United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O. Hickey,
United States District Judge, referred this case to the
undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and
before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment. (ECF No. 38).
filed his Complaint on December 7, 2016, alleging he was
denied adequate medical care by Defendants, resulting in the
loss of sight in his left eye. (ECF No. 1; 42 at 2). Plaintiff
has End Stage Renal Disease,  and undergoes
dialysis three times a week. (ECF Nos. 40 at ¶
2; 42 at 10). His allegations center on the dialysis he was
given by Defendant Ellis, an employee of Defendant Chardonay,
on January 14 and 16, 2015, while incarcerated in the
Arkansas Department of Correction Ouachita River Unit (ORU).
(ECF No. 1 at 3-4). Plaintiff alleges he did not meet the
criteria for dialysis on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, because
his blood pressure was too high, his blood count and body
weight were too low, and he told Defendant Ellis he did not
feel well. (Id.). Despite these health complaints,
Defendant Ellis insisted on administering dialysis. Plaintiff
alleges he fell asleep and woke to Defendant Ellis placing
cold towels on his face and injecting him with saline to cool
him down. He told Defendant Ellis his vision was blurry, and
he had a headache. She told him to return to the barracks and
rest. (Id.). He alleges Defendant Ellis did not
monitor his blood pressure during the dialysis. (Id.
at 4). Plaintiff alleges a dialysis patient next to him said
it looked as though he had been having a seizure before he
was awakened. (Id.).
Friday, January 16, 2015, Plaintiff alleges he went to
dialysis and told Defendant Ellis that his condition had not
changed and was again given dialysis. (Id. at 4). He
was told to rest in the barracks after dialysis. That night
at approximately 8:00 p.m. his sight was getting worse, and
he was instructed by the ORU hospital to put in a sick-call
request. (Id.). Plaintiff was then assisted to the
phone, where he called his mother and told her what had
happened. The next morning Plaintiff was unable to see when
he awoke. (Id.).
alleges he was taken upstairs to the ORU Hospital, and then
sent to St. Vincent's Hospital in Little Rock. On
admission at St. Vincent's, his blood pressure was
“near stroke level, ” and his blood count was so
low that he needed four pints of blood. (Id.)
Plaintiff alleges a physician at St. Vincent's told him
he should not have been on the dialysis machine.
Plaintiff was returned to ORU hospital, he was seen by Dr.
McKinney, who stated he should not have been placed on the
dialysis machine. Dr. McKinney told Plaintiff and his family
that he would arrange for him to be seen at the Jones Eye
Clinic. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges the physician there
told him the damage to the nerves around his eyes meant that
he had an eighty-percent chance of never regaining his
vision. Plaintiff alleges the physician told him he had
suffered a stroke due to high blood pressure, which had
caused the damage. He alleges the physician told him he
should not have been placed on the dialysis machine with his
high blood pressure. (Id. at 5).
alleges any policy by Defendant Chardonay which permitted a
dialysis nurse to initiate dialysis on a patient with high
blood pressure and low blood count is unconstitutional.
(Id. at 6).
proceeds against both Defendants in their official and
personal capacity. (Id. at 5). He seeks punitive
damages. (Id. at 6).
filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on January 29, 2018.
(ECF No. 38). On January 30, 2018, the Court entered an Order
directing Plaintiff to file a Response to the Motion. (ECF
No. 41). Plaintiff did so on March 2, 2018. (ECF No. 42). On
March 6, 2018, the Court entered a Show Cause Order directing
Plaintiff to file a Statement of Disputed Facts. (ECF No.
43). Plaintiff filed a Statement of Disputed Facts on March
22, 2018. (ECF No. 46).
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.” National
Bank of Commerce v. Dow Chemical Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607
(8th Cir. 1999).
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." National 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).