Brock v. Stone et al
ORDER Adopting 80 Report and Recommendation. The Court DENIES Defendant Dr Byrne's 28 Motion to Dismiss; GRANTS Dr Byrne's 69 Motion for Summary Judgment; GRANTS Defendant Troy Stone's 31 Motion to Dismiss; DENIES Plaintiff William Carl Brock's 60 Motion for TRO or preliminary injunction; and DISMISSES this action with prejudice. Signed by Honorable Richard M Gergel on 8/9/13. (kmca)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
William Carl Brock,
Troy Stone and Dr. Byrne,
This Section 1983 matter comes before the Court with several motions pending. [Dkt. Nos.
28,31,60, and 69]. Upon its filing on October 4,2012, this case was referred to a United States
Magistrate Judge for all pretrial proceedings. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)
DSC. Reviewing these motions, the Magistrate Judge assigned to the case issued a Report and
Recommendation ("R&R") on July 16,2013, in which she recommended: denying the motion to
dismiss filed by Defendant Dr. Byrne, (Dkt. No. 28), but granting his motion for summary judgment,
(Dkt. No. 69); granting Defendant Troy Stone's motion to dismiss, (Dkt. No. 31); and denying
Plaintiff William Carl Brock's motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction,
(Dkt. No. 60). Plaintiff filed objections on August 5, 2013. (Dkt. No. 84). After careful review of
the pleadings and Plaintiffs objections, the Court concludes that the Magistrate Judge correctly
applied the relevant law to the operative facts. Accordingly, the Court adopts the R&R and
dismisses this action.
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. This recommendation
has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility for making a final determination remains with this
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). This Court is charged with making a de
novo determination ofthose portions ofthe R&R to which specific objection is made, and this Court
may "accept, reject, or modifY, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(I). Further, in reviewing these pleadings, the Court is
mindful that it must liberally construe the pleadings of this pro se litigant. See, e.g., De'Lonta v.
Angelone, 330 F.3d 630, 633 (4th Cir. 2003).
Plaintiff has consented to the dismissal of Defendant Stone from this action. (Dkt. No. 80
at 2 nA). In his objections, however, Plaintiff argues that he has met the standard for overcoming
summary judgment with respect to his deliberate indifference claim against Defendant Dr. Byrne.
(Dkt. No. 84).1
"[D]eliberate indifference to serious medical needs ofprisoners constitutes the unnecessary
and wanton infliction of pain" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 104 (1976). A serious medical need "is one that has been diagnosed by a physician as mandating
treatment or one that is so obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize the
a doctor's attention." lko v. Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 241 (4th Cir. 2008). "A delay in treatment may
constitute deliberate indifference if the delay exacerbated the injury or unnecessarily prolonged an
inmate's pain." Abraham v. McDonald, 493 F. App'x 465, 466 (4th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted).
Summary judgment is, of course, only appropriate if a party "shows there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(a); see Pulliam lnv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987)(stating
that summary judgment should be granted "only when it is clear that there is no dispute
concerning either the facts of the controversy or the inferences to be drawn from those facts").
"In determining whether a genuine issue has been raised, the court must construe all inferences
and ambiguities in favor of the nonmoving party." HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Am. Nat'l Red
Cross, 101 F.3d 1005, 1008 (4th Cir. 1996).
However, the Constitution requires that prisoners receive reasonable medical care, not their choice
of treatment. See Russell v. Sheffer, 538 F.2d 318, 318-19 (4th Cir. 1975).
Here, the medical records-<:arefully reviewed by the Magistrate Judge and now this
Court-reflect a course oftreatment falling well within the range of discretion courts afford prison
medical professionals. Plaintiff was seen by prison medical personnel numerous times in the two
years after his October 9,2010, fall from his bunk. (Dkt. No. 80 at 10-11). The medical personnel
examining Plaintiff, including Dr. Byrne, reported inconsistent and fairly vague self-reported
symptoms, and also indicated some concern about the over-prescription of muscle relaxers. (fd at
11). X-rays ordered on January 5, 2011, returned normal results. (/d). Eventually, Plaintiffs
symptoms improved and he has not returned for treatment of this issue since July 2012. (fd).
On this record, Plaintiff cannot demonstrate he suffered from a serious medical need
"diagnosed by a physician as mandating" specific treatments, such as being seen by a specialist such
as a chiropractor, (Dkt. No. 84 at 1), and was then denied that specific treatment by Dr. Byrne. fko,
535 F.3d at 241 (emphasis added). The record shows that Plaintiff did not receive his choice of
treatment, not that he did not receive reasonable treatment. See Russell, 538 F.2d at 318-19.
Accordingly, even construing all inferences and ambiguities in favor ofPlaintiff, the Court concludes
that Plaintiff cannot demonstrate, directly or through inference, deliberate indifference on the part
of Defendant Byrne.
For these reasons, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation as
the order ofthe Court. (Dkt. No. 80). The Court DENIES Defendant Dr. Byrne's motion to dismiss,
(Dkt. No. 28); GRANTS Dr. Byrne's motion for summary judgment, (Dkt. No. 69); GRANTS
Defendant Troy Stone's motion to dismiss, (Dkt. No. 31); DENIES Plaintiff William Carl Brock's
motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, (Dkt. No. 60); and DISMISSES
this action with prejudice.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Judge
Charleston, South Carolina
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