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James Brown v. Dana Renee Darnold and Kimberley J. Clevy

September 14, 2011

JAMES BROWN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DANA RENEE DARNOLD AND KIMBERLEY J. CLEVY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter came before the Court on August 8, 2011, for a hearing on the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants Dana Renee Darnold and Kimberley J. Clevy. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff James Brown, an inmate at the Lawrence Correctional Center, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights by Defendants Darnold and Clevy, who are nurses at the Lawrence Correctional Center. Sometime around March 25, 2007, Plaintiff began experiencing pain in his lower back. He completed a resident request slip requesting to see a doctor because the ibuprofen and non-aspirin pain reliever he purchased from the commissary were no longer working. On March 28, 2007, a nurse gave Plaintiff ibuprofen, analgesic balm, and a cold compress. Plaintiff maintains that these treatments were ineffective and did not relieve his pain. The following day, Plaintiff complained that he was having trouble lifting trays due to his back pain and asked to see medical personnel. Instead, Plaintiff was granted a three-day "lay-in," during which he was permitted to remain in his cell.

On March 30, 2007, Plaintiff completed a resident request slip requesting to be seen by a doctor for his back pain because the medications prescribed were not treating his pain. On March 31, 2007, Plaintiff declared a medical emergency. Consequently, Plaintiff was transported by Defendant Darnold via wheelchair to the Health Care Unit.

Plaintiff complains about the way he was transported by Defendant Darnold. On March 31st, she brought a wheelchair to the bottom of the stairs near Plaintiff's cell. Plaintiff grabbed onto a pole to assist him in going down the stairs. Plaintiff alleges that from the time he limped out of his cell, Defendant Darnold was yelling at him, telling him that he would not receive any medication for his pain and that his pain was caused by a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Plaintiff claims that Defendant Darnold intentionally pushed his wheelchair at a high rate of speed over the cracks and bumps in the floor, exacerbating his back pain. Plaintiff claims that during the transport from his cell to the Health Care Unit, he told Defendant Darnold that he was going to file a grievance about her conduct and, in turn, Defendant Darnold threatened Plaintiff that if he did file a grievance against her, he would not receive treatment for his condition. Upon arrival at the Health Care Unit, Defendant Darnold transferred care to Defendant Clevy and had no further contact with Plaintiff.

When Plaintiff arrived at the Health Care Unit, he was placed under a 23-hour observation. Plaintiff alleges that he repeatedly requested that Defendant Clevy give him more pain medication but that such medication was denied throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening of March 31st. When the nursing shift changed, Plaintiff was given Tylenol for his pain.

On April 1, 2007, Defendant Clevy told Plaintiff that he would return to his cell after lunch. With the aid of another inmate, Plaintiff got dressed. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Clevy denied his request for a wheelchair or crutches and, instead, gave him two Tylenol pills. Plaintiff then attempted to walk out of the Health Care Unit with help from other inmates, but his muscles spasmed, causing him to fall to the floor and yell in pain. Plaintiff eventually got back into bed with the help of another inmate, where he laid curled up in a ball. Defendant Clevy instructed him to stop screaming and to roll over on his back. Plaintiff said he needed helping turning over, at which time Defendant Clevy, who was standing at the foot of Plaintiff's bed, allegedly grabbed Plaintiff's ankles and "snatched" his legs straight. Plaintiff contends that Defendant Clevy then laughed as he writhed in pain. Plaintiff left the Health Care Unit on April 2, 2007.

During his May 28, 2010, deposition, Plaintiff summarized his claims:

1. Against Defendant Darnold for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs by transporting him in a rough and reckless manner from his cell to the Health Care Unit on March 31, 2007 (see Doc. 60-1 at 7). Plaintiff claims that the rough transport exacerbated his back pain (id.);

2. Against Defendant Clevy for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs for assaulting Plaintiff by snatching his legs straight while he was having a muscle spasm on April 1, 2007 (see Doc. 60-1 at 8-9). Plaintiff claims that Defendant Clevy's actions exacerbated his existing injuries and created new injuries in his lower legs (id. at 10). Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Clevy exhibited deliberate indifference by failing to give him any pain medication and refusing to assist him in any way (id. at 8-10); and

3. Against Defendant Darnold for retaliating against him by withholding pain medication after he indicated on March 31, 2007, that he would file a grievance against her (see Doc. 60-1 at 14-16).

Plaintiff contends that his condition has worsened since this series of events. Specifically, he claims to suffer from numbness in his shin and sharp muscle pain in his leg; as a result he has ...


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