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Williamson v. Kenney

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

August 16, 2019

KATHLEEN KENNEY, et al. Defendants


          Rebecca Grady Jennings, District Judge

         Plaintiff Josh Williamson filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court upon initial review of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss some of Plaintiff's claims and allow other claims to proceed for further development.


         Plaintiff is a convicted inmate currently incarcerated at the Roederer Correctional Complex (RCC). He sues the following Defendants: Kathleen Kenney, identified as a commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC); Steven Williams, the Jailer of the Fulton County Detention Center (FCDC); Jane Doe 1, a nurse at FCDC; Jane Doe 2 and John Doe 1, corrections officers at FCDC; William Grenier, a medical practitioner at RCC; Jessie Ferguson, the Warden of RCC; and Arnold Chisholm, a deputy warden of RCC. He sues Defendants Kenney, Williams, Jane Doe 1 and 2, and John Doe 1 in their individual and official capacities, Defendant Grenier in his individual capacity only, and Defendants Ferguson and Chisholm in their official capacities only.

         Plaintiff states that on February 25, 2019, he was housed in a “black mold infested dorm” at FCDC and “slipped and fell from the water that constantly leaks from the walls and ceilings.” He states that as a result he was in serious pain and was taken to the emergency room. He states, “At the hospital the doctor took x-rays and told me I had broke right shoulder, a broke right upper arm, dislocated right shoulder, and possible nerve damage to my right hand from the fall due to a numb and tingling feeling.” According to the complaint, the doctor attempted to sedate Plaintiff so he could pull his shoulder joint back in place, but Plaintiff was unable to be sedated and could not be given any more medication at that time. Plaintiff states, “The doctor told the transport officer that I needed emergency surgery that day and that he could have me stat flight to Vanderbilt or U of L for surgery that day in a matter of minutes.” He asserts, “Instead, I was taken back to FCDC with my shoulder and arm still broken as well as dislocated and I was put in an isolation cell . . . with no type of medical care or pain medication for 3 days.” He continues, “I laid there with my arm and shoulder broken and dislocated and begged the officer (Jane Doe 2) to at least give me some Tylenol or ibuprofen for my pain and she told me I had to wait for doctor to call back. This went on for 3 days with no medical attention whatsoever.”

         Plaintiff maintains that he asked if he could file a grievance but was denied. He further states as follows:

I even asked the nurse (Jane Doe 1) if she would give me something for the pain I was having and she told me to “suck it up and stop crying.” I told her to get whoever was in charge so I could speak to them about my situation and she called for an officer (John Doe 1) who came to my cell and told me that they couldn't do nothing or give me nothing for pain until [DOC] called them and said otherwise. I told John Doe 1 that my arm and shoulder was broke and dislocated and the doctor at hospital . . . said I needed surgery on the day of injury (Feb. 25th 2019) because of the seriousness of my injury. I have documents of diagnosis and I tried to show (John Doe 1) so he could let nurse (Jane Doe 1) know so I could get some help and he (John Doe 1) said, “I would live through it.” He (John Doe 1) said DOC was responsible for me and any of my medical needs and that I needed to leave his staff alone.

         Plaintiff also states that he wrote a letter to the FCDC Jailer, Defendant Williams, and never got a response from him. He also asked Defendant Jane Doe 2 if he could see the jailer and she said “‘he didn't want to be bothered and I needed to man up.'”

         Plaintiff reports that three days after his fall Defendant Nurse Jane Doe 1 told him that he was going to see a specialist. He states that on February 28, 2019, he was taken to a surgeon who looked at the x-rays and said that his “arm and shoulder were in very bad shape” and that he needed surgery as soon as possible. According to the complaint, the surgeon noticed that Plaintiff's shoulder was still dislocated and “was angry because of the medical neglect that FCDC put me through.” Plaintiff states that he begged the surgeon to pull his shoulder back in place but the surgeon said that was not his field of practice. Plaintiff states, “I told him that I was scared that the transport officer was just going to take me back to FCDC and put me back in isolation cell again and not treat me for my pain again . . . .” He states that the surgeon told the transport officer to call FCDC to let them know Plaintiff was being taken to the hospital to have his shoulder pulled back in place and that the surgeon said, if not, “‘he would file inhumane medical neglect on FCDC himself.'” Plaintiff states that he was then taken to the hospital and “finally got my arm reduced and shoulder pulled back in place.”

         Plaintiff states that he was taken back to FCDC and put in an isolation cell. He states, “I still needed surgery and FCDC refused any treatment but finally gave me 400 mg of ibuprofen on no more than 5 or 6 total occasions from February 28th 2019 till March 10th 2019.” Plaintiff also states that FCDC told him that he was a danger to himself and that was the reason he was placed in an isolation cell “which was no different then a disciplinary cell (hole) which is used for punishment.” He states, “FCDC also stated on numerous occasions that DOC is the ones who are responsible for my medical care.”

         Plaintiff reports that he was sent to RCC on March 11, 2019, for his medical condition. He states that when he got to RCC he was prescribed 800 mg ibuprofen and 500 mg Tylenol. He states that Defendant Grenier, an APRN, told him that he “would see an outside doctor real soon but he couldn't do much more for me about my pain.”

         Plaintiff states that on April 3, 2019, he went to the hospital to have an MRI, which “revealed fractures, deformities, tears, and sprains (Documented but too many medical names to name). Even after my MRI reading all the DOC provider (Grenier) would give me was Tylenol and ibuprofen.” He states that he told Defendant Grenier that his right hand was still numb and that Defendant Grenier told him that it could be nerve damage from the injury. He asserts that Defendant Grenier told him that his arm was in “bad shape” and that he would probably need surgery.

         Plaintiff states that on April 29, 2019, he had an appointment to see a “surgeon/ orthopaedic specialist to discuss my injury and medical procedure options” but that it was canceled because the DOC officer who transported him was late for the appointment. Plaintiff asserts that on May 21, 2019, Defendant Grenier asked him how he was feeling and that Plaintiff told him that he “was still in severe pain in my arm and shoulder and that my hand was still numb most of the time so he gave me a steroid shot and prescribed me muscle relaxers.”

         Plaintiff maintains that on June 5, 2019, he saw the surgeon and received an “x-ray of my right shoulder but not my right arm, and he told me I had some serious injuries (documented) and I would need surgery and needed it months ago.” Plaintiff states that on June 6, 2019, he saw Defendant Grenier again and that he was prescribed “Tylenol 3 for my pain and that didn't help much.” He states, ...

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