United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. Rogers, III, United States Magistrate Judge.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs. Presently before the court is
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 25).
Because he is proceeding pro se, Plaintiff was advised
pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.3d 309 (4th
Cir. 1975), that a failure to respond to the moving
Defendant's motion could result in dismissal of his case.
After two motions for extension of time, Plaintiff filed a
Response (ECF No. 37). 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
alleges that Defendants Yeldell and New were transport
officers at McCormick Prison on February 24, 2015, when
Plaintiff sustained an injury to his head after falling
backward as he was entering a van. Compl. p. 5 of 14. He
alleges that he was taken to McCormick Infirmary and
“they” ordered a brain scan but failed to inform
Plaintiff of their findings. Compl. p. 5 of 14.
alleges that the “medical doctor” knew of the
spot on his brain but provided only “cursory”
medical treatment, which amounted to no treatment at all.
Compl. pp. 5-6 of 14. As a result of this spot on his brain,
Plaintiff alleges that he suffered blindness in his right eye
for three days, and numbness in his left arm and fingers,
which still exists today. Compl. p. 7 of 14. He asserts that
he has not received any treatment for these symptoms. Compl.
p. 7 of 14. He seeks $500, 000 in compensatory damages, $500,
000 in punitive damages, and “an Order from the court
for a brain scan to determine the progress of the spot on my
brain.” Compl. p. 7 of 14.
Yeldell and New aver that on the morning of February 24,
2015, they were scheduled to transport the Plaintiff to a
medical appointment. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 3 (Ex. to Def.
Motion); New Aff. ¶ 3 (Ex. to Def. Motion). Any time an
inmate is transported from SCDC, policy requires that he have
both belly chains and leg irons secured prior to taking him
to the van. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 6; New Aff. ¶ 4. Officer
New secured the leg irons and belly chains on Plaintiff
before escorting him outside. New Aff. ¶ 4.
New was assisting Plaintiff towards the van and also holding
an umbrella, since it was raining that morning. Yeldell Aff.
¶ 8; New Aff. ¶ 7. As Officer New grabbed the step
stool from the van, he told Plaintiff to wait for him to
assist him into the van. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 8; New Aff.
¶ 8. Plaintiff tried to get into the van without
assistance. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 9; New Aff. ¶ 9.
Plaintiff slipped as he was trying to get into the van.
Yeldell Aff. ¶ 9; New Aff. ¶ 9. Plaintiff avers
that New knew that it was raining outside and that Plaintiff
was feeble, yet he allowed Plaintiff to try to get in the van
on his own. Pl. Aff. ¶ 7 (Ex. to Pl. Resp.). Plaintiff
also avers that he fell once before in 2014 while in the care
of Lt. Yeldell and, thus, she should have told Officer New of
him falling previously and stayed to help him get in the van.
Pl. Aff. ¶¶ 4, 6.
came outside after the fall and asked if Plaintiff needed
medical care. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 10-11; New Aff.
¶¶ 11-12. Plaintiff refused medical care, but
Yeldell told Officer New to take him by medical anyway to be
cleared, and also to get him dry clothes since his clothes
had gotten wet sitting in the mud. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 11;
New Aff. ¶ 13.
asserts that he was taken to the McCormick medical infirmary
by a wheelchair and was given something for swelling on
his wrist and his blood pressure and heart rate were checked.
Pl. Resp. p. 2. Plaintiff told them he had a blackout for a
moment, and they told him it was probably related to his
diabetes. Pl. Resp. p. 2. Medical cleared him to go on the
transport. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 13; New Aff. ¶ 14. He was
also given dry clothes. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 13; New Aff.
¶ 14. They then began the transport to the appointment.
they were running late, Defendants contacted the place they
were going, and were told they were too late for the
appointment and it would have to be rescheduled. Yeldell Aff.
¶ 14; New Aff. ¶ 15. As a result, they turned
around to go back to McCormick. Both officers also testified
that they spoke to the Plaintiff during the transport, and at
no point did he state that he was hurt or needed medical
attention. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 15; New Aff. ¶ 16. When
they returned, Officer New escorted Plaintiff back to his
dorm, and at no time did Plaintiff request medical attention
or indicate that he was injured in any way. Yeldell Aff.
¶ 16; New Aff. ¶ 17. He also did not appear to have
any difficulty walking into the prison yard when they
returned. Yeldell Aff. ¶ 16; New Aff. ¶ 17.
respect to the medical treatment he received, Dr. McRee avers
that even though the incident occurred on February 24, 2015,
and Plaintiff was given insulin daily in the diabetic clinic,
which means he had daily access to the medical staff, he did
not mention any problems from this incident to medical until
March 30, 2015, over a month after this incident. McRee Aff.
¶¶ 9-12 (Ex. to Def. Motion). In fact, Plaintiff
received a full assessment in medical on March 13, 2015, and
was specifically asked about any ongoing problems, yet he did
not mention this fall or any alleged injuries from the fall.
McRee Aff. ¶ 11. However, Plaintiff asserts that this
assessment was in the diabetic clinic, and the medical staff
is strict about requiring inmates to sign up for sick call to
address problems unrelated to diabetes. Pl. Resp. p. 5.
Nevertheless, it is undisputed that Plaintiff did not sign up
for sick call until March 30, 2015. When he complained to
medical on March 30, 2015, about alleged problems from this
incident, he was assessed and found to have no objective
symptoms to match his complaints. McRee Aff. ¶ 12.
McRee avers that a brain scan was ordered on June 4, 2015,
due to symptoms that were possibly stroke related, and not
related to this incident. McRee Aff. ¶¶ 15-17. The
results, which McRee avers were explained to Plaintiff,
indicated an old blood clot, which required no further
treatment. McRee Aff. ¶¶ 15-17. Plaintiff returned
to sick call on June 18, 2015, complaining of continued
tingling in his hands and face, and was told that the results
of his brain scan were normal. Pl. Resp. p. 7. Plaintiff was
ultimately diagnosed with Bells Palsy. McRee Aff.
¶¶ 18-19, 22. Plaintiff admits that he was told of
the Bells Palsy on June 23, 2015, but claims he was given
that diagnosis because it was cheaper to treat than
“trying to explore more about the blot clot on my
brain.” Pl. Resp. pp. 6, 9. Dr. McRee avers that none
of these findings were related in any way to Plaintiff's
fall. McRee Aff. ¶¶ 18-19, 22.