United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. MOORER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Jimmy Webb ["Webb"], a state inmate incarcerated at
the Bullock Correctional Facility in Union Springs, Alabama,
brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Dr. Tahir
Siddiq. Webb alleges Dr. Siddiq violated his Eighth Amendment
rights by failing to provide him with adequate medical care
for a serious medical need-hepatitis C. Webb sues Dr. Siddiq
in his official and individual capacities seeking damages,
injunctive relief, and attorney's fees. Doc. 1.
Siddiq filed a special report and supplemental special
report. Docs. 11, 22. The court entered an order which
provided Webb an opportunity to file a response to Dr.
Siddiq's special report, as supplemented. Docs. 12, 23.
This order advised Webb his response should be supported by
affidavits or statements made under penalty of perjury and
other evidentiary materials. Doc. 12 at 3. This order further
cautioned Webb that unless "sufficient legal cause"
is shown within ten days of entry of this order "why
such action should not be undertaken, the court may at any
time [after expiration of the time for his filing a response
to this order] and without further notice to the parties (1)
treat the special report[s] and any supporting evidentiary
materials as a [dispositive] motion . . . and (2) after
considering any response as allowed by this order, rule on
the motion in accordance with law." Doc. 12 at 3-4. Webb
responded to Dr. Siddiq's reports, see Docs. 14,
24, 25, but his responses do not demonstrate there is any
genuine dispute of material fact. See Doc. 12 at 3.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment is appropriate if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine
[dispute] as to any material fact and that the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Greenbergv. BellSouth Telecomm., Inc., 498 F.3d
1258, 1263 (11th Cir. 2007) (per curiam); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)
("The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law."). The party moving for summary judgment
"always bears the initial responsibility of informing
the district court of the basis for its motion, and
identifying those portions of the [record, including
pleadings, discovery materials and affidavits], which it
believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine [dispute] of
material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The movant may meet this burden by
presenting evidence indicating there is no dispute of
material fact or by showing the non-moving party has failed
to present evidence to support some element on which it bears
the ultimate burden of proof. Id. at 322-324.
has met his evidentiary burden. Thus, the burden shifts to
Plaintiff to establish, with appropriate evidence beyond the
pleadings, that a genuine dispute material to his case
exists. Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d
604, 608 (11th Cir. 1991); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324;
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(3); Jeffery v. Sarasota White Sox,
Inc., 64 F.3d 590, 593-594 (11th Cir. 1995) (holding
that, once the moving party meets its burden, "the
non-moving party must then go beyond the pleadings, and by
its own affidavits [or sworn statements], or by depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file,"
demonstrate there is a genuine dispute of material fact)
(internal quotations omitted). This court will also consider
"specific facts" pled in a plaintiffs sworn
complaint when considering his opposition to summary
judgment. Caldwell v. Warden, FCI Talladega, 748
F.3d 1090, 1098 (11th Cir. 2014). A genuine dispute of
material fact exists when the non-moving party produces
evidence that would allow a reasonable fact-finder to return
a verdict in its favor. Greenberg, 498 F.3d at 1263;
Allen v. Bd. of Public Educ, 495 F.3d 1306, 1313
(11th Cir. 2007).
factual inferences must be viewed in a light most favorable
to the non- moving party and pro se complaints are
entitled to liberal interpretation by the courts, a pro
se litigant does not escape the burden of establishing
by sufficient evidence a genuine dispute of material fact.
See Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 525 (2006);
Brown v. Crawford, 906 F.2d 667, 670 (11th Cir.
1990). Webb's pro se status alone does not
compel this court to disregard elementary principles of
production and proof in a civil case.
Eighth Amendment Claim Against Defendant in His Official
brings suit against Dr. Siddiq in his official and individual
capacity. Doc. 1 at 7. Official capacity lawsuits are
"in all respects other than name, ... treated as a suit
against the entity." Kentucky v. Graham, 473
U.S. 159, 166 (1985). State officials may not be sued in
their official capacity unless the state has waived its
Eleventh Amendment immunity or unless Congress has abrogated
the state's immunity, and neither has occurred in this
case. See Lancaster v. Monroe County, 116 F.3d 1419,
1429 (11th Cir. 1997) (citing Seminole Tribe v.
Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 59 (1996) (discussing abrogation
by Congress); Pennhurst State School & Hospital v.
Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984) (discussing Eleventh
Amendment immunity); Carr v. City of Florence, 916
F.2d 1521, 1525 (11th Cir. 1990) (Alabama has not waived
Eleventh Amendment immunity)). In light of the foregoing, Dr.
Siddiq is a state actor entitled to sovereign immunity under
the Eleventh Amendment for Webb's Eighth Amendment claims
seeking monetary damages from him in his official capacity.
The claims for money damages brought against Dr. Siddiq in
his official capacity is, therefore, due to be dismissed.
Eighth Amendment Claim Against Defendant in His
signed up for sick call in May of 2015 seeking treatment for
"Hep-C." Dr. Siddiq discussed Webb's request
for treatment during which time Webb informed the physician
that a drug called Sovaldi had been discovered as a cure for
hepatitis C. Dr. Siddiq informed Webb there is no cure for
hepatitis C, and he would not treat Webb at all. Webb alleges
Dr. Siddiq's conduct amounted to deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs because the physician refused to
treat him per his request "and prior to signing a
'consent form' to treatment for 'Hep-C" Webb
contends Dr. Siddiq knew of his serious medical needs based
on his medical records which indicated he had been diagnosed
with hepatitis C and yet refused to provide treatment. Doc.
Siddiq is the Medical Director at Bullock, a position he has
held since 2003. Dr. Siddiq is familiar with Webb having
examined him and treated him at Bullock regarding his medical
needs and concerns. The evidentiary materials filed by Dr.
Siddiq address the allegations made by Webb. A thorough
review of these documents and records demonstrate the
affidavits submitted by Dr. Siddiq describing the treatment
provided to Webb are corroborated by the objective medical
records compiled contemporaneously with such treatment. Docs.
11-1, 11-3, 22-1.
outset, Dr. Siddiq explains that his role in the treatment
decisions regarding infectious disease inmate-patients is
limited. The primary treatment decisions for infectious
disease inmate-patients are made by a board-certified
infectious disease specialist employed solely for this
purpose by the Alabama Department of Corrections
["ADOC"]. Dr. Siddiq's role related to
treatment of infectious disease inmate-patients includes a
very basic evaluation and, upon receiving consent for
treatment by the inmate-patient, Dr. Siddiq refers the
inmate-patient for a more thorough evaluation by the
infectious disease specialist. After a referral has been made
Dr. Siddiq's ...