United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
TIMONTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff
Eduardo Lamas Leyva under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently
before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendant, Sergeant Gary Lunsford ("Sergeant
Lunsford"). (Doc. 28). Plaintiff has not filed a
response, and the time to do so has passed. The Court finds
this matter ripe for consideration.
filed his complaint on May 25, 2018. (Doc. 1). His
application to proceed in forma pauperis was granted
the same day. (Doc. 4). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated
in the Washington County Detention Center ("WCDC")
awaiting trial on pending criminal charges. (Doc. 9, p. 3).
alleges Sergeant Lunsford denied him medical care on February
28, 2018, when he refused to allow Plaintiff "to speak
with a medical provider at the jail due to my broke cranium
from a car wreck." (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff claims
Sergeant Lunsford "told me to go drink water and lay
down. I have medical records proving this and ever since I
have been still in pain and lack of vision and my
concentration has been off." Id. Plaintiff
initially sued Sergeant Lunsford in his individual and
official capacities seeking compensatory damages. On June 7,
2018, the Court entered a screening order pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A dismissing the official capacity claims.
January 17, 2019, Sergeant Lunsford filed the instant Motion
for Summary Judgment arguing: (1) there was no personal
involvement of Sergeant Lunsford; (2) Plaintiff failed to
exhaust the administrative remedies available to him; (3)
there was no deliberate indifference to Plaintiffs medical
needs; (4) negligence is not a constitutional violation; and
(5) Sergeant Lunsford is entitled to qualified immunity.
Although Plaintiff did not file a response to the motion, his
complaint was verified; therefore, Plaintiff's
allegations will be considered accordingly.
was arrested and booked into the custody of the WCDC on
February 2, 2018. During the booking process, Plaintiff
informed WCDC staff that he had medical issues and complaints
relating to his "head" and that he was taking
"pain meds" for this condition. (Doc. 30-2, pp.
1-8). The next day, Plaintiff filed a request for medical
services and asked to be added to the sick call list. He was
added to the list that same day. (Doc. 30-3, p. 5).
February 7, 2018, Plaintiff indicated he no longer needed
medication. The WCDC medical staff responded stating they
would have a provider review his request and cancel it.
Id. at 6. The following day, Plaintiff reported
issues with his "broken head" and was placed on the
sick call list for review by a medical provider. On February
10, 2018, he was evaluated by medical staff and found to be
"more concerned with getting killed if he goes back to
Mexico . .. mild distress, nose and head injury were from 2
years ago." Plaintiff indicated he did not want to be on
medications at that time. (Doc. 30-4, p. 27).
February 12, 2018, Plaintiff was again seen by medical staff.
Plaintiff asked for a second blanket and expressed concern
about being returned to Mexico. Id. at 24-27. His
request for a second blanket was approved and, at his
request, he was given a journal to write down his feelings
rather than being treated with medications. Id. at
February 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed a request to medical
services asking, "I would like to know how it works
here, if you feel bad, ... I have to be dying to make a
case."The following day, medical staff responded:
"You have to see the nurse, they will put you on the
list tomorrow... If you have a medical complaint, inform us.
We have been helping you as much as possible. Our doctor did
not think you were in immediate trouble with your medical
needs. Your doctor visit for your head was in 2005."
(Doc. 30-3, p. 8).
evening of February 21, 2018, Plaintiff was using the kiosk
after lights out, and an officer instructed him to get off
the kiosk and go to his bunk. Plaintiff remained at the kiosk
and was issued a citation for failure to follow verbal orders
of staff. The report was approved by Sergeant Lunsford on
February 24, 2018. (Doc. 30-5, pp. 1-4). In response to the
citation, on February 26, 2018, Plaintiff wrote:
I write this letter to tell my story about the events that
took place on 01/21/2018 at 23:49. My head was hurting and I
asked for a pain pill or another blanket to calm my head pain
and I refused all kinds of help for this reason. I wrote in
the kiosk as I send some complaints because they are charging
for medical charity and do not give me adequate medication
and every time is greater my medical expenses because doctors
and nurses come to supposedly see me and it is pure farce
probably not even that up I owe and do not receive the right
medication. The officer ...