United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kinnie, proceeding pro se, is an inmate at the Metro
Davidson County Detention Facility (MDCDF) in Nashville. He
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Officer Lamb (f/n/u), a guard at MDCDF; and Blair Leibach,
its former Warden; seeking damages.
early morning of October 6, 2015, the Plaintiff lost
consciousness and fell to the floor (Doc. No. 1 at 3).
According to the Complaint, Officer Lamb “came and
looked at me” and then “went to the official
Panel and picked up the phone and called the nurse's
station.” (Id.). “ nurse arrived
approximately thirty minutes later and 'called in a
medical emergency code”. (Id. at 4, 7).
the Plaintiff was then taken to the infirmary for medical
Plaintiff alleges that Officer Lamb did not follow proper
procedures when he found the Plaintiff lying on the floor
unconscious. He claims that Officer Lamb is liable 'for
not doing his job by calling an [sic] correct
code.” (Id. at 5). The Plaintiff further
alleges that Warden Leibach is liable 'for not addressing
the grievance form I sent to him.” (Id.).
establish a claim for “ 1983 relief, the Plaintiff must
plead and prove that the defendants, while acting under color
of state law, deprived him of a right guaranteed by the
Constitution or laws of the United States. Parratt v.
Taylor, 101 S.Ct. 1908 (1981).
Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991). Under the
holding of Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976), “deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs of prisoners constitutes the “unnecessary and
wanton infliction of pain' .... proscribed by the Eighth
Lamb's alleged failure to properly perform his duty
resulted in, at its worst, a delay in medical care of only a
few minutes. By Plaintiff's own admission, Officer Lamb
did attempt to get him medical care when he found the
Plaintiff unconscious. It does not appear, therefore, that
Officer Lamb was deliberately indifferent to the
Plaintiff's need for medical care. At best, then, the
Plaintiff's allegations amount to nothing more than a
claim of negligent conduct on Officer Lamb's part.
conduct, however, is not actionable under “ 1983
because it does not rise to the level of a constitutional
deprivation. Estelle v. Gamble, supra. This
is true with respect to negligence claims arising under both
the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Whitley v.
Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 319 (1986)(Eighth
Amendment)(“It is obduracy and wantonness, not
inadvertence or error in good faith, that characterize the
conduct prohibited by the Cruel and Unusual Punishments
Clause”); Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327,
333 (1986)(Fourteenth Amendment). Thus, the plaintiff has
failed to allege an actionable constitutional claim against
Plaintiff has also named former Warden Blair Leibach as a
defendant. His sin was to deny the Plaintiffs grievance
seeking redress for Officer Lamb's alleged misconduct.
liability under § 1983 cannot be based
upon a mere failure to act. Active unconstitutional behavior
is needed. Combs v. Wilkinson, 315 F.3d 548, 558
(6th Cir. 2002). Likewise, §
1983 relief will not be granted against prison officials
whose only involvement was the denial of administrative
remedies. Summers v. Leis, 368 F.3d 881, 888
(6th Cir. 2004); see also Shehee v.
Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 300 (6th Cir. 1999).
Liability cannot be based upon Asimple awareness of
employees' misconduct." Leary v. Daeschner,
349 F.3d 888, 903 (6th Cir. 2003).
to the Complaint, Warden Leibach did nothing more than deny
the Plaintiffs grievance (Doc. No. 1 at 5). This action,
standing alone, does not rise to the level of a
constitutional violation. As a consequence, the Plaintiff has
failed to state an actionable claim against Warden Leibach as
absence of a constitutional violation, the Plaintiff is
unable to prove every element of his cause of action.
Therefore, the Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon
which § 1983 relief can be granted.
Under such circumstances, the Court is obliged ...