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Rodgers v. Glenn

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

March 20, 2017

Ricky M. Rodgers, Plaintiff,
FNU Glenn, Health Services Administrator, et al., Defendants.


          Richard Mark Gergel, United States District Court Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, recommending summary judgment for Defendants and denial of Plaintiffs motion to amend the complaint. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts in part and declines to adopt in part the Report and Recommendation, grants summary judgment for Defendants, and denies the motion to amend.

         I. Background

         On June 12, 2014, a food service cart pushed by an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Estill, South Carolina ("FCI-EstiH") struck Plaintiff Ricky Rodgers, also an inmate at FCI-Estill. Plaintiff alleges the cart ran over his right ankle, foot, and leg. He further alleges that Defendant Hood, a correctional officer, witnessed the event but failed to report it and ignored his request for medical attention. Another correctional officer allegedly took Plaintiff to a medical evaluation. Plaintiff was examined, given ibuprofen and crutches, and x-rays were requested. Four days later, on June 16, 2014, the requested x-rays were taken. The x-rays revealed "no fractures or abnormalities." (Dkt. No. 25-3 ¶ 5.) Plaintiffs crutches were then taken from him and his "medical idle status ended." (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that he should have been provided surgery, and that over the following months he regularly complained of pain but his complaints were improperly documented. On July 27, 2014, he initiated an informal complaint resolution ("BP-8") requesting a copy of the accident report, medical report and "any other information." He received no response and did not pursue any subsequent prison administrative remedy. Instead, on January 5, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Federal Tort Claim Act ("FTCA") claim form with the Bureau of Prison's southeast regional office. On July 1, 2015, the Bureau of Prisons mailed an FTCA determination letter to Plaintiff, denying his claim because he sustained no injury caused by a government employee's negligent or wrongful act or omission. (Dkt. No. 25-10.)

         On December 30, 2015-within six months of the final administrative denial of his FTCA claim-Plaintiff timely filed the present action. Plaintiff alleges negligence and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs and seeks compensatory damages under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 18 U.S.C. § 1346(b). He names as Defendants (1) Health Services Administrator Glenn, (2) Clinical Director Ivan Negron, (3) Nurse Albert Crosby, (4) EMT Jeffrey Eiben, (5) Physician Assistant Garcia, (6) Correctional Officer Hood, and (7) the United States of America. Plaintiff sues the named individuals due to actions they took while employed by the Bureau of Prisons and he alleges their actions were taken within the course of their government employment.

         On May 31, 2016, Defendants moved to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment. (Dkt. No 25.) On February 2, 2017, the Magistrate Judge recommended summary judgment for Defendants. (Dkt. No. 56.) Defendant filed no objections.

         II. Legal Standard

         A. Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge

         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility for making a final determination remains with this Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). This Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific objection is made. Additionally, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court may also "receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Id. Where the plaintiff fails to file any specific objections, "a district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation, " see Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (internal quotation omitted), and this Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198 (4th Cir. 1983).

         B. Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment is appropriate if a party "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact" and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In other words, summary judgment should be granted "only when it is clear that there is no dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the inferences to be drawn from those facts." Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987). "In determining whether a genuine issue has been raised, the court must construe all inferences and ambiguities in favor of the nonmoving party." HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Am. Nat'l Red Cross, 101 F.3d 1005, 1008 (4th Cir. 1996). The party seeking summary judgment shoulders the initial burden of demonstrating to the court that there is no genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323(1986).

         Once the moving party has made this threshold demonstration, the non-moving party, to survive the motion for summary judgment, may not rest on the allegations averred in his pleadings. Id. at 324. Rather, the non-moving party must demonstrate that specific, material facts exist that give rise to a genuine issue. Id. Under this standard, "[c]onclusory or speculative allegations do not suffice, nor does a 'mere scintilla of evidence'" in support of the non-moving party's case. Thompson v. Potomac Elec. Power Co., 312 F.3d 645, 649 (4th Cir. 2002) (quoting Phillips v. CSXTransp, Inc., 190 F.3d 285, 287 (4th Cir. 1999)).

         C. ...

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