United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
JASON R. JORDAN, Plaintiff,
T. LARGE, Defendant.
MEADE SARGENT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
R. Jordan, a Virginia inmate, filed this action pro se
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging claims against
the defendant, Sergeant T. Large, for violation of his Eighth
and First Amendment rights while incarcerated at Red Onion
State Prison, (“Red Onion”). In his Complaint,
Jordan alleged that Large broke his radio and headphones
during a search of his cell on July 15, 2016, and, later that
same day, kicked Jordan in the groin area in retaliation for
filing a grievance and lawsuit challenging Red Onion's
Step-Down Program. Jordan also alleged that Large's kick
to his groin area was a use of excessive force against him.
claims were tried to a jury on February 26, 2019, by which
time, Jordan was represented by counsel. The next day,
February 27, 2019, the jury found in Jordan's favor on
his retaliation claim and awarded him damages of $25, 000;
the jury deadlocked and could not reach a verdict on
Jordan's excessive force claim. Defense counsel sought,
and were granted, an extension of time to file post-trial
motions. The matter is now before the court on the
defendant's Motion For New Trial, (Docket Item No. 85)
(“Motion”). In addition to opposing the Motion,
Jordan has moved to voluntarily dismiss his excessive force
claim, should the court deny the Motion to grant a new trial
on his retaliation claim and enter judgment on the jury's
verdict. (Docket Item No. 94).
trial, Jordan testified that he was housed in the D6 Pod at
Red Onion on July 15, 2016, when he was placed in a shower
stall while officers searched his cell. Jordan said that
defendant Large approached him in the shower and told him
that his radio and headphones were broken. Jordan said that
he told Large, “That's impossible, because I just
bought my radio and my headphones two weeks ago.”
Jordan said that Large told him that Stacy Day instructed
Large to break Jordan's radio because Jordan had filed a
grievance and lawsuits. Jordan testified that he then got
into an argument with Large, resulting in him being charged
with a disciplinary offense for threatening bodily harm. On
cross-examination, Jordan admitted that he threatened Large
by stating something like, “Remember me back in C
building? … I go hard.” Jordan admitted that he
accepted responsibility for making this threat by accepting a
penalty offer made on the charge.
said, as a result of being charged, he was then escorted by
Large and two other correctional officers from the D6 pod out
into the D Building yard to a cell in the D3 Pod. Jordan
testified that the two correctional officers escorted him
with their hands on his arms and shoulders, while Large
walked behind them. Jordan said the officers escorted him to
a remote area of the yard “away from all the
surveillance cameras” when Large “aggressively
kicked me in my groin” from behind. Jordan said that he
groaned and leaned over because he could not straighten up.
His testified that Large told him “You better
straighten up; or not, I'm going to slam your black ass
on the pavement.” Despite intense pain, Jordan said
that he straightened up and walked into the D3 Building.
said that Large denied his requests to see a nurse for his
injuries and to receive an emergency grievance form. Jordan
said when Nurse Shannon Woods came around for pill call that
afternoon, he told her that Large had assaulted him. Jordan
said that Woods asked him to pull down his pants so she could
briefly examine him. She then told him to fill out a request
form to schedule a sick call with Medical. Jordan said he
completed the request form and gave it to Woods. Jordan said
that he also told a male nurse the next day about Large
Offender Request form, dated July 18, 2016, was entered into
evidence as Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 2. (Docket Item No.
67-1.) This form stated, “On 7-16-16 RN Collier came to
D3 to provide Tylenol for my pain where I was kick[ed] below
the waist by Sgt. T. Large.” Despite admitting that he
completed this form, Jordan denied that Nurse Collier
provided him with any Tylenol or treatment for his injuries.
On the form, Jordan requested an x-ray of his genital area
because he was passing blood in his urine and was in pain.
The form is stamped stating it was received by the Medical
Department on July 19, 2016, and S. Mullins responded on July
19, 2016, that Jordan was “Scheduled For Sick
said that he was examined by Nurse S. Mullins on July 20,
2016. Jordan said that he told Mullins how he was injured on
July 15, and he requested an x-ray. Jordan said that he was
seen by a doctor for his injury on July 28, 2016. Jordan said
that his testicles remained so swollen and painful that he
could not sit down, lie down on the bed, sleep or take a
testified that he filed an Informal Complaint regarding Large
kicking him on the date it occurred, July 15, 2016, but the
Informal Complaint introduced into evidence as
Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 4 was dated July 22, 2016.
(Docket Item No. 67-3.) Jordan said that he also filed the
Regular Grievance introduced into evidence as Plaintiff's
Exhibit No. 5. (Docket Item No. 67-4.) On both the Informal
Complaint and Regular Grievance, Jordan wrote nothing about
Large breaking his radio and headphones, but, instead, stated
that Large said he was “confiscating” his radio
Large testified that he worked as a correctional sergeant at
Red Onion on July 15, 2016, supervising correctional officers
doing a “shakedown, ” a quarterly search of
offender cells for weapons or contraband. Large testified
that when Jordan's cell was searched that day, a radio
was found that was confiscated. Large stated that Jordan
became upset and began yelling from the shower stall, so he
walked down to talk with Jordan. Large said that, after he
told Jordan that his radio was being removed to be inspected
by Property, Jordan said, “You bitches don't
remember me from C building. I go hard and you're about
to get some.” Large said he perceived the statement as
a threat, and he charged Jordan with making a threat. Based
on the charge, Large said, Jordan was moved to prehearing
detention in segregation in the D3 Pod.
said that Jordan was restrained in handcuffs and leg irons as
he was walked by two officers from the D6 Pod to the D3 Pod.
Large said that each officer escorting Jordan had one hand on
Jordan's shoulder and the other on Jordan's elbow.
Large said that he walked behind Jordan and the other two
officers, and he had no physical contact with Jordan. Large
specifically denied kicking Jordan.
the close of evidence the jury was instructed, in part:
In this case, plaintiff has two claims under Section 1983.
The plaintiff's first claim is an excessive ...