United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
RICHARD L. YOUNG, JUDGE
Keeth E. Lucas, an Indiana prisoner, brought this civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
defendants Nurse Elizabeth Brewer, Nurse Ashley Brading, and
Sheriff Frank Loop for failing to properly treat a cyst on
the right side of his neck while he was incarcerated as a
pretrial detainee at the Floyd County Jail. He also alleges
that Sheriff Loop retaliated against him by removing him from
his position as a trustee in the Floyd County Jail. The court
screened the complaint and permitted Mr. Lucas' Eighth
Amendment deliberate indifference claims against the
defendants and First Amendment retaliation claim against
Sheriff Loop to proceed. Dkts. 10, 30. Presently pending
before the court is the defendants' motion for summary
judgment. For the reasons explained below, the motion for
summary judgment, dkt. , is granted.
Summary Judgment Legal Standard
motion for summary judgment asks the court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). On summary judgment, a party must show the court what
evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept
its version of the events. Gekas v.
Vasilades, 814 F.3d 890, 896 (7th Cir. 2016). The moving
party is entitled to summary judgment if no reasonable
fact-finder could return a verdict for the non-moving party.
Nelson v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009).
To survive a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving
party must set forth specific, admissible evidence showing
that there is a material issue for trial. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The court views
the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party and draws all reasonable inferences in that party's
favor. Skiba v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co., 884 F.3d
708, 717 (7th Cir. 2018). It cannot weigh evidence or make
credibility determinations on summary judgment because those
tasks are left to the fact-finder. Miller v.
Gonzalez, 761 F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). The court
need only consider the cited materials, Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(3), and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has
repeatedly assured the district courts that they are not
required to “scour every inch of the record” for
evidence that is potentially relevant to the summary judgment
motion before them. Grant v. Trustees of Indiana
University, 870 F.3d 562, 573-74 (7th Cir. 2017). Any
doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue for trial is
resolved against the moving party. Ponsetti v. GE Pension
Plan, 614 F.3d 684, 691 (7th Cir. 2010).
dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). If no
reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party, then
there is no “genuine” dispute. Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). Local Rule 56-1(e)
requires that facts asserted in a brief must be supported
“with a citation to a discovery response, a deposition,
an affidavit, or other admissible evidence.”
Id. In addition, the court will assume that the
facts as claimed and supported by admissible evidence by the
movant are admitted without controversy unless “the
non-movant specifically controverts the facts in that
party's ‘Statement of Material Facts in
Dispute' with admissible evidence” or “it is
shown that the movant's facts are not supported by
admissible evidence.” Local Rule 56-1(f). The court
“has no duty to search or consider any part of the
record not specifically cited in the manner described in
subdivision (e).” Local Rule 56-1(h); see
Kaszuk v. Bakery and Confectionery Union and Indus. Inter.
Pension Fund, 791 F.2d 548, 558 (7th Cir. 1986)
(“The court has no obligation to comb the record for
evidence contradicting the movant's affidavits.”);
Carson v. E.On Climate & Renewables, N.A., 154
F.Supp.3d 763, 764 (S.D. Ind. 2015) (“The Court gives
Carson the benefit of the doubt regarding any disputed facts,
however, it will not comb the record to identify facts that
might support his assertions.”).
following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the
standard set forth above. That is, this statement of facts is
not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment
standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed
evidence are presented in the light reasonably most favorable
to Mr. Lucas as the non-moving party with respect to the
motion for summary judgment. See Reeves v. Sanderson
Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).
Lucas was booked into the Floyd County Jail on July 8, 2015.
At some point prior to January 25, 2016, Mr. Lucas developed
a cyst, or staph infection, on the right side of his neck. On
January 25, 2016, Mr. Lucas filed a Medical Request through
the Floyd County Jail's automated inmate filing system.
In the Inquiry, Mr. Lucas stated “I would like to get a
sist (sic) looked at on my neck.” The January 25, 2016,
Medical Inquiry was the only inquiry, request, or grievance
filed by Mr. Lucas in which he sought treatment for the
infection on his neck.
time of Mr. Lucas's incarceration at the Floyd County
Jail, inmates used the Securus electronic filing system to
file any inquiries, requests, or grievances. Inmates were
required to file a medical request in order to request
medical treatment or be seen during sick call. The Securus
system was readily available to inmates and Mr. Lucas was
aware of the need to file medical requests through the
Securus electronic filing system, as evidenced by his request
to receive treatment on his neck on January 25, 2016, and
after receiving treatment for the infection on his neck,
utilized it to make at least one medical request that was
unconnected to the infection.
Elizabeth Brewer was employed by the Floyd County
Sheriff's Department as a jail nurse during all times
relevant to this suit. On January 29, 2016, in response to
Mr. Lucas' medical inquiry, Nurse Brewer examined Mr.
Lucas and noted he had a golf ball sized abscess on the right
side of his neck. The abscess was not open or draining, so
Nurse Brewer was unable to obtain a culture of the site. Mr.
Lucas' temperature was 97.8 when Nurse Brewer examined
him. Nurse Brewer immediately started Mr. Lucas on a course
of antibiotics, specifically, Bactrim and Cleocin. Nurse
Brewer also began treating Mr. Lucas' abscess with warm
treating Mr. Lucas, Nurse Brewer contacted the Floyd County
Jail physician, Dr. Daniel Eichenberger, MD. On January 29,
2016, Dr. Eichenberger followed up with Nurse Brewer and told
her to continue treating Mr. Lucas with warm compresses two
to three times per day. Mr. Lucas received the antibiotics
Cleocin and Bactrim, as prescribed, for ten days. After Mr.
Lucas' abscess was treated with two different antibiotics
and warm compresses, Mr. Lucas did not file another medical
request in which he requested treatment for the infection on
unknown time later, Mr. Lucas' abscess burst while he was
on his bunk. However, Mr. Lucas apparently did not contact
medical staff about the incident.
Ashley Brading testifies that she was not personally involved
with providing Mr Lucas with medical care for the infection
located on the right side of his neck. Nurse Brading did not
diagnose or examine the infection on the right side of Mr.
Lucas' neck nor did she decide what medical treatment was
appropriate for the infection located on the right side of
his neck because Nurse Brewer had already examined Lucas and
provided treatment to him pursuant to the directions of Dr.
Eichenburger. Nurse Brewer did not ask Nurse Brading to
assist in the treatment of Mr. Lucas' neck nor did she
inquire whether Nurse Brading concurred with Nurse
Brewer's course of treatment.
Loop was the duly elected Sheriff of Floyd County, Indiana
during all times relevant to this suit. Sheriff Loop did not
diagnose the infection on the right side of Mr. Lucas'
neck. Sheriff Loop did not decide what medical treatment was
appropriate for the infection located on the right side of
Mr. Lucas' neck. Sheriff Loop was not consulted on the
diagnosis or treatment of such condition. Sheriff Loop is not
a medical professional and as such he has never personally
provided medical treatment to Mr. Lucas or any other inmate
incarcerated at the Floyd County Jail. Rather, Sheriff Loop
hired and/or contracted with qualified medical professionals
to provide Mr. Lucas and all other inmates incarcerated at
the Floyd County Jail with appropriate medical treatment.
Sheriff Loop further testifies he never retaliated against