132 F.3d 1234 (8th Cir. 1997), 96-2427, Dulany v. Carnahan

Docket Nº:96-2427.
Citation:132 F.3d 1234
Party Name:Ann DULANY, Trenace White, Jane Doe, Lillian Taylor, Vicky Williams, Larfay Primus, Pamela Williams, Treva Merriweather, Shirley Small, Becca Hughes, Lisa Suter, Carmen O'Neil, Kimberly Collins, Leta Salyer, Lana Anderson, Brenda Foster, Alisa Teuber, Polly Guidorzi, Shirley Allen, Patricia Prewitt, on behalf of themselves and all other prisoners a
Case Date:December 31, 1997
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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132 F.3d 1234 (8th Cir. 1997)

Ann DULANY, Trenace White, Jane Doe, Lillian Taylor, Vicky

Williams, Larfay Primus, Pamela Williams, Treva

Merriweather, Shirley Small, Becca Hughes, Lisa Suter,

Carmen O'Neil, Kimberly Collins, Leta Salyer, Lana Anderson,

Brenda Foster, Alisa Teuber, Polly Guidorzi, Shirley Allen,

Patricia Prewitt, on behalf of themselves and all other

prisoners at Chillicothe Correctional Center and Renz

Correctional Center, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

Mel CARNAHAN, Governor of Missouri, in his official

capacity; Dora Schriro, Director, Department of

Corrections, Agency of the State of Missouri, in her

official capacity; George Lombardi, Director, Division of

Adult Institutions, in his official capacity; Dale Riley,

Director, Division of Classification and Treatment, Missouri

Department of Corrections, in his official capacity; Randee

Kaiber, Assistant Director/Health Service, Division of

Classification and Treatment, Missouri Department of

Corrections, in his official capacity; Brian Goeke,

Superintendent of Renz Correctional Center, in his official

capacity; Thelma Grandison, Superintendent of Chillicothe

Correctional Center, in her official capacity; Correctional

Medical Systems, Inc., in its capacity as contractual health

care provider to Renz and Chillicothe Correctional Centers,

Defendants-Appellees.

No. 96-2427.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 31, 1997

Submitted Feb. 10, 1997.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Margaret Winter, Washington, DC, argued (Richard H. Sindel, Clayton, MO, Mohadedu F. Jones, National Prison Project of the ACLU Foundation, Washington, DC, and Jon Beetem, Jefferson City, MO, on the brief), for plaintiffs-appellants.

James McAdams, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, MO, argued, for defendants-appellees.

Claudia York, Kansas City, MO, argued (John R. Munich, Deputy Chief Counsel for Litigation, Missouri Attorney General's Office, on the brief), for defendant-appellee Correctional Medical Systems.

Before RICHARD S. ARNOLD, Chief Judge, HANSEN, Circuit Judge, and BATTEY, 1 District Judge.

HANSEN, Circuit Judge.

The plaintiffs, a group of female inmates from two Missouri state prisons, brought this suit against various state and prison officials pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1994), claiming the defendant state prison officials have been deliberately indifferent to their serious medical needs in violation of their constitutional rights and rights secured under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101-12213 (1994). The district court 2 granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The plaintiffs appeal, arguing that the district court erred in granting summary judgment without allowing them an opportunity for discovery. They also contend that the district court erroneously made credibility determinations on the deliberate indifference issue, failed to consider the whole record, considered the plaintiffs' claims in isolation, failed to consider the threat of injury from the alleged systemically deficient health care system, and erroneously dismissed their ADA claims. We affirm.

I.

The plaintiffs are a group of 20 female prisoners incarcerated in two Missouri prison facilities--the Renz Correctional Center and the Chillicothe Correctional Center. They filed a complaint on behalf of themselves and all female prisoners incarcerated in Missouri prison facilities, alleging that the Missouri Department of Corrections is providing inadequate medical care for women prisoners.

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The plaintiffs also sought to assert the rights of female prisoners with disabilities, alleging that the defendant state prison officials are not complying with the ADA. The plaintiffs moved for class certification.

The defendants moved to dismiss or in the alternative for summary judgment, supported by physician affidavits, the relevant institutional policies, and many volumes of medical records relevant to the allegations specified in the complaint. At the same time, the defendants provided the plaintiffs' attorneys with the remainder of the plaintiffs' medical records documenting treatment for conditions that were not addressed in the complaint. On September 1, 1995, the plaintiffs moved the district court for an extension of time in which to respond to the defendants' motion for summary judgment in order to fully review the medical records and documents provided by the defendants. The district court granted the plaintiffs an extra 30 days to respond. The plaintiffs submitted inmate affidavits, affidavits of medical experts, and other documentation in opposition to the defendants' summary judgment motion.

On October 2, 1995, the defendants moved the district court to stay discovery pending the determination of their dispositive motion. In support of their motion for a stay of discovery, the defendants asserted that the volumes of documents they had voluntarily provided were sufficient to evaluate the adequacy of the plaintiffs' medical care. The defendants urged the court not to allow a fishing expedition. The plaintiffs opposed the motion, arguing that summary judgment would be inappropriate before the parties had an adequate opportunity to develop the facts through discovery. On October 5, 1995, the district court entered an order staying discovery.

After reviewing the documents and affidavits submitted by both parties, the district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment in part, concluding that 19 of the 20 plaintiffs had failed to create a genuine issue of material fact to indicate that the defendants had been deliberately indifferent to their serious medical needs. 3 Because the named plaintiffs were unable to demonstrate deliberate indifference, the district court denied their motion for class certification. The plaintiffs appeal.

II.

We review de novo the district court's grant of summary judgment, applying the same standards as the district court. Mayard v. Hopwood, 105 F.3d 1226, 1227 (8th Cir.1997). Summary judgment is appropriate if the record "show[s] 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." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). We view the facts and the inferences to be drawn from them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 1356, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). "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, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). We look to the substantive law to determine whether an element is essential to a case, and "[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The Eighth Amendment, as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, provides the substantive law for the case at hand. The Eighth Amendment's proscription of cruel and unusual punishment obligates prison officials to provide inmates with medical care. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103, 97 S.Ct. 285, 290, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976). To prevail on a claim of constitutionally inadequate medical care, the inmate must show

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that the prison officials' conduct amounted to "deliberate indifference to [the prisoner's] serious medical needs." Id. at 104, 97 S.Ct. at 291; see also Coleman v. Rahija, 114 F.3d 778, 784 (8th Cir.1997).

  1. Discovery

    The plaintiffs first contend that the district court erred by granting summary judgment without affording them an opportunity to conduct adequate discovery. We review for an abuse of discretion a district court's determination that a claim is ripe for summary judgment. In re Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Implants Prod. Liab. Litig., 113 F.3d 1484, 1489 (8th Cir.1997). While the trial court must give the parties adequate time to conduct discovery, see Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. at 2552, Rule 56(c) does not require the completion of all discovery before a court may properly grant summary judgment. In re TMJ Implants Prod. Liab. Litig., 113 F.3d at 1489. Rule 56(f) allows a party opposing summary judgment to seek a continuance and postpone a summary judgment decision until adequate discovery has been completed. Id. at 1490. When seeking such a continuance, the party opposing summary judgment must file an affidavit with the trial court to show what specific facts further discovery might unveil. Humphreys v. Roche Biomed. Lab., Inc., 990 F.2d 1078, 1081 (8th Cir.1993). "If a party opposing a summary judgment motion does not seek shelter under Rule 56(f) or otherwise ask for a continuance, a court generally does not abuse its discretion in granting summary judgment based on the record before it." In re TMJ Implants Prod. Liab. Litig., 113 F.3d at 1490.

    The plaintiffs did not file a Rule 56(f) motion and accompanying affidavit articulating that further discovery was essential to their opposition of the defendants' summary judgment motion. The defendants voluntarily produced thousands of pages of documents, including the plaintiffs' medical records, the relevant institutional policies, and physician affidavits summarizing the plaintiffs' medical records and opining that the plaintiffs received medically...

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