United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc.
74) filed by Defendants, Parish of Livingston;
Cheryl Smith, in her official capacity as the Medical
Administrator of the Livingston Parish Detention Center
(LPDC); and Misha McNabb, in her official capacity as Nurse
Administrator at LPDC (collectively "the Municipal
Defendants"). Also before the Court is the
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 82) filed
by Defendant, Deputy Brian Reeves of the Livingston Parish
Sheriffs Office; and the Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 83) filed by Defendant, Sheriff Jason Ard,
Sheriff of Livingston Parish, State of Louisiana.
Defendants seek the dismissal of the claims brought by
Plaintiff, Justin Abbott pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff filed an Opposition to
each motion. (Docs. 77, 90, 91). Each Defendant then filed a
Reply. (Docs. 79, 95, 96). The Court has jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1331. Oral argument is not necessary. For
the reasons explained herein, the Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 74) filed by the Municipal Defendants
is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 82) filed
by Deputy Reeves is GRANTED. The
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 83) filed
by Sheriff Ard is GRANTED.
a pretrial detainee in the Livingston Parish Detention Center
("LPDC") asserts constitutional violations that
began on September 30, 2015, when he was arrested and taken
into LPDC custody, and ended on October 6, 2015, upon his
release from LPDC custody.
Plaintiff s Arrest
September 30, 2015, Deputy Reeves was dispatched to the scene
of a reported domestic abuse battery incident. (Doc. 83-2 at
¶ 1). Upon arrival, Deputy Reeves met and spoke with the
complainant, Stacie Abbott ("Mrs. Abbott"), who
informed him that she and her husband, the Plaintiff, were
involved in a physical altercation, which prompted her to
contact law enforcement. (Id. at ¶ 2). During
the altercation, "[Mrs.] Abbott ended up on the ground
and grabbed the leg of [Plaintiff] and bit him on his left
leg." (Doc. 91-1 at ¶ 4). However, according to
Deputy Reeves, the injuries observed on both Plaintiff and
Mrs. Abbott were consistent with Plaintiff as the aggressor
in the domestic dispute; thus, Deputy Reeves arrested
Plaintiff for domestic abuse battery. (Doc. 83-2 at
¶¶ 3-4). Mrs. Abbott was asked to complete a
"voluntary statement" regarding the incident. (Doc.
83-4). In that statement, Mrs. Abbott reported that
"[Plaintiff] jerked [her] out of bed by the hair . . .
[and] punched [her] in the right oyo[. and] pushed [her] into
[the] nightstand[, and] hurt [her] right knee."
the incident, Plaintiff, who was wearing shorts, informed
Deputy Reeves that he needed medical attention due to the
bite mark on his leg, which was bleeding down his leg through
his sock. (Doc. 91-1 at ¶¶ 7-9). Deputy Reeves,
however, transported Plaintiff directly to LPDC. (Doc. 83-2
at ¶ 6). Upon arrival, the medical staff at LPDC did not
instruct Deputy Reeves that Plaintiff needed to immediately
be transported to a hospital or other healthcare facility.
same day, after Plaintiff was booked into LPDC, Deputy Reeves
completed a probable cause affidavit. (Doc. 83-5). In that
affidavit, Deputy Reeves set forth the facts supporting
Plaintiffs arrest. (Id.). After reviewing the same,
a district court judge of the 21st Judicial District Court,
Parish of Livingston, State of Louisiana, determined that
probable cause existed to arrest and hold Plaintiff.
(Id.). Subsequently, on November 2, 2015, Mrs.
Abbott recanted her prior statements and no longer desired to
pursue charges against Plaintiff. (Doc. 91-5). On January 12,
2016, all charges relating to the September 30, 2015 arrest
were dismissed. (Doc. 91-1 at ¶ 14).
Plaintiffs Detention at LPDC
September 30, 2015, upon entering LPDC, Plaintiff was triaged
by Misha McNabb ("McNabb"), a Nurse Administrator
within LPDC's medical department, at which time she noted
the bite wound on Plaintiffs leg. (Doc. 77-1 at ¶ 5;
Doc. 77-3 at p. 1). At the time, Plaintiff was also suffering
from a sinus infection, depression, and anxiety, for which he
had previously been prescribed medication. (Doc. 77-3 at p.
October 1, 2015, Plaintiff informed the medical staff that he
needed medical attention due to the open wound on his leg,
that he needed his various prescription medications, and that
he was experiencing diarrhea. (Id. at p. 3). Medical
personnel then took a photograph of Plaintiffs leg, which was
deleted because the photograph "came out blurry."
(Id. at p. 5). A new photograph was noted to
"be taken at doctor [call]," presumably on the
following Tuesday, October 6th. (Id.). That same
day, Plaintiffs brother called LPDC's medical department
to inform medical personnel that Plaintiff needed medical
attention, his daily medications, and a psychiatrist,
immediately. (Doc. 77-9). According to Plaintiff, "no
employee or staff member within [LPDC] rendered any aid to
[his] open wound;" instead, he "was placed within a
cell where fecal matter was present." (Doc. 77-1 at
October 2, 2015, Plaintiff completed a written "Request
for Medical Attention" form and indicated: "Need
medication[, ] sinus infection - drainage and cough - was
taking Omnicef [and] Zertec-D [sic] before coming to LPDT
[sic]. Severe diareah [sic] Detoxing - do not have my Zanax
Rx [sic] - having anxiety." (Doc. 77-3 at p. 7).
Plaintiffs detention at LPDC, Mrs. Abbott also called
LPDC's medical department to inform medical personnel
that Plaintiff needed immediate medical attention due to his
leg wound, his sinus infection, and his need for prescription
medication. (Doc. 77-10). Throughout his detention, Plaintiff
also allegedly experienced hallucinations, which necessitated
the immediate need for his anxiety medication; and he
"made several requests for medical attention [, but] all
of his requests were denied." (Doc. 77-1 at ¶¶
October 6, 2015, Plaintiff was scheduled to be released from
LPDC on bond. (Doc. 77-1 at ¶¶ 20-21). As such,
rather than visiting the LPDC physician for his appointment
scheduled on that day, he elected to call his primary care
physician, who prescribed him a "Z-pack" after
being informed of Plaintiff s recurring sinus infection.
(Id.; Doc. 74-4 at p. 17). Shortly thereafter,
Plaintiff, who is certified in First Aid, administered first
aid on his open wound. (Doc. 77-1 at ¶ 22; Doc. 77-7).
He reportedly "went home and washed the wound with
hibiclens." (Doc. 74-4 at p. 18).
about October 12, 2015, while Plaintiff was at work in the
State of Florida, his leg started "to swell and
ooze" and he could barely walk. (Doc. 74-4 at pp.
18-19). This prompted his supervisor to make arrangements for
Plaintiff to be taken to the hospital. (Id. at p.
October 15, 2015, Plaintiff visited the emergency room for
the first time. (Doc. 74-4 at p. 19). The treating physician
diagnosed his wound as containing a growth of
methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus
("MRSA"). (Doc. 77-12 at p. 41). Plaintiff now has
an "atrophic scar" where the wound occurred. (Doc.
March 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed suit against the Municipal
Defendants, Sheriff Ard, and Deputy Reeves asserting claims
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Louisiana state law. (Docs.
1, 63), Specifically, Plaintiff alleges § 1983 and state
law claims against Deputy Reeves, in is individual capacity,
for false arrest/false imprisonment, failure to provide
medical attention, and negligent infliction of emotional
distress. (Id.). The Court previously dismissed all
claims brought against Sheriff Ard, with the exception of
those claims for Sheriff Ard's vicarious liability
arising under Louisiana state law for the actions of Deputy
Reeves. (Doc. 81). Lastly, Plaintiff alleges § 1983
claims against the Municipal Defendants in their official
capacities for failure to provide medical treatment under the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as
claims for failing to preserve evidence. (Doc. 77-2).
judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the
movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "[W]hen a properly supported motion
for summary judgment is made, the adverse party must set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
411 U.S. 242, 250 (1986) (quotation marks and footnote
determining whether the movant is entitled to summary
judgment, the Court "view[s] facts in the light most
favorable to the non-movant and draw[s] all reasonable
inferences in her favor." Coleman v. Houston Indep.
Sch. Dist., 113 F.3d 528, 533 (5th Cir. 1997) (citing
Brothers v. Kleuenhagen, 28 F.3d 452, 455 (5th Cir.
1994)). At this stage, the Court does not evaluate the
credibility of witnesses, weigh the evidence, or resolve
factual disputes. Int'l Shortstop, Inc. v.
Rally's, Inc., 939 F, 2d 1257, 1263 (5th Cir. 1991),
cert, denied, 502 U.S. 1059 (1992). However, if the
evidence in the record is such that a reasonable jury,
drawing all inferences in favor of the non-moving party,
could arrive at a verdict in that party's favor, the
motion for summary judgment must be denied. Int'l
Shortstop, Inc., 939 F.2d at 1263.
summary judgment is appropriate if, "after adequate time
for discovery and upon motion, [the non-movant] 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. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Summary
judgment will lie only "if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with affidavits if any, show that there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact, and that the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Sherman v.
Hallbauer, 455 F.2d 1236, 1241 (5th Cir. 1972).
DEPUTY REEVES' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Plaintiffs § 1983 Individual Capacity Claims ...