United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Jimmy B. K. Curles, #271032, Plaintiff,
Ms. Mitchell, Kirkland Medical SCDC Head Nurse Ms. Sermons, Kirkland Medical SCDC Nurse Asst. Warden Thompson, Kirkland Asst. Warden Ms. Jennifer Woodall, Greenville Detention Head Nurse Ms. Karen Krein, Greenville Detention Medical Director Ronald Hollister, Greenville Detention Director Sgt. McCarthy, Greenville Detention Supervisor Security Sgt. Smith, Greenville Detention Supervisor Sgt. Bernard, Greenville Detention Supervisor Security Ofc. Dejurness, Greenville Detention Security Ofc. Lester Hall, Greenville Detention Security Sgt. Mahoney, Greenville Detention Supervisor Security Ofc. Shockley, Greenville Detention Security Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. Rogers, III United States Magistrate Judge.
who is proceeding pro se, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants failed to
protect him and failed to provide him with adequate medical
care. Defendants Mitchell, Sermons, Thompson, Woodall,
Hollister, and Krein have already been dismissed from this
action. See Order (ECF No. 53). Presently before the court is
Defendants McCarthy, Smith, Barnard,  Hall, Mahoney, and
Shockley's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
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
Defendants' motions could result in dismissal of his
case. Plaintiff filed a Response (ECF No. 72), albeit
untimely. 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),
was housed at the Greenville County Detention Center (GCDC)
from March 26, 2015, to November 23, 2015, as a pretrial
detainee. Bodiford Aff. ¶ 3 (Ex. A to Def. Motion). From
April 17, 2015, through July 12, 2015, Plaintiff was housed
in Green Pod in Building One at GCDC. Bodiford Aff. ¶ 4.
On July 12, 2015, Plaintiff was re-housed to F-Dorm in
Building Two, due to “excessive infraction[s] in Green
Pod.” Bodiford Aff. - Exh. 2; Hall Aff. ¶ 6 (Ex. B
to Def. Motion). Before he was re-housed, the Plaintiff was
frequently disruptive and argumentative, and would be locked
down for hours at a time for failure to obey directives.
Bodiford Aff. - Exh. 3. The parties dispute whether Plaintiff
told anyone that placing him in F-Dorm would be a threat to
his safety. Plaintiff alleges that he told Hall he could not
be on that block because he “had issues with an inmate
named Zach Braggs who is a gang member of the G's or
Folks.” Pl. Compl. p. 2 of 5. Plaintiff alleges he also
complained to Bernard, Mahoney, McCarthy, Lenard, Smith,
Shockey, Jedenance, and Hall at different times and days over
three days. He alleges that he told the officers he
“could not be housed there because he (Mr. Braggs) was
in there with more of his members.” Pl. Compl. p. 3 of
5. Defendants do not deny that Plaintiff asked to be returned
to the pods. However, they aver that he never communicated or
expressed to them that he feared for his safety. McCarthy
Aff. ¶¶ 9-11 (Ex. C to Def. Motion); Smith Aff.
¶¶ 6-7 (Ex. G to Pl. Motion); Barnard Aff.
¶¶ 5-6 (Ex. I to Def. Motion); Hall Aff.
¶¶ 10-13; Mahoney Aff. ¶¶ 33-34 (Ex. D to
Def. Motion); Shockley Aff. ¶¶ 5-6 (Ex. H to Def.
Motion). Hall avers that when Plaintiff was informed that he
would be re-housed to F-Dorm, he told Hall that he planned to
“cause trouble.” Hall Aff. ¶ 7. Plaintiff
had no documented “keep-separates” in his file
prior to his relocation to F-Dorm, meaning there was no
record indicating that Plaintiff should be kept separate from
any other inmate for security purposes at the time he was
moved from Green Pod to F-Dorm. Hall Aff. ¶ 14.
12, 2015, after he was moved to F-Dorm in Building Two,
Plaintiff disobeyed the direct order of a detention officer
to line up for recreation time and walked to the
sergeant's office. McCarthy Aff. ¶ 5. Plaintiff
approached Sergeant McCarthy and requested to be re-housed in
the pods. McCarthy Aff. ¶ 6. The pods are located in
Building One, which is often referred to as the “new
jail.” McCarthy Aff. ¶ 6. Plaintiff did not
communicate or express to Sgt. McCarthy that he feared for
his safety in F-Dorm, or that he was in any danger. McCarthy
Aff. ¶¶ 9-11. Plaintiff asserts that McCarthy told
him he would move him in thirty days. Pl. Compl.
16, 2015, Plaintiff was assaulted. Sergeant William Mahoney
assumed duties that day as the Building Two Operations
Supervisor. Mahoney Aff. ¶ 4. Around 8:00 p.m.,
Detention Officer Marshall Pope notified Sgt. Mahoney that
Plaintiff claimed to have been assaulted by two other inmates
in F-Dorm. Mahoney Aff. ¶ 4. Plaintiff asserts in his
complaint, however, that he was assaulted by four inmates.
Pl. Compl. Officer Pope removed Plaintiff from F-Dorm and
staged him in Holding Cell 5 to be interviewed. Mahoney Aff.
¶ 4. Sgt. Mahoney asked Plaintiff what
happened, and Plaintiff pointed to his bruised lip
and a knot on his head and identified the injuries as a
result of an assault by two inmates in F-Dorm. Mahoney Aff.
¶ 5. Plaintiff identified the two inmates as “the
big black guy with the beard, ” later identified as
Justin McLeod, “and the little white guy they call
Zachary, ” later identified as Zachary Bragg. Mahoney
Aff. ¶¶ 6-8. Plaintiff then stated, “I'm
not worried about the little guy though, he didn't bother
me, but it was the big black guy who got me.” Mahoney
Aff. ¶ 6. When Sgt. Mahoney asked Plaintiff why he was
not bothered by one person assaulting him when he was
bothered by the other person assaulting him, the Plaintiff
responded, “The black guy isn't a G.”
(Mahoney Aff. ¶ 7). Plaintiff indicated that he did not
want any problems with “the little white guy, ”
later identified as Inmate Zachary Bragg, due to his gang
affiliation. Mahoney Aff. ¶ 8. Plaintiff stated that
Bragg assaulted him because he wanted him to “check
out” of F-Dorm, and McLeod assaulted him when Plaintiff
took back a radio he had let McLeod borrow. Mahoney Aff.
Sgt. Mahoney completed Plaintiff's interview, Plaintiff
was medically evaluated and cleared by Aisha Watkins in
Medical and re-housed to UV (general population) Dorm.
Mahoney Aff. ¶ 12. Plaintiff complained of jaw, back,
and shoulder pain. Watkins Aff. ¶ 5 (Ex. E to Def.
Motion). Plaintiff stated that in 2009, he had a steel plate
inserted into his lower left jaw. Watkins Aff. ¶ 5.
Watkins's notes from her evaluation of Plaintiff indicate
that he had a small laceration to the lower left side of his
lip with slight swelling and minimal bleeding; a
quarter-sized possible contusion on the right side of the
back of his head and the left side of his forehead; and
multiple abrasions on his face and arms that were not
bleeding. Watkins Aff. ¶¶ 6-8. At the time Watkins
evaluated Plaintiff, he was already prescribed and received
800 mg of ibuprofen twice per day, and he refused ice for
swelling. Watkins Aff. ¶¶ 9-10. Plaintiff was
placed on the x-ray list for further evaluation of his jaw,
and he was advised to contact medical if he started to vomit
or developed sensitivity to lights and sound with vision
disturbances. Watkins Aff. ¶¶ 10-11.
Mahoney thereafter interviewed Inmate Bragg and Inmate
McLeod, as well as inmate witnesses in F-Dorm. Mahoney Aff.
¶¶ 13-23. After the investigation, Inmates McLeod
and Bragg were re-housed to Red Pod on disciplinary detention
for assault while awaiting space in the Special Housing Unit
(SHU) for fighting. Mahoney Aff. ¶ 30.
“Keep-separates” were entered so that Plaintiff
would not be housed with Inmates Bragg or Mcleod for the
duration of his incarceration. Mahoney Aff. ¶ 31.
days after the altercation, on July 18, 2015, Plaintiff filed
an inmate grievance to the medical staff, referencing the
altercation and complaining of jaw pain. Roberts Aff. at GCDC
000051-000052 (Ex. F to Def. Motion). In response to
Plaintiff's second appeal of that grievance, Ronald
Hollister stated that a Health Services staff member would
follow-up with the Plaintiff regarding his report of ongoing
concerns. Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000055. On the same day, Nurse
Practitioner Eastergard ordered 500 mg of mapap
(acetaminophen) twice per day as well as one dose of
neo/bacit/poly ointment. Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000050.
medical note dated July 20, 2015 indicates that Plaintiff
continued to have shoulder pain, and that he had a previous
fall in Green Pod in May 2015. Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000055.
According to that note, Sgt. McCarthy was notified on July 20
of Plaintiff's request to be released to Green Pod due to
the “G” gang members in Building 2, as well as a
request to be kept separate from two inmates who were members
of the same gang as Bragg. Roberts Aff. at GCDC
staff at GCDC ordered x-rays, and Plaintiff underwent x-rays
of his jaw on July 20, 2015, and x-rays of his right
shoulder, left elbow, and c-spine on July 27, 2015. Roberts
Aff. at GCDC 000057-000061. The jaw x-rays revealed no
fracture of the jaw. Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000057. The x-ray
of the right shoulder was negative and showed no abnormality.
Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000058. The c-spine x-ray was normal and
showed a mild loss of disc space similar to a prior study
completed in December 2011 but revealed no fracture
malalignment or soft tissue abnormality. Roberts Aff. at GCDC
000059. The x-ray of Plaintiff's left elbow was negative
and showed no fracture, dislocation, soft tissue injury, or
joint effusion. Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000060. Plaintiff does
not dispute that he received these x-rays but asserts that
they were done only after he submitted medical grievances.
29, 2015, Plaintiff received a full medical exam, and he was
prescribed diclofenac. Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000062-000064.
The orders also indicate Plaintiff was to be assigned a lower
bunk. Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000064. Plaintiff refused his
morning doses of diclofenac on August 4, August 5, August 7,
August 8, August 9, August 15, and August 21. Roberts Aff. at
August 10, 2015, Plaintiff filed an inmate request form to
Health Services and stated that he was “still having
bad pains in neck, shoulder, and back, and I think meds are
making me sick. This injury is from being beat up. . .
.” Roberts Aff. at GCDC 000067. In response to ...