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Hughes v. Hollingsworth

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

March 4, 2015



BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff, Douglas L. Hughes, pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis .

Currently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 28); Memorandum in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 29); and Statement of Facts (ECF No. 30). Plaintiff filed a Response to Motion For Summary Judgment utilizing a questionnaire from the Court. ECF No. 34.

The Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case, including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF No. 13. Pursuant to this authority, the Court finds this Motion is ready for decision and issues this memorandum opinion. ECF No. 23-1, 2.


The events that are the subject of this lawsuit occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Hot Spring County Detention Center ("HSCDC") in Malvern, Arkansas. Plaintiff filed this Complaint on July 25, 2013. ECF Nos. 1, 34. Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated when Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical conditions. ECF 34, p. 2. Plaintiff initially brought this action against Defendants in their official capacities only. ECF. No. 1 p. 4. He then filed an Amended Complaint on November 7, 2013 bringing the action against Defendants in both their official and personal capacities. ECF No. 14, p. 6.


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." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "[A] genuine issue of material fact exists if: (1) there is a dispute of fact; (2) the disputed fact is material to the outcome of the case; and (3) the dispute is genuine, that is, a reasonable jury could return a verdict for either party." RSBI Aerospace, Inc. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 49 F.3d 399, 401 (8th Cir. 1995). The moving party has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, but the nonmoving party may not rest upon mere denials or allegations in the pleadings and must set forth specific facts to raise a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). The Court must view all evidence and inferences in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See McCleary v. ReliaStar Life Ins. Co., 682 F.3d 1116, 1119 (8th Cir. 2012). However, "[w]hen opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion for summary judgment." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).


Because Plaintiff's allegations center on the same facts for both official and individual capacity claims, they will be summarized first before addressing each in turn.

Plaintiff was booked into HSCDC on July 24, 2013. ECF. No. 34, p. 5. Plaintiff states he told HSCDC he was on prescribed medication, had diabetes and a heart condition, and was not in possession of all his medications. ECF No. 34, pp. 6-7. Plaintiff's intake form did not indicate any other medical conditions for HSCDC to be aware of, such as his liver transplant and his need for an immunosuppressive drug. ECF No. 29-2, p.1. Plaintiff states he was not given the medications in his possession until they had been checked in and approved by the doctor. ECF No. 34, p. 7. In his Response, he does not state when he started receiving the prescription in his possession at the time of his arrest, but disagrees with the statement that he started receiving them on July 25, 2013. ECF No. 34, p. 7. As to the prescriptions he did not have in his possession, HSCDC received confirmation on them from UAMS on August 2, 2013. ECF No. 34, p. 8. With the exception of his liver medication Prograf (generic name Tacrolimus), he began to receive these other medications when approved by UAMS. However, he states that they were never given properly and at times they tried to give him medication for other inmates. ECF No. 34, p. 9. Plaintiff's Inmate Medication Ledger shows regular administration of medication, with a few times where he was apparently out of medication and needed a refill at the beginning of his incarceration. ECF No. 29-3.

Prograf is an immunosuppressive medication which Plaintiff takes to prevent rejection of his liver transplant. ECF No. 34, pp. 1, 8. UAMS confirmed this prescription on August 2, along with Plaintiff's other drugs. Plaintiff did not start receiving this drug until August 5, 2013. ECF Nos. 34, p. 9; 29-2, p. 2. According to Defendants, the pharmacy needed to special-order the Prograf, which caused the delay. ECF No. 29-2, p. 2.

Plaintiff states that Defendant Martin gave orders for his blood sugar to be checked twice daily, but this order was not followed, and his blood sugar was not checked regularly. ECF No. 34, p. 10. The Inmate Medication Ledger shows a number of gaps where his blood pressure and blood sugar were not checked. It shows three occasions where he refused to have his blood sugar taken. ECF. No. 29-3, p. 7. The Ledger shows Defendant Martin ordered his blood sugar to be checked at six o'clock in the morning and evening. ECF No. 29-3, p. 1. Defendant Martin testified that the jail records do not show that the blood sugar readings were taken as ordered, however "records confirm that his blood sugar was checked regularly and, on multiple occasions Mr. Hughes refused to have his blood sugar taken." ECF No. 29-2, p. 2. Defendant Martin does not indicate what other records she is referring to in this statement. Plaintiff admits that he refused blood sugar readings at times, but did so because it was "in the middle of the night when I was sleeping..." ECF No. 34, p. 11.

Plaintiff alleges he did not receive diabetic shots, blood sugar checks, and diabetic snacks for the first thirty days he was incarcerated. ECF No. 34, pp. 4, 13. He states he was denied routine blood work from December 2012 through August 2013. ECF No. 34, p. 3. As he was booked into HSCDC on July 24, 2013, the dates prior to his booking cannot apply to this ...

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