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Tate v. Kelley

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division

July 24, 2018

CARL TATE, ADC #105109 PLAINTIFF
v.
WENDY KELLEY, et al. DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections:

         This Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. Any party to this lawsuit may file written objections with the Clerk of Court within 14 days of filing of the Recommendation. Objections must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for the objection. An objection to a factual finding must identify the finding of fact believed to be wrong and describe the evidence that supports that belief.

         By not objecting, any right to appeal questions of fact may be jeopardized. And, if no objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the record.

         II. Discussion:

         A. Background

         Carl Tate, an Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) inmate, filed this lawsuit without the help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket entry #2) In his original and amended complaints, Mr. Tate alleged that the Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. He named Director Kelley, Officer Westbrook, Dr. Stieve, Dr. Campbell, and Nurse McVay as Defendants. Mr. Tate later moved to amend his complaint to add Director Griffin as a party Defendant, which the Court granted. (#27, #29) Since that time, the Court has dismissed Mr. Tate's claims against Defendants Kelley, Westbrook, and Griffin. (#39, #46)

         Defendants Stieve, Campbell, and McVay (“Medical Defendants”) have now moved for summary judgment on Mr. Tate's claims against them. (#64) Mr. Tate has responded to the motion, and the Medical Defendants have replied to Mr. Tate's response. (#69, #70) The motion is now ripe for review.

         B. Summary Judgment Standard

         In a summary judgment, the Court rules in favor of a party before trial. A party is entitled to summary judgment if the evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to the party on the other side of the lawsuit, shows that there is no genuine dispute about any fact important to the outcome of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246 (1986).

         C. Undisputed Facts

         The undisputed facts show that, Mr. Tate fell and fractured his wrist sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, prior to going to prison. (#66-2 at p.20) An orthopedic surgeon placed pins in his wrist to treat the fracture. (Id. at p.21)

         In 2016, Mr. Tate was incarcerated at the Ouachita County Jail for “a month, two months” before being transferred to the ADC in May of 2016. (Id. at p.22) While housed at the County Jail, Mr. Tate did not take any pain medication. (#66-2 at pp.30-32)

         On May 25, 2016, Mr. Tate was transferred to the Ouachita River Correctional Unit of the ADC. (#66-4 at p.5) On that date, he requested naproxen for left arm pain. (#66-1 at p.2) That same day, he was prescribed 500 milligrams of naproxen to be taken twice daily for thirty days. (Id.) On or around that time, Mr. Tate was assigned to the hoe squad.[1] (#66-2 at p.23)

         On June 1, 2016, Mr. Tate submitted a health service request form complaining of pain in his wrist. (#66-1 at p.4) On June 4, Nurse Sylvester (not a party to this lawsuit) examined Mr. Tate at sick call and noted “[a]bnormality [] to Lt wrist. Inmate unable to turn wrist completely or spread fingers without pain.” (Id. at p.7) She referred Mr. Tate to the provider and told him to elevate his arm and use a warm compress. (Id.)

         On June 14, Mr. Tate submitted another health service request form complaining of pain in his left wrist and asking to see a doctor. (Id. at p.8) The next day, Defendant Campbell examined Mr. Tate. (Id. at p.11) She noted minimal swelling in Mr. Tate's left wrist, “strong, palpable left radial pulse, ” and a limited range of motion. (Id.) Defendant Campbell ordered an x-ray of Mr. Tate's left wrist; directed Mr. Tate to continue naproxen for thirty days[2]; and restricted him to one arm/hand duty for thirty days. (Id.) On that same date, Mr. Tate's x-ray results revealed “an old fracture involving distal radius ...


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