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Hinton v. McCabe

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

June 11, 2018

DONALD LEE HINTON, Plaintiff,
v.
P. McCABE, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JOHN A. GIBNEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Donald Lee Hinton, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on March 29, 2018, the Court granted Defendant Dr. Calhoun's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF Nos. 91, 92.) In his remaining claim, Hinton contends that Nurse Patricia McCabe denied him adequate medical care during his incarceration in the Lawrenceville Correctional Center ("LCC"). The matter is before the Court on Defendant McCabe's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 93.) Despite the provision of Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975) notice, Hinton has not responded. For the reasons that follow, the Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED and the action will be DISMISSED.

         I. SUMMARY OF RELEVANT ALLEGATIONS

         During the pendency of this litigation, Hinton has filed nearly everything as a "Motion, " and has continuously submitted procedurally improper filings with made-up titles. Hinton's numerous submissions, including motions and piecemeal complaints, have made the case difficult to process and his claims difficult to discern. In his operative Complaint (ECF No. 31), [1] Hinton contends that Defendant McCabe violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments because she "put a contaminated needle that had the deadly Hepatitis C virus and gave Plaintiff this deadly virus" and that as a "professional certified nurse, [she] knew not to use a contaminated needle." (Compl. 1 .)[2] As discussed below, to the extent these vague statements amount to claims for relief, the record refutes that Hinton contracted Hepatitis C from Defendant McCabe's use of a contaminated needle.

         II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

         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 (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 Schuylkill & Dauphin Imp. Co. v. Munson, 81 U.S. 442, 448, 20 L.Ed. 867 (1871)).

         In support of her Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendant McCabe cites to: (1) Dr. Calhoun's declaration (Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, ECF No. 75-1 ("Calhoun Decl.")); and, (2) Hinton's extensive medical records during the relevant period (id. Ex. B, ECF No. 75- 2).

         Hinton failed to respond to the Motion for Summary Judgment, thereby failing to cite to any evidence that he wishes the Court to consider in opposition. 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). While Hinton swore to the contents of his Complaint, his Complaint fails to constitute admissible evidence.[3] Hinton's complete failure to present any evidence to counter Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment permits the Court to rely solely on Defendant's 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))); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3) ("The Court need consider only the cited materials...").

         In light of the foregoing submissions and principles, the following facts are established for the purposes of the motion for summary judgment.

         III. SUMMARY OF UNDISPUTED FACTS

         Defendant Calhoun has been employed as an institutional physician at LCC since July 2011 and has been practicing medicine for thirty-nine years. (Calhoun Aff. ¶ 1.) On the morning of April 15, 2015, Defendant Calhoun and Nurse McCabe were working at LCC. (Id. ¶ 4.) Nurse McCabe was responsible for that morning's diabetic call during which diabetic inmates reported for glucose testing, insulin, and other treatment as needed. (Id.) Hinton was among the inmates who reported for diabetic call that morning. (Id. ¶ 5.) Later that morning, Defendant Calhoun learned that Nurse McCabe may have reused a needle to administer insulin. (Id. ¶ 6.) Defendant Calhoun was concerned that any cross-contamination could place LCC's diabetic inmates at risk of contracting infectious diseases and the medical staff were instructed to obtain laboratory testing samples from the diabetic inmates so medical staff "could obtain a baseline for monitoring these inmates for infectious diseases." (Id. ¶ 7.) Medical staff obtained a laboratory testing sample from Hinton approximately two hours after the morning diabetic call and the sample was sent out for testing the same day. (Id. ¶ 8.)

         On June 8, 2015, the medical staff at LCC received the test results for Hinton. (Id. ¶ 9.) The test results indicated that Hinton tested positive for Hepatitis B and C antibodies. (Id.) On July 1, 2015, medical staff obtained blood samples from Hinton and sent the samples out for repeat testing. (Id. ¶ 10.) On July 7, 2015, [4] the laboratory again reported that Hinton tested positive for both Hepatitis B and C antibodies. (Id.) On July 14, 2015, medical staff obtained additional samples from Hinton and sent the samples out for testing to ascertain whether Hinton was positive for Hepatitis C ribonucleic acid ("RNA"). (Id. ¶ 11.) On July 17, 2015, the laboratory reported that Hinton was positive for Hepatitis C RNA. (Id.)

         On October 2, 2015, medical staff obtained additional samples from Hinton and Defendant Calhoun ordered testing for the RNA genotype for Hinton's Hepatitis C. (Id. ¶ 12.) On October 9, 2015, the laboratory returned results indicating that Hinton's RNA genotype was lb, a less prevalent form of Hepatitis C. (Id.) As of April 2015, there were three inmates at LCC other than Hinton who ...


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