United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Christopher T. Wilder, #303905, Plaintiff,
Ms. Stokes, Nurse; Ms. Whitt, Nurse; Ms. Jenkins, Nurse; Ms. Fisher, Nurse; Ms. Stuckes, Nurse; Mr. Willie Eagleton, Warden; and Ms. Annie Sellers, Warden Ass., Defendants.
F. ANDERSON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
about January 25, 2017, Christopher T. Wilder
(“Plaintiff”) filed this action, proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Ms. Stokes, Nurse; Ms. Whitt, Nurse; Ms.
Jenkins, Nurse; Ms. Fisher, Nurse; Ms. Stuckes, Nurse; Mr.
Willie Eagleton, Warden; and Ms. Annie Sellers, Warden Ass.
(collectively “Defendants”). In accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)
(D.S.C.), the case was referred to the Magistrate Judge. On
February 24, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued an order
granting Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and directing the Clerk of Court not to
authorize service because the complaint was subject to
summary dismissal. ECF No. 7.
Magistrate Judge assigned to this action prepared a
thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and
opines that this Court should summarily dismiss
Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process. ECF No. 8. The Report sets
forth in detail the relevant facts and standards of
on this matter, and this Court incorporates those facts and
standards without a recitation. Plaintiff was advised of his
right to object to the Report, which was entered on the
docket on February 24, 2017. ECF Nos. 8-9. The Magistrate
Judge gave the parties until March 10, 2017, to file
objections; however, no objections were filed. Thus, this
matter is ripe for the Court's review.
Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those
portions of the Report to which specific objection is made,
and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit
the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In the absence of
specific objections to the Report of the Magistrate Judge,
this Court is not required to give an explanation for
adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718
F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).
complaint, Plaintiff alleged, “I am using the F.T.C.A.
[i.e. Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”)] to
challenge the kind of negligence by detention center or
federal prison employee or state including the negligent
denial of medical care.” ECF No. 1 at 4. However,
Plaintiff is a state prisoner, he selected that he was suing
“State or local officials (a § 1983 claim),
” and did not allege that he filed an administrative
claim with a federal agency. ECF No. 1. “The [FTCA]
allows plaintiffs to seek damages from the United
States for certain torts committed by federal
employees.” Simmons v. Himmelreich, 136
S.Ct. 1843, 1845 (2016) (emphasis added) (citing 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1346(b), 2674). Thus, the FTCA is inapplicable
to Plaintiff's case and, instead, he must satisfy the
Supreme Court's two-pronged test set forth in Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994), for unconstitutional
conditions of confinement. See Scinto v. Stansberry,
841 F.3d 219, 225 (4th Cir. 2016).
the objective prong under Farmer requires Plaintiff
to demonstrate that the deprivation alleged was, objectively,
“sufficiently serious.” Id. (quoting
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834). “In medical needs
cases, like the case at bar, the Farmer test
requires plaintiffs to demonstrate officials' deliberate
indifference to a ‘serious' medical need that has
either ‘been diagnosed by a physician as mandating
treatment or . . . is so obvious that even a lay person would
easily recognize the necessity for a doctor's
attention.'” Id. (quoting Iko v.
Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 241 (4th Cir. 2008)).
the subjective prong under Farmer requires Plaintiff
to show that “prison officials acted with a
‘sufficiently culpable state of mind.'”
Id. (quoting Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834).
“In deliberate indifference to medical needs cases,
Farmer's subjective prong requires proof of the
official's ‘actual subjective knowledge of both the
inmate's serious medical condition and the excessive risk
posed by [the official's] action or inaction.'”
Id. at 226 (quoting Jackson v. Lightsey,
775 F.3d 170, 178 (4th Cir. 2014)). “However, even
officials who acted with deliberate indifference may be
‘free from liability if they responded reasonably to
the risk.'” Id. (quoting Farmer,
511 U.S. at 844).
a complaint that a physician has been negligent in diagnosing
or treating a medical condition does not state a valid claim
of medical mistreatment under the Eighth Amendment” and
“[m]edical malpractice does not become a constitutional
violation merely because the victim is a prisoner.”
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976).
“In order to state a cognizable claim, a prisoner must
allege acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.”
the defendants named in his complaint, Plaintiff only makes
specific factual allegations against Defendant
Fisher. Plaintiff alleges that he began having
pain on July 22, 2016, and “was taken to medical one
night because [he] was having severe chest pain.” ECF
No. 1 at 5. He further alleges that “the
problems” continued for two weeks. Id.
“When [he] was signed up for medical [Defendant] Fisher
stated [his] problem in the computer about [his] severe chest
pain from [his] side to [his] chest”; however,
Plaintiff alleges “nothing [was] done for the
problem.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that
“[he] needed test taken so [Defendant Fisher] stated
she sent the claim to the doctor at [Kirkland Correctional
Institution (“KCI”)] and gave [Plaintiff] some
tyno [sic] Ibuprofen. The problem got worst after a course of
time.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that he
“was not properly treated for [his] medical problem [as
he] was giving a pack of Ibuprofen, ” “the
paperwork [Defendant] Fisher submitted was not adequate for
proper attention of the medical issue, ” and he was
supposed “to go on a medical evaluation to KCI for (cat
scan) and did not go they refuse the serious attention of the
medical reason I had stated to the medical officials at Evans
Correctional Institution.” Id. at 6.
Plaintiff alleges that “now [he is] coughing up blood
in his mucus, ” he does not allege that he had this
symptom when Defendant Fisher evaluated him. Id. at
5. Plaintiff merely alleges that he reported severe chest
pains to Defendant Fisher, who evaluated Plaintiff, submitted
paperwork to a doctor at another facility so a test could be
conducted, and provided him with ibuprofen to ease the pain.
Id. Plaintiff alleges in a conclusory fashion that
the actions taken by Defendant Fisher were “not
adequate, ” “negligent, ” or improper
because they did not directly address the problem or provide
it “proper attention.” Plaintiff alleges it was
the employees at the other facility who “refuse[d] the
serious attention” that he needed and does not allege
that Defendant Fisher even knew of the other facility's
failure to assess him or that his condition had worsened.
Thus, Plaintiff has failed to allege both prongs required
carefully reviewing the applicable laws, the record in this
case, as well as the Report, this Court finds the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation fairly and accurately summarizes
the facts and applies the correct principles of law as
the Court adopts the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 8),
incorporating it as modified by reference herein, and
summarily dismisses Petitioner's case without prejudice
and without issuance and service of process.