United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
Jerry Wayland Forrester ("Forrester") has filed
this pro se § 1983 action alleging that, while
he was incarcerated at the Faulkner County Detention Center
("FCDC"): (1) Defendants Sergeant Rusty Page
("Sgt. Page"), Officer Andrew Humphrey
("Officer Humphrey"), Dr. Garry Stewart ("Dr.
Stewart"), and Nurse Monte Munyan ("Nurse
Munyan") failed to provide him with constitutionally
adequate medical care for back injuries he sustained, on
October 11, 2017, when he fell while getting out of a
transport van; and (2) Dr. Stewart denied him medical care in
retaliation for Forrester previously filing a lawsuit against
him. Docs. 2 & 6. Forrester named all Defendants in
their individual and official capacities, but his
only requested relief is monetary damages.
have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment arguing they are
entitled to judgment, as a matter of law, on all of
Forrester's claims. In support of their Motion, they rely
on a Memorandum of Law and a Statement of Indisputable
Material Facts. Docs. 36, 37 & 38. Although
notified of his right to file a Response, Forrester has not
done so. See Doc. 39. Thus, all issues are fully
joined and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is
ready for disposition.
addressing the merits of Defendants' arguments, the Court
will summarize the relevant facts, all of which are
July 29, 2017, Forrester was booked into the FCDC. Doc.
38, Ex. A-l at 38 (Arrest/Booking).
August 7, 2017, he informed FCDC medical personnel that, in
November 2016, he underwent back surgery, during which rods
and screws were affixed to his spine. The FCDC obtained
Forrester's prior medical and pharmacy records and placed
them in his medical file. Id., Ex. A-3 at 13-64,
67-124 & 129-38 (Medical File). Those medical records
confirmed that Forrester had undergone back surgery.
August 2017 through early October 2017, Dr. Stewart, the
physician for FCDC, prescribed various pain and
anti-inflammatory medications to address Forrester's
complaints of chronic lower back pain. Those medications
included ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, meloxicam, tylenol,
and prednisone. Id., Ex. A-3 at 65-66, 139-40,
144-54, 198-218, & Ex. B % 2 (Stewart Aff).
October 11, 2017, Forrester was transported in a van from
FCDC Unit 2 to FCDC Unit 1. As he exited the van, he fell and
injured his lower back. Doc. 2 at 4.
October 12, 2017, at 10:49 a.m., Forrester submitted an
Inmate Medical Request, stating: "I need to see doctor
A.S.A.P. I fell out of your van last night and I hurt myself
bad. I need an MRI so you people need to help me. Thank
you." Doc. 38, Ex. A-4 at 59 (Inmate Medical Requests).
Later on October 12, Forrester submitted another Inmate
Medical Request and two FCDC grievances, all asserting that
he had hurt his back, was losing feeling in his leg, and
needed to go to the hospital. Id., Ex. A-4 at 58,
& Ex. A-2 at 40-41 (FCDC Grievances).
October 12, at 4:33 p.m., Nurse Munyan submitted the
following written response to Forrester's Inmate Medical
Requests: "You were observed and did not appear to be in
distress. You were able to get up off the floor, walk around,
move your mat and lay back down again without grimacing. You
will be seen during sick call tomorrow." Id.,
Ex. A-4 at 58-59.
on October 12, Dr. Stewart reviewed Forrester's chart and
wrote: "May take OTC NSAIDS [nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs]. No evidence of fall and no evidence
of neurological changes. Continue conservative care for
possible low grade contusion. Encourage low impact stretching
exercises." Id., Ex. A-3 at 155-56.
October 12 at 5:28 p.m. and 5:48 p.m., Sgt. Page responded in
writing to Forrester's two grievances. His responses
stated that "the Dr. [was] coming to see [Forrester]
tomorrow, " and that he needed to submit any medical
complaints in an Inmate Medical Request. Id., Ex.
A-2 at 40-41.
October 13, 2017, Forrester was seen in the FCDC medical
clinic by unidentified medical staff. According to the chart
notes, the following interaction took place between Forrester
and the medical provider:
Jerry Forrester, 203, Back pain: States his last surgery was
Nov 2016 where rods were placed, he has 9 more months of time
here at FCSO, he fell out of the van two days ago hurting his
left knee and exacerbating pain in his lower back and
initiating numbness of right leg which is getting worse every
day. BIL cap refill and temperature are bilaterally equal of
BLE, no discoloration of lower right extremity, his knee has
no sign of trauma and he stated the swelling had gone down
and feels better. He verbally states understanding that there
is nothing wrong with his leg and that it is most likely
related to nerve issues in his back. He is requesting an
MRI to make sure nothing is seriously wrong with his
back. Ibuprofen 800 mg BID causes him stomach pain and
has requested it be stopped, done, he is on meloxicam 15 mg
q24 and naproxen 500 bid and diclofenac 75 bid. When observed
from tower he does not grimace or limp, lowers himself to mat
on floor and gets up off of floor without prolonged action or
grimace but limps into clinic making pain faces. He was at
Unit One yesterday when [Dr. Stewart] reviewed his chart at
Unit Two and stated no change in POC [point of care].
Id., Ex. A-3 at 157-59.
October 16, 2017, Forrester submitted an Inmate Medical
Request stating he needed to see the doctor. Id., Ex.
A-4 at 57-58.
October 19, 2017, Dr. Stewart evaluated Forrester for back
pain. He noted Forrester's prior back surgery and his
complaint that the current point of care had provided no
improvement in his chronic back pain. Dr. Stewart also noted
that the nurse had "watch[ed] Mr. Forrester on the
monitor last week without evidence of pain or restriction of
ADL [activities of daily living]." Based on his physical
examination of Forrester, Dr. Stewart told him to continue
taking the prescribed naproxen for his lower back
pain. Id., Ex. A-3 at 160.
Shortly after seeing Dr. Stewart on October 19, Forrester
filed an Inmate Medical Request and a FCDC grievance, both
stating that Dr. Stewart was "denying [him] medical
treatment" by not sending him to the hospital or
ordering an MRI. Id., Ex. A-4 at 57, & Ex. A-2
at 35. Nurse Munyan provided the following response to the
Inmate Medical Request: "This nurse cannot answer for
the doctor and the decisions he makes. What he is saying is
that you can't put someone with metal rods into a
MRI." Id., Ex. A-4 at 57. Sgt. Page responded
to Forrester's grievance by advising him to submit a
medical request. Id., Ex. A-2 at 35.
October 20, 2017, Forrester filed two Inmate Medical
Requests, asking if would be going to the hospital soon. On
October 21, 2017, he filed an Inmate Medical Request stating
his "left leg is getting worse everyday" and he
needed to "get... to hospital." Nurse Munyan
responded that Dr. Stewart must order "a trip to the
hospital and he has not done so." Id., Ex. A-4
October 23, 2017, Forrester appeared in Faulkner County
Circuit Court and pleaded guilty to the criminal charges
against him. He was sentenced to sixty months in the Arkansas
Department of Correction ("ADC"). See State v.
Forrester, Faulkner Co. Cir. Ct. Case No. CR 2016-608
(Oct. 23, 2017 Sentencing Order).
Later on October 23, 2017, Forrester submitted four Inmate
Medical Requests, stating that, because he was "ADC
bound, " he needed to get to the hospital for an MRI
"A.S.A.P." Doc. 38, Ex. A-4 at 52-55. In the last
request, he stated:
Listen you know and the doctor knows that I've got two
rods in my lower back and you both keep putting off getting
the proper medical treatment that I need. I fell in the
bathroom over at unit 2 and then I fell getting out of the van
over here at unit 1. Are you going to keep denying me medical
treatment that you both know that I should be getting. If you
keep denying you're going to be in my 1983 lawsuit. The
doctor got served you will be next.
Id., Ex. A-4 at 52. On the morning of October 24,
Nurse Munyan responded to Forrester's requests, informing
him that, because he had been sentenced to the ADC, the FCDC
medical staff was now required to obtain approval from the
ADC before providing him with any of the requested medical
care. Nurse Munyan instructed him to submit his medical
complaints on an ADC Health Service Request Form
("HSRF"), which would then be faxed to the ADC for
action. Id., Ex. A-4 at 52-55.
October 24, 2017, Forrester filed five Inmate Medical
Requests. Nurse Munyan again responded that all medical
treatment needed to be approved by the ADC and instructed him
to complete an ADC HSRF. Id., Ex. A-4 at 49-51.
October 26, 2017, FCDC medical staff faxed a HSRF to the ADC,
requesting approval for Forrester's medications.
Id., Ex. A-4 at 42-43.
October 25, 2017, Forrester completed an ADC HSRF, stating:
I have 2 rods in my lower back and I fell out of the
transport van and my left leg is going numb. Every day it
gets worse. I need an MRI to see what is done when I fell.