United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed January 25,
2017, by the Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States
Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. ECF
No. 61. Judge Bryant recommends that Defendants' Motion
for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 44) be granted in part and
denied in part. Separate Defendant Dr. Michael McAlister has
filed objections to Judge Bryant's Report and
Recommendation. ECF No. 62. The Court finds this matter ripe
April 23, 2014, Plaintiff was transferred from the Hot Spring
County Detention Center to the Southwest Arkansas Community
Correction Center (“SWACCC”). ECF No. 45-3, p.
21. At that time, Plaintiff was taking various prescription
medications. ECF No. 45-3, p. 22. Upon his arrival at the
SWACCC, intake staff refused to accept Plaintiff's
medications from the officer who transported him from the Hot
Spring County Detention Center. ECF No. 1, pp. 5-6. Plaintiff
claims that he was told that he would receive his medications
from the SWACCC Medical Department. ECF No. 1, p. 6. However,
Plaintiff alleges that he was not seen by a doctor for some
weeks and was, likewise, not provided the medications he was
prescribed. ECF No. 1.
Bryant recommends that the Court find that Defendants Connie
Mason, Dr. Mark Viegas, and Janet Meyers are entitled to
summary judgment because Plaintiff did not submit grievances
against them and therefore failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies, as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act. Judge Bryant also recommends that the Court find
that Roger Wise is entitled to summary judgment due to the
fact that Plaintiff sued Defendant Wise under a theory of
respondeat superior. Finally, Judge Bryant
recommends that the Court should find that Defendant
McAlister is not entitled to summary judgment. Judge Bryant
states his belief that there are genuine issues of material
fact as to whether the abrupt discontinuation of
Plaintiff's medication without the exercise of medical
judgment constitutes deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs.
McAlister is the only party who has filed an objection to
Judge Bryant's Report and Recommendation. The core of
Defendant McAlister's objections focus on the contention
that he is not responsible for the facts that Plaintiff's
medications were not accepted upon arrival at the SWACCC and
that Plaintiff was not seen by a staff physician until some
weeks after his arrival. ECF No. 62. Furthermore, Defendant
McAlister argues that the exercise and stretching regimen he
prescribed in lieu of prescription medicines was sufficient
under the circumstances. ECF No. 62. Defendants have attached
the sworn affidavit of Dr. Robert Floss to their Motion for
Summary Judgment. Dr. Floss states that, in his medical
opinion, the treatment provided by Defendant McAlister was
appropriate. ECF No. 45-5.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that when a party
moves for summary judgment:
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.
Civ. P. 56(a). The Supreme Court has issued the following
guidelines for trial courts to determine whether this
standard has been satisfied:
The inquiry performed is the threshold inquiry of determining
whether there is a need for trial-whether, in other words,
there are genuine factual issues that properly can be
resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably
be resolved in favor of either party.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250
(1986); see also Agristor Leasing v. Farrow, 826
F.2d 732 (8th Cir. 1987); Niagara of Wis. Paper Corp. v.
Paper Indus. Union-Mgmt.Pension Fund, 800 F.2d 742, 746
(8th Cir. 1986). A fact is material only when its resolution
affects the outcome of the case. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248. A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it
could cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either
party. Id. at 252.
Court must view the evidence and the inferences that may be
reasonably drawn from the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Enterprise Bank v.
Magna Bank, 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996).
The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no
genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Id. The nonmoving party
must then demonstrate the existence of specific facts in the
record that create a genuine issue for trial. Krenik v.
Cnty. of LeSueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1995). A
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment may not rest upon mere allegations or denials, but
must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.