United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING IN PART AND
REJECTING PART REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DKT. NO.
M. KEELEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
21, 2015, the pro se plaintiff, Douglas Andrew
Redleski (“Redleski”), filed a state civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming as
defendants the following individuals: Warden Marvin C.
Plumley (“Plumley”); Debbie Hissom, RN, BSM
(“Hissom”); David Proctor, Practicing Physician
(“Dr. Proctor”); and Tristen Tenney, RN, HSA
(“Tenney”) (Dkt. No. 1). Redleski contends that
the defendants denied him proper medical care for his
diabetes, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, during his
time at Huttonsville Correctional Center (“HCC”)
(Dkt. No. 1).
alleges particularly that the defendants, among other things,
failed to order him a diabetic diet or necessary snacks, test
his glucose levels at the appropriate time and frequency,
consult him before changing his insulin levels, or provide
him with education or a dietician to assist with managing his
diet. Id. at 8-17. He claims that this treatment
demonstrates a “likelihood of future injury, ”
and seeks $1, 000 per day and injunctive relief regarding
future care. Id. at 18.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and LR PL P 2, the Court referred the
case to the Honorable Michael J. Aloi, United States
Magistrate Judge, for initial screening and a Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”). Thereafter, Plumley
and Hissom moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim
(Dkt. No. 25), and Dr. Proctor and Tenney moved to dismiss
for insufficient service (Dkt. No. 30). After receiving an
R&R on the motions from Magistrate Judge Aloi (Dkt. No.
52), the Court granted Plumley and Hissom's motion to
dismiss, but converted Dr. Proctor and Tenney's motion to
dismiss to a motion to quash and granted it (Dkt. No. 54).
Proctor and Tenney then waived service (Dkt. Nos. 58; 59),
and, on May 9, 2016, filed a motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim (Dkt. No. 61). In support, the defendants
argued that Redleski has already “had his day in
[c]ourt” because he adjudicated a related petition for
habeas corpus in the Circuit Court of Randolph County, West
Virginia (Dkt. No. 62 at 2). They further argued that Tenney
should be dismissed for lack of personal involvement, and
that Redleski's complaint generally fails to state a
claim for deliberate indifference. Id. at 3-10.
February 14, 2017, Magistrate Judge Aloi entered an R&R
recommending that the Court deny Dr. Proctor and Tenney's
motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 72). He concluded that much of
the complained of conduct occurred after Redleski's state
court action and is not precluded by Redleski's prior
habeas proceeding. Id. at 10. In addition,
Magistrate Judge Aloi reasoned that Redleski's complaint
stated a claim for deliberate indifference against both Dr.
Proctor and Tenney. Id. at 14. Because no party
objected, the Court adopted the R&R on March 6, 2017, and
recommitted the case to Magistrate Judge Aloi for entry of a
schedule (Dkt. No. 75). Thereafter, the case referral was
reassigned to the Honorable James E. Seibert, United States
pending is the motion for summary judgment filed by Dr.
Proctor and Tenney (Dkt. No. 132). On April 23, 2018,
Magistrate Judge Seibert recommended that the Court deny the
defendants' motion (Dkt. No. 144), concluding that
disputes of material fact preclude summary judgment as to
whether either Dr. Proctor or Tenney was deliberately
indifferent. Id. at 15-16. Dr. Proctor and Tenney
objected to this recommendation, contending, among others,
that Tenney “was not responsible for the
plaintiff's medical care and had no authority to make
decisions regarding the plaintiff's treatment”
(Dkt. No. 153 at 2). The defendants also renewed their
“argument that claims arising prior to May 27, 2013,
are barred by the statute of limitations.” Id.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
considering a magistrate judge's R&R made pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court must review de
novo those portions to which objection is timely made.
Otherwise, “the Court may adopt, without explanation,
any of the magistrate judge's recommendations to which
the [parties do] not object.” Dellacirprete v.
Gutierrez, 479 F.Supp.2d 600, 603-04 (N.D.W.Va. 2007)
(citing Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir.
1983)). Courts will uphold portions of a recommendation to
which no objection has been made unless they are
“clearly erroneous.” See Diamond v. Colonial
Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th
remaining claims in this case center on his allegation that
Dr. Proctor and Tenney were deliberately indifferent to his
diabetes mellitus. The Eighth Amendment prohibits the
infliction of “cruel and unusual punishments.”
U.S. Const. amend. VIII. In the context of medical treatment,
such punishment occurs when a prison official exhibits
“deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of
[a] prisoner.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 104 (1976). “A deliberate indifference claim
consists of two components, objective and subjective.”
Jackson v. Lightsey, 775 F.3d 170, 178 (4th Cir.
The Objective Prong
the first prong, an inmate must complain of a deprivation
“sufficiently serious” to be deemed
“extreme” because it poses “a serious or
significant physical or emotional injury resulting from the
challenged conditions” or “a substantial risk of
such serious harm resulting from . . . exposure to the
challenged conditions.” De'Lonta v.
Angelone, 330 F.3d 630, 634 (4th Cir. 2003). In medical
needs cases, “[o]bjectively, the inmate's medical
condition must be ‘serious' - ‘one that has
been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment or one
that is so obvious that even a lay person would easily
recognize the necessity for a doctor's
attention.'” Jackson, 775 F.3d at 178
(quoting Iko v. Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 241 (4th Cir.
defendants do not dispute that Redleski's diabetes is a
serious medical need (Dkt. No. 133 at 16), nor could they.
Scinto v. Stansberry, 841 F.3d 219, 228 (4th Cir.
2016). Moreover, the defendants admit that Redleski's
average blood glucose levels were higher than normal while he
was being treated by Dr. Proctor (Dkt. No. 132-1 at 2-3).
Viewing these facts in the light most favorable to Redleski,
there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether
elevated glucose levels are themselves a serious injury or
create a substantial risk of such injury. See