United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
ALTON RAY ROBERTSON, JR. PLAINTIFF
SHERIFF MIKE McCORMICK, Garland County, Arkansas, et al. DEFENDANTS
O. Hickey, Chief United States District Judge
a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff,
Alton Ray Robertson, Jr., under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before
the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Separate
Defendants Kay Duke, Carol Gray, Danny Burgin, Brittany
Darnell, and Rebecca Rioza. (ECF No. 122). Also before the
Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Southwest
Correctional Medical Group, Inc. (“SWCMG”). (ECF
No. 125). Likewise before the Court is a Motion for Summary
Judgment filed by Separate Defendants Lieutenant Amanda
Miller, Sergeant Michael Carter, Deputy Lisa Thomas, Deputy
Kolby Hamilton, Corporal Shawn Stapleton, Deputy Jason
Stovall, Deputy Russell Braswell, Deputy William Coutch, and
Deputy Ruey Hendrix, all of whom are employed by Garland
County, Arkansas. (ECF No. 128). Plaintiff has not filed a
response to the motions and the time to do so has
passed. The Court finds these matters ripe for
is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of
Correction (“ADC”) - Grimes Unit in Newport,
Arkansas. His claims arise from alleged incidents that
occurred in September 2016 while he was incarcerated in the
Garland County Detention Center (“GCDC”) serving
a sentence as a result of a judgment of conviction. (ECF No.
12, p. 1). Based on Plaintiff's verified Amended
Complaint (ECF No. 12) and Defendants' filings, the
relevant facts are as follows.
was booked into the GCDC on September 6, 2016, at
approximately 8:00 p.m. (ECF No. 130-1). The booking officer
noted that Plaintiff had a history of psoriasis, a skin
condition that creates scaly, red patches on the skin that
are itchy, sometimes painful, and may result in bleeding.
(ECF Nos. 125-2, 130-2). Psoriasis is a chronic disease for
which there is no cure. (ECF No. 125-2). Some of the most
frequently prescribed medications for treating psoriasis are
corticosteroids. Id. at p. 2. They reduce
inflammation and relieve itching. Id. Vitamin D is
also commonly prescribed to treat psoriasis. It slows skin
cell growth during a flare up. Id.
September 12, 2016, Plaintiff made a resident request report
to GCDC medical staff stating he had advised personnel of his
medical conditions and the medication he was prescribed. (ECF
No. 125-2, p. 19). Plaintiff did not state he was
experiencing any problems at that time. Id. On
September 13, 2016, Plaintiff made another resident request
report to GCDC staff stating, “I [need] MY MEDS
KLONZOPAM 2 MG LINCINEPRIL 25 MS VISTIRL 25 MGS NEXIUM 40 MGS
HAVE NOT HAD [any] SINCE SEP 8th [need] MEDS BAD HAVING
[outbreak].” (ECF No. 125-2, p. 20). That same day,
Plaintiff was seen and assessed by Kay Duke, an Advanced
Practice Registered Nurse (“APRN”).
Plaintiff's chief complaint was psoriasis of the hands
and chest. (ECF No. 125-2, p. 18). Following the physical
examination, Duke diagnosed Plaintiff with psoriasis on his
arms, hands, and chest. She ordered Triamcinolone 0.1%, a
corticosteroid used topically to treat psoriasis, to be given
twice daily for fourteen days. Id. Duke noted that
Plaintiff was to receive his Triamcinolone off the medical
cart until the medication tub arrived. Id. Plaintiff
was seen again by Duke on September 15, 2016. Duke noted that
Plaintiff's medication tub had not yet arrived and
Plaintiff was complaining of increased itching. (ECF No.
125-2, p. 18). Duke performed another physical examination on
Plaintiff and noted that nothing had changed since the
examination on September 13, 2016. Id.
September 16, 2016, Nurse Danny Burgin noted that a provider
ordered Vitamin D3 for Plaintiff to be taken twice daily for
fourteen days. (ECF No. 125-2, p. 18). Burgin also completed
an intake screening and assessment of Plaintiff at that time.
September 18, 2016, Plaintiff submitted a grievance form to
the GCDC jail administration, stating that he had put in
multiple sick calls on the same issues and that he had
“huge” welts and fever and needed medical
attention as soon as possible. (ECF No. 130-3, p. 1). Nurse
Melissa Jarrett responded, instructing Plaintiff to place a
sick call to be seen by medical, and stating, “You have
been seen for all complaints in the sick call process.”
Id. On September 19, 2016, Plaintiff filed another
grievance, claiming he needed medical attention. (ECF No.
125-2, p. 23). Plaintiff received a response to his grievance
from Nurse Jarrett again, stating he had been seen for all
his complaints in the sick call process. Id.
Although an appeal was available to him, Plaintiff did not
appeal the response to his grievance. Id.
September 23, 2016, Plaintiff filed another grievance,
claiming that his psoriasis was “very bad.” (ECF
No. 125-2, p. 24). Nurse Jarrett responded to Plaintiff's
grievance, advising Plaintiff to place a sick call to be seen
again for his complaints and advising Plaintiff that he had
already been seen by an Advanced Practice Nurse and given
medication for his ailments. Id. Plaintiff did not
appeal the response to this grievance. Id.
September 23, 2016, Plaintiff also made a resident request
report to the GCDC staff, claiming that his condition was
getting worse and that it had spread to his genitals, was
causing him to lose sleep, and the cream he had received for
treatment was not working. (ECF No. 125-2, p. 21). An unknown
GCDC officer responded stating, “Already addressed on
previous complaint. Need to go to pill call for medication as
ordered. That means getting up for morning pill pass.”
September 25, 2016, a progress note was made in
Plaintiff's medical chart by Nurse Burgin which reads:
Called to barracks, I/M [Plaintiff] sitting in day room with
boxers down around ankles. Stated no one will do anything
about the psoriasis - refusing to take meds prescribed by
provider. Deputys [sic] escorted I/M to other barracks.
States he wants to see a doctor that knows what they are
doing. I/M smells of urine. Refusing meds.
(ECF No. 125-2, p. 18). That same day, Nurse Burgin noted
that he spoke with APRN Carl Ennis, who ordered Prednisone 20
MG and Benadryl 25 MG for Plaintiff to take twice daily for
five days. Id. Ennis directed that Plaintiff should
continue to be monitored for any changes.
medication distribution logs reflect that he frequently
missed morning and evening pill call and was therefore unable
to receive his various medications. (ECF No. 130-5, pp.1-3).
the last entries in Plaintiff's medical chart is a
physical examination and health appraisal of Plaintiff
performed on September 26, 2016, by Michelle Reeves, a
Registered Nurse. (ECF No. 125-2, p. 26). Although Nurse
Reeves' examination identified Plaintiff's psoriasis,
she also noted that Plaintiff had no complaints regarding it
or any other condition. Id. The physical examination
and assessment by Reeves also revealed “no significant
medical, mental health, or dental issues currently.”
GCDC has policies and procedures in place to provide
continuity of medical care for all inmates housed in the
facility. (ECF No. 130-6). Pursuant to policy, inmates are
provided unimpeded access to care by ensuring inmates'
written health complaints are solicited daily, triaged by
health professionals, and followed up with appropriate
treatment by qualified health personnel. Id.
Clinical services are available five times a week and are
performed by a physician or other qualified health
professional. Id. Twenty-four hour emergency health
care is available to inmates who need such care, and it is
policy at the GCDC to provide needed medical care to all
times relevant, SWCMG was under contract with the GCDC to
provide healthcare services to inmates housed at the GCDC.
Separate Defendants Kay Duke, Carol Grey, Danny Burgin,
Brittany Darnell, and Rebecca Rioza were all employees of
SWCMG. (ECF No. 126).
GCDC also has an established policy and procedure for the
submission of inmate grievances which requires that the
inmate or detainee give written notice of a complaint,
request, or problem through an inmate grievance form. (ECF
No. 130-6, pp. 2-4). If an inmate is not satisfied with the
decision of the Grievance Coordinator or other staff who
responded to the grievance, the inmate may appeal the
decision to the Security Director within five days of the
inmate's receipt of the response. Id. at p. 3.
filed his initial Complaint on July 20, 2017, alleging he had
been denied medical care by the Sheriff of Garland County,
Arkansas, and numerous John and Jane Doe officers and medical
personnel who worked at the GCDC. (ECF No. 1). On September 27,
2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint naming as
Defendants Sheriff Mike McCormick and numerous John and Jane
Doe defendants at the GCDC who had knowledge of
Plaintiff's medical condition in September 2016. (ECF No.
12). Eventually, the following individuals/entities were
named as Defendants and served with process: (1) Sheriff Mike
McCormick, Grievance Coordinator Destiny Donahue, Jail
Administrator Steven Elrod, Deputy Leonard Coatney,
Lieutenant Amanda Miller, Sergeant Michael Carter, Deputy
Lisa Thomas, Deputy Kolby Hamilton, Corporal Shawn Stapleton,
Deputy Jason Stovall, Deputy Russel Braswell, Deputy William
Coutch, Deputy Ruey Hendrix, Midkiff, Deputy Lacey, and
Deputy Nathan Burgett (collectively the “Garland County
Defendants”); (2) SWCMG; and, (3) Kay Duke, Carol Gray,
Nurse Danny Burgin, Brittany Darnell, and Nurse Rebecca Rioza
(collectively the “SWCMG
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the Garland County
Defendants, SWCMG and the SWCMG Employees denied him medical
care on September 8, 2016. (ECF No. 12). Specifically, he
claims that he:
requested on several occasions to be escorted to medical and
was told to place a sick call request. Several sick call
requests were done but were never responded to. The rash and
itching became worse and I lost sleep, suffered anxiety, ...