United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
RUSSELL A. BRANTLEY, Plaintiff,
JAMES STATEN, LT. HETTICH, and CAPTAIN GALLUM, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. ROGERS, III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who is proceeding pro se, brings this action alleging that
Defendants violated his constitutional rights under the
Eighth Amendment by being deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs. Presently before the court are Captain
Gallam and Lt. Hettich's Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 57), James Staten's Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 58), and Captain Gallum and Lt.
Hettich's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution (ECF
No. 64). Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, he was
advised by an Order (ECF No. 59) pursuant to Roseboro v.
Garrison, 528 F.3d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), that a failure
to respond to Defendants' motions for summary judgment
could result in dismissal of his Complaint. Plaintiff did not
file a response to those motions. Thereafter, Defendants
Gallum and Hettich filed their motion to dismiss for lack of
prosecution and another Roseboro Order (ECF No. 65) was
entered. Plaintiff then filed his response (ECF No. 68). All
pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the
undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d), DSC. This
report and recommendation is entered for review by the
ALLEGATIONS AND FACTS
August 13, 2016, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the
Aiken County Detention Center (ACDC). He alleges that on that
date he fell from his top bunk which had no ladder, suffered
a separated collarbone. He was taken to the emergency room
and the doctor informed him that he would need surgery, but
he was refused surgery while at ACDC because he did not have
insurance. Compl. (ECF No. 1 at 13-15).
alleges Defendant Staten of Southern Health Partners stated
on March 2, 2017, that Plaintiff's x-ray was sent to the
Medical Review Board. On March 14, 2017, Defendant Hettich
responded that Lt. Carlin answered Plaintiff's question
and Plaintiff left a lot of information out of new request.
On March 11, 2017, Plaintiff indicates that Sgt. Riddell
responded telling Plaintiff to consult medical to get help
and to get a bottom bunk pass. On March 10, 2017, Defendant
Staten stated he would schedule an appointment with an
orthopedic surgeon as soon as ACDC sent a letter stating they
would pay bill. Compl. (ECF No. 1 at 13-15).
asks that his collarbone be fixed, that he receive physical
therapy, and that the bunk beds be fixed. He also seeks
monetary damages in the sum of one million dollars for
prolonged pain and suffering. Compl. (ECF No. 1 at 6).
Defendants assert that Plaintiff has been detained at ACDC
during two relevant periods of time. The first was after
Plaintiff was arrested on May 31, 2016 on charges of drug
possession, open container in a motor vehicle, and failure to
pay child support. Gallam Aff. ¶ 4. Subsequently, on or
about October 14, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred from ACDC
to the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Gallam Aff.
¶ 5. Plaintiff was then detained a second time on
January 10, 2017 on charges of breach of trust with
fraudulent intent and failure to pay child support, and was
again booked into ACDC. Gallam Aff. ¶ 13. It was during
that second period of detention at ACDC that Plaintiff filed
the above-captioned lawsuit, although the fall occurred
during his first period of detention. As of August 31, 2017,
Plaintiff has been released from ACDC, and has not returned.
Gallam Aff. ¶ 22.
records produced by Defendants reveal that on August 13,
2016, Plaintiff complained that he hurt his shoulder, was
examined by medical personnel, and was taken to the emergency
room. Gallam Aff., ¶¶ 6, 8 and Ex. B (pp. 11,
14-16). Defendant Staten, a third-party medical provider at
ACDC, was not working at the detention center during
Plaintiff's first detention. Staten Aff. ¶ 2.
According to the medical records, Plaintiff was diagnosed
with an AC separation by doctors at Aiken Regional Medical
Center and was returned to ACDC with a treatment plan which
stated Plaintiff was to wear a sling and follow up with
medical. Gallam Aff. ¶ 8. Upon discharge from Aiken
Regional Medical Center, Plaintiff was provided with
literature titled “Sprain, A-C Joint, ” which
The A-C JOINT holds the collar bone (clavicle) to the
shoulder. A sprain of this joint is a tearing of the
ligaments that hold the bones together. The tear may be
partial or complete. An A-C sprain will take about 3-6 weeks
to heal, depending on how severe it is.
A "complete A-C ligament tear" (also called
"A-C separation") will allow the collar bone to
rise up, causing a noticeable bump on the shoulder top. Since
the ligament heals in this position, the bump is permanent.
It is possible to have surgery to correct the appearance,
although normal shoulder function will return even without
This injury is usually treated with a sling or "shoulder
immobilizer". Once healed, you can expect full recovery
of shoulder function.
Gallam Aff. Ex B (p. 23).
his trip to the emergency room, Plaintiff was seen several
times by medical personnel at ACDC concerning his shoulder
before he was released to SCDC in October of 2016.
September 2, 2016, medical personnel at ACDC prescribed
continued use of a sling and a warm compress. Gallam Aff.
¶ 10. Plaintiff was seen again on October 13, 2006, and
medical personnel at ACDC prescribed him ibuprofen. Gallam
Aff. ¶ 11. Plaintiff's medical records from his trip
to the hospital, and subsequent examinations by medical
personnel during his first detention at ACDC, ...