United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
A. Trauger, United States District Judge.
Seagraves is an inmate at the Metro Davidson County Detention
Facility in Nashville. He brings this action pro se
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Core Civic, the
defendant, seeking damages.
20, 2017, the plaintiff slipped and fell in a puddle of water
at the Detention Facility. Doc. No. 1 at 5. There were no
caution signs set up to warn inmates of the potential danger.
The plaintiff suffered injuries to his lower back, thigh, hip
and ribs. Id.
to a Report of the incident, a nurse arrived on the scene to
assist the plaintiff. Id. at 8. The plaintiff was
taken to the infirmary in a wheelchair. Id. The
plaintiff was examined by a nurse and given Tylenol for the
pain and some muscle cream. Id. Four days later, he
returned to the infirmary where x-rays were taken.
plaintiff continued to experience a significant amount of
pain from his injuries. In July, he was given a walker to
help him get around. Id. at 9. He saw a doctor and
was given medication for depression. Id. at 10. A
second set of x-rays was taken of the plaintiff's
injuries. Id. The plaintiff was also given a back
brace and more Tylenol for the pain. Id. at 11.
plaintiff claims that he was injured as a result of the
defendant's “contributory negligence”. He
also questions the adequacy of the medical care provided to
order to establish a claim for relief under § 1983, the
plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendant, while
acting under color of state law, deprived him of some right
or privilege secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 101 S.Ct. 1908,
plaintiff suggests that the defendant was negligent for
failing to post caution signs at the site of the puddle.
Negligent conduct, however, is not actionable under §
1983 because it does not rise to the level of a
constitutional deprivation. Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976). 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's claim of negligence is not actionable here.
plaintiff also questions the adequacy of the medical care
provided to him. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and
unusual punishment. See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S.
294 (1991). Under the holding of Estelle v. Gamble,
supra, “deliberate indifference to serious
medical needs of prisoners constitutes the ‘unnecessary
and wanton infliction of pain' .... proscribed by the
Eighth Amendment.” However, not every claim by a
prisoner that he has not received adequate medical care
states a violation of the Eighth Amendment. Id. at
429 U.S. 105. To state a cognizable medical claim, a prisoner
must allege acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to
evidence deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. It
is only such indifference that can offend “evolving
standards of decency” in violation of the Eighth
case, the plaintiff acknowledges that medical personnel at
the Detention Facility have attempted to address his medical
needs. He simply claims that they have not done enough for
him. The plaintiff believes that he should have been seen
more by a doctor, that he should have been provided with
“support shoes”, and that he should have been
taken to a free world facility for an MRI. This suggests a
difference of medical opinion rather than deliberate
indifference. This dispute, then, arises over the adequacy of
the care provided the plaintiff.
prisoner has received some medical attention and his claim is
a challenge to the adequacy of the care provided, federal
courts are generally reluctant to second guess medical
judgments and constitutionalize claims which sound in state
tort law. Hill v. Jones, 211 F.3d 1269
(6th Cir.2000). Medical malpractice does not
become a constitutional tort merely because the victim is a
prisoner. Estelle, supra at 429 U.S.
105-106. Nevertheless, even when some type of care is
provided, the Eighth Amendment may be violated if the care is
“so grossly incompetent, inadequate, or excessive as to
shock the conscience or to be intolerable to fundamental
fairness.” Terrence v. Northville Regional
Psychiatric Hospital, 286 F.3d 834, 844 (6th
Cir. 2002). Medical care is considered grossly inadequate if
a reasonable doctor under the same circumstances would
conclude that his actions were not lawful. Waldrop v.
Evans, 871 F.2d 1030, 1034 (11th Cir. 1989).
The circumstances as described in the complaint do not rise
to that level. Therefore, the plaintiff has failed to
describe conduct resulting in a violation of federal law.
Comstock v. McCrary, 273 F.3d 693, 703
event, the only defendant named by the plaintiff is Core
Civic, the corporate entity responsible for the operation of
the Detention Facility. A claim of corporate liability
requires a showing that the plaintiff was injured as a result
of an official policy or custom of Core Civic.
O'Brien v. Michigan Dept. of Corrections, 592
Fed.Appx. 338, 341 (6th Cir. 2014); see also
Mason v. Doe, 2013 WL 4500107 at 1 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 21,
2013) (collecting cases) (“a private corporation may be
liable under § 1983 when an official policy or custom of
the corporation causes the alleged deprivation of a federal
right”). The plaintiff has made no such showing.
the Court finds that the plaintiff has failed to state a
claim against this defendant upon which relief can be
granted. When a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis has
failed to state a claim for relief, the Court is obliged to