United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GORDON BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Dkt.
No. 1.) This matter is before the Court upon Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. No. 23.) Pursuant to the
provisions of Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)
and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e), D.S.C., all pretrial matters
in cases involving pro se litigants are referred to
a United States Magistrate Judge for consideration. For the
reasons set forth herein, the undersigned recommends granting
events giving rise to the instant action occurred on the
evening of September 22, 2017, when Plaintiff fell in the
shower while she was a pretrial detainee at Chesterfield
County Detention Center (“the Detention Center”).
(Dkt. No. 1 at 5.) According to Plaintiff,
she stepped on the cement area between the inside shower and
where you hang your towel, attempting to retrieve her
conditioner. Due to the fact the paint on the floor is very
oily, slippery, and has no mat, she lost her balance. At this
point, Plaintiff attempted to grab the wall to brace her
fall, and fell and hit the left side of her face. She had a
knot-like contusion on her head and a black eye from the
cement stool. Due to the hard fall, Plaintiff became very
nauseated and eventually had to vomit, and threw up all the
contents on her stomach.
(Id. at 5-7.) Plaintiff further alleges that the
“staff at the jail waited until the next morning to
allow [her] to see the nurse. The nurse became very upset
stating ‘they should have taken you to the hospital
last night.' The nurse immediately sent Plaintiff to
McLeod Medical Center in Cheraw, SC on [September 23,
2017].” (Id. at 6.) The Complaint describes
Plaintiff's injuries as a “knot-like contusion on
her head and a black eye. Due to the serious head trauma and
pain, she needs to take a CAT scan and see a
neurologist.” (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants have violated her rights under the Eighth
Amendment and the Sixth Amendment of the United States
Constitution. (Id. at 4.) She seeks actual and
punitive damages. (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff also seeks
injunctive relief in that “she be allowed to receive a
CAT scan and see a neurologist, ” or if the jail
refuses such relief, that “she be given a reasonable
bond . . . so [that] she can receive adequate medical
March 7, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment. (Dkt. No. 23.) By Order filed March 8, 2018,
pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th
Cir. 1975), Plaintiff was advised of the dismissal procedure
and the possible consequences if she failed to adequately
respond to the motion. (Dkt. No. 24.) Plaintiff filed a
Response in Opposition to Defendants' motion and a
supplement to her response on March 15, 2018 and June 1,
2018, respectively. (Dkt. Nos. 26; 34.)
Liberal Construction of Pro Se Complaint
brought this action pro se, which requires the Court
to liberally construe her pleadings. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam); Loe
v. Armistead, 582 F.2d 1291, 1295 (4th Cir. 1978);
Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir.
1978). Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent
standard than those drafted by attorneys. Haines,
404 U.S. at 520.. The mandated liberal construction means
that only if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to
state a valid claim on which the complainant could prevail,
it should do so. Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128,
1133 (10th Cir. 1999). A court may not construct the
complainant's legal arguments for her. Small v.
Endicott, 998 F.2d 411, 417-18 (7th Cir. 1993). Nor
should a court “conjure up questions never squarely
presented.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775
F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
Rule 12(b)(6) Dismissal Standard
argue that Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. Under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, a claim should be dismissed if it fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. When
considering a motion to dismiss, the court should
“accept as true all well-pleaded allegations and should
view the complaint in a light most favorable to the
plaintiff.” Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7
F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993). However, the court
“need not accept the legal conclusions drawn from the
facts” nor “accept as true unwarranted
inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or arguments.”
Eastern Shore Mkts., Inc. v. J.D. Assocs. Ltd.
P'ship, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir. 2000). Further,
for purposes of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court may rely on
only the complaint's allegations and those documents
attached as exhibits or incorporated by reference. See
Simons v. Montgomery Cty. Police Officers, 762 F.2d 30,
31 (4th Cir. 1985). If matters outside the pleadings are
presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion is
treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d).
Summary Judgment Standard
further argue that Plaintiff's claims also fail on their
merits. Pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, summary judgment “shall” be granted
“if the movant 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).
“Facts are ‘material' when they might affect
the outcome of the case, and a ‘genuine issue'
exists when the evidence would allow a reasonable jury to
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” The News
& Observer Publ'g Co. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport
Auth., 597 F.3d 570, 576 (4th Cir. 2010) (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986)). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment,
“‘the nonmoving party's evidence is to be
believed, and ...