United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
V. HODGES COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Allen, Jr. (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional rights
while incarcerated in the Darlington County Detention Center
(“DCDC”). Plaintiff sues DCDC and DCDC Director
Patricia Ray (collectively “Defendants”).
matter comes before the court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment. [ECF No. 27]. Pursuant to Roseboro v.
Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court
advised Plaintiff of the dismissal procedures and the
possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately to
Defendants' motion. [ECF No. 28]. The motion having been
fully briefed [ECF Nos. 31, 32], it is ripe for disposition.
pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the
undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.). Because
the motion is dispositive, this report and recommendation is
entered for the district judge's consideration. For the
reasons that follow, the undersigned recommends
Defendants' motions for summary judgment be granted.
Factual and Procedural Background
complaint asserts claims stemming from his slip and fall at
DCDC. [ECF No. 1 at 4]. Specifically, Plaintiff states he was
walking up the stairs when he slipped on water that appeared
to have come from a mop and he fell face first. Id.
at 5. Plaintiff claims he injured his mouth and chipped his
two front teeth. Id. He alleges he was not taken to
a hospital, nor was he permitted to see a dentist.
Id. at 5-6.
video recording of the incident provided to the court,
Plaintiff is in the Alpha Housing Unit on the morning of
September 28, 2017. [ECF No. 27-2 at 4]. After an inmate with
a mop passes him, Plaintiff walks by the mop bucket and falls
as he walks up the stairs. Id. at 8:48:05, 8:49:21,
8:49:38. An officer then approaches Plaintiff and
hands him tissue. Id. at 8:49:40, 8:50:39. DCDC
medical staff reports to the unit and checks Plaintiff's
mouth. Id. at 8:51:55-8:52:53.
to DCDC's shift log entry, Plaintiff complained to an
officer later that afternoon about tooth pain. [ECF No. 27-2
at 5]. A nurse examined Plaintiff the following day, and he
complained of bleeding gums, multiple chipped teeth, and a
loose tooth. Id. at 6-7. Plaintiff rated his pain as
7 of 10. Id. at 7. A nurse advised Plaintiff to
rinse his mouth after eating and to avoid playing with his
tooth. Id. Plaintiff was also prescribed ibuprofen
800mg. Id. at 8.
Standard on Summary Judgment
court shall grant summary judgment “if the movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The movant bears the initial
burden of demonstrating that summary judgment is appropriate;
if the movant carries its burden, then the burden shifts to
the non-movant to set forth specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). If a movant
asserts that a fact cannot be disputed, it must support that
assertion either by “citing to particular parts of
materials in the record, including depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes
of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or
other materials;” or “showing . . . that an
adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support
the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).
considering a motion for summary judgment, the evidence of
the non-moving party is to be believed and all justifiable
inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party.
See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
255 (1986). However, “[o]nly disputes over facts that
might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law
will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual
disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be
counted.” Id. at 248. Further, while the
federal court is charged with liberally construing a
complaint filed by a pro se litigant to allow the development
of a potentially meritorious case, see, e.g., Cruz v.
Beto, 405 U.S. 319 (1972), the requirement of liberal
construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear
failure in the pleadings to allege facts that set forth a
federal claim, nor can the court assume the existence of a
genuine issue of material fact when none exists. Weller
v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir.