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 motion of defendant
Margaret Huff 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 VI of the fourth amended
complaint, plaintiff claims that Huff, a corrections officer,
was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.
March 13, 2014, plaintiff was transferred from an
administrative segregation unit in House 1 to an
administrative segregation unit in House 2. Defendant Huff
was one of the corrections officers assigned to House 2.
Prior to his arrival, plaintiff was diagnosed with diabetic
neuropathy, which causes pain and swelling of his feet if he
ambulates without an assistive device. He was prescribed
orthotic shoes to alleviate that pain and swelling.
undisputed that Huff confiscated plaintiff's prescribed
orthotic shoes upon his arrival in House 2. In her affidavit,
Huff states that prisoners in administrative segregation are
not allowed to have “regular shoes” and are
instead given “special shoes” for safety reasons.
She further states that an inmate who needs special shoes for
medical reasons must obtain an “medical lay-in”
from the prison medical staff. Finally, Huff states that she
“was not aware of any particular medical need” of
the plaintiff or of any risk to plaintiff's health or
safety during his confinement in administrative segregation.
[Doc. # 123-7, ¶¶ 4-6].
submits evidence that a medical lay-in was issued to him on
February 14, 2014, allowing him to use “medical
shoes” as a “required” “assistive
device.” The lay-in was valid for a one-year period.
[Doc. # 69-2] . Plaintiff testified that he showed the lay-in
to Huff and told her that he had been allowed to keep them
when he was in administrative segregation in House 1. He also
told her that if she took his shoes, his “feet [were]
going to start burning” because of his diabetic
neuropathy. [Doc. 123-10, p. 83] Nevertheless, Huff refused
to allow plaintiff to have his medical shoes. Plaintiff
further testified that he explained to Huff that he keeps his
shoes on until he goes to sleep because he “cant'
walk around on the concrete without them.” Id.
at pp. 83-84. He told her that he “can feel the
pain” even when he has “to get up to use the
bathroom, ” though admittedly not as much pain as when
he is “walking around . . . for a long period of
time.” Id. Huff allegedly laughed in response
and said, “you are not going to do too much walking
around in the cell.” Id.
was without his shoes for the duration of his confinement in
House 2. He alleges he suffered foot inflammation and pain
when he stood or walked in his cell during those weeks. He
also maintains the pain and inflammation caused by ambulating
without the shoes continued for “two to three
months” after the shoes were returned to him.
Id. at 84. On April 10, 2014, plaintiff was
transferred to administrative segregation in House 1, where
the medical shoes were immediately returned to him.
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).
Count VI, plaintiff asserts a § 1983 claim that Huff
withheld prescribed treatment from him in deliberate
indifference to his medical needs. The claim is brought
against Huff in her individual capacity only. See
[Doc. #89] (dismissing official capacity claim). Huff argues
that she is entitled to summary judgment on the merits of
this claim or, alternatively, to qualified immunity.
is well established that the Eighth Amendment prohibition on
cruel and unusual punishment extends to protect prisoners
from deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.”
Gregoire, 236 F.3d at 417 (citing Estelle,
429 U.S. at 104). “This is true whe[re] the
indifference is manifested by . . . prison [officials] in . .
. intentionally interfering with the treatment once
prescribed.” Estelle, 429 ...