Watson v. Stovall et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 100 Report and Recommendations, granting 61 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 66 Motion for Summary Judgment. This case is dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Honorable Susan O. Hickey on March 12, 2014. (mll)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
WELTON JAMES WATSON, II
CIVIL NO. 4:12-cv-4028
SHERIFF RON STOVALL, Miller County
Sheriff; WILLIAM FLOYD, Maintenance
Supervisor, Miller County Detention Center;
MARTY BRAZELL, Jail Administrator, Miller
County Detention Center; NADIA BROWN, Head
Nurse, Correctional Healthcare Co., and
CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE COMPANY
Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed February 14, 2014, by the
Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas.
(ECF No. 100). Judge Bryant recommends that Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment
(ECF Nos. 61 & 66) be granted. On February 29, 2014, Plaintiff Welton James Watson, II
(“Watson”) filed objections to Judge Bryant’s Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 101).
After reviewing the record de novo, the Court adopts Judge Bryant’s Report and
Recommendation as its own.
Watson makes three objections to the Report and Recommendation.
objects to the Report and Recommendation because he could not adequately represent himself.
Specifically, Watson states he was disadvantaged because he is presently incarcerated and he
proceeds pro se. “[T]he right of access to the courts guarantees an inmate the ability to file
lawsuits that directly or collaterally attack the inmate’s sentence or that challenge the conditions
of the inmate’s confinement, but it does not extend to the right to ‘discover grievances’ or to
‘litigate effectively once in court.’” Cody v. Weber, 256 F.3d 764, 768-69 (8th Cir. 2001)
(quoting Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 354-55 (1996)). Watson only asserts that he could not
litigate effectively. Accordingly, his objection is without merit.
Second, Watson objects because he asserts he has shown that Defendants Nadia Brown
and the Correctional Health Care Company (“the Medical Care Defendants”) violated his Eighth
Amendment rights when they did not adequately treat him for Hepatitis C, high blood pressure,
and diabetes. Additionally, Watson asserts that he has shown that the Medical Care Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment rights when they crushed his prescription pills prior to
Watson already made these arguments before the court, and Judge Bryant fully addressed
them in his Report and Recommendation. As Judge Bryant stated, to prevail on an Eighth
Amendment claim, Watson must prove that the defendant acted with deliberate indifference to
any serious medical need.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976).
indifference standard includes both an objective and a subjective component: “The [plaintiff]
must demonstrate (1) that [he] suffered [from] objectively serious medical needs and (2) that the
prison officials actually knew of but deliberately disregarded those needs.” Jolly v. Knudsen,
205 F.3d 1094, 1096 (8th Cir. 2000) (quoting Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1239 (8th
Cir. 1997)). When an inmate complains of a delay in treatment, he must show by verifying
medical evidence that the delay had a detrimental effect on his health. See e.g., Laughlin v.
Schiro, 430 F.3d 927, 929 (8th Cir. 2005). In this case, Watson asserts that the Medical Care
Defendants failed to adequately treat him for certain diseases and crushed his medication but
provides nothing to show that the lack of treatment and crushed medication had a detrimental
effect on his health. Accordingly, Watson has failed to show his Eighth Amendment rights were
violated by the Medical Care Defendants.
Finally, Watson objects to the Report and Recommendation because he asserts he has
shown that Defendant Floyd violated his Eighth Amendment rights when he used a gas powered
pressure washer to clean the showers in the Miller County Detention Center. Specifically,
Watson asserts that the washer subjected him “to toxic fumes known as carbon dioxide.”
Watson also already made this argument before the court, and Judge Bryant fully
addressed it in his Report and Recommendation. As Judge Bryant stated, to challenge the
conditions of confinement under the Eighth Amendment, the plaintiff must allege that prison
officials acted with “deliberate indifference” towards conditions at the prison that created a
substantial risk of serious harm. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). “[D]eliberate
indifference describes a state of mind more blameworthy than negligence.”
Id. at 835.
According to Watson, Defendant Floyd told Watson and other inmates to go to the recreation
yard while the showers were cleaned using the gas powered washer. Because of the cold
temperatures, rather than going outside, Watson and other inmates waited in a hallway near the
showers. While in the hallway, Watson was exposed to gas emanating from the washer. Such
conduct by Defendant Floyd falls short of deliberate indifference. Accordingly, Watson has not
established an Eighth Amendment claim.
For the reasons set forth above, the Court overrules Watson’s objections and adopts
Judge Bryant’s Report and Recommendation.
(ECF No. 101).
Motions for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 61 & 66) are GRANTED, and this case is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 12th day of March, 2014.
/s/ Susan O. Hickey
Susan O. Hickey
United States District Judge
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