United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Susan Webber Wright. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of the entry of this Recommendation. The failure to timely
file objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal
questions of fact.
Tony Daniels ("Daniels"), is a prisoner in the
Arkansas Department of Correction. He has filed this pro
se § 1983 action alleging that, while he was
confined in the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility
("PCRDF"), Defendants Sheriff Doc Holiday
("Holiday"), Aramark Commissary
("Aramark"), and the PCRDF violated his
constitutional rights. Docs. 2 & 5. The Court
must screen Daniels's allegations.
Daniels's Claim Against Defendant PCRDF
well settled that jails are not proper parties in a §
1983 action. See Owens v. Scott Cnty. Jail, 328 F.3d
1026, 1027 (8th Cir. 2003); Williams v. Pulaski Cnty.
Det. Facility, Case No. 07-3851, 2008 WL 2079104 (8th
Cir. May 19, 2008) (unpublished opinion). Thus, Daniels's
claim against the PCRDF should be dismissed, with prejudice.
Daniels's Claim Against Defendants Aramark and Sheriff
alleges that, on June 21, 2016, he purchased a package of
Vienna sausages from the PCRDF commissary, which is run by
Aramark. Docs. 2 & 5. The sausage package
contained a sticker stating "Exp. 06/23/17."
Doc. 5 at 9. After eating the sausages, Daniels
removed the "Exp. 06/23/17" sticker, which was
placed over a "Best Before Dated: 06/23/15" stamp
on the sausage can. Id. at 8. Daniels believes this
meant the sausages were unsafe to eat after June 23, 2015,
and he speculates that Aramark must have deliberately covered
the 06/23/15 stamp with the 06/23/17 sticker so that it could
serve him, and other PCRDF prisoners, food that was unsafe
for consumption. Soon after eating the sausages, Daniels
allegedly because experiencing symptoms consistent with food
state a viable conditions of confinement claim, Daniels must
allege facts establishing that: (1) objectively, he was
subjected to a substantial risk of food poisoning; and (2)
subjectively, Aramark and Holiday were aware of and
deliberately indifferent to that substantial risk of harm.
See Davis v. Oregon Cnty., Mo., 607 F.3d 543, 548-49
(8th Cir. 2010); Revels v. Vincenz, 382 F.3d 870,
875 (8th Cir. 2004).
has not offered any facts to support his highly speculative
belief that Aramark, instead of the sausage manufacturer,
placed the "Exp. 06/23/17" sticker over the
"Best Before Date 06/23/15" stamp. More
importantly, Daniels's claim is premised on a
misunderstanding of food labeling. According to the United
States Department of Agriculture, the "best by"
date is the date "recommended for best flavor or
quality" -- and not an expiration date or
"safety date." Thus, the "Best Before
Date 06/23/15" stamp meant that the sausages were at the
their best flavor on or before June 23, 2015, but still
safe for consumption when Daniels ate them on June 21,
even assuming the truth of the facts as alleged by Daniels,
Aramark and Holiday did not deliberately conceal an
expiration date. Instead, they allegedly covered the date on
which the sausages were at their optimum flavor with
a sticker containing the date they became unsafe to eat,
which was long after Daniels ate them. Because Daniels has
not pled any facts suggesting that Aramark or Holiday were
deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk that he would
be harmed by eating the sausages, Daniels's conditions of
confinement claim against Aramark and Holiday should be
dismissed, without prejudice, for failing to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.
THEREFORE RECOMMENDED THAT:
Daniels's claim against the PCRDF be ...