United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. GOODWIN DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the court is Defendant Sandra May's Motion for
Summary Judgment [ECF No. 215]. The plaintiff filed a
Response [ECF No. 234], and the defendant filed a Reply [ECF
No. 248]. The motion is now ripe for adjudication. For the
reasons stated below, the defendant's motion is
April 1, 2013 Incident
April 1, 2013 at around 4:00 p.m., the plaintiff, Garland
Murray, was stabbed by another inmate while incarcerated at
the Mount Olive Correctional Complex (“MOCC”).
Mem. Law Supp. Def. Sandra May's Mot. Summ. J. 1
(“Def.'s Mem.”) [ECF No. 216]. After the
stabbing, the plaintiff was transferred to the medical unit
at MOCC where he was evaluated by the defendant, Sandra May.
Id. at 2. The defendant is a licensed
physician's assistant who is employed by Wexford Health
Sources, Inc. at MOCC. Id.
plaintiff alleges that after he was stabbed, the defendant
“refused to treat [his] serious wounds and injuries,
[and] delayed access to medical surgery for seven
hours.” Pl.'s Resp. to Def. Sandra May's Mot.
Summ. J. (“Pl.'s Resp.”) 1 (emphasis omitted)
[ECF No. 234]. The plaintiff alleges that when he arrived at
the medical unit he told the defendant he could not breathe,
and she responded that nothing was wrong with him and that he
should return to his cell. Id. at 4. According to
the plaintiff, the defendant told him she “would give
him some band aids later, and that in the meantime he could
press his shirt, which had been cut off of him for the
examination, to his wounds.” Id. The plaintiff
contends that the defendant never listened to his lungs
despite his repeated statements regarding his inability to
plaintiff maintains that he refused to return to his cell and
that guards threatened him with mace. Id. The
plaintiff says that he continued to refuse, telling them that
he could not breathe and felt like he was dying. Id.
Then the officers left the room with the defendant.
Id. At 6:40 p.m., the defendant ordered the
plaintiff to be transferred to the hospital. Id.
plaintiff was transported to Montgomery General Hospital
(“MGH”), where it was determined that he had a
collapsed lung. Id. at 5. Since the hospital did not
have the equipment necessary to treat the plaintiff's
injury, he was transferred to the trauma center at Charleston
Area Medical Center (“CAMC”). Id. The
plaintiff arrived at CAMC at 10:51 p.m. Id. The
plaintiff was treated at CAMC, and was discharged on April 3,
2013. Def.'s Mem. 2.
The Plaintiff's Stay in the Infirmary-April
the plaintiff was discharged from CAMC, he was returned to
MOCC, where he was placed in the medical infirmary.
Id. CAMC provided the plaintiff with a copy of his
discharge instructions, which he provided to the medical
staff at MOCC. Pl.'s Resp. 5. The plaintiff alleges that
the defendant treated him in the infirmary. Id. The
defendant, however, alleges that she only treated the
plaintiff one time after he returned from the hospital, on
May 22, 2013, well after the defendant was released from the
infirmary. Def.'s Mem. 8. While in the infirmary, the
plaintiff was given a band aid and A ointment to apply to
his wounds. Pl.'s Resp. 5. The plaintiff alleges that
“[h]is wounds were not cleaned, he was not provided
access to a shower, and he was not provided the prescribed
medication, even though he advised Ms. May that he was still
in pain and in contravention of the CAMC discharge
After the Plaintiff was Released From the Infirmary
plaintiff was released from the infirmary on April 4, 2013.
Def.'s Mem. 2. According to the plaintiff, when he was
returned to his solitary confinement cell, he
“continued to request treatment, including by pressing
his emergency call button, filing grievances, and filling out
sick calls.” Pl.'s Resp. 5. The plaintiff alleges
that the defendant “continued to refuse to comply with
the CAMC discharge orders to keep the wound cleaned and
bandaged and treat [the plaintiff's] pain from his
recovery from surgery.” Id. The defendant
argues that this is not true, and that the plaintiff
repeatedly refused medical treatment after he returned to his
cell. Def. Sandra May's Reply to Pl.'s Resp. to Def.
Sandra May's Mot. Summ. J. 17 (“Def.'s
Reply”) [ECF No. 248]. The plaintiff alleges that other
nurses who responded to his sick calls advised him that the
defendant was a level above them, and that the defendant
would not permit them to refer him to see the defendant or
the other medical staff because he was fine. Pl.'s Resp.
5-6. The plaintiff alleges that without proper cleaning and
treatment, his wound became infected and his neck wound
swelled and filled with pus. Id. at 6. The defendant
contends that the plaintiff did not develop an infection as a
result of his wounds. Def.'s Mem. 14. The plaintiff
alleges that as a result of the stabbing and the failure to
timely and properly treat his wounds, he “continues to
suffer difficulty breathing and ongoing pain in his
arm/collarbone area, as well as significant anxiety.”
Pl.'s Resp. 6.
August 26, 2016, the plaintiff filed his second amended
complaint. Am. Compl. (“Am. Compl.”) [ECF No.
112]. On September 9, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to
dismiss. Def. Sandra May's Mot. Dismiss Amend. Compl.
[ECF No. 115]. The court granted this motion as to the
plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment claim, West Virginia
State Constitutional claim, and negligence claim. Order [ECF
No. 134]. The court, however, allowed the plaintiff's
claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to proceed. Id.
23, 2017, the defendant filed this motion for summary
judgment. The motion argues that summary judgment is proper
because: (1) the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
because the plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”) and West Virginia Prison Litigation
Reform Act (“WVPLRA”); and (2) even if the
plaintiff did exhaust his administrative remedies, the
plaintiff has not proffered any evidence that creates a
genuine issue of material fact that the defendant violated
the plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights.
obtain summary judgment, the moving party must show that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). “Facts are
‘material' when they might affect the outcome of
the case.” Lester v. Gilbert, 85 F.Supp.3d
851, 857 (S.D. W.Va. 2015) (quoting News & Observer
Publ'g. Co. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport Auth., 597
F.3d 570, 576 (4th Cir. 2010)). “A genuine issue of
material fact exists if . . . a reasonable fact-finder could
return a verdict for the non-movant.” Runyon v.
Hannah, No. 2:12-1394, 2013 WL 2151235, at *2 (S.D.
W.Va. May 16, 2013) (citations omitted); Williams v.
Griffin, 952 F.2d 820, 824 (4th Cir. 1991)
(“Disposition by summary judgment is appropriate . . .
where the record as a whole could not lead a rational trier
of fact to find for the non-movant.”). The moving party
bears the burden of showing that “there is an absence
of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986).
considering a motion for summary judgment, the court will not
“weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the
matter.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 249 (1986). Instead, the court will draw any
permissible inference from the underlying facts in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-88
(1986). Summary judgment is appropriate when the nonmoving
party has the burden of proof on an essential element of his
or her case and does not make, after adequate time for
discovery, a showing sufficient to establish that element.
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-23. The nonmoving
party must satisfy this burden of proof by offering more than
a mere “scintilla of evidence” in support of his
or her position. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
Likewise, conclusory allegations ...