Stanfield v. Darbouze et al (INMATE 1)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the defendants' motion for summary judgment be and is hereby GRANTED. A separate final judgment will be entered. Signed by Honorable Judge Charles S. Coody on 6/19/2017. (kh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
BILLY WAYNE STANFIELD, #1767004, )
DR. DARBOUZE, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:14cv907-CSC
MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER
In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, inmate plaintiff Billy Wayne Stanfield (“Stanfield”),
complains that the defendants violated his rights secured by the Eighth Amendment when
they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by failing to treat his skin
cancer. Stanfield names as defendants Dr. Jean Darbouze, Medical Director at Easterling
Correctional Facility, Dr. Hugh Hood, Associate Regional Medical Director, and Corrections
Medical Services, Inc.1 Stanfield seeks compensatory and punitive damages. The court has
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) and M.D. Ala.
LR 73.1, the parties have consented to the United States Magistrate Judge conducting all
proceedings in this case and ordering the entry of final judgment.
Pursuant to the orders of this court, the defendants filed a written special report, as
supplemented, and supporting evidentiary materials addressing the plaintiff’s claims. In
accordance with the order entered on September 2, 2014 (doc. # 4), the court now deems it
appropriate to treat the defendants’ special report as supplemented as a motion for summary
Correctional Medical Services Inc. is now known as Corizon, LLC. (Doc. # 11).
The plaintiff was provided an opportunity to respond to the motion as
supplemented and has done so. Upon consideration of the motion, pleadings, responses and
evidentiary material filed in support of and in opposition to the motion, the court concludes
that the motion for summary judgment is due to be granted.
II. 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]2 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 omitted); FED.R.CIV.P. 56(c) (Summary judgment “should
be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits
show that there is no genuine [dispute] as to any material fact and that 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). The movant may meet this burden by
presenting evidence which would be admissible at trial indicating there is no dispute of
material fact or by showing that the nonmoving party has failed to present evidence in
Effective December 1, 2010, the language of Rule 56(a) was amended. The word “dispute”
replaced the word “issue” to “better reflect the focus of a summary-judgment determination.” FED.R.CIV.P.
56(a), Advisory Committee Notes, 2010 Amendments.
support of some element of his case on which he bears the ultimate burden of proof. Id. at
Once the defendants meet their evidentiary burden and demonstrate the absence of a
genuine dispute of material fact, the burden shifts to the 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.
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
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 [medical personnel]. 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). Consequently, to
survive the defendants’ properly supported motion for summary judgment, Stanfield is
required to produce “sufficient [favorable] evidence” which would be admissible at trial
supporting his claims of constitutional violations. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 249 (1986). “If the evidence [on which the nonmoving party relies] is merely colorable
. . . or is not significantly probative . . . summary judgment may be granted.” Id. at 249-250.
“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.” Walker v. Darby, 911 F.2d 1573, 1576-1577 (11th Cir. 1990) quoting Anderson,
supra. Hence, when a plaintiff fails to set forth specific facts supported by appropriate
evidence sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to his case and on which
he 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 322 (“[F]ailure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party’s case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.”);
Barnes v. Southwest Forest Indus., 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 Prop. Located at 5800 SW 74th Ave., Miami, Fla., 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. Sec’y of Dep’t of Children &
Family Servs., 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) (citation omitted). 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, 587 (1986).
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 a genuine dispute of material fact.
Beard, 548 U.S. at 525; Brown v. Crawford, 906 F.2d 667, 670 (11th Cir. 1990). Thus, the
plaintiff’s pro se status alone does not mandate this court’s disregard of elementary principles
of production and proof in a civil case.
Stanfield was incarcerated at the Easterling Correctional Facility when he first
complained to the medical staff of a skin condition. On January, 2, 2013, Stanfield
completed a health services request form indicating that he was having skin problems when
he shaved. (Doc. # 11-3, Ex. A at 9). Stanfield was seen by a nurse and referred to the
doctor. (Id.) On January 7, 2013, Stanfield refused a medical appointment. (Id. at 14). On
January 14, 2013, Stanfield did not appear for his scheduled appointment with the doctor. (Id.
On March 11, 2013, Stanfield complained that he was still experiencing “spots” on
his face that were burning and itching. (Id. at 16). He did not, however, show up for sick
call on March 12, 2013. (Id. at 17).
The court construes the facts in a light most favorable to the non-movant, the plaintiff in this case.
See, e.g. Brown v. Crawford, 906 F.2d 667 (11th Cir. 1990).
On April 18, 2013, Stanfield completed another health service request form
complaining that the rash on his face burned. (Id. at 21). The nurse noted the rash and that
Stanfield had previously been treated with an antifungal cream. (Id. at 22). He was given
Tolnaftate cream. (Id. at 23). On April 26, 2013, Stanfield completed a health service request
form requesting treatment for the rash. (Id. at 24). However, he also refused to attend sick
call. (Id. at 25).
On May 10, 2013, Stanfield submitted a health service request form in which he
indicated that the rash on his face was not getting any better; that another spot under his right
eye had developed; and he had red bumps on his face. (Id. at 26). Although the antifungal
cream helped with the itching, the rash was still present and Stanfield asked to see a doctor.
On May 20, 2013, Dr. Darbouze examined Stanfield and requested an appointment
with a free world dermatologist be made for him. (Id. at 29). A consultative appointment
with Dr. Thomas Taylor was scheduled that day for June 26, 2013. (Id. at 30).
8, 2013, Stanfield submitted a health service request form complaining about the rash on his
face because it burned and hurt and was waking him up at night. (Id.). However, he did not
attend sick call. (Id. at 32).
On June 26, 2013, Stanfield saw Dr. Taylor. Dr.Taylor removed a lesion on
Stanfield’s face to biopsy to determine whether it was skin cancer or actinic keratosis, a nonmalignant condition that can eventually develop into skin cancer. (Id. at 35).
27, 2013, Dr. Darbouze requested, and Dr. Hood approved, a follow up appointment with Dr.
Taylor. (Id. at 38-39). On June 28, 2013, the pathology report indicated that Stanfield was
suffering from basosquamous carcinoma on his left facial cheek. (Id. at 37).
On July 24, 2013, Stanfield returned to Dr. Taylor who noted that the site had healed,
there was no indication of a recurrence of cancer, and recommended that Stanfield see him
again in October “or as needed”. (Doc. # 19-2 at 23). On August 2, 2013, Dr. Hood denied
the request for another consultation with Dr. Taylor because Dr. Taylor did not affirmatively
recommend another appointment, and Dr. Darbouze could monitor Stanfield’s condition.
(Doc. # 11-3, Ex. A at 54).
On March 16, 2014, Stanfield submitted a request for sick call because the “same red
sports returned on left and right side of face. This was ruled as skin cancer not getting any
better. Follow up from last year.” (Doc. # 11-4 at 6). On March 26, 2014, Stanfield was
first evaluated by a nurse. Dr. Darbouze then prescribed hydrocortisone cream and cautioned
Stanfield to stay out of the sun. (Id. at 39).
On April 24, 2014, Dr. Darbouze saw Stanfield for a follow up appointment, and
determined that Stanfield was suffering from actinic keratosis which was precancerous but
not skin cancer. (Id. at 47).
On June 29, 2014, Stanfield complained that the red spots on his face were not going
away, and he had increased sensitivity to sunlight. (Id. at 16). Stanfied was examined by a
nurse. (Id. at 17-18). Dr. Darbouze saw Stanfield on July 14, 2014, and noted that Stanfield
needed to avoid excessive sunlight because of his actinic keratosis. (Id. at 48).
On August 31, 2014, Stanfield underwent his annual physical, and at that time there
were no signs of skin cancer. (Doc. # 19-3 at 41-45).
On January 29, 2015, Stanfield complained of itching on his face. (Id. at 59).
Stanfield was evaluated by a nurse who noted some redness, and he was prescribed
hydrocortisone cream at his request. (Id. at 59-61).
On February 27, 2015, Stanfield requested that his prescription for hydrocortisone
cream be refilled, and it was. (Id. at 63-65). Stanfield was brought to the medical unit on
March 7, 2015 but he declined an evaluation contending that it was unnecessary. (Id. at 66).
In April 2015, Dr. Darbouze opined that “[t]here is no indication in Mr. Stanfield’s
medical records that, since June of 2013, he has reported any conditions or any signs or
symptoms, which would indicate a recurrence of basal cell carcinoma.” (Doc. # 19 at Ex.
On April 29, 2015, Stanfield had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Taylor. At that
time, Dr. Taylor noted that although Stanfield had a history of basosquamous carcinoma, he
was currently suffering from actinic keratosis. (Doc. # 26 at 2).
[A]s it relates to Mr. Stanfield, he did not exhibit any signs or symptoms of any
current malignancy or cancerous growth on his face or skin, but his condition
continues to develop in a manner that warrants continued monitoring.
On May 7, 2015, Dr. Darbouze refilled Stanfield’s prescription for hydrocortisone
On May 15, 2015, Stanfield requested sunscreen. Initially, his request was denied
because sunscreen was available for purchase in the canteen. However, when Stanfield made
it known that he could not afford to purchase sunscreen, Dr. Darbouze agreed to provide him
with sunscreen. (Doc. # 26-1 at 2).
In December, 2015, Stanfield was transferred from Easterling Correctional Facility
to J.O. Davis Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. See Doc. # 30.
Failure to Exhaust. In their special report as supplemented, the defendants
assert that the plaintiff’s claims are due to be dismissed because Stanfield has failed to
exhaust his available administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). The PLRA requires exhaustion of available administrative
remedies before a prisoner can seek relief in federal court on a § 1983 complaint.
Specifically, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) states that “[n]o action shall be brought with respect to
prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner
confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies
as are available are exhausted.” “Congress has provided in § 1997e(a) that an inmate must
exhaust irrespective of the forms of relief sought and offered through administrative
remedies.” Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 n.6 (2001). “[T]he PLRA’s exhaustion
requirement applies to all inmate suits about prison life, whether they involve general
circumstances or particular episodes, and whether they allege excessive force or some other
wrong.” Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002). Moreover, exhaustion of all available
administrative remedies is a precondition to litigation and a federal court cannot waive the
exhaustion requirement. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 211 (2007) (“There is no question that
exhaustion is mandatory under the PLRA and that unexhausted claims cannot be brought in
court.”). See also Booth, 532 U.S. at 741; Alexander v. Hawk, 159 F.3d 1321, 1325 (11th
Finally, the plaintiff is required by the PLRA to properly exhaust his claims.
Woodford v Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 92 (2006) (emphasis in original). “Proper exhaustion
demands compliance with an agency’s deadlines and other critical procedural rules because
no adjudicative system can function effectively without some orderly structure on the course
of its proceedings.” Id. at 91. Thus, “a prisoner must complete the administrative review
process in accordance with applicable procedural rules, including deadlines, as a
precondition to bringing suit in federal court.” Id. at 88.
It is undisputed that Corrections Medical Services has a grievance procedure and that
Stanfield has not availed himself of it. The undisputed evidentiary materials submitted by
the medical defendants demonstrate that Stanfield failed to file a grievance challenging the
medical treatment about which he now complains. In his response to the defendants’ special
report, Stanfield contends he submitted grievances. However, his response is not sworn and
he does not attach copies of any grievances related to his medical treatment at Easterling
Correctional Facility before May 2015.4 See Doc. # 16. Thus, it is undisputed that Stanfield
failed to file a grievance with respect to the claims presented in this case as required by the
grievance procedure in effect at the time of his complaints. Furthermore, it is undisputed that
In June 2015, Stanfield submitted a response in which he attached copies of grievancs filed in May,
2015 specifically addressing the need for sunscreen. (Doc. # 28). As a result of those grievance, the
defendants agreed to provide Stanfield with sunscreen. See Doc. # 26.
the administrative remedy provided by the defendants regarding the instant claim is no longer
available to Stanfield. Under such circumstances, dismissal with prejudice is appropriate.
Bryant v. Rich, 530 F.3d 1368, 1375 n.1 (11th Cir. 2008); Johnson v. Meadows, 418 F.3d
1152, 1157 (11th Cir. 2005); Marsh v. Jones, 53 F.3d 707, 710 (5th Cir. 1995) (“Without the
prospect of a dismissal with prejudice, a prisoner could evade the exhaustion requirement by
filing no administrative grievance or by intentionally filing an untimely one, thereby
foreclosing administrative remedies and gaining access to a federal forum without exhausting
administrative remedies.”); Berry v. Kerik, 366 F.3d 85, 88 (2nd Cir. 2004) (footnotes
omitted) (inmate’s “federal lawsuits . . . properly dismissed with prejudice” where previously
available administrative remedies had become unavailable and no circumstances justified the
failure to exhaust).
The defendants are therefore entitled to summary judgment on
Stanfield’s claims challenging his medical treatment due to his failure to properly exhaust
administrative remedies previously available to him.
B. Deliberate Indifference.
Even had Stanfield exhausted the available
administrative remedy, he still remains entitled to no relief as the record establishes the
defendants did not act with deliberate indifference to his medical condition. Although
Stanfield challenges the treatment decisions rendered by medical personnel, and asserts that
the medical defendants failed to timely seek medical treatment for him, these assertions fail
to establish deliberate indifference as the medical records indicate the defendants provided
appropriate treatment to Stanfield based on his medical history, his medical records including
pathology and consultative reports, and their evaluations of his condition. The medical
records establish that when Stanfield sought medical treatment for the rash on his face, he
was examined by medical personnel. When his condition continued, Stanfield was sent to
Dr. Taylor, a dermatologist, who evaluated and treated him. The medical records further
demonstrate medical personnel routinely examined Stanfield regarding any complaints,
prescribed hydrocortisone cream and sunscreen, and provided follow-up care for his skin
condition. At Stanfield’s last consultation with Dr.Taylor, there were no signs or symptoms
that the basosquasmus carcinoma had returned.
To prevail on a claim concerning an alleged denial of adequate medical treatment, an
inmate must, at a minimum, show that the defendants acted with deliberate indifference to
his serious medical needs. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976); Taylor v. Adams, 221 F.3d
1254 (11th Cir. 2000); McElligott v. Foley, 182 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 1999); Waldrop v.
Evans, 871 F.2d 1030, 1033 (11th Cir. 1989); Rogers v. Evans, 792 F.2d 1052, 1058 (11th
Cir.1986). Specifically, medical personnel may not subject an inmate to “acts or omissions
sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.” Estelle,
429 U.S. at 106; Adams v. Poag, 61 F.3d 1537, 1546 (11th Cir. 1995) (citation and internal
quotations omitted) (Under Estelle, plaintiff must establish “not merely the knowledge of a
condition, but the knowledge of necessary treatment coupled with a refusal to treat or a delay
in [the acknowledged necessary] treatment.” Mandel v. Doe, 888 F.2d 783, 787 (11th Cir.
In order to establish “deliberate indifference to [a] serious medical need . . ., Plaintiff
must show: (1) a serious medical need; (2) the defendants’ deliberate indifference to that
need; and (3) causation between that indifference and the plaintiff’s injury.” Mann v. Taser
Int’l, Inc., 588 F.3d 1291, 1306-1307 (11th Cir. 2009). When seeking relief based on
deliberate indifference, an inmate is required to establish “an objectively serious need, an
objectively insufficient response to that need, subjective awareness of facts signaling the
need and an actual inference of required action from those facts.” Taylor, 221 F.3d at 1258;
McElligott, 182 F.3d at 1255 (for liability to attach, the official must know of and then
disregard an excessive risk to the prisoner). 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 v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994); Johnson v. Quinones, 145 F.3d 164, 168 (4th Cir. 1998)
(defendant must have actual knowledge of a serious condition, not just knowledge of
symptoms, and ignore known risk to serious condition to warrant finding of deliberate
indifference). 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.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 838.
In articulating the scope of inmates’ right to be free from deliberate
indifference, . . . the Supreme Court has . . . emphasized that not ‘every claim
by a prisoner that he has not received adequate medical treatment states a
violation of the Eighth Amendment.’ Estelle, 429 U.S. at 105, 97 S.Ct. at 291;
Mandel, 888 F.2d at 787. Medical treatment violates the eighth amendment
only when it is ‘so grossly incompetent, inadequate, or excessive as to shock
the conscience or to be intolerable to fundamental fairness.’ Rogers, 792 F.2d
at 1058 (citation omitted). Mere incidents of negligence or malpractice do not
rise to the level of constitutional violations. See Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106, 97
S.Ct. at 292 (‘Medical malpractice does not become a constitutional violation
merely because the victim is a prisoner.’); Mandel, 888 F.2d at 787-88 (mere
negligence or medical malpractice ‘not sufficient’ to constitute deliberate
indifference); Waldrop, 871 F.2d at 1033 (mere medical malpractice does not
constitute deliberate indifference). Nor does a simple difference in medical
opinion between the prison’s medical staff and the inmate as to the latter’s
diagnosis or course of treatment support a claim of cruel and unusual
punishment. See Waldrop, 871 F.2d at 1033 (citing Bowring v. Godwin, 551
F.2d 44, 48 (4th Cir.1977)).
Harris v. Thigpen, 941 F.2d 1495, 1505 (11th Cir. 1991); Taylor, 221 F.3d at 1258 (To show
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, a plaintiff must demonstrate that [the]
defendants’ response to the need was more than “merely accidental inadequacy, negligence
in diagnosis or treatment, or even medical malpractice actionable under state law.”).
Moreover, “as Estelle teaches, whether government actors should have employed
additional diagnostic techniques or forms of treatment ‘is a classic example of a matter for
medical judgment’ and therefore not an appropriate basis for grounding liability under the
Eighth Amendment.” Adams, 61 F.3d at 1545; Garvin v. Armstrong, 236 F.3d 896, 898 (7th
Cir. 2001) (“A difference of opinion as to how a condition should be treated does not give
rise to a constitutional violation.”); Hamm v. DeKalb Cty., 774 F.2d 1567, 1575 (11th Cir.
1985) (mere fact inmate desires a different mode of medical treatment does not amount to
deliberate indifference violative of the Constitution). Self-serving statements by a plaintiff
do not create a question of fact in the face of contradictory, contemporaneously created
medical records. See Bennett v. Parker, 898 F.2d 1530 (11th Cir. 1990).
When an inmate’s deliberate indifference claim relates to a delay in treatment, this
court must also consider “(1) the seriousness of the medical need; (2) whether the delay
worsened the medical condition; and (3) the reason for the delay.” Goebert v. Lee County,
510 F.3d 1312, 1327 (11th Cir. 2007). In a case alleging that delay in medical treatment
shows deliberate indifference, the plaintiff “must place verifying medical evidence in the
record to establish the detrimental effect of delay in medical treatment to succeed.” Hill v.
DeKalb Reg’l Youth Det. Ctr., 40 F.3d 1176, 1187-1188 (11th Cir. 1994), overruled in part
on other grounds, Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 739 n.9 (2002); Mann, 588 F.3d at 1307 (no
deliberate indifference to serious medical need where delay did not worsen condition).
Undoubtedly, skin cancer is a serious medical need. However, to be successful on his
§ 1983 claims, Stanfield must also demonstrate that the medical defendants were
“deliberately indifferent” to that need. This he has failed to do. When Stanfield first
complained about the rash on his face, he was seen by medical personnel. When Stanfield
complained in March 2013, he then failed to attend sick call. In April 2013, Stanfield again
complained about a rash on his face, and he was prescribed an antifungal cream. On May
10, 2013, Stanfield requested medical treatment because while the antifungal cream helped
with itching, the rash had not improved. Dr. Darbouze examined Stanfield, and on May 20,
2013, made arrangements for Stanfield to be treated by a dermatologist. Stanfield was seen
and treated by Dr. Taylor, a dermatologist, on June 26, 2013. Thereafter, although Stanfield
was diagnosed with actinic keratosis, this condition is not malignant or cancerous. Stanfield
was evaluated by medical staff, Dr. Darbouze or a nurse, each time he presented for sick call.
Based on their knowledge of his medical history and upon observation and evaluation of
Stanfield, medical personnel initiated a practicable treatment plan which included treatment
of his skin cancer and then management of his actinic keratosis through the use of
prescription medication and routine evaluations of the inmate. Thus, Stanfield received
medical treatment for his medical condition upon his initial complaint and throughout his
confinement in the Easterling Correctional Facility in the form of physical examinations,
medical evaluations, consultative examinations and treatment by an expert, prescription
medication and sunscreen.
Under the circumstances of this case, the court concludes the course of treatment
undertaken by the defendants in addressing Stanfield’s skin condition did not violate his
constitutional rights. The medical care Stanfield received was adequate and certainly not “so
grossly incompetent, inadequate, or excessive as to shock the conscience or to be intolerable
to the fundamental fairness.” Harris, 941 F.2d at 1505. It is undisputed that Stanfield
received medical care, and it is evident the defendants rendered treatment to Stanfield in
accordance with their professional judgment. In addition, Stanfield has failed to present any
evidence which indicates the defendants knew the manner in which they provided treatment
created a substantial risk to his health and that with this knowledge consciously disregarded
such risk. The allegations presented by Stanfield simply fail to establish deliberate
An inmate’s allegation that prison physicians did not diligently pursue alternative
means of treating a medical condition “did not ‘rise beyond negligence’. . . to the level of
deliberate indifference.” Hamm, 774 F.2d at 1505 (inmate’s desire for some other form of
medical treatment does not constitute deliberate indifference violative of the Constitution).
“Mere evidence of negligence “in diagnosing or treating a medical condition” or a showing
of medical malpractice does not establish deliberate indifference.” Monteleone v. Corizon,
— F. App’x —, 2017 WL 1404680 *2 (11th Cir. Apr. 20, 2017) (No. 15-11906). Stanfield
must “do more than question [Dr. Darbouze’s] medical judgment to overcome a summary
judgment ruling on his § 1983 claim.” Id. at *3. This he has not done.
The record is therefore devoid of evidence, significantly probative or otherwise,
showing the defendants acted with deliberate indifference to Stanfield’s medical condition.
Consequently, summary judgment is due to be granted in favor of the defendants.
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that the defendants’ motion for summary judgment be and is hereby
A separate final judgment will be entered.
Done this 19th day of June, 2017.
/s/Charles S. Coody
CHARLES S. COODY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?