United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
TERRY G. WATSON, Plaintiff,
KAREY L. WITTY, et al., Defendants.
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
prisoner civil rights case, defendants Dr. Ashok Chada, Dr.
Paul Jones and Katherine Barton move for summary judgment on
the grounds that plaintiff failed to properly exhaust
available administrative remedies. After reviewing the
evidence and the arguments, the Court will grant
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), ''a
civil rights complaint must contain facts which state a claim
as a matter of law and must not be conclusory.''
Gregory v. Dillards, Inc., 565 F.3d 464, 473 (8th
Cir. 2009) (en banc) (quotations and citation omitted). AA
plaintiff must assert facts that affirmatively and plausibly
suggest that the pleader has the right he claims rather than
facts that are merely consistent with such a right.''
Id. (quotations and citation omitted).
''While a plaintiff need not set forth detailed
factual allegations or specific facts that describe the
evidence to be presented, the complaint must include
sufficient factual allegations to provide the grounds on
which the claim rests.'' Id. (quotations and
56(c) provides that summary judgment shall be entered
''if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party 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 his 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);
the moving party has met his 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. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e). Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257; City of Mt.
Pleasant, Iowa v. Associated Elec. Coop., Inc., 838 F.2d
268, 273-74 (8th Cir. 1988). Rule 56(c) ''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).
an inmate at Moberly Correctional Center, brings this action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Court did a
pre-service review of the action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, on March 9, 2017. In the pre-service review, the
Court found that plaintiff's claims for deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs relative to his leg
and back issues survive review with respect to Dr. Ashok
Chada, Dr. Paul Jones and Katherine Barton. These defendants
are all current or former employees of Corizon, Inc. The
Court found that several of plaintiff's ADA claims also
survive review with respect to Missouri Department of
Corrections employees Lisa Pogue, Michelle Buckner and
Correctional Officer Allen. See Memorandum and Order
issued March 9, 2017, Docket #40. Plaintiff's additional
claims, as well as several other defendants, however, were
dismissed from this action. Id.
times relevant in this lawsuit, plaintiff was incarcerated at
both South Central Correctional Center (“SCCC”)
and Moberly Correctional Center (“MCC”). By way
of background, plaintiff alleged in his amended complaint
that when he entered the correctional system in May of 2012,
he had already been determined by the Department of
Veteran's Affairs to be disabled, with a start date for
his disability of October 2010. Plaintiff claims that his
“disability” was based on a myriad of conditions,
including: (1) chronic adjustment disorder; (2) left knee
replacement; (3) degenerative disc lumbar spine; (4)
spondylolisthesis-cervical spine; (5) left lower extremity
radiculopathy; (7) left hip trochanteric bursitis; (8)
lateral left foot metatarsalgia; (9) GERD with constipation;
(10) tinnitus; (11) osteoarthritis-right knee; (12)
radiculopathy-right lower extremity; (13) bilateral hearing
loss. However, as noted above, after § 1915 screening,
the Court found that plaintiff's allegations relating to
his assertion that the Corizon defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs for his leg and back
issues were the only claims that would move forward against
these particular defendants. The factual assertions relating
to these issues against the Corizon defendants are as
Count I of the amended complaint, plaintiff asserts that he
sought numerous services for his chronic pain. He claims that
while he was incarcerated at SCCC, in December 2015, he
sought treatment from Dr. Chada for “great pain in his
cervical spine and left leg.” He claims that despite
having been told by a specialist prior to being incarcerated
that he would need disc replacement surgery, he was only
being given naproxen and Effexor for pain. He told Dr. Chada
he needed additional treatment, but Dr. Chada told him in
December of 2015 that it was him, and not the President of
the United States, who would decide at MDOC who was disabled.
Plaintiff claims that he filed a grievance relating to Dr.
Chada's refusal to treat his medical issues, and
defendant Ms. Cathy Barton “promised to correct the
issues, ” but ultimately failed to do anything about
claims he was transferred to MCC a few months later, in March
of 2016. Plaintiff asserts that after he was transferred to
MCC he saw Dr. Jones, who also failed to treat his leg and
back issues adequately.
states “it was explained to him” by Dr. Chada and
Katherine Barton that MDOC's Central Office would not
approve the type of treatment plaintiff was in need of
because they did not recognize his VA ratings and because the
treatment was too expensive. Plaintiff appears to be
asserting that he should have been taken to see an orthopedic
surgeon, a pain mitigation specialist, as well as an outside
does admit that when he was transferred to SCCC in March
2013, he provided information about his VA disabilities and
was taken to see a physical therapist at that time.
states that he was then given exercises that helped mitigate
his pain, but he complains that no ...