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Daniels v. Caldwell

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

December 17, 2013

PAUL E. CALDWELL, Defendant.


ROBERT E. PAYNE, Senior District Judge.

Joseph A. Daniels, a Virginia prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983[1] complaint. The matter is before the Court on Dr. Paul E. Caldwell's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 48.) Dr. Caldwell provided Daniels with appropriate Roseboro[2] notice. ( Id. at 1 n.1.) Daniels has not responded. For the reasons set forth below, Dr. Caldwell's Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.


In September of 2009, Daniels was detained in the Henrico County Jail ("the Jail"). (Compl. 3, ECF No. 1.)[3] Daniels alleges:

On the date of September 1, 2009, at Saint Mary's Hospital in Richmond Virginia, an operation was performed on me by Dr. Paul E. Caldwell in order to repair my left arm bicep muscle and rotary [sic] cuff. When healed and exercising to restore mobility of my arm, I noticed that my left shoulder anterior deltoid muscle was removed unnecessarily. When bringing this claim to Dr. Caldwell, his response was that my circumstances was [sic] better than before.
For Doctor Caldwell to make such a statement showed deliberate indifference and the intentional denial of adequate medical care. The above actions are a violation to my Eighth Amendment right[4] to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.
To date, I am without total use of mobility with my left arm and continue to suffer pain as a result of not being given the therapy need[ed].

(Id. at 4 (capitalization and punctuation corrected).) Daniels demands monetary damages and injunctive relief.[5] ( Id. at 5.)


Summary judgment must be rendered "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The party seeking summary judgment bears the responsibility to inform the court of the basis for the motion, and to identify the parts of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "[W]here the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file." Id. at 324 (internal quotation marks omitted). When the motion is properly supported, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and, by citing affidavits or "depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, ' designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Id. (quoting former Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) and 56(e) (1986)).

In reviewing a summary judgment motion, the court "must draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party." United States v. Carolina Transformer Co. , 978 F.2d 832, 835 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986)). However, a mere scintilla of evidence will not preclude summary judgment. Anderson , 477 U.S. at 251 (citing Improvement Co. v. Munson , 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 442, 448 (1872)). "[T]here is a preliminary question for the judge, not whether there is literally no evidence, but whether there is any upon which a jury could properly proceed to find a verdict for the party.. upon whom the onus of proof is imposed.'" Id. (quoting Munson , 81 U.S. at 448). Additionally, "Rule 56 does not impose upon the district court a duty to sift through the record in search of evidence to support a party's opposition to summary judgment.'" Forsyth v. Barr , 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir. 1994) (quoting Skotak v. Tenneco Resins, Inc. , 953 F.2d 909, 915 & n.7 (5th Cir. 1992)); see Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3) ("The court need consider only the cited materials....").

In support of his Motion for Summary Judgment, Dr. Caldwell submitted the following pertinent evidence:[6] his own affidavit (ECF No. 51 ("Caldwell Aff.")); an index to and copy of Caldwell's medical records (Caldwell Aff. Exs. 1-28); an affidavit from Anthony J. Shaia, a board certified orthopaedic surgeon retained by Caldwell to offer expert testimony on behalf of Dr. Caldwell (ECF No. 50 ("Shaia Aff.")); and, an affidavit from Matthew J. Lahiff (ECF No. 49 ("Lahiff Aff.")). In light the foregoing submissions, the following facts are established for purposes of the Motion for Summary Judgment.


On September 1, 2009, Dr. Caldwell performed a left shoulder arthroscopy with arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, acromioplasty[7] and open proximal biceps tenodesis[8] on Daniels to repair his left shoulder rotator cuff tear, impingement, and biceps rupture.[9] (Caldwell Aff. ¶ 10.) Contrary to the allegations in the Complaint, Daniels's anterior deltoid muscle was not removed, ...

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