United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
Honorable Aleta A. Trauger, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Order entered July 26, 2017 (Docket Entry No. 5), this action
was referred to the Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings
under 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), Rule 72(b)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules
pending are separate motions for summary judgment filed by
Defendants Montgomery County, Tennessee (Docket Entry No. 33)
and Correct Care Solutions, LLC (Docket Entry No. 37).
Plaintiff has not responded to the motions. For the reasons
set out below, the undersigned respectfully recommends that
the motions be granted and this action be dismissed.
Taylor Doker (“Plaintiff”) is a former inmate who
was confined at the Montgomery County Jail
(“Jail”) in Clarksville, Tennessee during 2017.
He is no longer incarcerated and appears to currently reside
in Williamston, South Carolina.
following background information is summarized from
Plaintiff's pleadings and the undisputed evidence in the
record. On December 4, 2016, Plaintiff was
seriously injured in a car accident, suffering a broken
pelvis, a broken leg, broken ribs, as well as other injuries.
The treatment of his injuries required that he stay in either
a hospital or a rehabilitation center for several weeks after
the accident, but he was eventually cleared to be released
and, on January 4, 2017, he entered the Jail on charges
related to the accident. Plaintiff arrived at the Jail in a
wheelchair with restrictions on his ability to ambulate and
was placed in a medical isolation cell in the medical unit.
He remained there until March 4, 2017, when he was moved to a
general population housing unit after the order for a
wheelchair was discontinued and he was no longer restricted
to the medical unit.With the exception of a period of less than
a week when he returned to the medical unit in May 2017,
Plaintiff remained in the general population the remainder of
his time at the Jail. Although it is unclear exactly when
Plaintiff was released from the Jail, he appears to have been
released in late November or in December of 2017. While at
the Jail, Plaintiff received various forms of medical
treatment for his injuries from the medical staff at the Jail
and from outside medical providers, including multiple
medications, x-rays, sick call examinations at the Jail, and
consultations and appointments with outside medical providers
The frequency of Plaintiff's treatment ranged from being
seen quite often during his first few months at the Jail to
being seen less frequently as his injuries healed.
15, 2017, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit pro se and
in forma pauperis based on allegations that he was
subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement at
the Jail. By Memorandum and Order entered July 26, 2017
(Docket Entry Nos. 4 and 5), the Court found that Plaintiff
alleged an arguable claim against Montgomery County,
Tennessee (“Montgomery County”) for violations of
the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42
U.S.C. § 12131, et seq., based on allegations
that he was housed in a cell that was not handicapped
accessible and did not have handrails. Although other claims
were dismissed upon the initial review, Plaintiff
subsequently filed an amended complaint stating arguable
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his
constitutional rights against Montgomery County and Correct
Care Solutions, LLC (“CCS”), a private entity
that provides medical care to inmates at the Jail.
See Docket Entry Nos. 7 and 17.
Plaintiff alleges a claim that he was denied constitutionally
adequate medical care at the Jail because: (1) during his
first three months at the Jail, he was held in a restricted
medical cell that was not equipped with handicap bars and
that kept him in isolation for 23 hours a day; (2) he fell
and injured himself on one occasion while transferring from
his wheelchair to the toilet in the medical cell; and, (3) he
was denied physical therapy and had a limited ability to
exercise while kept in the medical cell, which he contends
caused him to develop a limp. See Amended Complaint.
Plaintiff also alleges that the medical unit cell into which
he was placed on May 25, 2017, had feces and urine in it and
he contends that he developed Hepatitis C because of the
uncleanliness of his cell. Id.
filed answers, see Docket Entry Nos. 12, 23, and 26,
and the Court entered a scheduling order providing for a
period of pre-trial activity, including a period for
discovery. See Docket Entry No. 14. Other than the
two motions for summary judgment, there are no other motions
pending in the lawsuit.
MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
CCS acknowledges that Plaintiff suffered from serious medical
conditions while at the Jail. However, CCS argues the
undisputed evidence shows that he was provided with
appropriate medical care and that there is no evidence
showing that any CCS staff member treated him with deliberate
indifference. See Memorandum in Support (Docket
Entry No. 38) at 11-12. Defendant CCS further argues that,
even if an individual staff member failed to treat Plaintiff
appropriately, CCS cannot be held liable under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 based upon the theory of respondeat
superior because of the actions of its employees and
that there is no evidence supporting a claim that any CCS
policy, custom, or procedure led to a violation of
Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Id. at 12-15.
To the contrary, CCS argues that its policies mandate that
CCS staff receive appropriate training and supervision and
that prisoners under its care receive appropriate medical
care and treatment. Id. at 16-18. Defendant CCS
supports its motion with: (1) a Statement of Undisputed
Material Facts (Docket Entry No. 39); (2) the affidavit of
Jessica Ison (“Ison Affidavit”), who is the CCS
Health Services Administrator in Montgomery County (Docket
Entry No. 37-1); and, (3) copies of Plaintiff's medical
records and CCS policies (Docket Entry Nos. 37-2 to 37-34).
Montgomery County likewise acknowledges Plaintiff's
serious medical needs while he was at the Jail but argues
that the undisputed facts fail to support either a claim that
it violated the ADA or a claim that it violated
Plaintiff's constitutional rights. See
Memorandum in Support (Docket Entry No. 34) at 7-14.
Montgomery County further contends that Plaintiff failed to
exhaust the administrative remedies available to him at the
Jail prior to bringing his lawsuit, id. at 6 and 15,
and that Plaintiff has not offered any evidence of a policy,
practice, or custom of Montgomery County that can be linked
to the alleged constitutional violations. Id. at
11-12 and 14. Defendant Montgomery County supports its motion
with: (1) a Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (Docket
Entry No. 35); and, (2) the affidavit of Douglas Tackett
(“Tackett Affidavit”), the Assistant Chief Deputy
of the Detention Division of the Montgomery County
Sheriff's Office (Docket Entry No. 36). Defendant
Montgomery County also relies upon the Ison Affidavit.
was notified of the motions for summary judgment filed by
Defendants, warned that his lawsuit could be dismissed if he
failed to respond, and given a deadline of April 27, 2018, to
file a response. See Order entered March 12, 2018
(Docket Entry No. 40). However, Plaintiff has not responded
in any manner to the motions. The docket ...