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Phillips v. Griffin

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

November 2, 2018

BOBBY LEE PHILLIPS, JR. ADC #117315 PLAINTIFF
v.
RORY L. GRIFFIN, et al. DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections

         This Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to Judge Billy Roy Wilson. Any party is free to file written objections to this Recommendation. Objections must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for the objection. To be considered, objections must be received in the office of the Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation.

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

         II. Discussion

         A. Background

         Bobby Lee Phillips, Jr., an Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) inmate, filed this civil lawsuit without the help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket entry #2) Mr. Phillips claims that Defendants Griffin, Horan, Bland, Griswold, and Haynes failed to provide him proper treatment for a hand injury, which resulted in the loss of motion and permanent damage to his finger. Based on those allegations, Mr. Phillips was allowed to proceed on deliberate-indifference claims against Defendants Griffin, Horan, Bland, Griswold, and Haynes. The Court dismissed Mr. Phillips's claims against Defendant Knight. (#8)

         All Defendants then moved for summary judgment, arguing that Mr. Phillips failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. (#13, #40) The Court granted Defendant Griffin's motion, and dismissed Mr. Phillips's claims against Defendant Griffin, without prejudice. (#63) In addition, the Court granted the Medical Defendants' motion for summary judgment, in part, and dismissed Mr. Phillips's claims against Defendant Horan. (Id.) Mr. Phillips was permitted to proceed on his claims against Defendants Bland, Griswold, and Haynes.

         Mr. Phillips has now moved for summary judgment on his claims against the remaining Defendants. (#96) Defendants Bland, Griswold, and Haynes have also moved for summary judgment on the merits of Mr. Phillips's claims against them. (#101) Mr. Phillips has responded to the Defendants' motion (#105, #106); and both motions are now ripe for review.

         B. Undisputed Factual History

         On September 27, 2016, Mr. Phillips appeared for a chronic care visit complaining that he had injured his right hand several days earlier in a fall.[1] (#102-1 at p.1) At that time, Dr. Horan noted that Mr. Phillips's right had was red and swollen. (Id.) He also noted that his hand was “most tender” over the fifth metacarpal. (Id.) Dr. Horan prescribed 600 milligrams of ibuprofen to be taken twice daily. (Id.) He also entered a prescription for one-arm duty for Mr. Phillips, expiring on October 31, 2016, and ordered an x-ray of Mr. Phillips's right hand. (Id.)

         On September 30, Mr. Phillips underwent an x-ray examination of his right hand. (Id. at p.11) Those results revealed: an old fracture of the distal 2nd metacarpal; an old fracture of the 6th metacarpal; an acute fracture of the proximal 5th metacarpal; and a probable old avulsion fracture of the dorsal wrist. (Id.) Therefore, Mr. Phillips had three old fractures that had healed, and a new fracture of the proximal fifth metacarpal. (Id.)

         On the same day, the ADC medical department notified Mr. Phillips that, based on his x-ray results, he would be scheduled for a follow-up appointment with a provider. (Id. at p.10)

         On October 2, an unknown nurse authorized a “lay-in” for Mr. Phillips for 72 hours while he waited for his x-ray results. (Id. at p.12) On October 4, Mr. Phillips was transferred to segregation. (Id. at p.14)

         Between October 4 and October 15, nurses made regular rounds in segregation. Mr. Phillips did not voice any health ...


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