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Lassiter v. Jamaludeen

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

October 20, 2017

STACEY LASSITER, Plaintiff,
v.
DOCTOR JAMALUDEEN, et ah, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge.

         Stacey Lassiter, a former Virginia prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter proceeds on Lassiter's Particularized Complaint ("Complaint").[1] Lassiter alleges that, during his confinement in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center ("VBCC"), Dr. Abdul Jamaludeen and Physician Assistant ("PA") Catharine Cartwright ("Defendants") denied him adequate medical care. Specifically, Lassiter asserts that:

Claim One Despite Lassiter's medical condition which required that he be assigned to a bottom bunk, Defendants failed to assign Lassiter to a bottom bunk upon Lassiter's arrival at the VBCC. (Compl. 1.)
Claim Two Defendants denied Lassiter prompt and adequate medical care after Lassiter fell from his top bunk. (Id. at 1-2.)

         Defendants have moved for summary judgment. Lassiter has not responded. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 42) will be GRANTED.

         I. STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         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). It is the responsibility of the party seeking summary judgment 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 support of his Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants have submitted: (1) Jamaludeen's Declaration (Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1 ("Jamaludeen Decl."), ECF No. 43-1); (2) Cartwright's Declaration (id. Ex. 2 ("Cartwright Decl."), ECF No. 43-2); and, (3) a copy of Lassiter's Medical Records (id. Ex. 3, ECF No. 43-3).

         As Lassiter failed to respond, Lassiter fails to cite the Court to any evidence that he wishes the Court to consider in opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3) (emphasizing that "[t]he court need consider only the cited materials" in deciding a motion for summary judgment). Lassiter's complete failure to present any evidence to counter Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment permits the Court to rely solely on Defendants' submissions in deciding the Motion for Summary Judgment. See Forsyth v. Barr, 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir. 1994) ("'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.'" (quoting Skotak v. Tenneco Resins, Inc., 953 F.2d 909, 915 & n.7 (5th Cir. 1992))).

         Accordingly, the following facts are established for the Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court draws all permissible inferences in favor of Lassiter.

         II. UNDISPUTED FACTS

         Lassiter entered the VBCC on or around October 21, 2014 and underwent an intake evaluation. (See Jamaludeen Decl. \1.) At that time, Lassiter had no medical conditions that warranted a bottom bunk assignment. (Id.)

         On October 23, 2014, after reporting that he fell from his bunk three days earlier and hurt his left thumb and right shoulder, Lassiter was seen in the Medical Department by PA Cartwright. (Cartwright Decl. 8.) Lassiter "had good strength and movement in the thumb and shoulder, but some pain." (Id.) PA Cartwright prescribed medications, including Mobic, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory for his injuries, and Lassiter was told to follow up in 30 days. (Id.)

         On November 10, 2014, an LPN saw Lassiter and Lassiter reported that he could not lift his right arm. (Id. \ 9.) However, in the clinic, Lassiter was ...


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