United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
JAMES J. HAMILTON, Plaintiff,
JONNA GRUBBS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the joint motion of defendant
LeAnn Vogt for summary judgment, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). The issues are fully briefed.
James J. Hamilton, an inmate confined at the Eastern
Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (ERDCC) in
Bonne Terre, Missouri, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. In Count III of the fourth amended
complaint, plaintiff claims that Vogt, a licensed clinical
social worker, was deliberately indifferent to his serious
56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
summary judgment shall be entered if the moving party shows
“that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law.” In ruling on a motion for summary judgment the
court is required to view the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and must give that party
the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be drawn from the
underlying facts. AgriStor Leasing v. Farrow, 826
F.2d 732, 734 (8th Cir. 1987). The moving party bears the
burden of showing both the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact and its entitlement to judgment as a matter of
law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242
(1986); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). Once the moving
party has met its burden, the non-moving party may not rest
on the allegations of his pleadings but must set forth
specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that
a genuine issue of material fact exists. United of Omaha
Life Ins. Co. v. Honea, 458 F.3d 788, 791 (8th Cir.
2006) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). Rule 56 “mandates
the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for
discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make
a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
January 17, 2014, until March 13, 2014, plaintiff was
confined in the administrative segregation unit in House 1.
After a brief transfer to a different unit, plaintiff
returned to administrative segregation in House 1 on April 9
Vogt, an employee of MHM Correctional Services, Inc., was
contracted to provide mental health services to prisoners at
the ERDCC. Her duties included conducting weekly rounds of
the administrative segregation unit in House 1, assessing the
prisoners' mental health. According to plaintiff,
Vogt's primary role was to determine if prisoners were
homicidal or suicidal. She examined plaintiff once per week
while he was confined in House 1, inquiring whether he was
intent on harming himself or others. He admits that he was
neither homicidal nor suicidal at any point during his
alleges he began suffering from symptoms of PTSD and
psycho-affective disorder in January 2014 while confined in
House 1. At his deposition plaintiff alleged his symptoms
included “flashbacks, ” “cold chills,
” “hurting” badly, and experiencing a state
“between waking and sleep, ” which he described
as a “mental living hell.” Id. at 75-77.
Plaintiff admits he did not alert Vogt to his condition
during his first few encounters with her.
his symptoms became more acute, plaintiff filed at least one
health service request (HSR). In that HSR, dated January 27,
2014, plaintiff reported having been diagnosed with
schizoaffective disorder, PTSD, “multiple personality
disorder, ” and epilepsy. [Doc. #118-5] He also wrote:
“need sleep psyc & medication bad.”
Id. Plaintiff did not identify any extant symptoms
on that form, only his past diagnoses and his present desire
for sleep and to receive psychiatric services and
medications. See Id. It is assumed Vogt was aware of
addition to the HSR, the record shows plaintiff was examined
by other medical professionals while confined in House 1.
Plaintiff denied mental health complaints on twenty-one
separate occasions from January 17 through March 13. [Doc.
#118-6] The treatment providers' notes specifically
reflect that plaintiff denied mental health complaints on
January 24 and January 29, just days before and after he
filed the HSR on January 27. Id. at 4. Though
plaintiff argues that those records do not reflect his actual
condition, he does not deny he had nearly two dozen
encounters with other medical staff during the timeframe at
issue. He also does not contend that he asked them to refer
him to a psychiatrist, told them about his alleged symptoms,
or demanded medication. Plaintiff also offers no evidence to
suggest that the records are inaccurate. He does not accuse
any medical professional other than Vogt of withholding
psychiatric treatment or medications from him.
testified in deposition that on February 12, 2014, he first
told Vogt that he had “a history of mental
illness” and that he needed “to see the
psychiatrist.” [Docs. ##118-3 at 9, 13; 128-2 at 3-4].
Plaintiff initially told Vogt that he was “not
okay.” [Doc. #123-10 at 75-76] When Vogt inquired what
issues plaintiff was experiencing plaintiff responded:
“I need to see the psychiatrist.” Id. He
also referenced filing “multiple” HSRs.
Id. Plaintiff testified that Vogt said she had
received the HSRs, but that she was “not going to refer
[him] to see the psychiatrist, ” because she thought he
“want[ed] sleeping medication” to “help
[him] sleep through” his time in administrative
segregation. Id. at 76.
demurred, telling Vogt, “you don't know my mental
health history, ” and reiterating he needed to see the
psychiatrist. Id. at 105. He “tried to explain
it to her, ” that he has “a long history of
mental health issues, dating back 25 years, ” that he
was “not trying to get sleeping pills, ” and that
he needed “to see the psychiatrist.” Id.
at 76, 104. Vogt again refused to refer him.
deposition, plaintiff testified that he told Vogt that he
“would like some sleep, ” that he had a
“long history of post-traumatic stress disorder”
and “psycho-affective disorder, ” and that he
“need[ed] to see the psychiatrist.” Id.
at 76, 105, 109. He testified he did not remember going into
detail with Vogt about his history of brain injuries or his
mental health, “other than standing at the door and
telling her that she didn't understand [his] mental
health history, that [he] ha[s] a long history of [PTSD],
psycho-affective disorder, [and] that she should let [him]
see the psychiatrist.” Id. at 109. Plaintiff
did not testify that he described to Vogt the symptoms he was
experiencing, either on February 12 or at any other time
before April 15.
treatment notes from her February 12 encounter with plaintiff
show that plaintiff reported no “mental health
concerns, ” and that his “sleep and
appetite” were “good.” [Doc. #118-4 at 5]
In Vogt's assessment, plaintiff was “[c]alm,
cooperative, alert, oriented, ” and in “no acute
distress.” Id. He “did not
exhibit” signs or symptoms of “significant mental
illness” that “would clinically contraindicate
continued placement in administrative segregation, ”
and his “behavior and mental health [did] not appear to
be negatively impacted by placement in” administrative
segregation. Id. at 6. His hygiene was
“adequate, ” and his mood was “euthymic,
” with congruent affect. Id. at 5. His
response to questions indicated his thoughts were
“organized” and ...