United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Michael F. Urbanski Chief United States District Judge
Peter-James Givens, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro
se, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Lynchburg Adult Detention Center “Medical
Staff” and three nurses, alleging that he was denied
adequate medical treatment. The court concludes that
Givens' allegations against the named defendants do not
rise to the level of a federal violation and, therefore, will
dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
alleges that on February 1, 2019, he slipped and fell in the
medical shower and hit his hand “hard.” His hand
swelled immediately and defendant Nurse Mitchell instructed
him to put ice packs on it, to have x-rays, and to fill out a
“request form.” On February 2 or 3, 2019,
defendant Nurse Davis said that his hand looked bruised, that
the swelling was going down, and that it would “be
ok[ay].” Nurse Davis did not think Givens needed an
x-ray. On February 8, 2019, defendant Nurse Jones saw Givens
in “nurse call.” Givens complained that the
swelling and pain were worse, but Nurse Jones said she did
not see anything wrong. On February 11, 2019, Givens had
x-rays, which showed that his hand “was broken.”
Givens states that as of March 7, 2019, he is still waiting
for surgery and his hand “has to be reset.”
Givens seeks “punitive damages for medical neglect,
malpractice, and pain and suffering.”
state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim for denial of
medical care, a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to
demonstrate that jail officials were deliberately indifferent
to a serious medical need. Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 105 (1976); Staples v. Va. Dep't of
Corr., 904 F.Supp. 487, 492 (E.D.Va. 1995). To establish
deliberate indifference, a plaintiff must present facts to
demonstrate that the defendant had actual knowledge of and
disregard for an objectively serious medical need. Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994); see also Rish
v. Johnson, 131 F.2d 1092, 1096 (4th Cir. 1997). A claim
concerning a disagreement between an inmate and medical
personnel regarding diagnosis or course of treatment does not
implicate the Eighth Amendment. Wright v. Collins,
766 F.2d 841, 849 (4th Cir. 1985); Russell v.
Sheffer, 528 F.2d 318, 319 (4th Cir. 1975); Harris
v. Murray, 761 F.Supp. 409, 414 (E.D. Va. 1990).
Questions of medical judgment are not subject to judicial
review. Russell, 528 F.2d at 319 (citing Shields
v. Kunkel, 442 F.2d 409 (9th Cir. 1971)).
“error of judgment” on the part of prison medical
staff or “inadvertent failure to provide adequate
medical care, ” while perhaps sufficient to support an
action for malpractice, does not constitute a constitutional
deprivation redressable under § 1983. Boyce v.
Alizaduh, 595 F.2d 948, 953 (4th Cir. 1979),
abrogated on other grounds by Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319 (1989). Mere negligence does not constitute
deliberate indifference; rather, a prison official must both
be aware of the facts from which the inference could be drawn
that a substantial risk of harm exists and must draw the
inference. Johnson v. Quinones, 145 F.3d 164, 167
(4th Cir. 1998); see also Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837.
The prison official's conduct must be so grossly
incompetent, inadequate, or excessive as to shock the
conscience or to be intolerable to fundamental fairness.
Militier v. Beorn, 896 F.2d 848, 851 (4th Cir.
1990). Mere negligence or malpractice does not rise to the
level of a constitutional violation. See Estelle,
429 U.S. at 106.
case, Givens describes treatment provided to him by each of
the three nurse defendants, all within a week of him injuring
his hand. Givens has not demonstrated that the nurses'
failure to identify his hand as broken rises to the level of
deliberate indifference to his serious medical
need. At most Givens has stated a claim of
negligence, which is not actionable under §
1983. Accordingly, the court will dismiss
Givens' complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
 The court's conditional filing
order entered April 9, 2019 (ECF No. 6) is vacated.
 The court notes that Givens does not
allege that any of the defendants are responsible for any
delay in him receiving surgery.
 Moreover, Lynchburg Adult Detention
Center Medical Staff is not a proper defendant. To state a
claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins,487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Use of the term “staff is not
adequate to state a claim against a “person” as
required in § 1983 actions. See, e.g., Ferguson v.
Morgan, No. 1:90cv06318, 1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8295, at
*3, 1991 WL 115759, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. June 20, 1991)
(concluding that “Medical Staff is not a
“person” for purposes of § 1983); Dudley
v. Food Service-Just Care,519 F.Supp.2d ...