United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
Santee J. Blair, Plaintiff,
Pamela Smith, et al, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Bruce Lee United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on defendants' Motions for
Summary Judgment. This case concerns claims asserted by
Santee J. Blair, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Defendants Nurse Lauren
Bonney and Nurse Victoria Cordova have filed a Motion for
Summary Judgment as well as a memorandum of law with
supporting exhibits.Dkt. Nos. 31-32. Plaintiff filed a Traverse
to Defendant's [sic] Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt.
No. 43. Defendants filed a Reply to Plaintiffs Traverse. Dkt.
No. 44. Plaintiff filed a surreply in which he seeks to
strike defendants' reply as improperly filed. Dkt. No.
45. Because defendants' reply was filed in accordance
with Local Rule 7(F), it will not be stricken. The matter is
now ripe for disposition. The issue before the Court is
whether to grant defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.
The Court concludes that there is no genuine issue of
material fact as to the claims against defendants Bonney and
Cordova and, therefore, their Motion for Summary Judgment
will be granted.
undisputed record establishes the following
facts. Plaintiff arrived at the Chesapeake
Correctional Center ("CCC") on July 3, 2014, at
which point he was screened by the medical staff. Bonney Aff.
at ¶ 3. Plaintiff "reported a history of migraines
and occasional, sharp pains in his chest area, as well as an
allergy to pork. [Plaintiff] did not report any history of
renal disease at that time." Id. During a July
14, 2014 medical examination plaintiff "reported a
history of migraines and GERD. [He] did not report any
history of renal disease at that time." Id. at
¶ 4. Plaintiff was prescribed Zantac for his GERD. Defs.
MS J at Ex. C. During an October 29, 2014 medical evaluation
plaintiff did not report a history of renal disease. Bonney
Aff. at ¶ 5. Plaintiff was ordered a regular diet and
his allergy to turkey was noted. Id.
November 3, 2014, plaintiff submitted a Health Services
Request Form in which he stated that he was being provided a
"Turkey Allergy Diet" despite the fact that he was
"put on Renal Diet" on October 26 and 29, 2014 by a
physician. Defs. MSJ at Ex. C. Plaintiff also stated that his
calorie count was not being met. Bonney Aff. at ¶ 6.
Plaintiff was examined by Bonney on November 11, 2014, in
response to his complaints. Id. Plaintiffs vitals
were normal and he "did not describe any sort of health
problems that resulted from these complaints about his
diet." Id. More specifically, Bonney noted
that, on October 29, 2014, plaintiff "reported Food
Allergy to Turkey. No [history] of Renal Disease reported to
noted for inmate to avoid Turkey - inmate was entered for a
Regular Diet [with] Turkey Allergy." Defs. MS J at Ex.
C. Accordingly, based on her assessment of plaintiff, Bonney
determined that "there was no medical need for
[plaintiff] to be placed on a renal diet at that time
...." Bonney Aff. at ¶ 6. In addition, Bonney did
not have the authority to place plaintiff on a renal diet.
Id. at ¶ 7. Bonney also spoke with the food
provider and informed them that plaintiff "was to be
given three meals per day, with a total calorie count of
2600-2700 calories." Id. at ¶ 6. Finally,
Bonney advised plaintiff that he had to speak with deputy
staff regarding filing a grievance. Id.
November 21, 2014, plaintiff was evaluated for constipation,
sharp, intermittent pain, and flatulence. Id. at
¶ 8. Plaintiff was prescribed Dulcolax and Colace
(Docusate). Id. He did not complain of hemorrhoids
or bleeding at the time. Id. On November 23, 2014,
plaintiff was seen for chest pain, especially after eating.
Id. at ¶ 9. He walked to the clinic without
issue, had no apparent distress, had stable vital signs, and
had a normal EKG. Id. Plaintiff refused a "GI
cocktail" for indigestion and to sign the charge slip.
November 25, 2014, Cordova "collected [plaintiffs]
Health Services Request Form, dated November 23, 2014."
Id. at ¶ 10. On the form, plaintiff stated that
he was "[illegible] blood not just little spots. [He
was] rolling on the floor in pain, ... throwing up and [he
could not] use the bathroom." Defs. MS J at Ex. C.
Plaintiff told Cordova that he was "in severe pain and
could not move, that [he] had been throwing up, bleeding
tremendously from the anus, and needed to go to medical to
find out what [was] wrong." Blair Aff. at ¶2.
"never responded or scheduled [him] for a doctor's
appointment, nor attempted to examine [plaintiff] to see what
was wrong;" rather, Cordova "signed the medical
form, Nonurgent, and left, leaving plaintiff to suffer
...." Id. Based on plaintiff s "medical
condition, [Cordova] determined that [plaintiff] was not in
need of immediate medical attention" and she
"submitted the form to the medical department."
Cordova Aff. at ¶ 6.
same day, plaintiff refused to take certain medications,
including the Colace he was prescribed for his constipation.
Bonney Aff. at ¶ 11. The next day, plaintiff again
refused medication because he was "stressed out."
Id. at ¶ 12.
Standard of Review
judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The moving party bears the burden
of proving that judgment on the pleadings is appropriate.
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett. 477 U.S. 317. 323
(1986). Tomeetthat burden, the moving party must demonstrate
that no genuine issues of material fact are present for
resolution. Id. at 322. Once a moving party has met
its burden to show that it is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party
to point out the specific facts that create disputed factual
issues. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby. Inc.. 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp.. 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). In evaluating a
motion for summary judgment, a district court should consider
the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party and draw all reasonable inferences from those facts in
favor of that party. United States v. Diebold. Inc..
369 U.S. 654. 655 f 1962). Those facts which the moving party
bears the burden of proving are facts which are material.
"[T]he substantive law will identify which facts are
material. Only disputes over facts which might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly
preclude the entry of summary judgment."
Anderson. 477 U.S. at 248. An issue of material fact
is genuine when, "the evidence ... create[s] [a] fair
doubt; wholly speculative assertions will not suffice."
Ross v. Commc'ns Satellite Corp.. 759 F.2d 355,
364 (4th Cir. 1985), abrogated on other grounds
bv Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. 490 U.S. 228 (1989).
Thus, summary judgment is appropriate only where no material
facts are genuinely disputed and the evidence as a whole
could not lead a rational fact finder to rule for the
nonmoving party. Matsushita. 475 U.S. at 587.
judgment in favor of defendants Bonney and Cordova is
appropriate because the pleadings, affidavits, and exhibits
on file demonstrate that they did not violate plaintiffs
Eighth Amendment rights. Plaintiff alleges that defendants
Bonney and Cordova were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs when (1) Bonney failed to provide
plaintiff with an allergy test, schedule a doctor's
appointment, or screen plaintiff for health issues on