United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
LLOYD N. HAMM, JR. PLAINTIFF
DR. CHARLES LIGGETT DEFENDANT
P. K. HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff,
Lloyd N. Hamm, Jr., under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently
before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendant, Dr. Charles Liggett (“Dr. Liggett”).
(ECF No. 52). Plaintiff filed a Response. (ECF Nos. 59, 60).
Defendant filed a Reply. (ECF No. 62). The matter is ripe for
is currently an inmate in the Arkansas Department of
Correction (“ADC”), Ester Unit. This case arises
from incidents that occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated
at the ADC, Ouachita River Correctional Unit
(“ORCU”) in Malvern, Arkansas. Viewed in the
light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are as
was involved in a car accident in July 2004. He has suffered
from occasional seizures since the car accident. According to
Plaintiff, the number of seizures he has each month varies
depending upon “what my stress level had been, or what
my medication was, or what was going on around me.”
(ECF No. 52-2, p. 21). He was examined by a neurologist in
August 2004, at which time he was prescribed Neurontin for a
few months. Once this prescription expired Plaintiff did not
take any medication for his seizures for approximately seven
years. Sometime in 2011 Plaintiff began taking Neurontin
again when he was incarcerated in Lee County, Arkansas, for a
parole violation. (ECF No. 52-2, p. 118). Plaintiff's
medication was changed from Neurontin to Tegretol in 2013.
(ECF No. 52-2, p. 27). While Plaintiff was incarcerated at
the ADC, Randall L. Williams Unit, the drug Topamax was added
to his medications. Id. at 118.
28, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred to the ORCU where he
remained until October 14, 2016. At the time of his transfer,
Plaintiff was taking 25 milligrams of Topamax (Topiramate)
once a day and 100 milligrams of Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
once a day for his seizures. (ECF No. 52-2, p. 106). While at
the ORCU, Plaintiff was treated by Dr. Liggett. Although
Plaintiff had active prescriptions for both Tegretol and
Topamax, Dr. Liggett informed Plaintiff sometime in August
2016 that he would be better off without Tegretol. On
September 20, 2016, Plaintiff suffered a seizure and hit his
head. Plaintiff was monitored by the nursing staff at the
ORCU in the infirmary immediately after the seizure, and the
record reflects he was also examined by Dr. Liggett sometime
later that day. Plaintiff had no urgent or emergent needs at
that time, and he returned to his cell after resting in the
infirmary for several hours. Plaintiff was examined again by
Dr. Liggett the following day. Plaintiff complained of
“cloudy” vision in his right eye.
October 14, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred from the ORCU to
the Randall L. Williams Unit. On or about December 1, 2016,
Plaintiff's prescription for Topamax was increased from
25 milligrams each evening to 50 milligrams twice a day. In
late December 2016 Plaintiff was referred to the University
of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Jones Eye Center for
evaluation regarding his complaint of loss of vision in his
right eye. Plaintiff was examined on February 14, 2017, and
the reports generated by the Jones Eye Center noted that
Plaintiff had no obvious abnormalities of the right eye and
that no follow-up appointments were required. (ECF No. 52-1,
pp. 80-82). Plaintiff was told that his vision would likely
March 31, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred back to the ORCU.
On August 30, 2017, Plaintiff was examined by Dr. James
Thomas, an outside neurologist. Dr. Thomas recommended
increasing the dosage of Topamax to 100 milligrams twice a
day, and that recommendation was implemented at the ORCU. Dr.
Thomas did not recommend or prescribe Tegretol for Plaintiff.
Dr. Thomas also recommended an MRI of the brain for
filed his Complaint on August 31, 2017. (ECF No.
He is suing Dr. Liggett in his individual and official
capacity. Plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive
damages, and he asks that Defendant Liggett lose his
“privilege to practice medicine anywhere ever under any
name.” (ECF No. 1, p. 10). Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that Dr. Liggett violated his constitutional right to
medical care by:
“repeatedly refused to refill medications &
prescriptions that I have maintained prior to being
transferred to the unit… His refusal to refill the
medication Tegratal. That I take for pettite mal siezures,
& refusal to remove me from outside duty eventually led
to me having a severe seizure. During this seizure I hit my
head & lost all but the sight of a bright light in my
right eye.” (ECF No. 1, p. 4).
accordance with the recommendation of Dr. Thomas, Plaintiff
underwent an MRI on October 2, 2017. The MRI report states,
“No evidence of intracranial mass or acute abnormality.
No. findings to explain the patient's seizure
disorder.” (ECF No. 52-1, p. 116). As of the date of
Plaintiff's deposition, January 23, 2018, Plaintiff was
taking 100 milligrams of Topamax twice a day. Even on this
medication Plaintiff still suffers from “small
seizures.” (ECF No. 52-2, p. 103).
April 5, 2018, Dr. Liggett filed the instant Motion for
Summary Judgment, arguing that he is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law because Plaintiff cannot establish a claim
for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. (ECF
No. 52). Defendant has not addressed Plaintiff's official
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 ...