United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
CHRISTOPHER A. LOVE, JR. PLAINTIFF
NURSE LORI, et al. DEFENDANTS
O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and
in forma pauperis (“IFP”).
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court has the obligation
to screen any complaint in which an individual has sought
leave to proceed IFP. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). On review,
the Court is to dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the
complaint, that is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
complaint alleges denial of medical care while incarcerated
at the Hempstead County Detention Facility. Plaintiff alleges
that on February 19, 2017, he woke up after the other inmates
had received their medications. ECF No. 1, p. 4; ECF No. 11,
p. 1. When he asked why he did not get his medication, he
alleges Defendant Garner told him “if she didn't
call you, you don't have any meds.” ECF No. 1, p.
4; ECF No. 11, p. 1. Plaintiff alleges he takes seizure
medication three times per day. ECF No. 1, p. 4; ECF No. 11,
p. 1. He further alleges he suffered two seizures thirty to
forty-five minutes after being denied his seizure medication.
ECF No. 1, p. 4; ECF No. 11, p. 1. Plaintiff alleges he did
not get any medical attention for his seizures. ECF No. 1, p.
4; ECF No. 11, p. 1.
form utilized by Plaintiff appears to be an outdated one,
which does not provide a choice for Plaintiff to indicate if
he is proceeding against Defendants in their official
capacity, individual capacity, or both. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff
asks the Court to “justify the action taken that
resulted in my position of endangerment, due to ignorance
regarding medical concern.” ECF No. 1, p. 4.
alleges that he slept through pill call and did not receive
his seizure medication on one occasion. He further alleges
the guard told him that if the female staff member did not
call him, he did not have medication to take. These
allegations do not state a plausible claim for denial of
Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment
prohibits deliberate indifference to prisoners' serious
medical needs. Luckert v. Dodge County, 684 F.3d
808, 817 (8th Cir. 2012). To prevail on his Eighth Amendment
claim, Plaintiff must prove that Defendants acted with
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). The
deliberate indifference standard includes “both an
objective and a subjective component: ‘The [Plaintiff]
must demonstrate (1) that [he] suffered [from] objectively
serious medical needs and (2) that the prison officials
actually knew of but deliberately disregarded those
needs.'” Jolly v. Knudsen, 205 F.3d 1094,
1096 (8th Cir. 2000) (quoting Dulany v. Carnahan,
132 F.3d 1234, 1239 (8th Cir. 1997)).
that he suffered from an objectively serious medical need
Plaintiff must show he “has been diagnosed by a
physician as requiring treatment” or has an injury
“that is so obvious that even a layperson would easily
recognize the necessity for a doctor's attention.”
Schaub v. VonWald, 638 F.3d 905, 914 (8th Cir. 2011)
(internal quotations and citations omitted).
subjective prong of deliberate indifference, “the
prisoner must show more than negligence, more even than gross
negligence, and mere disagreement with treatment decisions
does not give rise to the level of a constitutional
violation. Deliberate indifference is akin to criminal
recklessness, which demands more than negligent
misconduct.” Popoalii v. Correctional Med.
Servs, 512 F.3d 488, 499 (8th Cir. 2008) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). “[A]n
inadvertent failure to provide adequate medical care cannot
be said to constitute an unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain or to be repugnant to the conscience of mankind.”
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 105-06 (internal quotations
omitted). Further, missing two of three prescribed doses of
medication for a single day does not establish
“indifference to a serious medical need, much less
deliberate indifference.” Champion v. Kelley,
495 Fed App'x 769, 770 (8th Cir. 2012); compare King
v. Busby, 162 Fed. App'x 669 (8th Cir. 2006)
(failure to distribute prescribed blood-pressure and pain
medication at least 26 times over an approximate seven-month
period, and without further explanation, raised the inference
that the failure to provide medication was more than an
inadvertent failure to provide adequate medical care).
case, Plaintiff's allegation is simply that the staff
member dispensing medication on that day did not have
medication for him to take, and therefore did not wake him up
to take it. Thus, Plaintiff's allegation that he missed a
single dose of medication on a single day due to an
inadvertent error at most alleges a claim for negligent
misconduct and does not state a plausible claim for denial of
also claims he did not receive medical attention for the two
seizures he alleges he suffered within thirty or forty-five
minutes of not receiving his medication. Deliberate
indifference may be manifested by “prison guards in
intentionally denying or delaying access to medical care or
intentionally interfering with the treatment once
prescribed.” Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104-05.
However, the “Constitution does not require jailers to
handle every medical complaint as quickly as each inmate
might wish.” Jenkins v. County of Hennepin,
Minn., 557 F.3d 628, 633 (8th Cir. 2009). The objective
seriousness of delay in treatment must be measured by
reference to the effect of delay, which must be shown by
verifying medical evidence in the record. Laughlin v.
Schriro, 430 F.3d 927, 929 (8th Cir. 2005). Unless,
however, the need for medical attention is obvious to a
layperson, in which case the plaintiff need not submit
verifying medical evidence to show the detrimental effects of
delay. See Schaub, 638 F.3d at 919 (citing
Roberson v. Bradshaw, 198 F.3d 645, 648 (8th Cir.
1999)); Aswegan v. Henry, 49 F.3d 461, 464 (8th Cir.
1995); see also Boyd v. Knox, 47 F.3d 966, 969 (8th
Cir. 1995) (noting that a delay in treatment, coupled with
knowledge that an inmate is suffering, can support a finding
of an Eighth Amendment violation).
present case, Plaintiff provided only a conclusory statement
that he was denied medical care for two seizures. He provided
no facts concerning the type, severity, or length of his
alleged seizures, whether he suffered any injuries from his
alleged seizures, or whether Defendants were even aware of
these alleged seizures. He has alleged no facts which permit
an inference that he had an obvious medical need which a
layperson could recognize. Nor has he provided any ...