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Harrison v. Joann Ross and Southern Health Partners

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

October 20, 2014

Jimmy Harrison, Plaintiff,
Joann Ross and Southern Health Partners, Defendants.


WALLACE W. DIXON, Magistrate Judge.

This conditions of confinement claim brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983[1] filed by the Plaintiff, Jimmy Harrison, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina for a report and recommendation on the Defendants' motion for summary judgment filed on September 3, 2014. (Dkt. 32). Plaintiff, a pre-trial detainee at the Laurens County Detention Center (LCDC) at all relevant times, alleges violations of his constitutional rights to adequate medical care by the named Defendants, Joann Ross, [2] a nurse at the LCDC, and her employer, Southern Health Partners, which is contracted to provide medical care to detainees at LCDC. The Plaintiff seeks damages.

The case was reassigned to the undersigned on June 5, 2014. The Defendants were served and answered the complaint on June 19, 2014. (Dkt. 22). They filed their motion for summary judgment on September 3, 2014, along with the affidavit of Defendant Ross attesting to the care which was provided to the Plaintiff along with various exhibits totaling over one hundred forty (140) pages including the Plaintiff's intake medical records, Plaintiff's Requests to Staff and responses thereto, orders for prescribed medications for the Plaintiff, and the Plaintiff's medical records.

On September 4, 2014, the Plaintiff was provided a copy of the Defendants' motion and was given an explanation of dismissal and summary judgment procedure, as well as pertinent extracts from Rules 12 and 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure similar to that required by Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975). On October 6, 2014, the Plaintiff filed his opposition to the summary judgment motion in the form of his affidavit and several exhibits. Hence, it appears consideration of the motion is appropriate.


Pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 56(c), a district court must enter judgment against a party who, "after adequate time for discovery... fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552 (1986). Where "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and... the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, " entry of summary judgment is mandated. FED.R.CIV.P. 56(c).

To avoid summary judgment on the Defendants' motion, the Plaintiff must produce evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact. "The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2512 (1986). Though the burden of proof rests initially with the moving party, when a motion for summary judgment is made and supported as provided in Rule 56, the nonmoving party must produce "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial, " rather than resting upon the bald assertions of his pleadings. FED.R.CIV.P. 56(e). See First National Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 289 (1968).

In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact is in dispute, "[t]he evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson at 255, 106 S.Ct. at 2513-14. In addition, genuineness means that the evidence must create fair doubt; wholly speculative assertions will not suffice. A trial is not an entitlement; it exists to resolve what reasonable minds would recognize as real factual disputes. See Cole v. Cole, 633 F.2d 1083, 1089 (4th Cir. 1980).


Specifically, the Plaintiff alleged in his verified complaint[3] filed on March 11, 2014, (Dkt. 1), verbatim:

Prior to coming to, Johnson Detention Center, I had back surgery. A bone was fuesed to my spine, holes drlled into spine, and bolts was placed in my spine to hold spine together. My back was so messed up after the surgery that I was given 90 10 mg of hydracodone, and 60 40 mg of oxycontin just to be able to funtion.
When I was arrested here, I was placed on the floor to lay and sleep for 3 days & nights, even though there were plenty of empty bed. I complained of having severe pain. The nurse only gave me two (2) Iburprofen. After I was here for several months, the dr. here gave me 1 50 mg ultrum in the a.m., and 1 50 mg ultrum in the p.m. which did nothing for pain. I told the dr. that ultrum only upset my stomach that I needed something for pain, if only Tylenol. She stoped the ultrum and put me on Tylenol for 30 days, then stopped the pain medication. It took my dr. from the pain clinic to call a prescription, for Tylenol to CVS drug store so I would at least have something. But, Southern Health Partners refused to give me any thing for pain.
I got sick in June of 2013. I had to go to the cancer center in Greenville, S.C. to see a doctor Suzanne Flanning, a blood doctor. She informed me that I was 5 pints of blood low. For four (4) weeks I had to have an infusion to put iron and others medication back in my body to build my blood up.
After the 4th and final week I was on the infusion, Dr. Flanning wrote me a prescription, with refills, to build my blood up. After getting back to the Detention Center, Joann, the head L.P.N. wouldn't get the prescription filled that Dr. Flanning wrote for me. Joann told me that the prescription with refills was some over the counter pill, and she was gonna give me some ...

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