United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
Ambrose Bernard Williams, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
Darla Watson, Defendant, represented by JaNan Arnold Davis,
Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, P.A. & Jason E. Owens, Rainwater,
Holt & Sexton, P.A..
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE
L. SETSER, Magistrate Judge.
a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42
U.S.C. Â§ 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in
time he filed this action, Plaintiff was incarcerated in the
Benton County Detention Center (BCDC). He names as Defendants
Nurse Darla Watson and Deputy Freeman. Plaintiff has sued the
Defendants in both their individual and official capacities.
Plaintiff alleges the Defendants exhibited deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs.
Freeman no longer works for Benton County. Service was
returned as unexecuted (Doc. 9). By order entered on May 7,
2014 (Doc. 13), Plaintiff was directed to provide the Court
with an address for service. Plaintiff was unable to locate
an address, but defense counsel provided Deputy Freeman's
last known address. Service was again directed on March 24,
2015 (Doc. 28). The summons was again returned unexecuted
(Doc. 30). No other address is available to the Court.
Darla Watson has filed a motion for summary judgment (Doc.
34). A hearing was held on April 27, 2016, to allow the
Plaintiff to testify in response to the motion. Nurse Watson
was allowed to testify by telephone. The testimony of Dr.
Lafferty was taken telephonically on April 28, 2016. The
motion is ready for decision.
case was originally scheduled for a hearing on the summary
judgment motion on February 17, 2016. However, in reviewing
the case prior to the hearing, the undersigned noted that
Nurse Watson's summary judgment materials indicated she
was not working on the night in question, October 22, 2013,
and that it was Nurse Gail Hartgraves who worked that
evening. For this reason, the hearing was postponed, and a
telephone conference call was held on February 16, 2016, to
ascertain whether Plaintiff wanted to file an amended
complaint or otherwise move to substitute Nurse Hartgraves in
the place of Nurse Watson.
was insistent that the nurse involved was Nurse Watson. He
maintained she was the only nurse there on the evening of
October 22, 2013. Since he had been at the facility in excess
of ten months, he insisted he knew which nurse he dealt with.
of the apparent disagreement as to which nurse was working on
the evening of October 22, 2013, the undersigned directed
that the matter be rescheduled for hearing and that subpoenas
be issued for Dr. Lafferty and for Nurse Hartgraves.
Plaintiff's Version of the Events
testified that he was incarcerated at the BCDC from October
7, 2013, until his release in November of 2014.
Defts' Ex. A-1 at 1. At the times relevant to
this case, Plaintiff was in pretrial status.
testified that shortly after he was through eating breakfast
on the morning of October 22, 2013,  he began to
experience a burning sensation and pain in his abdomen. He
had never had this feeling before. Plaintiff submitted a
medical request/grievance on the kiosk, stating that he had a
burning sensation in his stomach and needed to see the
doctor. He testified, however, that there was some type of
malfunction with the kiosk that day and the grievances for
the whole pod were missing for that day. Thirty to forty-five
minutes later, he pushed the emergency button.
testified in his deposition that he had taken a nap after
breakfast and that when he woke up around 10:00 or 11:00
a.m., he was feeling bad. Defts' Ex. B at 6-7.
This is when he submitted the medical request and, when that
was not answered, he started pushing the emergency button.
Freeman responded to the emergency button and denied the
Plaintiff's request to be seen by the nurse. According to
Plaintiff, Deputy Freeman refused his request to see a nurse
"four times." Defts' Ex. A-1 at 108 &
137. Deputy Freeman just told Plaintiff to lie back down,
that he would be all right, and to stop pressing the
emergency button. Defts' Ex. B at 3,
4. Plaintiff felt that Deputy Freeman should have at least
come into the pod to see what was wrong. Id. at 32.
then asked another inmate to press the emergency button and
say that something was wrong with the Plaintiff. Id.
at 4. Plaintiff indicated that after this, the door was
finally opened and he was taken down to the nurses'
testified that it was around 4:00 to 4:30 p.m., when he was
finally taken to the nurses' station. He walked to the
nurses' station but was in severe pain. Plaintiff
testified he saw Nurse Watson and told her about the burning
sensation in his stomach. He described it as being in the
middle of his abdomen. Nurse Watson had him lay down and
pressed on his abdomen. Plaintiff testified ...