United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division
MARK A. PRICE, PLAINTIFF,
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, LLC, et al., DEFENDANTS.
B. ATKINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Defendants', Correct
Care Solutions, LLC, Shelli Conyers-Votan, and Dr. Angela
Clifford, motion for summary judgment. [DE # 58]. Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b), this case has been referred to the
undersigned to conduct further proceedings, including
preparing findings of fact and recommendations on any
dispositive motions. [DE # 10]. After careful consideration
and detailed review, and for the reasons that follow, the
undersigned hereby RECOMMENDS that Defendants' motion for
summary judgment [DE # 58] on all federal constitutional
claims be GRANTED, that his state law claims be dismissed
without prejudice, and this case be dismissed with prejudice.
BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
a pro se civil rights case pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. [DE #1]. In his complaint, Plaintiff Mark A.
Price asserts three (3) claims against six (6) defendants.
First, he alleges that on or about February 1, 2017, while
incarcerated at the Northpoint Training Center (NTC) in
Burgin, Kentucky, Nurse Shelli Conyers-Votan gave him
arthritis medication to treat a minor ankle sprain which,
five or six days later, caused him swelling in numerous
joints. Subsequently, upon being seen by an NTC physician,
Dr. Angela Clifford, Price contends that she mistakenly
diagnosed him with rheumatoid arthritis, and failed to
properly treat his (actual) ailments: Hepatitis C and
diabetic nerve damage. [Id. at 5-7; Id. at
13]. Second, Price argues that sometime in May 2017, after
having returned from the University of Kentucky Medical
Center (UKMC), Dr. Clifford refused to follow the
recommendations made by the treating physician at UKMC to
treat his Hepatitis. [Id. at 8]. Lastly, in his
third claim, Price alleges that sometime in May 2017, Dr.
Clifford significantly reduced his prescription of
Gabapentin, used to treat his diabetic neuropathy, increasing
the amount of nerve pain in his feet.
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A, upon initial
screening of the complaint, the Court dismissed three (3) of
the defendants and the claims against them. [R. 7]. Shortly
thereafter, this matter was referred to the undersigned to
conduct all further proceedings. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b). [DE # 10]. On May 14, 2018, a Scheduling Order
was entered establishing respective deadlines [DE # 20];
however, this order was later amended to reflect the dates
proposed by Price.
this proceeding-and until the filing of this
motion-Price's filing of several miscellaneous motions
has caused the procedural posture of this case to shift in
several respects. From May 25, 2018 to September 25, 2018-a
total of four months-Price filed ten (10) motions. See
generally DE ## 23, 24, 28, 31, 41, 44, 47, 48, 50, 52.
Most of these motions were denied.
November 1, 2018, indicating that he would soon be released
from incarceration, Price sought a continuance of several of
the deadlines set out in the amended scheduling order [DE
#54]. The Court granted Price's motion, thus, extending
the fact discovery deadline to January 16, 2019 (with status
reports being submitted on this date), as well as the
dispositive motion deadline to February 11, 2019. [DE #55
¶¶ 2-3]. On January 14, 2019, Defendants filed a
motion for summary judgment, accompanied by several medical
records and grievance records. [DE #58]. The Court directed
Price to respond to the defendants' motion on or before
February 5, 2019. [DE #62]. No. response was submitted in
opposition; instead on February 8, 2019, Price filed a notice
of change of address [DE #69].
received notice that Price's mail had been returned as
undeliverable (see generally DE ## 66, 67, 68), the
Court directed the Clerk to resend the mail to his new
address designated in the letter. [DE #69]. Since February,
time has come and gone, without any response from Price.
Thus, the undersigned, having been tasked with issuing a
recommendation on any dispositive motions, now considers the
defendants' motion [R. 58]. Defendants move for summary
judgment on all claims asserted against them, claiming that
Price not only fails on the merits, but also that he failed
to exhaust his administrative remedies before pursuing this
§ 1983 action.
party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim
or defense - or the part of each claim or defense - on which
summary judgment is sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
“The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Id. In making the determination as to
whether summary judgment is warranted, “a court must
view the evidence ‘in the light most favorable to the
opposing party.'” Tolan v. Cotton, 572
U.S. 650, 657 (2014) (quoting Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157 (1970)). The court's summary
judgment analysis “must be construed with due regard
not only for the rights of persons asserting claims and
defenses that are adequately based in fact to have those
claims and defenses tried to a jury, but also for the rights
of persons opposing such claims and defenses to
demonstrate…prior to trial, that the claims and
defenses have no factual basis.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986).
party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion.” Id. at 323. But there is
“no express or implied requirement in Rule 56 that the
moving party support its motion with affidavits or other
similar materials negating the opponent's claim.”
Id. As such, in some cases, the moving party may be
“‘entitled to a judgment as a matter of law'
because the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient
showing on an essential element of her case with respect to
which she has the burden of proof.” Id.
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56). Such a motion “therefore
requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the pleadings and
by her own affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Id. at 324 (internal quotation marks omitted).
so because “[o]ne of the principal purposes of the
summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually
unsupported claims or defenses.” Id. at
existence of a mere scintilla of evidence in support of the
non-moving party's position will not be sufficient; there
must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for
the non-moving party.” Sutherland v. Mich. Dept. of
Treasury, 344 F.3d 603, 613 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251
(1986)). “Where the record taken as a whole could not
lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving
party, there is no genuine issue for trial.”
Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (citing First
Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S.
253, 288 (1968)). In such a case, summary judgment is
warranted. Alabama v. North Carolina, 560 U.S. 330,
344 (2010); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322; Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
PRICE FAILED TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
PLRA exhaustion requirement bars Price's federal claims.
first argue that Price failed to fully exhaust the
administrative grievance remedies available to him at NTC. As
such, this failure warrants summary judgment in the
defendants' favor on ...