United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
RICKY A. JONES PLAINTIFF
DR. NANNETTE VOWELL; RICHARD MORGAN; GWENDOLYN HART; and NURSE C. ROBINSON DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
O. HICKEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff Ricky A. Jones
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro
se and in forma pauperis.
is incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction
(“ADC”). He maintains his constitutional rights
were denied by the failure of Defendants to provide him with
contact lenses and/or glasses for treatment of Marfan
Syndrome (“MFS”). Plaintiff has named Dr. Nannette
Vowell, Richard Morgan, Nurse Gwendolyn Hart, and Nurse C.
Robinson as defendants. He sues Defendants in both their
individual and official capacities.
case is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 57). Plaintiff did not
file a response to the Motion and the time to do so has
Plaintiff was processed into the ADC, his medically
prescribed contact lenses were confiscated. Plaintiff
indicates he was informed that contact lenses were forbidden
and that he would be provided with eye glasses. However, he
was given neither for a period of approximately two years.
Plaintiff maintains Defendants were deliberately indifferent
to his serious medical need for eye wear in their continuing
and ongoing failure to provide him with his prescribed
contact lenses or eye glasses. According to Plaintiff, the
delay caused him to develop glaucoma in both eyes and
required him to have surgery on both eyes.
states that on December 8, 2014, he was given an eye exam by
Nurse Hart at the Ouachita River Correctional Unit
(“ORCU”). Nurse Hart noted that Plaintiff's
vision was impaired, he was supposed to wear contact lenses,
did not have eye glasses, and could hardly see to sign his
name. Although he filled out sick call slips, Plaintiff
maintains that no attempt was made to accommodate him by
providing contact lenses or eye glasses.
second visit to the infirmary Plaintiff was seen by Dr.
Vowell. Dr. Vowell issued Plaintiff a walking cane and
advised him that he would be seen by someone else soon
regarding his eye issues. Plaintiff was subsequently seen at
the JEI by Dr. Uwaydat on August 27, 2015. Plaintiff
indicates Dr. Uwaydat stated that eye glasses would do him no
good and that if the ADC did not provide him with eye care he
was in danger of going blind. Dr. Uwaydat prescribed
Plaintiff contact lenses and Dr. Salter, another physician at
the JEI, approved Plaintiff for contact lenses. However,
Plaintiff maintains that Dr. Vowell failed to provide the
submitted a grievance about the continuing delay and denial
of eye care. Defendant Morgan responded that the prescribed
contact lenses were not allowed in prison. Further, Defendant
Morgan noted that Plaintiff had another appointment at JEI.
Plaintiff notes that the ADC policy regarding contact lenses
does not restrict inmates with certain eye conditions from
having contact lenses. (ECF No. 1 at 18). Further, the policy
states that “[i]nmates arriving at ADC with
prescriptive lenses but no other prescriptive eyeglasses may
retain and use the contact lenses until eyeglasses are
provided by the medical department, and contact lens solution
will be provided by the medical department until ADC
compliant prescription eyewear is issued.”
(Id.). On January 12, 2017, the lens from his left
eye was removed. On March 30, 2017, the lens from his right
eye was surgically removed.
present lawsuit concerns four grievances: OR-15-00397,
OR-17-00592, OR-17-00976, and OR-16-01367.
judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, 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); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). “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.” Nat'l
Bank of Comm. v. Dow Chem. Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607 (8th
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.” Nat'l
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 ...