Vaughn v. Huskins et al
ORDER adopting 93 Report and Recommendations. Plaintiff's claims are dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Honorable Jimm Larry Hendren on September 28, 2012. (adw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CHESTER S. VAUGHN
Civil No. 09-5205
DR. JAMES HUSKINS, Benton
County Detention Center;
NURSE MARSHA SMITH, Benton
County Detention Center;
SGT. FRY, Benton County
Detention Center; CAPTAIN
ROBERT HOLLY, Benton County
Detention Center; and SHERIFF
O R D E R
Now on this 28th day of September, 2012, comes on for
consideration the Report And Recommendation Of The Magistrate
Judge ("R&R") (document #93) and plaintiff's Motion To Object To
("Objections") (document #53), and from these documents, the Court
finds and orders as follows:
Plaintiff Chester S. Vaughn ("Vaughn") brought suit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendants were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs arising out
of a chemical exposure when floor-mopping chemicals were splashed
into his eye.
Magistrate Judge Erin L. Setser conducted an evidentiary
hearing, and reported the following as to Sgt. Fry, Nurse Smith,
and Dr. Huskins on Vaughn's individual-capacity claims against
The splashing of floor mop-water containing cleaning
chemicals into Vaughn's eye on Saturday night, September 12, 2009,
created a serious medical condition.
Sgt. Fry learned of the incident the following morning,
Sunday, September 13, 2009. Vaughn was then given eyewash to wash
out his eye, and Nurse Smith was contacted for further directions.
Sgt. Fry testified that he directed jail staff that if Vaughn's
condition worsened, command staff was to be advised and the nurse
was to be contacted.
When Nurse Smith was informed of the incident on Sunday,
September 13, 2009, she was given to understand that Vaughn had
washed his eye with the eyewash and experienced some relief.
directed that if his condition worsened she was to be called.
Nurse Smith also directed that Vaughn was to be placed on the sick
call list for Monday, September 14, 2009.
Dr. Huskins examined Vaughn on Monday, September 14,
2009, and prescribed eye drops.
The following day, when Vaughn
continued to complain of eye pain, Dr. Huskins directed that he be
taken to the hospital, where he was treated with additional eye
A week later, Dr. Huskins referred Vaughn to BoozmanHof
Based on these facts, Magistrate Judge Setser reported that
Vaughn had failed to demonstrate that Sgt. Fry, Nurse Smith, or
against them in their individual capacities be dismissed.
Vaughn's claim against Captain Holly in his individual
capacity is that he failed to produce the MSDS sheets for the
chemicals that were in the mop water.
Magistrate Judge Setser
reported, as to this claim, that Captain Holly was aware that
Vaughn was receiving medical care, and that no medical care
provider requested the MSDS sheets.
She further reported that
there is no evidence that Vaughn would have received any different
medical treatment if the MSDS sheets had been produced.
Based on these facts, Magistrate Judge Setser recommended
that Vaughn's claims against Captain Holly in his individual
capacity be dismissed.
With regard to the official capacity claims, Magistrate
Judge Setser reported that they are claims against Benton County,
Arkansas, and require a showing that a constitutional violation
was committed pursuant to an official custom, policy, or practice
of the County -- a showing as to which there was absolutely no
She recommended that these claims be dismissed.
Vaughn's Objections to the R&R are that he should have
received medical care more promptly, and that it should have been
These objections are without merit, and will be
With regard to the time it took Vaughn to obtain initial
medical care for his eye, Vaughn's objection is that defendants
violated his constitutional rights by "not getting me the medical
care that I needed that night of the accendent [sic] when I got
the chemicals in my left [eye]."
This objection is without merit because, Vaughn's Complaint
makes no claim against the "pod deputy" who allegedly refused to
allow Vaughn to shower so as to wash the chemical out of his eye
when the incident occurred on Saturday night, September 12, 2009,
or anyone else on duty that night. The first named defendant to be
made aware of the incident was Sgt. Fry, who was not notified of
the problem until Sunday, September 13, 2009. Vaughn was provided
with eyewash shortly thereafter.
With regard to the quality of medical care provided by
Nurse Smith and Dr. Huskins, Vaughn's objection seems to be that
they were negligent in the type of care provided. This objection
is without merit because medical negligence does not violate the
Eighth Amendment, although medical treatment may be so inadequate
as to be evidence of deliberate indifferent.
McRaven v. Sanders,
577 F.3d 974, 983 (8th Cir. 2009).
Dr. Huskins initially prescribed eye drops, and
Vaughn's condition, Dr. Huskins sent him to the hospital, and a
few days later sent him to see Dr. Woodward at BoozmanHof Eye
These are not the actions of one who is deliberately
indifferent to his patient's needs.
While there is less evidence about the conduct of Nurse
Smith, such evidence as there is shows that she was contacted
about the incident and told that the eyewash was giving relief.
She directed the jailers to contact her if the situation worsened.
This conduct does not amount to deliberate indifference.
For the foregoing reasons, Vaughn's Objections will be
overruled, and the R&R adopted in toto.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff's Motion To Object To
The Report And Recommendation Of The Magistrate Judge (document
#53) is denied, and his Objections are overruled.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Report And Recommendation Of
The Magistrate Judge (document #93) is adopted in toto.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's claims are dismissed
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Jimm Larry Hendren
JIMM LARRY HENDREN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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