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Davis v. Sample

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 26, 2015

NICK SAMPLE, et al., Defendants.


JOHN A. GIBNEY, Jr., District Judge.

Willie Unique Davis, a former Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and informa pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action.[1] Davis contends that Defendant Officer Sample denied him adequate medical care during his incarceration in the Riverside Regional Jail ("RRJ").[2] The matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. Although Defendant provided Davis with Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975) notice, Davis has not responded. For the reasons that follow, the Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED.


In Davis's remaining claim (Claim One), he contends that Defendant Sample denied him adequate medical care on August 21, 2012 with regard to his complaints of pain, diarrhea, and a pancreatic attack. Specifically, Davis alleges that Defendant Sample ignored his requests for medical attention when he complained of pain and diarrhea on August 21, 2012, and then later ignored his complaints that he was experiencing a pancreatitis attack, laughed at him, and left him lying on the floor in pain. (Compl. 4, ECF No. 1 (as paginated by the CM/ECF docketing system).)


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, All U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "[Wjhere 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 (citation omitted). "[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, Defendant Sample submits: (1) his own declaration (Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1, ECF No. 33-1 ("Sample Decl.")); (2) the declaration of Christy Jones, a Classification Officer at RRJ (id. Ex. 2, ECF No. 33-2 ("Jones Decl.")); and, (3) the declaration of Pauline Hicks, a Correctional Healthcare Assistant at RRJ (id. Ex. 3, ECF No. 33-3 ("Hicks Decl.")).[3]

As a general rule, a non-movant must respond to a motion for summary judgment with affidavits or other verified evidence. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324. Davis failed to respond to the Motion for Summary Judgment. Davis also failed to swear to the contents of his Complaint under penalty of perjury. Accordingly, Davis has submitted no admissible evidence in support of his claim. In light of the foregoing submissions and principles, the following facts are established for the purposes of the motion for summary judgment.


On August 21, 2012, Defendant Sample was working the day shift as a Correctional Officer in Medical Housing Unit 2 at RRJ. (Sample Decl. ¶ 2.) The cells in Medical Housing Unit 2 are unlocked during the day and inmates can move freely between their cells and the common day room area for that unit. (Id.) Defendant Sample was generally aware that Davis "had been complaining during the time he was housed there about how the medical staff were doing his medication in connection with pain he said he had from a chronic medical condition." (Id. ¶ 3.) Nurses conducted rounds in Medical Housing Unit 2 four times a day, at 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m., and provided inmates with their medication. (Id. ¶ 4.)

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on August 21, 2012, Davis came to the control booth where Defendant Sample was stationed. (Id. ¶ 5.) Davis appeared to be in pain, and asked Defendant Sample "what was going on with his medication." (Id.) Defendant Sample told Davis that his "chart had been pulled for the doctor to see." (Id.) Davis "walked away." (Id.)

At approximately 2:47 p.m., while Defendant Sample was conducting rounds of Medical Unit 2, he observed Davis lying on the floor in the area of his cell. (Id. ¶ 6.) Defendant Sample asked Davis why he was on the floor, and Davis told Defendant Sample "that he could not take the pain anymore." (Id.) Defendant Sample "immediately contacted Medical, and spoke to Certified Healthcare Assistant Scoritino and told her about what I observed and what inmate Davis said, and she said that someone from Medical would come over to Medical Housing Unit 2 to see inmate Davis." (Id.) Soon thereafter, Nurse Elliott and another nurse came to evaluate Davis. (Id. ¶ 7.) The nurses spoke with Davis and then called the Nurse Practitioner from the control booth. (Id.)

Classification Officer Christy Jones was conducting interviews in Medical Housing Unit 2, and observed Davis lying on the floor stating he was in pain. (Jones Decl. ¶ 3.) Jones observed Defendant Sample call for medical staff, and two nurses arrived to attend to Davis. (Id.) The nursing staff spoke "with Davis about his medication and there seemed to be some disagreement between Davis and the nursing staff about medication he said he wanted and what medication nursing staff said he was allowed to have." (Id.) When Jones left Medical Housing Unit 2, nursing staff were still attending to Davis. (Id. ¶ 4.) According to Jones, ...

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