United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Jackson L. Kiser, Senior United States District Judge.
Brady Lester, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, commenced
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
defendants associated with the Virginia Department of
Corrections ("VDOC"). Currently pending are
defendants Harold Clarke and Mark Amonette's motion to
dismiss [ECF No. 203] and defendant Dr. Matthew
McCarthy's motion to dismiss and in the alternative for
summary judgment [ECF No. 199]. I referred the motions to a
United States Magistrate Judge for a report and
recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The
Magistrate Judge filed a report and recommendation on July 5,
2018 (ECF No. 303), recommending that defendants' motions
be denied. Only defendant Dr. McCarthy responded, objecting
to the recommended denial of his motion [ECF No. 304]. After
reviewing the record, I sustain the objection, reject in part
and adopt in part the report and recommendation, grant Dr.
McCarthy's motion for summary judgment, and deny Clarke
and Amonette's motion to dismiss.
district court must review de novo any part of a
report and recommendation to which a party objects properly.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Orpiano v. Johnson,
687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). The district court's
reasoning need not be elaborate or lengthy, but it must
provide a specific rationale that permits meaningful
appellate review. See, e.g.. United States v.
Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 330 (4th Cir. 2009). A party must
object "with sufficient specificity so as reasonably to
alert the district court of the true ground for the
objection." United States v. Midgette, 478 F.3d
616, 622 (4th Cir. 2007). The Fourth Circuit explained that:
To conclude otherwise would defeat the purpose of requiring
objections. We would be permitting a party to appeal any
issue that was before the magistrate judge, regardless of the
nature and scope of objections made to the magistrate
judge's report. Either the district court would then have
to review every issue in the magistrate judge's proposed
findings and recommendations or courts of appeals would be
required to review issues that the district court never
considered. In either case, judicial resources would be
wasted and the district court's effectiveness based on
help from magistrate judges would be undermined.
novo review is not required "when a party makes
general or conclusory objections that do not direct the court
to a specific error in the magistrate judge's proposed
findings and recommendations." Orpiano, 687
F.2d at 47. An objection that repeats arguments raised before
a magistrate judge is deemed a general objection to the
entire the report and recommendation, which is the same as a
failure to object. Veney v. Astrue, 539 F.Supp.2d
841, 845 (W.D. Va. 2008). A district court is also not
required to review any issue de novo when no party
objects. See, e.g.. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140, 149 (1985); Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200
(4th Cir. 1983).
district court reviews for clear error any part of a report
and recommendation not properly objected to. Diamond v.
Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315
(4th Cir. 2005). Clear error means that a court, after
"reviewing ... the entire evidence[, ] is left with the
definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
committed." United States v. United States Gypsum
Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948); see FTC v. Ross,
743 F.3d 886, 894 (4th Cir. 2014) (noting a factual finding
based on the resolution of conflicting evidence is entitled
to deference under the clear error standard).
is infected with Hepatitis-C ("HCV") and
incarcerated in the VDOC. Plaintiff has one kidney, suffers
from hyperthyroidism, and has experienced chronic fatigue and
sharp, stabbing pain under his right rib cage.
Amonette is the VDOC's Chief Physician and makes the
decision whether an inmate with HCV may consult with a
specialist physician at Virginia Commonwealth
University's ("VCU") HCV Telemedicine Clinic.
Dr. Amonette is supposed to make this decision based on the
VDOC's Interim Guideline for Chronic Hepatitis C
Infection Management ("Guideline") that he
Guideline is the VDOC's protocol to triage HCV in the
VDOC inmate population. It prioritizes those inmates with
more advanced liver disease by relying on, inter
alia, blood test results known as APRI that calculate a
level of liver impairment. If an inmate qualifies under the
Guideline, he is allowed to consult with the specialist at
antiviral drugs ("DAAs") have been the current
standard of medical care for treating HCV since 2013. DAA
treatment lasts about 12 weeks, has a high rate of
effectiveness, and is effective at any stage of the disease.