Lane v. Sources, Case No. 2:10-cv-389

CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
Writing for the CourtTerence P. Kemp
PartiesWilliam L. Lane, Plaintiff, v. Wexford Health Sources, (Contreator), et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberCase No. 2:10-cv-389
Decision Date13 December 2010

William L. Lane, Plaintiff,
Wexford Health Sources, (Contreator), et al., Defendants.

Case No. 2:10-cv-389


Filed: December 13, 2010




This matter is before the Court on the motion of defendants Wexford Health Sources, Inc., and Pamela Redden, M.D., for summary judgment. In addition, plaintiff William L. Lane has filed a memorandum of law in support of his motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. For the following reasons, the Court will recommend that the motion for summary judgment (#21) be granted and the motion for TRO and preliminary injunction (#31) be denied.


Mr. Lane, an Ohio prisoner, filed this civil rights action seeking unspecified relief against defendants Wexford Health Sources, Dr. Pamela Redden, and Ms. Sawyer for their alleged deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment. Mr. Lane alleges in his complaint that Wexford is a private contractor providing medical care for inmates at the Noble Correctional Institution where he was confined at all relevant times. Dr. Redden is an employee of Wexford.

Mr. Lane states that he has experienced increased discomfort over the years stemming from various ailments involving his left leg. He has arthritis in his lower knee and his left leg is

Page 2

shorter than his right. He also has a bullet in his leg which pushes against the bone. He is unable to participate in sports and must wear special shoes. He has problems lifting objects and walking up stairs. He cannot walk in the cold. Mr. Lane maintains that his disabilities are permanent and are reflected in his medical file.

The complaint further alleges that Dr. Redden knew that his medical conditions made going up and down stairs painful, but despite that knowledge he was denied a first-floor dorm and moved to a prison dorm with steep steps. On December 31, 2009, he injured himself carrying one end of a locker box up the stairs. Mr. Lane reports that he was again moved up the stairs on February 18, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. He injured himself a second time trying to carry the locker box. On both occasions, an officer completed an inmate accident report.

Mr. Lane claims that he sought medical treatment on February 18, 2010, but was refused such treatment for more than two weeks. He asserts that Ms. Sawyer, the Health Care Administrator at NCI, knew of his problems, but did nothing. On March 9, 2010, Dr. Murray Thomas, who is not a defendant in this case, gave him a low-range dorm assignment and a cane based on his disabilities.


A. Standard of Review

Summary judgment is not a substitute for a trial when facts material to the Court's ultimate resolution of the case are in dispute. It may be rendered only when appropriate evidentiary materials, as described in Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c), demonstrate the absence of a material factual dispute and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Poller v. Columbia Broadcasting Systems, Inc., 368 U.S. 464 (1962). The moving party bears the burden of demonstrating

Page 3

that no material facts are in dispute, and the evidence submitted must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970). Additionally, the Court must draw all reasonable inferences from that evidence in favor of the nonmoving party. United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654 (1962). The nonmoving party does have the burden, however, after completion of sufficient discovery, to submit evidence in support of any material element of a claim or defense on which that party would bear the burden of proof at trial, even if the moving party has not submitted evidence to negate the existence of that material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). Of course, since "a party seeking summary judgment... bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, " Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, the responding party is only required to respond to those issues clearly identified by the moving party as being subject to the motion. It is with these standards in mind that the instant motion must be decided.

B. Analysis

To establish an Eighth Amendment violation, a prisoner must show that he or she has a serious medical condition and that the defendants displayed a deliberate indifference to his or her health. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976); Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991). In Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 839 (1994), the Court adopted "subjective recklessness as used in the criminal law" as the appropriate definition for deliberate indifference. It held that "a prison official cannot be held liable under the Eighth Amendment for denying an inmate humane conditions of confinement unless the official knows of and

Page 4

disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety...." Id. at 837. Officials must be aware of facts from which they could conclude that a substantial risk exists and must actually draw that conclusion. Id. Prison officials who know of a substantial risk to the health or safety of an inmate are free from liability if "they responded reasonably to the risk, even if the harm ultimately was not averted." Id. at 844.

Because an Eighth Amendment medical claim must be premised on deliberate indifference, mere negligence by a prison doctor or prison official with respect to medical diagnosis or treatment is not actionable under 42 U.S.C. §1983. "[A] complaint that a physician has been negligent in diagnosing or treating a medical condition does not state a valid claim of medical mistreatment under the Eighth Amendment. Medical malpractice does not become a constitutional...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT