United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
JEFFREY A. MAYS, Administrator for the Estate of DAVID WAYNE MAYS, deceased, Plaintiff,
RONALD N. SPRINKLE, et al., Defendants.
Glen E. Conrad Senior United States District Judge
Wayne Mays died in July of 2016, after being arrested in
Botetourt County, Jeffrey Mays, the decedent's brother
and the administrator of his estate, subsequently filed this
action against the Sheriff of Botetourt County, Ronald
Sprinkle, and eight of the Sheriffs officers, asserting
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Virginia law. On
November 16, 2018, the court granted the defendants'
motion to dismiss, holding, inter alia, that the
plaintiff failed to state a claim for deliberate indifference
under the Fourteenth Amendment against certain defendants.
The plaintiff has moved to alter or amend the judgment under
Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the
reasons that follow, the motion will be denied.
Rule 59(e) motion may be granted only in three
situations: '(1) to accommodate an intervening change in
controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence not
available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of law or
prevent manifest injustice.'" Mayfield v.
Nat'l Ass'n for Stock Car Auto Racing. 674 F.3d
369, 378 (4th Cir. 2012) (emphasis added) (quoting
Zinkand v. Brown. 478 F.3d 634, 637 (4th Cir.
2007)). "It is an extraordinary remedy that should be
applied sparingly" and only in "exceptional
circumstances." Id. The rule "may not be
used to relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments or
present evidence that could have been raised prior to the
entry of judgment." Exxon Shipping Co. v.
Baker. 554 U.S. 471, 486 n.5 (2008) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted).
these principles, the court concludes that the plaintiff is
not entitled to relief under Rule 59(e). In seeking
reconsideration, the plaintiff first challenges the legal
standard that the court applied in evaluating the plaintiffs
claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.
Relying on the Supreme Court's decision in Kingsley
v. Hendrickson. 135 S.Ct. 2466 (2015), the plaintiff
argues that the court should have applied a purely objective
standard. See Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2473 (holding
that "the appropriate standard for a pretrial
detainee's excessive force claim is solely an objective
one"). As the court noted in its previous opinion,
however, Kingsley did not involve a claim of
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, and
neither the Supreme Court nor the Fourth Circuit has extended
its holding to other types of claims under the Fourteenth
Amendment. Although the "Second, Seventh, and Ninth
Circuits have interpreted Kingsley as displacing
prior subjective requirements, ... the Fifth, Eighth, and
Eleventh Circuits have held that Kingsley applies
only to excessive force claims and does not extend to claims
related to conditions of confinement or inadequate medical
Estate of Vallina v. Cty. of Teller Sheriffs Office.
757 Fed.Appx. 643, 646-47 (10th Cir. 2018) (citations
omitted). Consequently, the plaintiff is unable to establish
any clear error in the legal standard employed by the court.
In the absence of express direction from the Supreme Court or
the Fourth Circuit, the court remains convinced that it
appropriately applied the Fourth Circuit's longstanding
standard for deliberate indifference. See, e.g..
Perry v. Barnes, No. 8:16-cv-00705, 2019 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 34596, at *9, n.3 (D. Md. Mar. 5, 2019) (declining to
apply a solely objective standard and noting that
"neither this Court nor the Fourth Circuit has applied
Kingsley to a pretrial detainee's claim of
failure to protect or deliberate indifference to a serious
court must also reject the plaintiffs argument that the court
clearly erred in concluding that the amended complaint failed
to state a claim for deliberate indifference. In reaching its
decision, the court considered the allegations regarding the
decedent's symptoms and his interactions with the named
defendants, and determined that the circumstances alleged in
the amended complaint were similar to those in other cases in
which courts, including the Fourth Circuit, had rejected
claims of deliberate indifference. The court ultimately
concluded that the allegations in the amended complaint did
not support the conclusion that the decedent's need for
medical attention was sufficiently obvious, or that the
defendants actually knew of and disregarded an excessive risk
of serious harm.. While the plaintiff obviously disagrees
with the court's decision, "mere disagreement does
not support a Rule 59(e) motion." Hutchinson v.
Staton. 994 F.2d 1076, 1082 (4th Cir. 1993).
these reasons, the court finds no basis to alter or amend its
order of dismissal under Rule 59(e). Accordingly, the
plaintiffs motion will be denied. If the plaintiff continues
to believe that the court erred in dismissing the amended
complaint, the appropriate course of .action is to appeal the
court's decision to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit.
Clerk is directed to send copies of this memorandum opinion
and the accompanying order to all counsel of record.
court notes that the Tenth, Third, and Sixth Circuits have
declined to address the issue. See Estate of Vallina v.
Cty. of Teller Sheriff's Office.757 Fed.Appx. 643,
647 (10th Cir. 2018); Moore v. Luffey, 767 Fed.Appx.
335, 340 n.2 (3d Cir. 2019); Williams v. City of
Georgetown. No. ...