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Hutchinson v. Bates

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

October 17, 2019

JOSHUA HUTCHINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHNNY BATES, DONALD KERN, JERRY GURLEY, DIONNE BAKER, SHARON SMITH, TERESA VARDEN, DAFFANY ABBINGTON, TIFFANY CLARK, DEBORAH MUSE, KIM PATTERSON, and MICHELLE BEASLEY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          W. Keith Watkins United States District Judge.

         In this deliberate indifference claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff Joshua Hutchinson alleges that several medical professionals employed by QCHC to work in the Montgomery County Detention Facility were aware of and ignored the deterioration of his mental health. On July 31, 2019, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation (Doc. # 150) that Defendants' separate motions for summary judgment (Docs. # 139, 141) be granted. Plaintiff timely objected to the Recommendation (Doc. # 151), and Defendants responded to his objection (Doc. # 154). Upon an independent and de novo review of the record, Plaintiff's objections are due to be overruled, and the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation is due to be adopted.

         I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

         The court has subject-matter jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         To succeed on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must show that “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). The court views the evidence, and all reasonable inferences drawn from it, in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Jean-Baptiste v. Gutierrez, 627 F.3d 816, 820 (11th Cir. 2010).

         A party seeking summary judgment “always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for the motion.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). This responsibility includes identifying the parts of the record that show there is no genuine dispute of material fact. A movant who does not bear a trial burden of production may also assert, without citing the record, that the nonmoving party “cannot produce admissible evidence to support” a material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). If the moving party meets its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to present evidence of a genuine dispute of material fact. A genuine dispute of material fact exists when the nonmoving party produces evidence allowing a reasonable fact-finder to return a verdict in its favor. Waddell v. Valley Forge Dental Assocs., 276 F.3d 1275, 1279 (11th Cir. 2001).

         III. DISCUSION

         The Magistrate Judge provided a thorough recitation of the factual and procedural history of this case, which the court need not repeat. (See Doc. # 150, at 2-4.) Mr. Hutchinson has conceded that Michelle Beasley, Kim Patterson, Sharon Smith, Teresa Varden, and Dr. Kern's motion for summary judgment (Doc. # 141) should be granted. (Doc. # 148, at 1.)

         Mr. Hutchinson “bases his objection on the magistrate judge's finding [Doc. # 150, at 9] that plaintiff having ‘daily interactions' with medical staff to ‘refill his CPAP with distilled water, administer medication, and/or take his weight' constitutes daily monitoring of his condition.” (Doc. # 151, at 1.) Plaintiff contends that “none of those things required medical staff to talk to plaintiff or determine whether his mental health was deteriorating.” (Doc. # 151, at 1.) He argues that a jury could find Defendants liable because they either had actual knowledge of Plaintiff's deteriorating condition or, alternatively, they failed to monitor Plaintiff properly “despite the known risk” that solitary confinement posed to his mental health. (Doc. # 151, at 2.) This objection is meritless, and even if it was not, it would be insufficient to save Mr. Hutchinson's claim from summary judgment.

         A. Plaintiff's objection lacks merit because he has conceded and the record shows that Defendants monitored him.

         Summary judgment is due to be granted because Plaintiff's objection directly contradicts his Complaint and the record. “[A] party is bound by the admissions in his pleadings.” Best Canvas Products & Supplies, Inc. v. Ploof Truck Lines, Inc., 713 F.2d 618, 621 (11th Cir. 1983). Plaintiff is bound by his Complaint's allegations that:

• the nurse defendants “came into contact with plaintiff multiple times a week, if not multiple times a day, ” (Doc. # 70, ¶ 50);
• Plaintiff “was under close observation due to his deterioration, and for other reasons, during and after October 2014, plaintiff had daily interactions with . . . the individual nurse defendants, ...

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