Wallace v. Chance-Powell

Filing 14

ORDER granting 9 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Mr. Wallace's claims against Defendant Chance-Powell are DISMISSED, with prejudice. The Court certifies that this dismissal counts as a strike under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 8/25/2015. (ks)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF DIVISION DONNIE LYNN WALLACE ADC #140378 V. PLAINTIFF CASE NO. 5:15-CV-165 BD DENISE CHANCE-POWELL DEFENDANT ORDER I. Introduction: Plaintiff Donnie Lynn Wallace, an Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) inmate, filed this lawsuit pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that Defendant Denise Chance-Powell acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Specifically, he alleges that Defendant Chance-Powell refused to provide him prescription medication (Prozac) on one occasion. Defendant Chance-Powell has now moved to dismiss Mr. Wallace’s claim against her. (Docket entry #9) Mr. Wallace has not responded to Defendant Chance-Powell’s motion, and the time for doing so has passed. II. Discussion: Determining whether an official was deliberately indifferent to an inmate’s medical needs requires both objective and subjective analyses. Scott v. Benson, 742 F.3d 335, 339-40 (8th Cir. 2014). To prevail, Mr. Wallace must establish that he suffered from an objectively serious medical need and that Defendant Chance-Powell “actually knew of but deliberately disregarded [his] serious medical need.” Id. This showing requires a mental state “akin to criminal recklessness.” Id. (quoting Gordon v. Frank, 454 F.3d 858, 862 (8th Cir. 2006)). Mr. Wallace must show “more than negligence, more even than gross negligence.” Fourte v. Faulkner County, Ark., 746 F.3d 384, 387 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Jolly v. Knudsen, 205 F.3d 1094, 1096 (8th Cir. 2000)). In fact, he must show that the Defendant Chance-Powell’s actions were “so inappropriate as to evidence intentional maltreatment or a refusal to provide essential care.” Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1240–41 (8th Cir. 1997). Mr. Wallace alleges, because Defendant Chance-Powell refused to give him one dose of prescription medication on one occasion, he could have become unstable or had a seizure. Assuming his allegation is true, Mr. Wallace has not stated a constitutional claim to relief. Mr. Wallace does not allege that Defendant Chance-Powell repetitively refused to provide him prescription medication or that he suffered any injury as a result of missing a dose of medicine. Any harm is speculative, at best. Based on these allegations, no reasonable fact-finder could conclude that Defendant Chance-Powell’s conduct was “so inappropriate as to evidence intentional maltreatment.” Furthermore, to the extent that Mr. Wallace claims that Defendant Chance-Powell violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), this claim also fails. Assuming that Mr. Wallace is a person with a disability as defined by the ADA, he has not pleaded facts to show that Defendant Chance-Powell denied him any benefit protected under the ADA. Rather, he alleges that Defendant Chance-Powell failed to provide proper 2 treatment for his disability. This allegation cannot support a claim brought under the ADA because medical treatment is not considered a “benefit” under this statute. Burger v. Bloomberg, 418 F.3d 882, 883 (8th Cir. 2005)(ADA claim cannot be based on medical treatment decisions). III. Conclusion: Defendant Chance-Powell’s motion to dismiss (#9) is GRANTED. Mr. Wallace’s claims against Defendant Chance-Powell are DISMISSED, with prejudice. The Court certifies that this dismissal counts as a “strike” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). IT IS SO ORDERED, this 25th day of August, 2015. _____________________________________ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 3

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