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Young v. Brazell

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

June 28, 2016

EDWIN T. YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN MARTY BRAZELL and D. FLOYD, Maintenance, Defendants.

          Edwin T. Young, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Warden Marty Brazell, Defendant, represented by Jason E. Owens, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, P.A., Joshua D. Standerfer, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton & Kaylen Suzanne Lewis, Rainwater Holt Sexton PA.

          D. Floyd, Defendant, represented by Jason E. Owens, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, P.A., Joshua D. Standerfer, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton & Kaylen Suzanne Lewis, Rainwater Holt Sexton PA.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff, Edwin T. Young, pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. 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 Judgement. ECF No. 26. A hearing was held on January 7, 2016, to allow the Plaintiff to give a sworn oral statement in response to the Motion. ECF No. 31. Plaintiff also submitted exhibits at the hearing. ECF No. 33. After careful consideration of the briefing, exhibits and sworn statement of the Plaintiff, the undersigned makes the following Report and Recommendation.

         1. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's claim centers on his slip and fall in his cell on December 24, 2014, while a pretrial detainee in the Miller County Correctional Facility ("MCCF"). ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges unconstitutional conditions of confinement and denial of medical care. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff proceeds against Defendant Brazell in both his official and personal capacity. ECF No. 1, p. 4. Plaintiff proceeds against Defendant Floyd in his personal capacity. ECF No. 1, p. 5. Plaintiff seeks monetary compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and distress. He also seeks compensation for medical expenses he incurred as a result of the incident. ECF No. 1, p. 8.

         Defendants filed their Summary Judgment Motion on November 20, 2015. ECF No. 26. A Summary Judgment Motion Hearing was held on January 7, 2016. Plaintiff appeared in person, and gave a sworn statement in response to the Motion. ECF No. 31. Plaintiff also submitted three exhibits to support his response. ECF No. 33. These included a typewritten outline of the case (ECF No. 33, pp. 1-4, Ex. 1), a LifeNet bill (ECF No. 33, p. 5, Ex. 2), and records from Wadley Regional Medical Center (ECF No. 33, pp. 6-10, Ex. 3).

         At the hearing, Plaintiff testified there was condensation leaking from the windowsill into his cell. He complained of this, and was told to put in a maintenance request to Defendant Floyd, which he did on December 16, 2014. He also filed several grievances. He testified Defendant Floyd is the maintenance supervisor for the facility. Plaintiff testified he put blankets down on the puddle. Plaintiff said he fell on December 24, 2014. He testified he was transported to Wadley Regional Medical Center for treatment. He testified he hit his head, neck, and elbow, and the fall aggravated an old buckshot wound near his spine. He testified it took them a long time to take him to the medical center. He further testified MCCF refused to give him the Norco 10 narcotic pain medication he was prescribed at Wadley, and instead gave him Tylenol or ibuprofen for two weeks. He then had to buy the pain medications himself at the commissary, and he did not have the money to do so. He testified he was without pain medication from mid-January to about March 2014.

         When queried by the Court, Plaintiff testified he did not have any direct contact with either Defendant. His only contacts were written grievances or a written maintenance request. Plaintiff supplied copies of some of these with his Complaint, and brought additional copies with him to the hearing. However, the additional copies were illegible. He testified the jail had the originals. Plaintiff testified there was no policy or custom of the jail which injured him. He testified the facility did have a habit or custom of ignoring complaints like his.

         2. 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. SeeAnderson 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 ...


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