United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
SAMUEL D. HARRIS, Plaintiff,
ANGELA CLIFFORD, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. REEVES. CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Angela Clifford and Shelli Conyers-Votaw have moved for
summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. [Record No. 32');">32] They contend that Plaintiff Samuel
Harris has failed to support his claim for deliberate
indifference with sufficient evidence to proceed to trial,
and that the evidence of record demonstrates that they are
entitled to summary judgment. Id. The matter was
referred to Magistrate Judge Candace J. Smith for preparation
of a report and recommendation (“R&R”) under
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Magistrate Judge Smith issued
an R&R on August 23, 2019, recommending that the Court
grant the defendants’ motion and dismiss the
plaintiff’s claim. [Record No. 42]
Judge Smith’s R&R clearly articulated the time
parameters for objections to the R&R. Id. at p.
15. Harris’ deadline for filing objections expired on
September 9, 2019. See id.; F.R.C.P. 6(d). However,
the plaintiff has only filed a motion requesting medical
records in paper form [Record No. 43] since Magistrate Judge
Smith issued the R&R.
Court notes that a party who fails to raise timely objections
generally forfeits the right to appeal the district
court’s subsequent ruling on the issues analyzed in a
magistrate judge’s report. See Berkshire v.
Beauvais, 928 F.3d 520, 530-31 (6th Cir. 2019).
Additionally, “[i]t does not appear that Congress
intended to require district court review of a
magistrate’s factual or legal conclusions, under a de
novo or any other standard, when neither party objects to
those findings.” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140,
150 (1985). Nevertheless, the Court has carefully examined
the record and conducted a de novo review. The Court
will adopt Magistrate Judge Smith’s R&R in full,
and deny the pending Motion for medical records in paper
form. Finally, the plaintiff’s claim will be dismissed
was confined at Northpoint Training Center in Burgin,
Kentucky during the time relevant to this action. [Record No.
1] He asserts a § 1983 deliberate indifference claim
relating to treatment by Advance Practice Registered Nurse
(“APRN”) Conyers-Votaw and Dr. Clifford, both of
whom were employed at Northpoint. See id.; Record
No. 34');">34');">34');">34, pp. 2');">p. 2-9.
visited APRN Conyers-Votaw at Northpoint’s sick call on
September 9, 2017, telling the nurse that he had trouble
talking. [Record No. 34');">34');">34');">34, p. 9] Conyers-Votaw observed that
his voice was raspy and that his throat was slightly red but
noted that his face was not droopy. Id. The nurse
advised Harris to rest and return for a reassessment in a
“couple hours.” Id.
Harris returned the next day (September 10), reporting a sore
throat, hand numbness, and occasionally blurry vision.
Id. at p. 8. APRN Conyers-Votaw ordered a throat
swab culture, diagnosed him with strep throat, and prescribed
antibiotics. Id. However, she also referred Harris
to Dr. Clifford for further analysis of his numbness and
blurred vision. Id.
saw Dr. Clifford for an initial appointment on September 11,
2017. Id. at pp. 5-6. The doctor observed partial
facial paralysis and voice hoarseness. Id. She
determined that these symptoms could possibly be the results
of previous head and neck trauma. Id. Dr. Clifford
prescribed prednisone to treat the symptoms and ordered an
expedited MRI at the University of Kentucky Hospital.
plaintiff returned to Dr. Clifford on September 13, 2017.
Id. at p. 4. The doctor again documented that
Harris’s symptoms could be the result of head and neck
trauma but noted that she suspected Bell’s palsy.
Id. The September 13 appointment report also stated
that the doctor learned that U.K. hospital could not perform
an MRI until November. Id. As a result, she
scheduled an earlier MRI at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical
Center in Danville, Kentucky. Id.
attended a follow-up appointment with Dr. Clifford on
September 27, 2017. Id. at p. 3. She wrote that
Harris’s conditions appeared to be improving and that
she continued to suspect that Bell’s palsy had caused
his symptoms. Id.
at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center performed an MRI
on the same day (September 27, 2017). Id at p. 10.
The MRI revealed that Harris had suffered a “subacute
right frontal lobe infarction.” Id. The
defendants concede that this diagnosis constitutes a
“mild stroke.” [Record No. 32');">32, p. 4] Dr. Clifford
reviewed the results with Harris on October 10, 2017, and
immediately referred him to neurology. [Record No. 34');">34');">34');">34,
p. 2');">p. 2]
subsequently filed suit on August 13, 2018. [Record No. 1]
The October 16, 2018, Scheduling Order instructed the parties
to complete discovery by April 16, 2019, and to file evidence
as attachments supporting motions. [Record No. 21] The
defendants have attached copies of Harris’ relevant
medical records [Record No. 34');">34');">34');">34] to their motion for summary
judgment [Record No. 32');">32], but Harris has not filed any
Harris’ response to the defendants’ motion
contends that the medical practitioners lied when they stated
in his “black and white medical papers” that he
sought treatment for a sore throat. [Record No. 38, pp. 1-3]
He further argues that they failed to document that he
initially told them that he believed he was suffering from a
stroke. Id. Although Harris has ...