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Campbell v. Watson

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

January 5, 2017

SHERIFF JASON WATSON Clark County Detention Center, JAIL ADMINISTRATOR LARRY CAIN Clark County Detention Center, BEN CHANDLER Clark County Detention Center, and JAMES LANGLEY formerly Clark County Detention Center DEFENDANTS



         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff, Steven J. Campbell, 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 P. K. Holmes, III, Chief 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. 41. A hearing was held on September 21, 2016, to allow the Plaintiff to give a sworn oral statement in response to the Motion.[1] ECF No. 44. After careful consideration of the briefing and sworn statement of the Plaintiff, the undersigned makes the following Report and Recommendation.

         1. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) Ouachita River Unit. Plaintiff alleges he was denied medication and diet for his diabetes and hypertension by Defendants while incarcerated in the Clark County Detention Center. He also alleges he was denied the opportunity to grieve these issues by Defendant Chandler. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges that as a result of this denial, he was admitted in serious condition to the Baptist Health Medical Center on March 7, 2014, with diabetic ketoacidosis and dehydration. ECF No. 1, p. 8.

         Plaintiff seeks a permanent injunction requiring Defendants Watson and Cain to make sure there are appropriate medical supplies, testing, and diets for inmates. He further seeks joint and several compensatory damages in the amount of $3 million dollars, punitive damages in the amount of $250, 000 against each Defendant, costs of suit, and any additional costs. ECF No. 1, pp. 13-14.

         Defendants filed their Summary Judgment Motion on August 8, 2016. ECF No. 41.

         Plaintiff appeared by videoconference and gave a sworn statement in response to the Summary Judgment Motion on September 21, 2016. At the end of the hearing, Plaintiff was given until November 1, 2016, to submit exhibits to support his case. Defendants were given one week after Plaintiff filed his additional documentation to make any desired response. Plaintiff filed two documents on November 4, 2016, one entitled Objection to Summary Judgment (ECF No. 45), and Statement of Disputed Facts. ECF No. 46. No exhibits were attached to Document 45. Plaintiff attached several of Defendants' exhibits to Document 46, with large X's drawn through the booking sheet, Inmate Release Report, and the Clark County Detainee's Jail Record. Defendants filed no response to these documents.

         At the hearing, Plaintiff was asked to testify as to his claim. Plaintiff stated he was booked in by Defendant Chandler, who asked him health questions. Plaintiff testified he told Chandler he had been without insulin for a couple of days due to lack of money. He stated Chandler “just handed him a bunch of papers” to sign and he did not have time to look over them. Plaintiff testified he asked to make a phone call to his mother and that request was denied. Chandler told him he was busy, and Plaintiff could make a phone call later. Plaintiff was never permitted to make a phone call.

         He was placed in a cell and assigned the top bunk. He did not feel well because he had been without medication for several days. In the morning, he pushed the buzzer and asked to make a call again, and was denied. He also asked if he could move to the lower bunk in the next cell because he was dizzy and was nervous about being on the top bunk due to his health. This request was granted. He laid down, but it did not help. He pushed the buzzer again and asked for medical help. Defendant Chandler came in and was upset because he was in the next cell. Plaintiff had vomited in the toilet several times at this point. Chandler told him to go back to his original cell. Chandler stated he was lying about being ill, and put him in lockdown as a result. Plaintiff asked for a phone call again, and Chandler ignored him. Defendant Langley was standing in the doorway and watching this interaction. After this interaction with Chandler and Langley, no one came or responded when he pushed the buzzer.

         Plaintiff then asked Trustee Albert for help, and Albert said he would get some. Plaintiff fell and blacked out. When he awoke, he was lying in a puddle of vomit on the floor. Defendant Langley came in at this point and stated “So this is how we are going to do it?” Plaintiff stated this comment was in reference to a prior date of incarceration. Langley had Trustee Smiley pick him up and put him in bed. Plaintiff was still vomiting; he was covered in vomit. Plaintiff woke up to bright lights in the hospital. He saw masks and thought he was dying. He did not remember going to the hospital. He woke up with IV's and a catheter. There was an ADC officer next to his bed, not a Clark County officer. Plaintiff believes it was his second day of incarceration when he was placed in the bed by Trustee Smiley.

         Plaintiff was asked why he did not file a proper grievance with Clark County Jail. Plaintiff testified he asked for a grievance form and was told he had no grievable issues. He also testified he asked for a sick call several times, and was either ignored or told he did not need one. The Court asked if he specifically asked for a grievance form and was told he had no grievable issues. Plaintiff answered “yes.”

         Plaintiff was asked why he told Defendant Chandler he was not taking any medication at booking. He testified his exact words were “I am not on meds at this time because I couldn't afford them.” Plaintiff testified that he also told Chandler he was supposed to be taking insulin and needed to make a phone call.

         Plaintiff was then asked about his interaction with Sheriff Watson. Plaintiff stated he had been in Clark County jail on two prior occasions and was in the hospital for the same thing as this incident. He stated he felt the Sheriff had a duty to have adequate medical supplies, and for the second time this year, did not have them. Plaintiff was asked if he had any direct contact with the sheriff for this incident. Plaintiff testified “No, not this time.”

         Plaintiff was asked how he knew there were no medical supplies. He testified he had asked if they had insulin, and was told they did not; inmates had to bring their insulin with them. Defendant ...

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