Richburg v. Alabama Dept. of Corrections, et al (INMATE 2)
MEMORANDUM OPINION. A separate order follows. Signed by Honorable Judge Terry F. Moorer on 8/20/2015. (dmn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
WARDEN LEEPOSEY DANIELS, et al.,
) CIVIL ACTION NO.: 2:12-CV-803-TFM
In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, Plaintiff, a state inmate incarcerated at the Elmore
Correctional Facility in Elmore, Alabama, when he filed this action, alleges that he contracted
Tuberculosis [“TB”] while in the care and custody of Defendants. 1 Name as defendants are
Warden Leeposey Daniels, Warden Leon Bolling, and Captain Charles McKee. Plaintiff seeks
damages for pain, suffering, and negligence. 2
In accordance with the orders of the court, Defendants filed an answer, special report,
and supporting evidentiary material in response to the allegations in the complaint. Doc. Nos. 17,
18. The court then informed Plaintiff that Defendants’ special report may, at any time, be
treated as a motion for summary judgment, and the court explained to Plaintiff the proper manner
in which to respond to a motion for summary judgment. Doc. No. 19. Plaintiff took advantage of
the opportunity granted to file a response to the special report filed by Defendant. Doc. Nos. 24,
26. This case is now pending on Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
consideration of the motion, the evidentiary materials filed in support thereof, and Plaintiff’s
Since filing this action Plaintiff has been released from custody.
In accordance with the prior orders of the court, this action is proceeding on Plaintiff’s amended
complaint (Doc. No. 8) and supplement thereto. Doc. No. 10.
Plaintiff’s opposition to the motion, the court concludes that Defendants’ motion for summary
judgment shall be granted.
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
“Summary judgment is appropriate ‘if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show there is no
genuine [dispute] as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.’” Greenberg v. BellSouth Telecomm., Inc., 498 F.3d 1258, 1263 (11th Cir. 2007)
(per curiam) (citation to former rule omitted); Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 56(a) (“The court shall grant
summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”). The party moving for summary
judgment “always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for
its motion, and identifying those portions of the [record, including pleadings, discovery materials
and affidavits], which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine [dispute] of material
fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Jeffery v. Sarasota White Sox, Inc., 64
F.3d 590, 593 (11th Cir. 1995) (moving party has initial burden of showing there is no genuine
dispute of material fact for trial).
The movant may meet this burden by presenting evidence
indicating there is no dispute of material fact or by showing the nonmoving party has failed to
present evidence to support some element on which it bears the ultimate burden of proof.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-324.
Defendants have met their evidentiary burden. Thus, the burden shifts to Plaintiff to
establish, with appropriate evidence beyond the pleadings, that a genuine dispute material to his
case exists. Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d 604, 608 (11th Cir. 1991); Celotex, 477 U.S.
at 324; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(3) (“If a party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to
properly address another party’s assertion of fact as required [by citing to materials in the record
including affidavits, relevant documents or other materials] the court may ... grant summary
judgment if the motion and supporting materials -- including the facts considered undisputed -show that the movant is entitled to it.”); Jeffery, 64 F.3d at 593-594 (internal quotation marks
omitted) (Once the moving party meets its burden, “the non-moving party must then go beyond
the pleadings, and by its own affidavits [or sworn statements], or by depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file,” demonstrate that there is a genuine dispute of material
fact.). This court will also consider “specific facts” pled in a plaintiff’s sworn complaint when
considering his opposition to summary judgment. Caldwell v. Warden, FCI Talladega, 748 F.3d
1090, 1098 (11th Cir. 2014). A genuine dispute of material fact exists when the nonmoving
party produces evidence that would allow a reasonable fact-finder to return a verdict in its favor.
Greenberg, 498 F.3d at 1263; Allen v. Bd. of Public Education for Bibb County, 495 F.3d 1306,
1313 (11th Cir. 2007).
In civil actions filed by inmates, federal courts
must distinguish between evidence of disputed facts and disputed matters of
professional judgment. In respect to the latter, our inferences must accord
deference to the views of prison authorities. Unless a prisoner can point to
sufficient evidence regarding such issues of judgment to allow him to prevail on
the merits, he cannot prevail at the summary judgment stage.
Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 530 (2006) (internal citation omitted).
A genuine dispute of
material fact exists when the nonmoving party produces evidence that would allow a reasonable
fact-finder to return a verdict in its favor. Greenberg, 498 F.3d at 1263. Consequently, to
survive Defendants’ properly supported motions for summary judgment, Plaintiff must produce
“sufficient [favorable] evidence” which would be admissible at trial supporting his claims for
relief. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986); Rule 56(e), Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. “If the evidence [on which the nonmoving party relies] is merely colorable, or
is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249250 (internal citations omitted). “A mere ‘scintilla’ of evidence supporting the opposing party’s
position will not suffice; there must be enough of a showing that the [trier of fact] could
reasonably find for that party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2512,
91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).” Walker v. Darby, 911 F.2d 1573, 1577 (11th Cir. 1990). Conclusory
allegations based on subjective beliefs likewise cannot create a genuine issue of material fact
and, therefore, do not suffice to oppose a motion for summary judgment. Holifield v. Reno, 115
F.3d 1555, 1564 n.6 (11th Cir. 1997) (plaintiff’s “conclusory assertions ..., in the absence of
[admissible] supporting evidence, are insufficient to withstand summary judgment.”); Harris v.
Ostrout, 65 F.3d 912, 916 (11th Cir. 1995) (grant of summary judgment appropriate where
inmate produces nothing beyond his own conclusory allegations challenging actions of the
defendants); Fullman v. Graddick, 739 F.2d 553, 557 (11th Cir. 1984) (“mere verification of
party’s own conclusory allegations is not sufficient to oppose summary judgment....”). Hence,
when a plaintiff fails to set forth specific facts supported by requisite evidence sufficient to
establish the existence of an element essential to his case and on which the plaintiff will bear the
burden of proof at trial, summary judgment is due to be granted in favor of the moving party.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323 (“[F]ailure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving
party’s case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.”); Barnes v. Southwest Forest
Industries, Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th Cir. 1987) (If on any part of the prima facie case the
plaintiff presents insufficient evidence to require submission of the case to the trier of fact,
granting of summary judgment is appropriate).
For summary judgment purposes, only disputes involving material facts are relevant.
United States v. One Piece of Real Property Located at 5800 SW 74th Avenue, Miami, Florida,
363 F.3d 1099, 1101 (11th Cir. 2004). What is material is determined by the substantive law
applicable to the case. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Lofton v. Secretary of the Dept. of Children
and Family Services, 358 F.3d 804, 809 (11th Cir. 2004) (“Only factual disputes that are
material under the substantive law governing the case will preclude entry of summary
judgment.”). “The mere existence of some factual dispute will not defeat summary judgment
unless that factual dispute is material to an issue affecting the outcome of the case.” McCormick
v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 333 F.3d 1234, 1243 (11th Cir. 2003). To demonstrate a genuine
dispute of material fact, the party opposing summary judgment “must do more than simply show
that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.... Where the record taken as a
whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no ‘genuine
[dispute] for trial.’” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd., v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 58687 (1986) (internal citations omitted). In cases where the evidence before the court which is
admissible on its face or which can be reduced to admissible form indicates there is no genuine
dispute of material fact and establishes the party moving for summary judgment is entitled to it
as a matter of law, summary judgment is proper. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323-324 (Summary
judgment is appropriate where pleadings, evidentiary materials and affidavits before the court
show there is no genuine dispute as to a requisite material fact.);
Waddell v. Valley Forge
Dental Associates, Inc., 276 F.3d 1275, 1279 (11th Cir. 2001) (to establish a genuine dispute of
material fact, the nonmoving party must produce evidence such that a reasonable trier of fact
could return a verdict in his favor.).
Although factual inferences must be viewed in a light most favorable to the nonmoving
party and pro se complaints are entitled to liberal interpretation by the courts, a pro se litigant
does not escape the burden of establishing by sufficient evidence a genuine dispute of material
fact. See Beard, 548 U.S. at 525; Brown v. Crawford, 906 F.2d 667, 670 (11th Cir. 1990).
Plaintiff’s pro se status alone does not mandate this court’s disregard of elementary principles of
production and proof in a civil case. Here, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a requisite genuine
dispute of material fact against Defendants to preclude summary judgment. Matsushita, supra.
Plaintiff asserts that Defendants acted negligently in failing to control an outbreak of TB.
The law is well settled that the Constitution is not implicated by negligent acts of prison
officials. Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986); Mandel v. Doe, 888 F.2d 783,787-788 (11th
Cir. 1989) (mere negligence insufficient to establish constitutional violation); Davidson v.
Cannon, 474 U.S. 344, 348 (1986) (protections of the Constitution “are just not triggered by lack
of due care by prison officials.”); Adams v. Poag, 61 F.3d 1537, 1543 (11th Cir. 1995) (stating
that plaintiff must show more than mere negligence to assert an Eighth Amendment violation);
Hill v. Dekalb Regional Youth Detention Ctr., 40 F.3d 1176, 1191 n. 28 (11th Cir.1994)
(acknowledging that Supreme Court has required more than mere negligence to obtain relief
under § 1983). Consequently, the alleged negligent conduct about which Plaintiff complains
does not rise to the level of a constitutional violation and provide no basis for relief in this 42
U.S.C. § 1983 action.
B. Deliberate Indifference3
Plaintiff complains that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment when, through
no fault of his own, he contracted TB while in the custody and care of the Alabama Department
of Corrections [“ADOC”].4 He maintains that the ADOC was unable to maintain an “infectious
disease outbreak” which began in November 2011 and claims TB medication is “highly toxic.” 5
Doc. No. 8 at 2-3, Doc. No. 10 at 2-3.
The court understands Plaintiff to allege that Defendants exhibited deliberate indifferent
to his health and safety by failing to control a TB outbreak at the Elmore Correctional Facility
causing him to contract the disease. The court’s analysis of whether Plaintiff has stated an
Eighth Amendment claim has two components.
“First, the deprivation alleged must be,
objectively, ‘sufficiently serious[;]’ a prison official’s act or omission must result in the denial of
‘the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities [.]’ ” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
To the extent Plaintiff presents additional claims and/or theories of liability in his opposition to
Defendants’ special report, the court limits its review to the allegations set forth in the amended
complaint and amendment thereto. Gilmour v. Gates, McDonald & Co., 382 F.3d 1312, 1315 (11th Cir.
2004) (“A plaintiff may not amend [his] complaint through argument in a brief opposing summary
judgment.”); Ganstine v. Secretary, Florida Dept. of Corrections, 502 Fed. App’x 905, 909-910 (11th
Cir. 2012) (plaintiff may not amend complaint at the summary judgment stage by raising a new claim or
presenting a new basis for a pending claim); Chavis v. Clayton County School District, 300 F.3d 1288,
1291 n. 4 (11th Cir. 2002) (district court correctly refused to address a new theory raised during summary
judgment because the plaintiff had not properly amended the complaint).
See generally Metheney v. Anderson, 953 F. Supp. 854, 855 (N.D. Ohio 1996) (“Tuberculosis is a
communicable disease that generally affects the lungs, but also appears in other organs of the body. It is
transmitted by the tubercle bacilli that are present in the lungs of infected individuals and are expelled by
talking, coughing or sneezing. Tuberculosis exists in both dormant [latent] and active stages. During the
dormant stage, the individual is not infectious and exhibits no symptoms. Only a few infected individuals
develop active tuberculosis. With proper treatment—daily dosages of the antibiotic isoniazid for six to
twelve months—an infected person probably will never develop active tuberculosis.”).
D u e to d eficien cies in Plain tiff’s o riginal co m plain t, th e co u rt d irected h im to file an am en d ed co m p lain t w h ich (1 ) n am ed as d efen d an ts th e in d ivid u als p erso n ally resp o n sib le fo r th e alleged d en ial
o f h is co n stitu tio n al righ ts w ith resp ect to th e su b ject m atter o f h is com plain t, (2 ) id en tified specific claim s relative to actio n s taken again st h im b y th e p erso n n am ed as a defen d an t; an d (3 ) d escrib ed
w ith p articu lar d etail h o w th e in d ivid u als n am ed as a d efen d an ts acted in vio latio n o f h is co nstitu tio nal righ ts. S ee D oc. N o . 7 . B ecau se Plain tiff’s am en d ed co m plain t failed to id en tify an y in d ivid u al
alleged ly resp o n sib le fo r th e co n stitu tio n al violatio n s ab o u t w h ic h h e c o m p lain ed , the co u rt d irected Plain tiff to su p p lem ent his am en d ed co m plain t to co rrect th is deficien cy and again ad vised h im
to d e sc rib e w ith particu lar d etail h o w th e in d ivid uals n am ed as d efen d an ts acted in vio latio n o f h is co n stitutio n al righ ts. S ee D o c. N o s.8 , 9 . Plain tiff’s su p p lem en tal co m p laint pro vid ed th e id e n tity
o f the p erso n s again st w h om he sou gh t to file th is actio n an d ap p ears to gen erally ascrib e th e conduct or actions about which he complains to each named defendant. See Doc. No. 10. See
Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir.1998) (per curiam) (“Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys and
will, therefore, be liberally construed.”).
(1994) (internal citations omitted). For a claim, like the instant one, based upon a failure to
adequately control the spread of a contagious disease, Plaintiff must present factual allegations
which show he was incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious damage to
his health. Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 35 (1993). The second component of Plaintiff’s
Eighth Amendment claim is that the “prison official must have a ‘sufficiently culpable state of
mind[,]’ ” Farmer, 511 U .S. at 834 (citations omitted), since “ ‘only the unnecessary and
wanton infliction of pain implicates the Eighth Amendment.’ ” Id. (citation omitted). In
conditions-of-confinement cases “that state of mind is one of ‘deliberate indifference’ to inmate
health or safety[.]” Id. (citations omitted). “[A] prison official cannot be found liable under the
Eighth Amendment for denying an inmate humane conditions of confinement unless the official
knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be
aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm
exists, and he must also draw the inference.” Id. at 837.
The conduct at issue “must involve more than ordinary lack of due care for the prisoner’s
interests or safety.... It is obduracy and wantonness, not inadvertence or error in good faith, that
characterize the conduct prohibited by the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, whether that
conduct occurs in connection with establishing conditions of confinement, supplying medical
needs, or restoring official control over a tumultuous cellblock.” Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S.
312, 319 (1986).
To be deliberately indifferent, Defendants must have been “subjectively aware of
the substantial risk of serious harm in order to have had a ‘ “sufficiently culpable
state of mind.” ’ ” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834-38, 114 S.Ct. at 1977-80; Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 299, 111 S.Ct. 2321, 2324-25, 115 L.Ed.2d 271 (1991)....
Even assuming the existence of a serious risk of harm and legal causation, the
prison official must be aware of specific facts from which an inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists - and the prison official must
also “draw that inference.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837, 114 S.Ct. at 1979.
Carter v. Galloway, 352 F.3d 1346, 1349 (11th Cir. 2003). “The known risk of injury must be a
strong likelihood, rather than a mere possibility before a [state official’s] failure to act can
constitute deliberate indifference.” Brown v. Hughes, 894 F.2d 1533, 1537 (11th Cir. 1990)
(citations and internal quotations omitted).
Thus, “[m]erely negligent failure to protect an
inmate ... does not justify liability under section 1983....” Id.
Under the aforementioned criteria, Plaintiff is “required to produce sufficient evidence of
(1) a substantial risk of serious harm; (2) the defendants’ deliberate indifference to that risk; and
(3) causation” in order to survive summary judgment on his deliberate indifference claim
against the defendants. Hale v. Tallapoosa County, 50 F.3d 1579, 1582 (11th Cir. 1995);
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837-838 (To circumvent entry of summary judgment on a properly
supported motion, plaintiff must produce sufficient evidence which demonstrates (1) an
objectively substantial risk of serious harm; (2) a subjective awareness of this risk by the
defendants; (3) the defendants responded to such risk in an objectively unreasonable manner;
and (4) the actions/omissions of the defendants caused his injuries); Marsh, 268 F.3d at 10281029 (same); Hill v. Dekalb Reg'l Youth Det. Ctr., 40 F.3d 1176, 1191 n.28 (11th Cir.1994),
overruled in part on other grounds by Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 739 (2002) (recognizing
that the Supreme Court has defined “deliberate indifference” as requiring more than mere
negligence and has adopted a “subjective recklessness” standard from criminal law); McElligott
v. Foley, 182 F.3d 1248, 1255 (11th Cir. 1999) (holding that for liability to attach, defendant
must know of and then disregard an excessive risk to prisoner’s health or safety); Qian v. Kautz,
168 F.3d 949, 955 (7th Cir.1999) (stating “deliberate indifference” is a synonym for intentional
or reckless conduct, and that “reckless” conduct describes conduct so dangerous that deliberate
nature can be inferred). Thus, deliberate indifference occurs only when a defendant “knows of
and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the [defendant] must both be aware
of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists
and he must also draw the inference.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Furthermore, “an official’s
failure to alleviate a significant risk that he should have perceived but did not, while no cause for
commendation, cannot under our cases be condemned as the infliction of punishment.” Id. at
Defendants deny that they acted in violation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights. See Doc.
No. 17, Daniels, Bolling, and McKee Affidavits. Defendants provided the affidavit of Dr.
Dyjerlynn Lampley-Copeland, Medical Director and Site Physician for Staton Correctional
Facility. She also provides medical attention and treatment to inmates incarcerated at the Elmore
Correctional Facility. Dr. Lampley-Copeland addressed the claims presented by Plaintiff, in
relevant part, as follows:
11. In his Complaint, Mr. Richburg specifically disputes the method of
treatment prescribed for his Tuberculosis (“TB”). TB is an infection with the
bacterium Myobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs,
but can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory
system, bones and joints. There are two (2) types of TB: latent TB (positive skin
test with no symptoms) and active TB. The fundamental difference between latent
TB and active TB is that active TB is contagious and latent TB is not.
12. The standard method for identifying a TB infection involves a simple
skin test. The medical staff at Elmore performs the TB skin test by injecting
tuberculin into the inner surface of the inmate's forearm. Tuberculin is a mix of
purified proteins produced from dead TB bacteria which means the administration
of a TB skin test will not infect an individual with TB or any other disease or
virus. After the medical staff administers a TB skin test, the staff “reads” the
injection site 48-72 hours later to determine if the TB skin test is positive or
negative. If an inmate has been exposed to the TB bacteria, the inmate will have a
reddened induration, or occasional blistering, on the forearm where the test was
given. Whether a test is considered positive depends on the inmate's risk factors.
For example, a reaction resulting in a raised area of five (5) millimeters or more is
generally considered a positive test for an HIV-infected inmate or an inmate
whose immune system is suppressed. A reaction often (10) or more millimeters is
considered a positive test in all inmates regardless of the inmate's risk factors.
13. The medical staff follows this same procedure regardless of whether
the inmate claims he tested positive in the past. This is because the medical staff
must verify whether an inmate has been exposed to TB before releasing the
inmate to the general population where he may expose other inmates. It is also not
sufficient to perform a chest x-ray in place of a TB skin test because a chest x-ray
generally only shows whether the inmate has active TB. The TB skin test, on the
other hand, tests for exposure to TB, whether latent or active. Although latent TB
is not contagious, it is important to know when an inmate is infected because it
can lay dormant for years and become active at any time. When latent TB
becomes active, it can take three or more weeks for the inmate to exhibit any
signs or symptoms of the infection. During this time, the inmate may spread the
infection to anyone around him. This can lead to an outbreak of TB among the
entire prison population and the staff. Therefore, the medical staff at Elmore, like
the medical staff at the other ADOC facilities, typically administers preventative
TB treatment to all inmates with latent TB to prevent it from becoming active.
The medical staff at Elmore generally treats inmates with latent TB with Isoniazid
(INH) for a minimum of nine (9) months.
14. If an inmate with latent TB states that he has already received
treatment, the medical staff treats the inmate with INH until they can confirm that
the inmate received and completed his previous treatment. If the medical staff
cannot confirm that the inmate received and completed treatment, it will continue
to administer the TB treatment to completion. If the medical staff confirms that
the inmate received and completed treatment, the medical staff will immediately
terminate the inmate's treatment regimen.
15. As indicated through the medical records pertaining to Mr. Richburg,
we provided Mr. Richburg with treatment for TB for the sole purpose of ensuring
that he did not develop active TB, thereby creating a health hazard for the other
inmates at Elmore. Mr. Richburg arrived at Elmore in May of 2011. (ADOC003,
8-10). Though Mr. Richburg tested negative for latent TB on May 28, 2011, he
subsequently tested positive for latent TB on July 25, 2012. (ADOC003, 6).
Pursuant to long-standing treatment protocols and widely-accepted practices
within the medical community in Alabama, Mr. Richburg immediately underwent
a full physical examination and imaging studies to ensure that he had not
developed active TB and he received a prescription for the medication Isoniazid
(INH). (ADOC007, 12). Throughout the course of his treatment for latent TB, the
medical staff monitored Mr. Richburg’s condition through the chronic care clinic
process described above until he completed his treatment in December of 2012.
(ADOCO15-18). In my medical judgment, I cannot find any rational or logical
basis upon which any physician would not have provided Mr. Richburg with this
16. There is no evidence of any kind that Mr. Richburg experienced any
complications or adverse side effects as a result of the treatments he received for
his latent TB condition. While I understand that Mr. Richburg did not wish to
receive the INH therapy, an individual’s exposure to TB within any type of closed
environment, such as a prison or nursing home, is not uncommon and is often an
unavoidable by-product of individuals living together within a confined space.
Therefore, Mr. Richburg’s exposure to TB was not an uncommon or unusual
occurrence, but a common occurrence within a prison setting that cannot be
ignored by the Elmore medical staff.
17. In sum, I do not believe that the course of treatment provided to Mr.
Richburg or the overall level of care and medical attention provided by the
medical staff at Elmore to the inmate population has been inappropriate in any
way. Likewise, I am not aware of any additional medical treatment of any kind
that should have been provided to Mr. Richburg. I have not denied and am not
aware of any other member of the medical staff at Elmore who denied Mr.
Richburg any necessary medical treatment or ignored any of his complaints. In
fact, until the filing of this lawsuit by Mr. Richburg, I was not aware of his
complaints or concerns, which he has not raised with me during my interactions
with him. The members of the medical staff have examined Mr. Richburg on a
regular basis and have provided the appropriate level and degree of evaluation,
consultation, treatment and medications.
Doc. No. 17, Lampley-Copeland Affidavit, Exh. 1, Plaintiff’s Medical Records.
The evidentiary materials filed by Defendants address the allegations made by Plaintiff
regarding his positive test for TB. A thorough review of these documents demonstrates that the
affidavits submitted by Defendants are corroborated by the objective records contemporaneously
compiled with the screening of Plaintiff and during the treatment provided to him after his initial
skin test showed a positive reaction for exposure to tuberculosis. Doc. No. 17, Exh. 1, Plaintiff’s
Defendants’ undisputed evidence reflects that precautionary measures were taken in
accordance with the guidelines established by the contract medical provider to: (i) identify
inmates with tuberculosis upon initial intake into the prison system and at yearly intervals during
their incarceration, (ii) determine whether symptomatic inmates had contracted tuberculosis, (iii)
protect the inmate population from possible exposure to potential infectious diseases, including
tuberculosis, and (iv) ascertain whether inmates who came into contact with active tuberculosis
had been exposed to the tuberculosis bacteria. Doc. No. 17, Lampley-Copeland Affidavit. The
record is devoid of evidence that Defendants knew of specific facts from which an inference
could be drawn that a substantial risk of harm existed to Plaintiff, that they actually drew this
inference and thereafter ignored the risk. Plaintiff has not presented evidence which indicates
Defendants knew that the manner in which they housed inmates or the that the medical screening
procedures or treatment provided to inmates, including Plaintiff, created a substantial risk to his
health and that with this knowledge consciously disregarded such risk. Plaintiff has, therefore,
failed to establish the requisite element of subjective awareness by Defendants. Defendants are
entitled to summary judgment. Carter, 352 F.3d at 1350.
A separate order follows.
Done, this 20th day of August 2015.
/s/Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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