United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
ELIZABETH E. FOOTE JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HAYES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the undersigned magistrate judge, on reference from the
District Court, is a motion for summary judgment [doc. # 34]
filed by defendants, LaShonia Ferguson and Paula Millwee,
seeking dismissal of Plaintiff's claims. For reasons set
forth below, it is recommended that the motion be GRANTED.
October 13, 2016, Plaintiff, Dominque Vallier, filed his
complaint [doc. #1] seeking relief under 28 U.S.C. §
1983, seeking damages for denial of medical treatment and
negligence. On December 27, 2017, Defendants filed the
instant motion for summary judgment [doc. #34]. Defendants
assert that the complaint fails to state a constitutional
violation and Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity.
Plaintiff filed his opposition [doc. #36]. The matter is
judgment is appropriate when the evidence before the court
shows “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). A fact is
“material” if proof of its existence or
nonexistence would affect the outcome of the lawsuit under
applicable law in the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute about a
material fact is “genuine” if the evidence is
such that a reasonable fact finder could render a verdict for
the nonmoving party. Id.
party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion, and identifying those portions of ‘the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247). “The moving party
may meet its burden to demonstrate the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact by pointing out that the record
contains no support for the non-moving party's
claim.” Stahl v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., 283
F.3d 254, 263 (5th Cir. 2002). Thereafter, if the non-movant
is unable to identify anything in the record to support its
claim, summary judgment is appropriate. Id.
evaluating the evidence tendered by the parties, the court
must accept the evidence of the non-movant as credible and
draw all justifiable inferences in its favor.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. While courts will
“resolve factual controversies in favor of the
non-moving party, ” an actual controversy exists only
“when both parties have submitted evidence of
contradictory facts.” Little v. Liquid Air.
Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (en banc).
There can be no genuine dispute as to a material fact when a
party fails “to make a showing sufficient to establish
the existence of an element essential to that party's
case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof
at trial.” Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-323.
The non-moving party may not rely merely on the allegations
and conclusions contained within the pleadings; rather, the
non-movant “must go beyond the pleadings and designate
specific facts in the record showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.” Wallace v. Texas Tech Univ.,
80 F.3d 1042, 1047 (5th Cir. 1996). The non-movant does not
satisfy his burden merely by demonstrating some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts, by setting forth conclusory
allegations and unsubstantiated assertions, or by presenting
but a scintilla of evidence. Little, 37 F.3d at 1075
“summary judgment is appropriate in any case
‘where critical evidence is so weak or tenuous on an
essential fact that it could not support a judgment in favor
of the nonmovant.'” Little, supra
(citation omitted) (emphasis in original). In sum,
“[a]fter the non-movant has been given the opportunity
to raise a genuine factual issue, if no reasonable juror
could find for the non-movant, summary judgment will be
granted.” Mississippi River Basin Alliance v.
Westphal, 230 F.3d 170, 174 (5th Cir. 2000) (citation
Plaintiff was an inmate sentenced to the custody of the
Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections
(“LDPSC”) and was confined at David Wade
Correctional Center (“DWCC”) at all times
relevant to the instant litigation. See Statement of
Undisputed Facts, doc. #34-2, p. 1. ¶ 1; Response to
State of Facts, doc. #36-18, p. 1, ¶ 1.
Defendants, LeShonia Ferguson and Paula Millwee, were LDPSC
employees during this time. See Statement of
Undisputed Facts, doc. #34-2, p. 1. ¶¶ 2 & 3;
Response to Statement of Undisputed Facts, doc. #36-18, p. 1,
¶¶ 2 & 3. Nurse Millwee was the Director of
Nursing at DWCC during this time. See Deposition of
Paula Millwee, doc. #36-9, p. 13, lines 1-11.
Between December 2015 and April 2016, Plaintiff submitted
sick call requests on Health Care Request Forms for medical
attention, complaining of back and knee pain, and blurred
vision associated with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
(“JRA”). See Statement of Undisputed
Facts, doc. #34-2, p. 1. ¶ 3; Response to Statement of
Undisputed Facts, doc. #36-18, p. 1, ¶ 4.
Plaintiff submitted an Administrative Remedy Procedure
("ARP") alleging constitutional rights violations
while confined at DWCC. See Statement of Undisputed
Facts, doc. #34-2, p. 1. ¶ 4; Response to Statement of
Undisputed Facts, doc. #36-18, p. 1, ¶ 5.
While the instant lawsuit was pending, Plaintiff was
transferred to the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St.
Gabriel, Louisiana. See Statement of Undisputed
Facts, doc. #34-2, p. 1. ¶ 5; Response to Statement of
Undisputed Facts, doc. #36-18, pp. 1-2, ¶ 6.
Plaintiff was first diagnosed with JRA in 2006 at Our Lady of
the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. See
Deposition of Plaintiff, doc. #36-7, p. 3, lines 7-14;
Plaintiff's Medical Records, doc. #36-15, p. 1.
Prior to Plaintiff's being incarcerated, his JRA was
treated with prednisone and folic acid methotrexate.
See Deposition of Plaintiff, doc. #36-7, p. 17,
Plaintiff was incarcerated at Allen Correctional Center
(“ACC”) from 2011 until he was transferred to
DWCC on November 25, 2015. See Deposition of
Plaintiff, doc. #36-7, p. 2, lines 20-22.
Plaintiff's JRA was treated with naproxen while he was
incarcerated at ACC and Plaintiff never experienced
JRA-related complications during that time. See