United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
GLEN E. WILDER, JR., Plaintiff,
JAMES WHITLEY, et al., Defendants.
Michael F. Urbanski Chief United States District Judge.
Wilder, Jr., a federal inmate proceeding pro se, filed an
amended complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Defendants are associated with the Northwestern Regional
Adult Detention Center ("Jail"): Superintendent
James Whitley, Captain Allen Barr, Nurse Sheila Miller, and
Physician Assistant ("P. A.") Robert Dryden.
Plaintiff asserts that Defendants failed to provide adequate
medical care, in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the
United States Constitution. Defendants filed motions for
summary judgment, and Plaintiff responded, making this matter
ripe for disposition. After reviewing the record, the court
grants Defendants' motions for summary judgment.
lost his balance while walking on a wet floor at the Jail on
November 20, 2016, and felt pain in his right knee. Two days
later, medical staff examined his knee, noting his range of
motion was good, his gait was within normal limits, he
tolerated weight bearing without difficulty, his push/pull
abilities were "good," and there was mild
inflammation on the "superior aspect of the
patella." A nurse authorized a knee wrap and ibuprofen,
200 m.g. twice daily for five days. An X ray was taken on
December 5th, which revealed mild spurring and medial joint
space narrowing but no fracture or dislocation.
met with P. A. Dryden on December 15th. The P.A.'s exam
was generally within normal limits, except for a note that
the knee was tender to palpation near the patella and that
Plaintiff reported limping. P. A. Dryden diagnosed a knee
sprain and ordered Naprosyn, 500 m.g. twice a day for 30
days; Flexeril, 10 m.g. twice a day for ten days; and a
follow-up in thirty days.
returned to the medical department on January 6, 2017,
complaining of increased pain and swelling and noting he had
used crutches for the prior two days. The medical exam was
generally within normal limits except for reduced motion due
to pain. Plaintiff was prescribed Meloxicam, 15 m.g. four
times a day for fifteen days, and told to report the efficacy
of the treatment.
January 18th, Nurse Miller responded to Plaintiffs grievance
about his dissatisfaction with treatment and wanting an MRI.
Nurse Miller reviewed the medical record and replied, noting
that Meloxicam needed three to four weeks for full effect and
no one had yet authorized an MRI.
January 26th, Plaintiff had his follow-up appointment about
the efficacy of Meloxicam. P.A. Dryden ordered an MRI, a
neoprene knee sleeve, and Naprosyn, 500 m.g. twice a day for
thirty days. The MRI done on February 3, 2017, revealed an
ACL tear, and P.A. Dryden promptly referred Plaintiff to an
orthopedist. On February 16th, staff scheduled Plaintiff to
visit an orthopedist in March. On February 28, 2017, the
Virginia Department of Corrections took custody of Plaintiff
and transferred him out of the Jail.
support of his claims, Plaintiff asserts that he "told
Defendants of [his] ongoing pain, swelling, and lack of
movement in [his]knee[;] however, Defendants denied [him]
proper medical attention and treatment." Plaintiff also
complains that Defendants did not offer "physical
therapy or surgery to stabilize his knee and repair the tear
to [his] ACL."
is entitled to summary judgment if the pleadings, the
disclosed materials on file, and any affidavits show that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Material facts are those necessary to
establish the elements of a party's cause of action.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A genuine dispute of material fact exists if, in
viewing admissible evidence and all reasonable inferences
drawn therefrom in a light most favorable to the non-moving
party, a reasonable fact-finder could return a verdict for
the non-movant. Id. The moving party has the burden
of showing-"that is, pointing out to the district court
- that there is an absence of evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case." Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett. 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). If the movant
satisfies this burden, then the non-movant must set forth
specific facts that demonstrate the existence of a genuine
dispute of fact for trial. Id. at 322-24. A party is
entitled to summary judgment if the admissible evidence as a
whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find in
favor of the non-movant. Williams v. Griffin. 952
F.2d 820, 823 (4th Cir. 1991). "Mere unsupported
speculation ... is not enough to defeat a summary judgment
motion." Ennis v. Nat'l Ass'n of Bus. &
Educ. Radio, Inc., 53 F.3d 55, 62 (4th Cir. 1995). A
plaintiff cannot use a response to a motion for summary
judgment to amend or correct a complaint challenged by the
motion for summary judgment. Cloaninger v. McDevitt.
555 F.3d 324, 336 (4th Cir. 2009).
asserts that Defendants are liable for their deliberate
indifference to his knee injury. The court disagrees and
finds that Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity and
plaintiff must show that a defendant acted with deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need to state a claim under
the Eighth Amendment for the unconstitutional denial of
medical assistance. West v. Atkins,487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988); Estelle v. Gamble. 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976);
Conner v. Donnelly,42 F.3d 220, 222 (4th Cir.
1994). A serious medical need is a condition that "has
been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment or one
that is so obvious that even a lay person would easily
recognize the necessity for a doctor's attention."
Iko v. Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 241 (4th Cir. 2008).
Deliberate indifference requires a state actor to have been
personally aware of facts indicating a substantial risk of
serious harm, and the actor must have actually recognized the
existence of such a risk. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 838 (1994). "Deliberate indifference may be
demonstrated by either actual intent or reckless
disregard." Miltier v. Beorn. 896 F.2d 848, 851
(4th Cir. 1990); see Parrish ex rel. Lee v.
Cleveland.372 F.3d 294, 303 (4th Cir. 2004)
("[T]he evidence must show that the official in question
subjectively recognized that his actions were
'inappropriate in light of that risk.'").
"A defendant acts recklessly by disregarding a
substantial risk of danger that is either known to the
defendant or which would be ...