United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
CRAIG A. JACKSON Plaintiff,
LEE BROWN, M.D., et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH M. TIMOTHY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Defendants' motions for
summary judgment, with supporting evidentiary materials (ECF
Nos. 32, 38, 57, 66, 70).Plaintiff filed responses in opposition
to the motions, with supporting evidentiary materials (ECF
Nos. 78, 80, 81). Defendant Brown filed an authorized reply
(ECF No. 87).
case was referred to the undersigned for the issuance of all
preliminary orders and any recommendations to the district
court regarding dispositive matters. See N.D. Fla.
Loc. R. 72.2(C); see also 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Upon consideration of the
parties' submissions and the relevant law, the
undersigned concludes that Defendants' motions should be
Craig A. Jackson (“Jackson”), an inmate of the
Florida Department of Corrections (“FDOC”)
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, commenced this case
on October 31, 2017, by filing a civil rights complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 (ECF No. 1). Presently before the court
is Jackson's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 7). Jackson names
eight Defendants: (1) Julie L. Jones, former Secretary of the
FDOC, (2) Jimmy Coker, former warden of Santa Rosa
Correctional Institution, (3) Centurion of Florida, LLC
(“Centurion”), a private medical services
provider under contract with the FDOC to provide medical
services to FDOC inmates, (4) Dr. Lee Brown, former medical
director of Santa Rosa C.I. employed by Corizon Health, a
different FDOC medical contractor, (5) Dr. Denis Vilchez,
former member of the medical staff at Santa Rosa C.I., (6)
Dr. W.D. Rummel, former Chief Health Officer at Santa Rosa
C.I. employed by Centurion, (7) Nurse S. Simpson, a nurse at
Santa Rosa C.I. employed by Centurion, and (8) Nurse S.
Melvin, a nurse at Santa Rosa C.I. employed by Centurion
(see Id. at 1, 3-5). Jackson claims that Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment rights by exhibiting deliberate
indifference to his need for treatment of pain in his left
shoulder, left arm, and the left side of his neck
(id. at 6-12). Jackson also brings state law claims
of medical negligence/malpractice (id.). Jackson
alleges he suffered pain as a result of Defendants'
conduct (id. at 6). As relief, he seeks compensatory
damages in the amount of $200, 000 from each Defendant
(id. at 12-13). Jackson also seeks injunctive
relief, specifically, an order (1) requiring Defendants to
provide an MRI and examination by a neurologist, (2) demoting
each Defendant's job position and wages, and (3)
requiring Defendants to receive educational training in
effective communication skills and “behavior
Defendants were served with process, with the exception of
Defendant Vilchez. The court made extensive efforts to serve
Defendant Vilchez, even enlisting the assistance of the FDOC
(see ECF Nos. 16, 23, 28, 29, 74). Those efforts
have been unsuccessful.
March 21, 2019, the district court dismissed Jackson's
federal claims against Defendants Jones and Coker (ECF No.
86). The only claims remaining against these Defendants are
Jackson's state law negligence claims.
Nurse Melvin contends Jackson's Eighth Amendment claim is
subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 32). Nurse Melvin also asserts
qualified immunity and Eleventh Amendment immunity with
respect to Jackson's claim for monetary damages
(id.). Nurse Melvin further contends 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(e) bars any claims for compensatory and punitive
motions to dismiss filed by Defendants Nurse Simpson and Dr.
Rummel argue the same grounds for dismissal as Nurse Melvin,
but they additionally contend Jackson failed to satisfy the
exhaustion requirement with respect to his federal claims
(ECF Nos. 57, 70).
Centurion seeks dismissal of Jackson's federal claims on
grounds of failure to exhaust and failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted (ECF No. 38). Centurion
contends Jackson's state law negligence claims are
subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim and failure
to meet statutory conditions precedent (id.).
Brown asserts the same grounds for dismissal as Centurion
(ECF No. 66). However, Dr. Brown submitted evidentiary
materials in the form of Jackson's administrative
grievances and medical records, which Dr. Brown contends
demonstrate no deliberate indifference (id.).
contends he exhausted his administrative remedies with
respect to his § 1983 claims, and substantially complied
with the statutory requirements for his state negligence
claim (ECF Nos. 78, 80, 81). He further contends his Amended
Complaint and supporting evidentiary materials are sufficient
to overcome Defendants' dispositive motions
(id.). Jackson submitted copies of administrative
grievances and medical records in support of his arguments
(see ECF No. 81, Exhibits).
converting the motions to dismiss to motions for summary
judgment, the court provided the parties an additional
opportunity to submit supporting evidentiary materials
(see ECF Nos. 82, 88, 90, 104). As of the date of
this Report and Recommendation, none of the parties have
submitted additional evidentiary materials.
Summary Judgment Standard
prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party
must show that the nonmoving party has no evidence to support
his or her case or present affirmative evidence that the
nonmoving party will be unable to prove his or her case at
trial. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). If the moving
party successfully negates an essential element of the
nonmoving party's case, the burden shifts to the
nonmoving party to come forward with evidentiary material
demonstrating a genuine issue of fact for trial. Id.
The “mere existence of some alleged factual dispute
between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly
supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is
that there be no genuine issue of material fact.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A dispute is
“genuine” if the “evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Id., 477 U.S. at 248. A fact is
“material” if it “might affect the outcome
of the suit under the governing law.” Id. The
nonmoving party must show more than the existence of a
“metaphysical doubt” regarding the material
facts. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538
(1986). Speculation or conjecture from a party cannot create
a genuine issue of material fact. See Cordoba v.
Dillard's, Inc., 419 F.3d 1169, 1181 (11th Cir.
2005). “A mere scintilla of evidence in support of the
nonmoving party will not suffice to overcome a motion for
summary judgment.” Young v. City of Palm Bay,
Fla., 358 F.3d 859, 860 (11th Cir. 2004); see also
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324. The nonmoving party must
either point to evidence in the record or present additional
evidence sufficient to withstand a directed verdict motion at
trial based on the alleged evidentiary deficiency. See
Celotex Corp., supra; Owen v. Wille,
117 F.3d 1235, 1236 (11th Cir. 1997) (Rule 56 requires the
nonmoving party to go beyond the pleadings and by his or her
own affidavits, or by the depositions, documents, affidavits
or declarations, admissions, interrogatory answers or other
materials on file designate specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial); Hammer v. Slater, 20
F.3d 1137 (11th Cir. 1994).
the factual positions asserted by the parties, the court must
apply the standard set forth in Rule 56(c) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides in relevant part:
(1) Supporting Factual Positions. A party
asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must
support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials
in the record, including depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes
of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or
other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or
that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact.
. . . .
(4) Affidavits or Declarations. An affidavit
or declaration used to support or oppose a motion must be
made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be
admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or
declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c) (2010).
asserted in hearsay statements which are not subject to a
hearsay exception, and thus would not be admissible in
evidence, are insufficient to show that a fact is genuinely
disputed. “The most obvious way that hearsay testimony
can be reduced to admissible form is to have the hearsay
declarant testify directly to the matter at trial.”
Jones v. UPS Ground Freight, 683 F.3d 1283, 1294
(11th Cir. 2012) (citing Pritchard v. S. Co. Servs.,
92 F.3d 1130, 1135 (11th Cir. 1996)). If a fact cannot be
presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence, it
cannot be used for purposes of summary judgment. See
Macuba v. Deboer, 193 F.3d 1316, 1322 (11th Cir. 1999);
party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails
to properly address another party's assertion of fact as
required by Rule 56(c), the court will consider the fact
undisputed for purposes of the motion for summary judgment or
grant summary judgment if the moving party's motion and
supporting materials- including the facts considered
undisputed-show that the moving party is entitled to it.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2, 3).
presented by the nonmoving party in opposition to the motion
for summary judgment, and all reasonable factual inferences
arising from it, must be viewed in the light most favorable
to him or her. See Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co.,
398 U.S. 144, 157, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970);
Jones v. Cannon, 174 F.3d 1271, 1282 (11th Cir.
1999). Nonetheless, the nonmoving party still bears the
burden of coming forward with sufficient evidence of every
element that he or she must prove. See Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 317. A motion for summary judgment
should be granted if “the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322.
case comes before the court on Defendants' motions for
summary judgment, the court is required to view the facts in
the light most favorable to Jackson, the nonmoving party.
See Hairston v. Gainesville Sun Publ'g Co., 9
F.3d 913, 918 (11th Cir. 1993); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d
868 (2009). The court does so here, referring to
Jackson's verified Amended Complaint, and taking those
facts from the parties' pleadings and summary judgment
materials of record. See Perry v. Thompson, 786 F.2d
1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1986) (holding that specific facts pled
in a sworn complaint must be considered in opposition to
summary judgment); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); N.D. Fla. Loc. R.
56.1(B), (C), (F). Matters stated below as
“facts” for purposes of summary judgment may not
be the actual facts. See Montoute v. Carr, 114 F.3d
181, 182 (11th Cir. 1997).
Jackson's arrival at Santa Rosa C.I. in April of 2015, he
received a baseline evaluation by a doctor for neurology,
cardiovascular, and endocrine conditions (this doctor is not
a named Defendant) (Jackson's medical records, ECF No.
65-1 at 11-13, 35-44). Jackson reported being treated for
seizures, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol
(id.). Jackson also reported he received
“brain surgery” and pelvic surgery following a
car accident in 1997 (id.). Jackson's initial
physical examination revealed limitation of flexion and
extension of Jackson's right elbow and a surgical scar on
his right elbow (id. at 37). Jackson was diagnosed
with hypertension (high blood pressure), Type 2 diabetes,
hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), and seizures
14, 2015, Jackson submitted a sick call request regarding the
following: (1) “need extra mattress pad, ” (2)
sinus medication, (3) pain medication due to degenerative
arthritis, and (4) dandruff shampoo (dry and flaky scalp and
skin) (Jackson's medical records, ECF No. 65-1 at 105).
The next day, on May 15, 2015, Jackson was seen by a nurse
(who is not a named Defendant) (id. at 103-04, 106).
Jackson complained of back pain on the left and right sides
of his lumbar and sacral regions, which sometimes radiated to
his legs (id.). Jackson reported his pain level as
4-5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most severe level of
pain) (id.). Jackson did not report pain in his
neck, left arm, or left shoulder (see id.). Jackson
reported that Naproxen decreased or relieved the pain in his
back (id.). The same day, the nurse referred
Jackson's chart to Dr. ...