Dixon v. Stovall et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 48 Report and Recommendations; granting 25 Motion for Summary Judgment and all claims against Nurse Cranford are dismissed with prejudice. Nurse Cranford terminated. Signed by Honorable Susan O. Hickey on September 4, 2012. (cap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTSERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CASE NO. 4:11-CV-04015
SHERIFF RON STOVALL;
CAPTAIN HARTLINE; CAPTAIN
HEINTZLEMAN; SGT. GILES;
SGT. BAYLESS; CPL. LAFAYETTE;
JAILER ADAMS; JAILER S. SMITH;
JAILER SHIVERS; and NURSE CRANFORD,
Correctional Health Care Management, Inc.
Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed January 30, 2012 by the
Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas.
(ECF No. 48). Judge Bryant has examined Separate Defendant Nurse Cranford’s Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 25), and Plaintiff’s Response. (ECF No. 47). Judge Bryant
recommends granting the Defendant’s motion. Plaintiff has filed an objection to Judge Bryant’s
report. (ECF No. 52). After conducting a de novo review of the record, the Court adopts Judge
Bryant’s Report and Recommendation as its own.
When the events of this case took place, Plaintiff, Kevin Dixon, was an inmate at the
Miller County Detention Center (MCDC). The Defendant, Nurse Melissa Cranford, was a
Licensed Vocational Nurse employed by Correctional Health Care Management Services, and
occasionally worked at MCDC. Nurse Cranford first saw Plaintiff on September 14, 2010 for
injuries he says were caused by falling in his cell. Nurse Cranford noted swelling in Plaintiff’s
forearm and right-thumb, and gave him two Ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. Plaintiff also
allegedly had an injury to his forehead, and there is a dispute about whether Nurse Cranford
noted or treated that injury. (Plaintiff contends that his forehead was injured, not his forearm). In
any event, Plaintiff found the Ibuprofen insufficient to relieve his excruciating pain and
A week later, on September 21, 2010, Plaintiff again sought medical attention,
complaining of head pain. He says he complained to Nurse Cranford directly, in addition to
making a formal complaint. Nurse Cranford had Dr. Nash prescribe 500mg Tylenol pills for the
Plaintiff. Plaintiff, however, denies receiving the Tylenol or being told about it. He also notes
that Nurse Cranford expressed a desire to treat him but was limited by not having her
supervisor’s approval. Those two September encounters were Plaintiff’s only contact with Nurse
Cranford. Plaintiff later filed suit against Nurse Cranford and other parties for denial of medical
care in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.1
The Eighth Amendment, and hence § 1983, is violated when a prison official is
deliberately indifferent to an inmate’s serious medical needs. Schaub v. VonWald, 638 F.3d 905,
914 (8th Cir. 2011). An inmate’s mere difference of opinion about matters of medical judgment
or a course of treatment, however, does not establish a constitutional violation. Tyler v. Bowers,
966 F.2d 417, 421 (8th Cir. 1992) (overruled on other grounds).
Plaintiff objects to Judge Bryant’s recommendation because Nurse Cranford allegedly
Plaintiff made other § 1983 claims against other defendants, but his only claim against Nurse Cranford is for denial
of medical care.
“didn’t take his vital signs or perform any other tests.” However, Plaintiff’s position is a matter
of medical judgment, and a difference of opinion on a matter of medical judgment does not
establish a § 1983 claim for denial of medical care.
The Court agrees with Judge Bryant that the Plaintiff has provided insufficient evidence
to make out a denial-of-medical-care claim against Nurse Cranford. The Court thus adopts Judge
Bryant’s Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 48) in its entirety. Therefore, Nurse Cranford’s
Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 25) should be and hereby is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s
claims against Nurse Crawford are hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 4th day of September, 2012.
/s/ Susan O. Hickey
Hon. Susan O. Hickey
United States District Judge
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