Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brown v. Woods

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division

February 5, 2018




         Plaintiff proceeds in this matter pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court are Motions for Summary Judgment by Defendant Nurse Woods (ECF No. 50) and Defendants Day, Johnson, Kircher, and Moore (the "Boone County Defendants") (ECF No. 54). For the reasons explained in more detail below, the Motions are GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on October 20, 2016. (ECF No. 1). On November 17, 2016, the Court entered an Order directing Plaintiff to file a First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 20). Plaintiff filed an Addendum to Amended Complaint on November 23, 2016 (ECF No. 21), and a First Amended Complaint on November 28, 2016. (ECF No. 23).

         Plaintiffs claims arise from his incarceration in the Boone County Detention Center ("BCDC") from September 21, 2016, through October 19, 2016, for a parole revocation. (ECF No. 23, pp. 4, 7, 9, 10). Plaintiff proceeds against Defendants in their personal capacities only. (ECF No. 23, pp. 5, 6, 8, 9, 10). In Claim One, Plaintiff alleges a failure to protect on the part of Defendants Nurse Woods and Sheriff Moore.[1] Specifically, he alleges that Nurse Woods knew that another inmate in Plaintiff's pod had a Staph infection, but she left that inmate in in the pod, where he exposed Plaintiff to the risk of contracting the infection. He contends that Sheriff Moore was "responsible for providing a safe, secure, and healthy environment" in the BCDC, but failed to do so. (ECF No. 23, p. 5). With respect to his injuries resulting from exposure to Staph, he initially claimed in his Amended Complaint that he "got sick, " (ECF No. 23, pp. 4-5), but he later clarified in his deposition that he did not, in fact, get sick, but had only been fearful that he might become infected with Staph. (ECF No. 56-5, p. 30).

         In Claim Two, Plaintiff alleges that he was denied medical care by Nurse Woods and Jail Administrator Day. He maintains that even though at the time he was fearful that he had been exposed to a Staph infection, he "would not verbally agree to pay for a sick call" because he believed Nurse Woods was to blame for exposing him to the illness. (ECF No. 23, p. 8).

         In Claim Three, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Day denied him mental health care. (ECF No. 23, p. 8).

         In Claim Four, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Day, Kircher, Johnson, and Sheriff Moore retaliated against him for writing grievances about the Staph infection and perhaps other matters. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he was supposed to serve a 90-day sentence in the BCDC, but because of the grievances he filed, jail officials decided to send him to the Arkansas Department of Correction ("ADC")-a much more restrictive environment-to finish out his sentence. (ECF No. 23, p. 10). Plaintiff also alleges in Claim Four that Defendant Kircher violated a court order when he "brought up old lawsuits" that Plaintiff had previously filed against the BCDC. (ECF No. 23, p. 11). According to Plaintiff, Defendant Kircher stated that the BCDC needed to get rid of him "because he always sues us." (ECF No. 21, p. 1). Finally, Claim Four also alleges that Defendant Johnson failed to protect some of Plaintiffs personal property that he had left in his cell at the BCDC when he was transferred to ADC custody. Id. at p. 3. Plaintiff does not identify the lost property.

         Nurse Woods filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on May 18, 2017. (ECF No. 50). The Boone County Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on May 30, 2017 (ECF No. 54), and Supplements to their Motion were filed on May 31, 2017 (ECF No. 57), and July 27, 2017 (ECF No. 62). Plaintiff filed his combined Response to both Motions on August 18, 2017. (ECF No. 63).


         Summary judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986), the record "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "Once a party moving for summary judgment has made a sufficient showing, the burden rests with the non-moving party to set forth specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists." Nat'l Bank of Commerce v. Dow Chem. Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607 (8th Cir. 1999).

         The non-moving party "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. "They must show there is sufficient evidence to support a jury verdict in their favor." Nat'l Bank, 165 F.3d at 607 (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). "A case founded on speculation or suspicion is insufficient to survive a motion for summary judgment." Id. (citing Metge v. Baehler, 762 F.2d 621, 625 (8th Cir. 1985)). "When opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion for summary judgment." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).


         Nurse Woods argues that the case against her should be dismissed for the following reasons: (1) she was not subjectively aware of any inmate with a Staph infection or any other openly communicable infection in the BCDC during the period Plaintiff was housed there, and (2) she was not deliberately indifferent to ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.