United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Northeastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. SHARP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 2, 2016, Defendants Erin Bullard and Melissa Ealey,
LPN, filed separate Motions for Summary Judgment (Docket Nos.
57 & 64), to which no responses have been filed. In fact,
with the response deadline looming, Plaintiff's counsel
requested a fifteen day extension because he had lost contact
with his client, who apparently had been in “multiple
correctional facilities in Middle and West
Tennessee[.]” (Docket No. 68 at 1). That request for an
extension was granted, but still no response was filed. On
April 6, 2017, now more than six months after the deadline
for responses, the Court held a status conference, during
which Plaintiff's counsel stated that he had searched
“various jails, ” but could not find his client
and he therefore had no basis to respond to the Motions for
Defendants' Motions are unopposed, the Sixth Circuit has
stated that “a district court may not use a party's
failure to respond (in whole or in part) as a reason for
granting summary judgment ‘without first examining all
the materials properly before it under Rule
56(c).'” Briggs v. Univ. of Detroit-Mercy,
611 F. App'x 865, 870 (6th Cir. 2015)
(quoting, FTC v. E.M.A. Nationwide, Inc., 767 F.3d
611, 630 (6th Cir. 2014)). Having conducted a
review of the matters properly before the Court, it is clear
that both Defendants are entitled to summary judgment.
Court's Local Rules require that a party moving for
summary judgment provide a statement of material facts, and
that the opponent provide a response thereto. L.R. 56.01(b).
The rule goes on to provide that a “[f]ailure to
respond to a moving party's statement of material facts .
. . within the time period provided by these Rules shall
indicate that the asserted facts are not disputed for
purposes of summary judgment.” L.R. 56.01(g).
brings his claims under the Eighth Amendment, alleging that
he was not provided adequate treatment (or received no
treatment) after he injured his hand while housed at the
Overton County Jail. However, his contentions are belied by
what is properly before the Court in the form of evidence.
have submitted a Declaration from Defendant Bullard, the Jail
Administrator, as well as incident reports and progress notes
from both the jail nurse and a treating physician. They
reveal the following:
August 24, 2015, Plaintiff was involved in a fight with
another inmate. He was seen that same day by the jail nurse
for pain in his right hand, who provided him with ice and
Ibuprofen. The following day, he was again seen by the nurse,
who placed him in the booking area for observation and
examined him again the next day.
August 27, 2015, Plaintiff had a court appearance and
complained to the judge that he was not being provided
adequate medical treatment. The judge heard from the nurse
who explained that no x-ray had been taken because
Plaintiff's hand was swollen, and the results could
therefore be inaccurate. Nevertheless, the judge directed
that an x-ray be taken. An x-ray that same day revealed that
Plaintiff had a fracture in his hand. Plaintiff was then
placed on the doctor's list of inmates to be seen.
September 5, 2015, a Nurse Practitioner went to the jail and
examined Plaintiff. She ordered that Plaintiff be provided
Ibuprofen and that arrangements be made for an appointment
with an orthopedic surgeon. Defendant Ealey called for an
appointment that same day and was given the first available
date, which was September 9, 2015.
interim, on September 8, 2015, the jail learned that
Plaintiff was hoarding his Ibuprofen, which prompted the
Nurse Practitioner to stop administering it. The next day,
Plaintiff was taken by his jailers to see an orthopedic
surgeon who apparently directed Plaintiff to return for a
follow-up visit. That visit was scheduled for September 23,
2015, during which the physician ordered Plaintiff to return
in one month.
October 22, 2015, Plaintiff was involved in a second fight
and punched an inmate with the same injured fist. He did not,
however, seek medical treatment at that time.
October 30, 2015, Plaintiff refused to return to the
orthopedic surgeon for his follow- up visit. Instead, he
requested that he be returned to general population within
November 16, 2015, Plaintiff was moved to general population
as requested, but refused to be seen by the nurse
practitioner. At the time, Plaintiff stated that his hand was
Eighth Amendment violation occurs when “[o]fficials are
deliberately indifferent to [a] prisoner's serious
medical needs, ” Comstock v. McCrary, 273 F.3d
693, 701 (6th Cir. 2001), and a claim under that
Amendment has both an objective and subjective component.
Harrison v. Ash, 539 F.3d 510, 518 (6th
Cir. 2008) (citing Farmer, 511 U.S. at 833). Based
upon the only ...