medical staff
to request a check of his blood sugar and Crane was
dispatched to perform the check, which showed a blood sugar
level of 296. (Jan. 31 Progress Notes 2; Crane Dep.
57:24-25, July 11, 2017, DN 26-13; Defs.' Mot. Summ. J.
Ex. 10, at 2, DN 26-11). Burke requested unscheduled insulin,
but after consulting with Gray, Crane informed him none would
be administered. (Crane Dep. 58:11-17). Less than an hour
later, Burke went into cardiac arrest and was transferred to
The Medical Center of Bowling Green. (Jan. 31 Progress Notes
2). He never regained consciousness and died the following
day. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 18, at 5, DN 26-19).
Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this matter
because Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim presents a federal
question. 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The Court has supplemental
subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law
claims arising from the same case or controversy pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
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 of stating the basis for the motion
and identifying evidence in the record that demonstrates an
absence of a genuine dispute 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 dispute of fact for trial. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
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 dispute
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”
to overcome summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
Section 1983 Claim
prevail on a cause of action under § 1983, a plaintiff
must prove ‘(1) the deprivation of a right secured by
the Constitution or laws of the United States (2) caused by a
person acting under the color of state law.'”
Shadrick v. Hopkins Cty., 805 F.3d 724, 736 (6th
Cir. 2015) (quoting Jones v. Muskegon Cty., 625 F.3d
935, 941 (6th Cir. 2010)). Professionals providing medical
services to inmates at a county jail qualify as government
officials acting under color of state law for Section 1983
purposes. Winkler, 893 F.3d at 890 (citing
Harrison v. Ash, 539 F.3d 510, 521 (6th Cir. 2008)).
her burden on a Section 1983 claim, a plaintiff must prove
two components: one objective and one subjective. Spears
v. Ruth, 589 F.3d 249, 254 (6th Cir. 2009). “For
the objective component, the detainee must demonstrate the
existence of a sufficiently serious medical need.”
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted) (citation
omitted). “[A] medical need is objectively serious if
it is one that has been diagnosed by a physician as mandating
treatment or one that is so obvious that even a lay person
would easily recognize the necessity for a doctor's
attention.” Blackmore v. Kalamazoo Cty., 390
F.3d 890, 897 (6th Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks
omitted) (citation omitted). Defendants do not dispute that
Plaintiff satisfies the objective component. See
Garretson v. City of Madison Heights, 407 F.3d 789,
797 (6th Cir. 2005) (finding diabetes requiring regular
insulin injections is a serious medical condition); see also
Kruse v. Williams, 592 Fed.Appx. 848, 856 (11th Cir.
2014) (noting that the parties conceded that Addison's
disease was a serious condition for the objective prong of a
deliberate indifference claim). The Court will therefore
focus its inquiry on the subjective prong of the analysis.
subjective prong requires proof that the defendant both
denied medical care and did so with the requisite culpable
mental state. Garretson, 407 F.3d at 797. “A
defendant has a sufficiently culpable state of mind if he
‘knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate
health or safety.'” Winkler, 893 F.3d at
892 (quoting Farmer v. Brennan,511 U.S. 825, 837
(1994)). The subjective component functions “to prevent
the constitutionalization of medical malpractice claims . . .
.” Comstock v. McCrary,273 F.3d 693, 703 (6th
Cir. 2001) (citation omitted). Thus, “deliberate
indifference describes a state of mind more blameworthy than
negligence.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 835. Proof of
actual knowledge on the part of the accused officials is a
critical component, and “[i]f the officers failed to
act in the face of an obvious risk of which they should have
known but did not, then they did not violate the Fourteenth
Amendment.” Garretson, 407 F.3d at 797 ...