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Watson v. Smith

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division

September 12, 2019

EARL JAMES WATSON, Plaintiff,
v.
PAULA SMITH, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          FRANK D. WHITNEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant Stephanie Brathwaite, FNP's Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment Limited to Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies, (Doc. No. 68).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Pro se incarcerated Plaintiff has filed a civil rights suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 while incarcerated at the Albemarle Correctional Institution. The Complaint addresses events that allegedly occurred at the Catawba Valley Medical Center (“CVMC”), Alexander C.I., Central Prison, and Albemarle C.I. The Amended Complaint passed initial review on claims of deliberate indifference to a serious medical and pendent state law claims need against several defendants including Stephanie Brathwaite, who worked at Albemarle C.I. as a nurse at the relevant times. The Court exercised supplemental jurisdiction over the related North Carolina claims against these Defendants.

         Defendant Brathwaite has filed the present Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment alleging that Petitioner failed to state a claim against her and that he did not exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit.

         (1) Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 6)[1]

         Plaintiff alleges that he was sexually and physically abused when he went to an outside facility for back surgery in September 2015.

         With regards to Defendant Brathwaite, he alleges that he was told to go to medical on December 16, 2015. Nurse Maine began addressing his December 9 sick call regarding pain medication but she was unable to log into the computer. Nurse Barrier took over and found the doctors' orders about holding Plaintiff in the infirmary and providing oxycodone. Brathwaite then entered an order for oxycodone. Plaintiff showed Brathwaite his left foot and ankle and she said it looked badly bruised. When Plaintiff said that the marks match his shackles, she told him to leave. Nurse Maine asked Plaintiff to sign a refusal of the December 9 sick call but Plaintiff refused. Maine and Ojeda signed the refusal without Plaintiff's authorization. Plaintiff finally received oxycodone on December 16.

         On May 7, 2017, Plaintiff put in a request to see psychologist Guignard and gave her the grievance he had prepared about the September 23 assault. Guignard told Plaintiff to submit the grievance with the facility head, Defendant Glick. She diagnosed Plaintiff with PTSD.

         A preliminary PREA investigation was conducted by Defendant Brewton as investigator with Defendant Bowden acting as Plaintiff's PREA support person. Foreman and Brathwaite conducted the medical examination. Plaintiff's sexual battery complaint should have been referred to law enforcement for a criminal investigation.

         Defendants Brewton, Bowden, Foreman, Brathwaite, Clelland, Diggs, and Glick had a meeting of the minds to act in concert to deny Plaintiff medical treatment and falsified and destroyed medical records to conceal evidence of Plaintiff's injuries so that his claims could not be verified, which deprived him of a means to challenge conduct that violated the First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

         When Defendants failed to provide Plaintiff with safety and treat his medical needs he suffered unnecessary and wanton physical and mental pain and a decline in his health.

         Plaintiff believes that his prostate was damaged in the September 23 attack which left him impotent, and that the catheter was placed too deeply and caused scarring. He has trouble holding his urine, feels like he has to urinate all the time, and had trouble emptying his bladder. Plaintiff has pain in his testicles from the assault. His rectal muscles were damaged and he has lost rectal control from the injuries he sustained in the attack. His feet, ankles, and lower legs have nerve damage and sharp pain. His has “drop foot” on his left side from overstretched ligaments and tendons. At times his left knee gives out while standing and walking. His lower has sharp pains and popping where the surgery was performed. Both of his hips have nerve damage and are numb. The left side of his chest has a possible pectoral tear and nerve damage. He has pain in the back of his neck between his shoulders. In addition to the physical pain and injuries, he has suffered mental and emotional anguish, distress, fright, fear, shock, nightmares, and humiliation.

         Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment, preliminary and permanent injunction, compensatory and punitive damages, a jury trial, costs and fees, and any additional relief the Court deems just and equitable.

         (2) Motion to Dismiss/ Motion for Summary ...


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