United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WILLIAM D. HAMBY, JR., Plaintiff,
MOLLY O'TOOLE, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM and ORDER
A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
magistrate judge issued a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) (Doc. No. 105) on May 14, 2018,
recommending that the defendant's Motion to Add Suit to
Class Certification (Doc. No. 104) be granted and that
“the instant action be dismissed insofar as Mr. Hamby
has requested that his claims be included in” the class
defined by Chief Judge Crenshaw in Charles Graham v.
Russell L. Davis, 3:16-cv-1954 (M.D. Tenn.) (the
“Graham class action”).
before the court is defendant Molly O'Toole's Rule 72
Objection (Doc. No. 108) to the R&R, arguing that the
magistrate judge erred in granting the motion and dismissing
this case to be included in the related class action, instead
of ruling on the merits of the defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment, which was filed one day after the R&R
was entered and well within the dispositive motion deadline
established by the Scheduling Order (Doc. No. 84) entered in
this case. Defendant O'Toole argues that she would be
prejudiced by having to defend this matter in a class action
when the same should be disposed of on the merits through a
Motion for Summary Judgment.
reasons set forth herein, the court finds the defendant's
Objection to have merit. The court will therefore reject the
R&R and direct the plaintiff to respond to the Motion for
Factual and Procedural Background
case has a lengthy and tortuous history. Hamby filed his pro
se Complaint in the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware in May 2016. (Doc. No. 1.) At the time,
Hamby was incarcerated at the West Tennessee State
Penitentiary (“WTSP”) in Henning, Tennessee, and
his claims arose from allegations of deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs while he was incarcerated at
WTSP and at the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility
(“DSNF”), located in Nashville, in 2015 and 2016.
On May 23, 2016, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews
transferred the case to the United States District Court for
the Western District of Tennessee. (Doc. No. 4.) In July
2016, that court granted the plaintiff leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and assessed the filing fee, but did not
conduct a review of the Complaint or direct service of
process on any of the defendants.
filed numerous letters and motions over the course of the
next year. Finally, in March 2017, Judge James D. Todd of the
Western District of Tennessee entered an Order addressing
many of the pending motions, severing the claims against
O'Toole “and any possible claims against Defendant
Corizon” arising from Hamby's treatment as DSNF in
2015, and transferring those claims to this court. (Doc. No.
61, at 7.) Following transfer, this court referred the matter
to the magistrate judge, who directed service of process. To
facilitate service, the plaintiff was directed to return to
the Clerk's Office a summons and USM-285 form for
“each Defendant named in this action.” (Doc. No.
79, at 1.) He returned forms only for Molly O'Toole, as a
result of which the court concludes that Molly O'Toole is
the only defendant against whom the plaintiff proceeds in
this action. O'Toole was served and filed an Answer to
the Complaint in November 2017. (Doc. No. 82.) The magistrate
judge entered a scheduling order on December 6, 2017, setting
deadlines for conducting discovery and filing dispositive
motions (Doc. No. 84), and this court entered an order
setting trial for December 11, 2018 (Doc. No. 85).
December 2017 and May 2018, the plaintiff filed fifteen
motions, the last of which, his Motion to Add Suit to Class
Certification (Doc. No. 104) was filed on May 9,
2018.The R&R recommending that the motion be
granted and that the case be dismissed was entered on May 14,
2018, prior to the expiration of the defendant's deadline
for responding to the motion. L.R. 7.01(b).
Standard of Review
magistrate judge issues a report and recommendation regarding
a dispositive pretrial matter, the district court must review
de novo any portion of the report and recommendation to which
a specific objection is made. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(c); United States v. Curtis, 237
F.3d 598, 603 (6th Cir. 2001); Massey v. City of
Ferndale, 7 F.3d 506, 510 (6th Cir. 1993).
basis for the defendant's Objection seems to be that she
is entitled to resolution of the plaintiff's claims on
the merits and that she should not be required to litigate
the claims in the context of the Graham class
action. She seeks dismissal with prejudice through the filing
of her Motion for Summary Judgment.
appears to the court that the plaintiff and the defendant
both misapprehend the import of Judge Crenshaw's order
certifying a class in Graham. The Class Action
Complaint in that case seeks only prospective injunctive and
declaratory relief requiring the defendant in that case to
adequately treat inmates with Hepatitis C and class
certification under Rule 24(b)(1) and (b)(2) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Chief Judge Crenshaw granted the
motion for class certification and defined the class as:
All persons currently incarcerated in any facility under the
supervision or control of the Tennessee Department of
Corrections or persons incarcerated in a public or privately
owned facility for whom the Tennessee Department of
Corrections has ultimate responsibility for their medical
care and who have at least 90 days or more remaining to serve
on their sentences and are either currently diagnosed with
Hepatitis C infection or are ...