McChristian v. Ferguson
ORDER granting 38 Motion for Summary Judgment, adopting 46 Report and Recommendations and denying 48 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Plaintiff's claims are dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Honorable Jimm Larry Hendren on March 7, 2013. (adw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
Civil No. 11-5125
SHERIFF KEITH FERGUSON;
DR. HUSKINS; and DEPUTY CHAMBERS
O R D E R
Now on this 7th day of March, 2013, come on for consideration
defendants' Motion For Summary Judgment (document #38);
("R&R") (document #46),
plaintiff's Objections (document #47); and
plaintiff's Motion For Appointment Of Counsel (document
and the Court, having carefully reviewed said documents, finds and
orders as follows:
against the Benton County Sheriff (in his individual capacity
only), alleging that he did not receive proper treatment for an
infection in his hand, and for his high blood pressure, while he
was incarcerated at the Benton County Detention Center.
McChristian later included two more defendants, Dr. Huskins
and Deputy Chambers, and orally moved to amend his complaint to
sue all defendants in their official capacity.
Magistrate Judge Erin L. Setser scheduled a pre-trial
evidentiary hearing, and directed the defendants to move for
summary judgment, procedures designed to focus the issues and
determine if there is sufficient evidence to merit a trial.
At the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing, Judge Setser
entered the R&R now under consideration.
certain Objections, which included a request for appointment of
Judge Setser reported that McChristian failed to show
that the defendants demonstrated deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs.
She reported that McChristian was seen by
Dr. Huskins frequently during incarceration, and that Dr. Huskins
prescribed medications for McChristian's various ailments.
there were delays in receiving the medications on some occasions,
Judge Setser found nothing that attributed these delays to Dr.
She noted that
Dr. Huskins ordered medication, tried different
medications, saw McChristian multiple times, ordered
his blood pressure monitored, and sent him to the
hospital. In fact, McChristian himself testified that
Dr. Huskins was a good doctor.
Judge Setser further found no evidence that Sheriff Ferguson
made any decisions regarding McChristian's medical care, was aware
of any need he had for medical care, or saw any of his grievances
or medical requests.
Moreover, she found no evidence of any
policy, custom, or practice of Benton County upon which to base a
finding of municipal liability.
As for defendant Chambers, Judge Setser reported that during
the evidentiary hearing McChristian testified that Chambers had
done nothing wrong.
For the foregoing reasons, Judge Setser recommended dismissal
of all McChristian's claims.
McChristian's Objections state that his blood pressure
He contends that if he had had an attorney
representing him, he could have proved this.
He asks that an
attorney be appointed for him, and states that he will hire an
attorney himself "if need be."
McChristian's medical records during the time of his
incarceration in Benton County dos not support his Objections.
McChristian's medical charts (both at the jail and from several
hospital visits) show blood pressure checks on the following
pressures not recorded)
(date partially illegible)
140/92 (day omitted, but probably 06/30/11)
122/82 (at hospital)
115/60 (at hospital)
(pressure reading illegible)
Moreover, while blood pressure checks dropped off after July,
2011, McChristian's medical requests submitted to his jailers
after that date had mainly to do with his back pain.
the words "blood pressure" at the top of many (in a blank space
where the "nature" of the request is to be indicated), but
actually mentioned concerns with blood pressure in the body of
The Court has reviewed these medical requests, and they will
not support a finding of deliberate indifference to a problem with
high blood pressure.
The reasonable inference to be drawn from
constantly about his blood pressure, he had very few physical
symptoms that he attributed to it.
Objections, it does not appear that even if he now had the
indifference to serious medical needs. The Court finds, therefore,
Appointment Of Counsel denied, the R&R adopted, summary judgment
granted, and the case dismissed.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Report And Recommendation Of
The Magistrate Judge (document #46) is adopted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's Objections (document
#47) are overruled.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's Motion For Appointment
Of Counsel (document #48) is denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that
defendants' Motion For Summary
Judgment (document #38) is granted, and plaintiff's claims are
dismissed with prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Jimm Larry Hendren
JIMM LARRY HENDREN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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