United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS JUDGE
Darren Lee Norman filed this civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds pro se and in
forma pauperis. Plaintiff currently is incarcerated in
the Pine Bluff Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction.
events at issue in this case occurred at the Baxter County
Detention Center ("BCDC"). Plaintiff has named as
Defendants Jail Administrator Brad Lewis, Officer Ryan
Thompson, and Officer Phillip Krug. During a seizure
Plaintiff suffered on August 19, 2014,  he maintains that
Officers Thompson and Krug used excessive force against him
when they utilized a technique known as a sternum rub on him
three separate times, causing him physical injury. Plaintiff
also maintains he did not receive adequate medical care while
detained at the BCDC.
case is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 45). Plaintiff has responded,
see Doc. 50, and the Motion is now ready for
was booked into the BCDC on August 14, 2014. (Doc. 47-2, p.
1). He was released on September 1, 2014, for medical
reasons. Id. at 3. As part of the intake process,
Plaintiff indicated that he had a history of three strokes
and a traumatic brain injury and that he suffered from
seizures, depression, anxiety, and borderline personality
disorder. (Doc. 47-4, p. 1). He listed his medications as
Gabapentin, Hydroxyzine, Trazodone, Quetiapine, and
Divalproex. Id. Plaintiff later testified in this
lawsuit that he had been diagnosed with epilepsy and had
seizures "pretty frequently]," about two or three
times a month or more. (Doc. 47-7, pp. 15-16). Plaintiff
brought his medications to the jail with him. (Doc. 47-4, p.
August 16, 2014, Plaintiff sought medical care for chest pain
and numbness in his left arm. (Doc. 47-3, p. 1). He filled
out an "Inmate Medical Request" form on that date.
A note on the form indicates that Plaintiff was examined on
August 19, 2014, though the time of day of the examination is
not specified. Id.
August 19, 2014, at approximately 6:40 p.m., Plaintiff had a
seizure. Officers Thompson and Krug performed sternum
on the Plaintiff. Plaintiff has submitted a
video of this event. The video shows the
18:40:52 Plaintiff falls to the floor having a seizure.
18:41:00 Officer Thompson attempts to place a mat under
18:41:04 Officer Thompson puts Plaintiff on his right side
and raises Plaintiff's left arm.
18:41:18 Officer Thompson walks to a counter a few feet away
and leans on it observing Plaintiff.
18:41:55 Officer Thompson turns Plaintiff onto his back.
Officer Krug approaches.
18:41:58 Officer Krug, with his back to the camera, appears
to perform a sternum rub (lasting approximately 3 seconds).
18:42:02 Officer Thompson performs a sternum rub (lasting
approximately 9 seconds).
18:42:32 Officer Thompson performs a sternum rub (lasting
approximately 6 seconds).
18:43:22 Officer Thompson turns Plaintiff onto his left side.
18:43:48 Officer Krug walks off screen. Officer Thompson
continues to observe the Plaintiff turning him back onto his
left side several times.
18:56:21 Officer Krug arrives back and leans on the counter.
18:57:54 Officer Thompson appears to be demonstrating the
length of the injury to Plaintiff's sternum by holding
his hands to his own chest with the hands separated by
approximately six to eight inches.
18:59:30 The paramedics arrive.
19:00:42 The paramedics are provided with Plaintiff's
medication 19:05:32 Plaintiff is placed on the stretcher. He
appears to be conscious.
19:06:22 Plaintiff is taken out.
was transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center
("BRMC"). (Doc. 47-4, p. 2). He was prescribed
Phenytoin. Id. at 3. Plaintiff testified
that, ordinarily, when he comes out of a seizure, everything
is confusing to him. (Doc. 47-7, p. 22). He did not recall
having had the seizure, but he remembered waking up in the
hospital. Id. at 22, 26. He first became aware of
the wound caused by the sternum rubs when he woke up.
Id. at 40. He experienced "a lot of pain"
whenever he moved. Id. Hospital personnel noted that
Plaintiff had an "8cm superficial abrasion over the
sternal area." (Doc. 51-1, p. 77).
August 20, 2016, Plaintiffs mother, Teresa Norman, visited
him at the jail. She is a registered nurse with 30 years of
experience working in emergency rooms. She described her
son's wound as being 8 cm by 3 cm in area. (Doc. 51-1, p.
86). Her husband took photographs of the wound that day,
including the following photograph:
(Doc. 51-51, p. 57). Additionally, Plaintiff submitted
several photos of the injury taken during his various trips
to the hospital. See Id. at 70, 73, 76.
to Plaintiff, the wound would bleed and "stuff would
always ooze out through the gauze and [his] shirt would stick
to it." (Doc. 47-7, p. 40). Jail staff would give
Plaintiff antibiotic ointment, gauze, and tape for the wound.
Id. Plaintiff also received Ibuprofen or Tylenol for
pain relief. Id. at 44.
testified that it took "[q]uite a while" for the
wound to stop oozing. (Doc. 47-7, p. 41). He testified that
the pain from the wound lasted approximately a month.
Id. at 45. Plaintiff does not believe that the
sternum rubs he received affected the seizure he had on
August 19, either positively or negatively. Id. at
51. However, he still bears a scar on his chest from the
wound caused by the sternum rubs. (Doc. 51, p. 2).
August 21, 2014, Jail Administrator Lewis made the following
note in Plaintiff's file:
When inmate went to Hospital, I was contacted by one of the
Paramedics who wanted to speak to a Supervisor. I called and
they wanted us to be aware that who ever did the Sternum Rub
on the Inmate had used to[o] much pressure and had rubbed the
skin and pulled out Chest Hair and they should not be putting
that much pressure when doing this. I spoke to Cpl Ryan
Thompson and he stated he did give the inmat[e] a Sternum rub
and also Phillip Krug came in behind him and Gave him a
Sternum Rub Also. I explained to Cpl. Thompson and advised
him what was going on and to advise Jailer Krug also.
(Doc. 47-4, p. 25).
respect to Plaintiff's aftercare at the BCDC, the
jail's internal ...