United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
MICHAEL E. JACKSON, ADC #88412 PLAINTIFF
ESTELLA BLAND, et al. DEFENDANTS
lawsuit, Michael Jackson, an Arkansas Department of
Correction (“ADC”) inmate, claims that Defendants
acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs. (Docket entry #2) Because Mr. Jackson did not
attribute any unconstitutional conduct to either Defendant
Drummond or Defendant Griffin in his original complaint, the
Court instructed him to file an amended complaint to further
explain his constitutional claims against those Defendants.
(#4) After Mr. Jackson filed his amended complaint, the Court
determined that he had stated deliberate-indifference claims
against Defendants Bland, Drummond, and Griffin. (#6)
Griffin, whose only involvement was responding to Mr.
Jackson's grievances, moved for dismissal. (#13) The
Court granted Defendant Griffin's motion. (#22)
Defendants Bland and Drummond have now moved for summary
judgment. (#33) Mr. Jackson has also moved for summary
judgment. (#39) The Defendants have responded to Mr.
Jackson's motion for summary judgment. (#40) The Court
will consider Mr. Jackson's motion for summary judgment
as both a motion and as a response to the Defendants'
motion for summary judgment.
judgment is appropriate only when the evidence, viewed in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party, shows that there
is no real dispute about the facts that are important to the
outcome of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986);
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246,
106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986). The moving party bears the burden of
proving that all important facts are undisputed. Once the
moving party has come forward with evidence showing that all
material facts are undisputed, the responding party must meet
proof with proof.
indifference to a prisoner's serious medical needs
constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain and
is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the United States
Constitution. McRaven v. Sanders, 577 F.3d 974, 979
(8th Cir. 2009); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976). To prove a deliberate-indifference claim, a plaintiff
must plead facts showing that he suffered from an objectively
serious medical need and that the defendants knew of the
need, yet deliberately disregarded it. Hartsfield v.
Colburn, 371 F.3d 454, 457 (8th Cir. 2004). In this
context, a “serious medical need” is one that has
been diagnosed by a doctor as requiring treatment, or a need
that is so apparent that a layperson would easily recognize
the need for a doctor's attention. Coleman v.
Rahija, 114 F.3d 778, 784 (8th Cir. 1997).
can be held liable only if they “actually knew of but
deliberately disregarded” an inmate's serious
medical need. Id. This showing requires a mental
state “akin to criminal recklessness.”
Id. (quoting Gordon v. Frank, 454 F.3d 858,
862 (8th Cir. 2006)). This means that Mr. Jackson must show
“more than negligence, more even than gross
negligence.” Fourte, 746 F.3d at 387 (quoting
Jolly v. Knudsen, 205 F.3d 1094, 1096 (8th Cir.
2000)). Stated another way, to prevail on this claim, Mr.
Jackson must show that the Defendants' actions were
“so inappropriate as to evidence intentional
maltreatment or a refusal to provide essential care.”
Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1240-41 (8th Cir.
Jackson's Motion for Summary Judgment
motion for summary judgment, Mr. Jackson argues that the
Defendants should be found liable as a matter of law for
failing to adequately treat him for swelling and pain in his
knees, primarily his right knee. Mr. Jackson apparently has
had swelling and pain in his knees since mid-2013. His
complaint in this lawsuit, however, concerns treatment
beginning on April 16, 2015, when he went to the infirmary
complaining of bilateral leg swelling and pain. He alleges
that the Defendants' treatment did not resolve the
problem with his legs, and he believes Defendants have missed
the mark by failing to focus on his circulatory problems.
support of his motion, Mr. Jackson notes that he was issued
“special medical authorizations” on June 25,
2016. He invites the Court to infer that the Defendants
issued the special authorizations only after he filed this
lawsuit, that is, after months of providing
“meaningless medical care.” He concedes, however,
that this latest treatment “has not helped”
medical records show that Mr. Jackson has received medical
care for swollen knees and knee pain since the problem first
developed, in mid-2013. The Court declines to penalize
Defendants for continuing to address Mr. Jackson's knee
problems after the lawsuit was filed. The issue here is
whether Defendants' treatment of Mr. Jackson's knee
problems during the relevant time rose ...