United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
BRYAN HARWELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Don Jordan Bryant, a state prisoner proceeding pro se,
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
the above-captioned Defendant. See ECF No. 1. The
matter is before the Court for review of the Report and
Recommendation (“R & R”) of United States
Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Rogers, III, made in accordance
with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02
for the District of South Carolina. See R & R, ECF
No. 9. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court
summarily dismiss Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice
and without issuance and service of process. R & R at
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
The Magistrate Judge's recommendation has no presumptive
weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination
remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S.
261, 270-71 (1976). The Court must conduct a de novo review
of those portions of the R & R to which specific
objections are made, and it may accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge
or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
Court must engage in a de novo review of every portion of the
Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have been
filed. Id. However, the Court need not conduct a de
novo review when a party makes only “general and
conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a
specific error in the [M]agistrate [Judge]'s proposed
findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence
of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews
only for clear error, Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc.
Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and the
Court need not give any explanation for adopting the
Magistrate Judge's recommendation. Camby v.
Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199-200 (4th Cir. 1983).
complaint, Plaintiff alleges he slipped, fell, and broke his
jaw while exiting the shower at the Florence County Detention
Center (“FCDC”). ECF No. 1 at 6. He claims that
“[p]rior to the incident, ” he tried “to
notify the officer who was escorting [him] that the floor had
water everywhere and there were not any ‘Wet Floor'
signs anywhere.” Id. Plaintiff asserts an
Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim and names the
FCDC as the sole defendant. Id. at 1-2, 4.
Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing
Plaintiff's complaint because the FCDC is not a person
amenable to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. R & R at
3-4. Plaintiff does not object to the Magistrate Judge's
finding, and having reviewed the R & R for clear error,
the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation. See Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315
(stating a district court need only review the magistrate
judge's R & R for clear error in the absence of
has, however, filed a document entitled
“Argument” within the time for filing objections.
See ECF No. 13. In this document, Plaintiff states,
“Before the incident took place I did notify Officer
David Timmons, Lt. Redden, and Officer J. Palmer about the
flood that was in front of the showers but they did nothing
about it and ignored my pleas placing my life in
danger.” Id. He claims “[t]hese three
state employees are fully responsible for [his] injury and
therefore should pay the relief requested.”
Id. The Court construes Plaintiff's filing as a
motion to amend his complaint to add Timmons, Redden, and
Palmer as defendants in this action. See generally
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (stating
“[a] document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed'” (quoting Estelle v. Gamble,
429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976))). Nevertheless, the Court finds
amendment would be futile.
noted above, Plaintiff alleges a deliberate indifference
claim under the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits the
infliction of “cruel and unusual punishments” and
protects inmates from inhumane treatment and conditions
during incarceration. Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d
756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996). To state such a claim, a prisoner
must allege (1) the alleged deprivation was objectively
sufficiently serious and (2) prison officials had a
sufficiently culpable state of mind. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). Here, Plaintiff's
allegation that state officials failed to remedy the wet
floor in the FCDC's shower facility does not state a
plausible claim of deliberate indifference. At best,
Plaintiff's claim sounds in negligence. See,
e.g., Jenkins v. Palmer, No.
5:15-cv-03398-HMH-KDW, 2016 WL 3101969, at *5 (D.S.C. May 6,
2016) (“[M]any courts, including this one, have refused
to find deliberate indifference to inmate safety in the
context of slips and falls during incarceration.”),
adopted by, 2016 WL 3079043 (D.S.C. May 31, 2016);
Beasley v. Anderson, 67 F. App'x 242, 2003 WL
21108537 at *1 (5th Cir. 2003) (“[Plaintiff Beasley]
maintains that Arthur Anderson showed deliberate indifference
in failing to correct a slippery shower floor before Beasley
fell. Beasley's claim regarding a slip and fall sounds in
negligence, which is insufficient to allege a constitutional
violation.”). Even if Plaintiff proceeded against
Timmons, Redden, and Palmer, he would-at most-have only a
negligence claim against them. Accordingly, Plaintiff's
proposed amendment is futile and the Court will deny his
motion to amend. See Mayfield v. Nat'l Ass'n for
Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., 674 F.3d 369, 379 (4th Cir.
2012) (stating a court should deny a request to amend if
amendment would be futile).
Court has thoroughly reviewed the entire record, including
Plaintiff's complaint, the R & R, and Plaintiff's
objections/motion to amend. See ECF Nos. 1, 9, &
13. For the reasons stated in this Order and in the R &
R, the Court adopts and incorporates the R & R [ECF No.
9] by reference, denies Plaintiff's motion to amend [ECF
No. 13], and DISMISSES this action without prejudice and
without issuance and service of process.