United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition (âRecommendationâ) has been
sent to United States District Judge James M. Moody, Jr. You
may file written objections to all or part of this
Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1)
specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your
objection; and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court
within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. If you do
not file objections, Judge Moody can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing all of the
evidence in the record. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Richard Foster (“Foster”) filed this § 1983
action alleging that, while he was incarcerated at the
Faulkner County Detention Center (“FCDC”) between
August 2017 and January 2018, Defendants Lieutenant Gary
Andrews (“Andrews”), Sergeant Rusty Page
(“Page”), Captain/Jail Administrator Christopher
Riedmueller (“Riedmueller”), and Sheriff Tim
Ryals (“Ryals”) subjected him to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement by: (1) forcing him to sleep on a
floor containing fecal matter, trash and food; and (2)
failing to remove “black mold” from the ceiling
and walls. Foster named Defendants in their
individual and official capacities, and he seeks monetary and
injunctive relief. Doc. 15.
have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, a Brief in Support,
and a Statement of Indisputable Material Facts. Docs. 29,
30 & 31. Although notified of his right to file a
Response, Foster has not done so. See Doc. 32. Thus,
the issues are joined and ready for disposition.
addressing the merits of Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment, the Court will summarize the relevant
facts, all of which are undisputed.
August 26, 2017, Foster was booked into the FCDC. Doc.
31, Ex. A-1 at 2 (Arrest/Booking).
October 16, 2017, at approximately 6:50 p.m., the sprinklers
began going off in Cell 307, where Foster and other detainees
were housed. Officers were unable to turn off the sprinklers.
After about eight minutes, non-party officers removed the
detainees from the cell and placed them in the recreation
yard. Officers turned off the water to the sprinklers, then
swept the standing water into the drains and out into the
recreation yard. After most of the water was gone, Foster and
the other detainees were brought back to the cell. They were
given cleaning supplies to clean up any remaining water and
mess. Doc. 31, Ex. A-5 at 2 (Incident Reports) &
Ex. B ¶¶ 2 & 4 (Page Aff.).
November 26, 2017, Foster filed a grievance stating that, as
a result of “black mold, ” he was having
“serious stomach problems” and “chest
pains.” Doc. 4 at 6. On November 28, 2017,
Defendant Page responded to the grievance, telling Foster to
submit a medical grievance. Page also stated: “There is
no black mold in this facility. We have had it tested.”
December 19, 2017, Foster completed a Health Services Request
Form, stating that he was experiencing “serious
breathing problems” due to “sleeping on the floor
next to the vents with black mold.” He said his chest
hurt when he tried to take deep breaths, and he was vomiting
and feeling sick to his stomach. Doc. 31, Ex. A-4 at 2
(Medical Requests). It is noted on the form:
“Approved to see Jail MD this week for f/u on hand
xrays.” Id. The form bears a
“received” stamp of December 20, 2017 by
“Medical/Dental Services Admin.” Id.
December 22, 2017, Foster filed a grievance, which read:
There is black mold in the vents along with the showers and
toilets also there is an infestation of bugs and roaches in
Cell 306 and we do not get cleaning supplies daily like we
should. This is a filthy very unsanitary living condition I
am forced to live in along with other inmates. It is
overcrowded. I'm still forced to sleep on the floor by
the vents and showers where the mold is worst. I have been to
the doctor for the vomiting along with breathing problem this
is causing and nothing has been done nor has any treatment
been rendered. Also the fact of the matter is I've
grieved and complained about the situation to several
officers as well as the Sgt. and Lt. and the matter has
gotten worse now we barely get cleaning supplies once a week.
So let it be duly noted I have exhausted my efforts in this
Doc. 31, Ex. A-2 at 2
(Requests/Grievances). Defendant Page responded the
same day, stating: “Thank you for the information
January 16, 2018, Foster was released from the FCDC to the
Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”).
Doc. 31, Ex. A-1 at 2. Thus, he was incarcerated at
the FCDC for 143 days.
During the relevant time period, all inmates were provided:
(a) sleeping mats, whether sleeping on the floor or on a
bunk; and (b) daily access to cleaning supplies, such as
mops, brooms, soap and liquid cleaning agents, which could be
used to clean their cells, the shower, and the common areas.
Doc. 31, Ex. A ¶¶ 5-7 & 9 (Riedmueller
FCDC showers are: (a) cleaned “regularly” by FCDC
staff; (b) cleaned “daily” by inmate
“trustees”; and (c) power-washed weekly. Id.
Â¶Â¶ 7 & ...