United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dennis Laramore ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro
se, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Shannon Thompson ("Thompson"), Captain of
the Washington County Sheriffs Office; Kevin Snow
("Snow"), a Washington County Sheriffs Deputy; and
Christopher Barton ("Barton"), a Washington County
Sheriffs Road Deputy, in their individual
capacities.Plaintiff alleges Defendants were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and
subjected him to unlawful conditions of confinement while he
was incarcerated at the Washington County Jail (the
"Jail") from April 25, 2017 to September 1, 2017
awaiting sentencing. This matter is before the Court on
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. No. 59).
The motion is fully briefed and ready for disposition. For
the following reasons, the motion will be granted.
judgment is appropriate when no genuine issue of material
fact exists in the case and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The initial burden
is placed on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant Iowa
v. Associated Elec. Co-op., Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th
Cir. 1988). If the record demonstrates that no genuine issue
of fact is in dispute, the burden then shifts to the
non-moving party, who must set forth affirmative evidence and
specific facts showing a genuine dispute on that issue.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby. Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249
(1986). In determining whether summary judgment is
appropriate in a particular case, the evidence must be viewed
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Qsborn v. E.F. Hutton & Co., Inc., 853 F.2d 616,
619 (8th Cir. 1988). Self-serving, conclusory statements
without support are insufficient to defeat summary judgment.
Armour & Co.. Inc. v. Inver Grove Heights, 2
F.3d 276, 279 (8th Cir. 1993).
did not respond to Defendants' Statement of
Uncontroverted Material Facts ("SOF") (Doc. No.
61), as required under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and
Local Rule 4.01(E). Plaintiffs status as a pro se
prisoner does not excuse him from responding to
Defendants' motion "with specific factual support
for his claims to avoid summary judgment," or from
complying with local rules. Beck v. Skon, 253 F.3d
330, 333 (8th Cir. 2001). With his failure to respond,
Plaintiff is deemed to have admitted all facts in
Defendants' Statement of Uncontroverted Facts. Turner
v. Shinseki, No. 4:08-CV-1910 CAS, 2010 WL 2555114, at
*2 (E.D. Mo. Jun. 22, 2010) (citing Deichmann v. Boeing
Co., 36 F.Supp.2d 1166, 1168 (E.D. Mo. 1999),
aff'd 232 F.3d 907 (8th Cir. 2000), cert,
denied, 531 U.S. 877)). However, Plaintiffs failure to
respond properly to Defendants' motion does not mean
summary judgment should be automatically granted in favor of
Defendants. Even if the facts as alleged by Defendants are
not in dispute, those facts still must establish they are
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Cross v. MHM
Corr. Servs., Inc., No. 4:1 l-CV-1544 TIA, 2014 WL
5385113, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Oct. 10, 2014).
Deliberate indifference to medical needs
Defendants first argue they are entitled to summary judgment
on Plaintiffs claim for deliberate indifference because bis
alleged medical conditions were not objectively serious and
because he received adequate medical care at the Jail. In
addition, Plaintiff has not proffered verifying medical
evidence establishing that any alleged delay in treatment had
a detrimental effect on his medical condition.
well established that the Eighth Amendment prohibition on
cruel and unusual punishment extends to protect prisoners
from deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).
Deliberate indifference may include intentionally denying or
delaying access to medical care, or intentionally interfering
with treatment or medication that has been prescribed.
Id. at 104-05. To establish deliberate indifference,
a plaintiff must show that: (1) he suffered from an
"objectively serious medical need"; and (2) prison
officials "actually knew of but deliberately
disregarded" that need. Jackson v. Buckman, 756
F.3d 1060, 1065 (8th Cir. 2014). A medical need is
sufficiently serious if it has been diagnosed by a physician
as requiring treatment, unless it is so obvious that even a
layperson would easily recognize the need for medical
attention. Ryan v. Armstrong, 850 F.3d 419, 425 (8th
Cir. 2017) (citations omitted).
indifference is an extremely high standard that requires a
mental state "akin to criminal recklessness."
Jackson, 756 F.3d at 1065 (quoting Scott v.
Benson, 742 F.3d 335, 340 (8th Cir. 2014)). Thus,
Plaintiff must show "more than negligence, more even
than gross negligence." Fourte v. Faulkner Cty.,
Ark., 746 F.3d 384, 387 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Jolly v. Knudsen, 205 F.3d 1094, 1096 (8th Cir.
2000)). He must demonstrate that Defendants' actions were
"so inappropriate as to evidence intentional
maltreatment or a refusal to provide essential care."
Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1240-41 (8th Cir.
1997). Moreover, when a claim of deliberate indifference is
based on a delay in treatment, a plaintiff "must place
verifying medical evidence in the record to establish the
detrimental effect of delay in medical treatment to
succeed." Crowley v. Hedgepeth, 109 F.3d 500,
502 (8th Cir. 1997); Robinson v. Hager, 292 F.3d
560, 564 (8th Cir. 2002).
preliminary matter, Plaintiff has admitted he is not
asserting any claim against Barton for failure to provide him
with proper medical care at the Jail. (SOF at ¶ 66;
Deposition of Dennis Laramore, Doc. No. 61-1 at 141:11-17).
The Court will, therefore, grant Defendants' motion as it
relates to Plaintiffs claim against Barton for deliberate
indifference to medical needs.
amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges he suffers from several
medical conditions, including an unspecified heart condition,
COPD, and other respiratory conditions, for which he was
receiving regular treatment, and that upon his arrival at the
Jail, Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical
needs by failing to provide him with his heart medication for
thirty days and his other medications for sixty days. In his
deposition, Plaintiff also claimed that he required a daily
aspirin and a special diet, and needed to be examined by a
is no record evidence showing Plaintiff was diagnosed with
any of the medical conditions he claims to have. During the
relevant period, a family nurse practitioner was assigned to
work at the Jail pursuant to a contract between Washington
County, Missouri and Washington County Memorial Hospital to
provide medical services at the Jail. Although the nurse
practitioner provided medical care to Plaintiff, she was
unable to confirm his alleged medical conditions within a
reasonable degree of medical certainty because she had not
received Plaintiffs medical records from his providers by the
time he was transferred out of the Jail. In any event, the
Court need not reach this issue. Even assuming, without
deciding, that Plaintiff had objectively serious medical
needs, he has failed to allege facts sufficient to show that
Thompson and Snow knew of Plaintiff s medical needs and
deliberately disregarded them.
undisputed facts show that Thompson and Snow were unaware
that Plaintiff had any medical conditions requiring treatment
and that they did not instruct or direct anyone on the nature
and extent of the medical care, including medications, that
should be or was provided to Plaintiff. As Captain of the
Washington County Sheriffs Office, Thompson had supervisory
authority over the Office's Road Division, which provides
general law enforcement services within the County, and the
Jail Division, which administers the Jail. Captain Thompson
did not personally administer or manage the daily operations
of the Jail and was not responsible for addressing and
responding to written grievances and medical request forms
submitted by inmates. Deputy Snow was primarily assigned to
work at the Washington County Courthouse as a bailiff, and
occasionally assigned to provide assistance at the Jail.
Neither Thompson nor Snow reviewed any of the written
grievances or medical request forms allegedly submitted by
Plaintiff. Snow transported Plaintiff from the Washington
County Memorial Hospital back to the Jail; however, without
something more, this does not establish that Snow actually
knew Plaintiff had any serious medical conditions requiring
care. See Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837 (a prison official
cannot be found liable ...