United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
Dewayne Smullin, an Arkansas Department of Correction inmate
formerly housed at the Craighead County Detention Center
(“Detention Center”), filed this lawsuit pro se
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his complaint, Mr. Smullin
claims Defendants Duncan, Bentley, and Jackson acted with
deliberate indifference to his medical needs after an inmate
attacked him at the Detention Center in April of 2015.
Smullin alleges that several hours after the inmate attack,
Defendant Jackson examined him and told him that he needed
stitches. In spite of this recommendation, Mr. Smullin
alleges, he never received stitches. Mr. Smullin further
alleges that on April 16, 2015, Defendant Bentley examined
him but failed to recognize that his jaw was broken.
later, Mr. Smullin was examined by a dentist who noted that
Mr. Smullin was suffering from an oral infection and that
four of his permanent teeth could not be saved. Mr. Smullin
also alleges that he was not permitted to bring state-court
criminal charges against his assailant because Defendants did
not timely respond to his grievances.
Smullin later moved to amend his complaint to include
deliberate-indifference claims against Andy Allison, Officer
Peaster, Matt Hall, Marty Boyd, and Gary Etter, as well as a
failure-to-protect claim against Andy Allison and Officer
Peaster. The Court granted the motion to amend. (#12, #15,
have now moved for summary judgment. (#110, #114) Mr. Smullin
has responded to the motions (#118, #119, #120, #124), and
Defendants have replied.(#121, #129)
judgment is proper when the facts important to the outcome of
a lawsuit are not in dispute, and the moving party or parties
are entitled to judgment without the need for a trial.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
April 14, 2015, at about 12:45 p.m., Mr. Smullin approached
Defendant Allison with a towel pressed against his lip. He
explained that he had fallen in the shower and needed to be
moved. (#112-2 at p.1) At that time, Defendant
Allison instructed Detention Center officials to review the
security camera footage to determine how Mr. Smullin was
injured. (Id.) After viewing the video footage,
Detention Center officials determined that another detainee,
S. Whitney, had struck Mr. Smullin in the face, injuring Mr.
Smullin. (Id.) Inmate Whitney was then relocated and
“locked down.” (Id.)
to Mr. Smullin’s medical records, he was transported to
the Detention Center medical center at approximately 2:30
p.m., approximately an hour and a half after the assault.
(Id. at p.2) Defendant Jackson examined Mr. Smullin
and noted that he had an “oral injury, ”
complained of oral pain, and had a “laceration to top
[and] bottom lip.” (Id.)
Jackson contacted Defendant Arthur Bentley, M.D. Upon hearing
Defendant Jackson’s assessment, Dr. Bentley did not
believe that Mr. Smullin needed emergency treatment. (#115-2
at pp.1-2) Defendant Jackson ordered Mr. Smullin an ice pack,
gave him ibuprofen, and scheduled an appointment for Mr.
Smullin to be examined by Defendant Bentley on April 16,
2015. (Id.) Defendant Jackson also instructed Mr.
Smullin not to wiggle his loose teeth.
April 16, 2015, Defendant Bentley examined Mr. Smullin. He
noted that, since the incident, Mr. Smullin had lost one
tooth and three others were loose. (Id. at p.3) At
that time, Defendant Bentley did not note any sign of
infection. (Id.) Defendant Bentley referred Mr.
Smullin to a dentist and recommended that Mr. Smullin
continue taking ibuprofen. (Id.)
April 21, 2015, Hunter Smith, D.D.S., examined Mr. Smullin.
(Id. at p.4; #112-4 at p.2) Dr. Smith noted that Mr.
Smullin suffered from a “fractured maxilla above teeth
#8, 9, and 10.” (Id.) Because Mr. Smullin was
suffering from the fracture and an infection, however, Dr.
Smith determined that the loose teeth should not be removed
at that time. (#112-4 at p.2) Dr. Smith recommended that Mr.
Smullin return to his office in a week for further treatment.
(Id.) During the visit, Dr. Smith prescribed
Amoxicillin for Mr. Smullin’s oral infection, as well
as narcotic pain medication. (Id.) Although Mr.
Smullin received all doses of the Amoxicillin, Defendant
Bentley determined that narcotic medication was not
clinically appropriate and instead prescribed ibuprofen as an
alternate pain remedy. (#115-5 at p.22)
April 27, 2015, Detention Center officials transported Mr.
Smullin to Dr. Smith’s office for treatment. (#115-7 at
p.2) Dr. Smith examined Mr. Smullin and determined that tooth
number eight needed to be extracted. (#112-4 at p.2) Dr.
Smith extracted the coronal portion of tooth number eight and
“temporized 9 and 10 to #11 with A2 flowable.”
(Id.; #118 at p.21)
6 and again on May 15, 2015, Detention Center officials
transported Mr. Smullin to Dr. Smith’s office for
further treatment. (#115-7 at pp.3-4) During both
appointments, Dr. Smith noted that Mr. Smullin was healing
and that the fracture was improving. (#112-4 at p.2, )
on June 3, 2015, Detention Center officials transported Mr.
Smullin to Dr. Smith’s office for treatment. (#115-7 at
p.5) At that time, Dr. Smith extracted teeth nine and ten.
(#112-4 at p.3)
17, 2015, Detention Center officials transported Mr. Smullin
to Dr. Smith’s office for his final appointment.
(#115-7 at p.6) Dr. Smith extracted teeth seven and eight.
(#112-4 at p.3) At that time, Dr. Smith also provided Mr.
Smullin a treatment plan for the replacing of the four
removed permanent teeth. (#118 at pp.24-25) The next month,
July of 2015, Mr. Smullin was transferred to the Arkansas
Department of Correction. (#112-1 at p.1)
Defendants Bentley and Jackson - Deliberate Indifference
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners
constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain
proscribed by the Eighth Amendment.” McRaven v.
Sanders, 577 F.3d 974, 979 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976)). This indifference extends to “prison
guards in intentionally denying or ...