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Martin v. Floyd

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

June 16, 2016

CEDRIC D. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
v.
DEWAYNE FLOYD, NURSE N. BROWN And LIEUTENANT GOLDEN ADAMS, Defendants.

          Cedric D. Martin, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Dewayne Floyd, Defendant, represented by Joshua D. Standerfer, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton & Kaylen Suzanne Lewis, Rainwater Holt Sexton PA.

          Lieutenant Golden Adams, Defendant, represented by Joshua D. Standerfer, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton & Kaylen Suzanne Lewis, Rainwater Holt Sexton PA.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI, Magistrate Judge.

         This is a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff, Cedric D. Martin, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O. Hickey, United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and Recommendation. Currently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 28. I held a hearing on June 9, 2016. Plaintiff failed to appear and did not respond to the Motion for Summary Judgment. After careful consideration, I enter the following Report and Recommendation.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff originally filed this case pro se on July 2, 2015. ECF No. 1. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims his constitutional rights were violated when a toxic chemical was used inside the pod where he was being held and he was denied medical care. ECF No. 1. At the time Plaintiff filed his Complaint, he was incarcerated at the Miller County Detention Center ("MCDC"). According to the Court's docket, Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated and is residing in Texarkana, Arkansas.

         Specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Dewayne Floyd used a toxic chemical known as sulphuric acid on November 21, 2013 in the MCDC to unclog a stopped up sink and failed to remove the inmates from the pod. As a result, Plaintiff claims exposure to the chemical caused him to suffer headaches, dizzy spells, burning of his eyes and aching in his lungs. ECF No. 1. With respect to Defendant Golden Adams, Plaintiff claims he did not take his complaint about the use of sulphuric acid seriously. Plaintiff has sued Defendants Floyd and Adams in their individual and official capacities. The only remaining claim against Defendant Nurse Brown is in her individual capacity.[1] Plaintiff claims she denied him adequate medical care when she did not see him for twenty-one (21) days after he put in a medical request regarding his injuries sustained from the use of the toxic chemical in his pod.

         Plaintiff has not communicated with the Court since August 12, 2015 when he filed a Motion to Appoint Counsel. ECF No. 14. On November 10, 2015 mail was returned to the Clerk via hand delivery because Plaintiff had been released from the MCDC. On January 29, 2016 the Court entered an Order changing the address of Plaintiff after the Court obtained Plaintiff's address. ECF No. 25.

         Defendants Floyd and Adams filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on April 25, 2016. On May 24, 2016 this Court entered an Order advising Plaintiff that the hearing on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment was scheduled for June 9, 2016 at 3:00pm in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Plaintiff was directed to mail in any documents he intended to use as exhibits and advise the Court of his intent to appear at the hearing by June 2, 2016. ECF No. 31. This Order also advised Plaintiff that his failure to inform the Court he intended to appear would subject this matter to dismissal. Plaintiff did not respond to this Order and failed to appear at the hearing.

         In addition to the Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 28), Brief in Support (ECF No. 29) and Statement of Facts (ECF No. 30), Counsel for Defendants Floyd and Adams submitted the following exhibits for the Court's consideration: (1) Arrest/Booking Sheet/Miller County (ECF No. 30-1); (2) Grievances (ECF No. 30-2); (3) Sick Call Slips (ECF No. 30-3); (4) Clinical Pathways/Patient Clinical Data Forms (ECF No. 30-4); and Technical Data Sheet and Material Safety Data Sheet (ECF No. 30-5). According to Defendants, the product used to unclog the sink in the pod at the MCDC on November 21, 2013 was RAM-OUT. The Technical Data Sheet for the product acknowledges that toxic fumes can be released when using the product. However, the Material Safety Data Sheet makes clear that the product is safe to use with normal room ventilation. ECF No. 30-5.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         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. SeeMcCleary 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 ...


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