Kinnie v. Lamb et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT. Signed by District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 4/17/2017. (xc:Pro se party by regular and certified mail.)(DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(jw)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
OFFICER LAMB, et al.
Antwan Kinnie, proceeding pro se, is an inmate at the Metro Davidson County Detention
Facility (MDCDF) in Nashville. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ' 1983 against Officer
Lamb (f/n/u), a guard at MDCDF; and Blair Leibach, its former Warden; seeking damages. 1
In the early morning of October 6, 2015, the Plaintiff lost consciousness and fell to the
floor (Doc. No. 1 at 3). According to the Complaint, Officer Lamb Acame and looked at me@ and
then Awent to the official Panel and picked up the phone and called the nurse=s station.@ (Id.). A
nurse arrived approximately thirty minutes later and Acalled in a medical emergency code@. (Id. at
Apparently, the Plaintiff was then taken to the infirmary for medical attention.
The Plaintiff alleges that Officer Lamb did not follow proper procedures when he found
the Plaintiff lying on the floor unconscious. He claims that Officer Lamb is liable Afor not doing
his job by calling an [sic] correct code.@ (Id. at 5). The Plaintiff further alleges that Warden Leibach
Blair Leibach is currently the Warden at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville,
is liable Afor not addressing the grievance form I sent to him.@ (Id.).
To establish a claim for ' 1983 relief, the Plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendants,
while acting under color of state law, deprived him of a right guaranteed by the Constitution or
laws of the United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 101 S.Ct. 1908 (1981).
The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. See Wilson v. Seiter, 501
U.S. 294 (1991). Under the holding of Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97,104 (1976), Adeliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the >unnecessary and wanton
infliction of pain= .... proscribed by the Eighth Amendment.@
Officer Lamb=s alleged failure to properly perform his duty resulted in, at its worst, a delay
in medical care of only a few minutes. By Plaintiff=s own admission, Officer Lamb did attempt to
get him medical care when he found the Plaintiff unconscious. It does not appear, therefore, that
Officer Lamb was deliberately indifferent to the Plaintiff=s need for medical care. At best, then,
the Plaintiff=s allegations amount to nothing more than a claim of negligent conduct on Officer
Negligent conduct, however, is not actionable under ' 1983 because it does not rise to the
level of a constitutional deprivation. Estelle v. Gamble, supra. This is true with respect to
negligence claims arising under both the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Whitley v. Albers,
475 U.S. 312, 319 (1986)(Eighth Amendment)(AIt is obduracy and wantonness, not inadvertence
or error in good faith, that characterize the conduct prohibited by the Cruel and Unusual
Punishments Clause@); Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 333 (1986)(Fourteenth Amendment).
Thus, the plaintiff has failed to allege an actionable constitutional claim against Officer Lamb.
The Plaintiff has also named former Warden Blair Leibach as a defendant. His sin was to
deny the Plaintiff=s grievance seeking redress for Officer Lamb=s alleged misconduct.
Supervisory liability under ' 1983 cannot be based upon a mere failure to act. Active
unconstitutional behavior is needed. Combs v. Wilkinson, 315 F.3d 548, 558 (6th Cir. 2002).
Likewise, ' 1983 relief will not be granted against prison officials whose only involvement was
the denial of administrative remedies. Summers v. Leis, 368 F.3d 881, 888 (6th Cir. 2004); see
also Shehee v. Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 300 (6th Cir. 1999). Liability cannot be based upon Asimple
awareness of employees’= misconduct.@ Leary v. Daeschner, 349 F.3d 888, 903 (6th Cir. 2003).
According to the Complaint, Warden Leibach did nothing more than deny the Plaintiff=s
grievance (Doc. No. 1 at 5). This action, standing alone, does not rise to the level of a constitutional
violation. As a consequence, the Plaintiff has failed to state an actionable claim against Warden
Leibach as well.
In the absence of a constitutional violation, the Plaintiff is unable to prove every element
of his cause of action. Therefore, the Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which ' 1983 relief
can be granted. Under such circumstances, the Court is obliged to dismiss the instant action sua
sponte. 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2).
An appropriate order will be entered.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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