United States District Court, D. Colorado
JAYSON M. OSLUND, Plaintiff,
MAURICE FAUVEL, and C/O MULLEN, in their official and individual capacities, Defendants.
Kathleen M Tafoya United States Magistrate Judge
case comes before the court on Defendants'
“Combined Motion and Brief in Support of Summary
Judgment” (Doc. No. 51 [Mot.], filed November 2, 2016).
Plaintiff filed his response on December 12, 2016 (Doc. No.
55 [Resp.]), and Defendants filed their reply on December 30,
2016 (Doc. No. 58 [Reply]).
OF THE CASE
proceeding pro se, asserts claims for violations of
his Eighth Amendment rights for the defendants' alleged
failure to provide him proper medical care and use of
excessive force. (See Doc. No. 6 [Compl.], filed May
7, 2015). At the time of the events in this case, Plaintiff
was an inmate at the Sterling Correctional Facility
(“SCF”) within the Colorado Department of
Corrections (“CDOC”). (Id. at 4.)
Plaintiff states Defendant Fauvel was assigned to be his
primary medical care provider at SCF. (Id.)
alleges on March 7, 2013, he suffered a grand mal seizure.
(Id.) As a result of the seizure, Plaintiff fell,
was knocked unconscious, suffered a concussion, and required
five stitches. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges Defendant
Fauvel, who treated him after the seizure, failed to provide
proper medical care by ordering Plaintiff to return to his
cell following his first seizure, concussion, and head
injury. (Id. at 6.)
that day, Plaintiff suffered another seizure. (Id.
at 7.) Plaintiff alleges his cellmate informed him that,
during Plaintiff's second seizure, Defendant Mullen,
“grabbed [Plaintiff] while [he] was seizing and
convulsing, yelled at [him] to ‘Stop resisting',
and then began slamming [his] head into the ground.”
(Id. at 5.) Plaintiff states after the second
seizure “[a]t some point [he] realized that [he] could
not walk.” (Id.) Plaintiff states he has been
immobile and has to use a wheelchair since his second
afternoon of March 7, 2013, Plaintiff was on the second tier
of his living unit when he experienced a seizure, fell
backwards, and hit his head on the concrete. (Mot., Ex. A
[Oslund Dep.], 20:3-18; 22:10-18; 73:6-8.) Defendant Fauvel
treated Plaintiff following the seizure. (Mot., Ex. G [Fauvel
Aff.], ¶ 5.) Defendant Fauvel identified a laceration on
Plaintiff's head about 3.5 cm in size and repaired it
with five stitches. (Id. ¶ 7.) Defendant Fauvel
also started Plaintiff on a medication to help control the
seizures. (Id., ¶¶ 8, 17.) Officer Nathan
Teter took Plaintiff back to his unit after he received
medical treatment for the first seizure. (Mot., Ex. B [Teter
Aff.], ¶ 3.)
fifteen to twenty minutes after Officer Teter returned
Plaintiff to the living unit, Plaintiff had a second seizure.
(Id., ¶ 4.) Officers Sherwood, Teter, Cook,
Mullen, and Sergeant Munson were among the officers who
responded. (Id. ¶ 5; Mot., Ex. C [Mullen Aff.],
¶ 3; Mot., Ex. D [Munson Aff.], ¶ 4; Mot., Ex. E
[Cook Aff.], ¶ 4.) All of the officers were aware
Plaintiff was experiencing a seizure. (Mullen Aff.,
¶¶ 6-8; Munson Aff., ¶ 9; Cook Aff., ¶
6.) Plaintiff's cellmate, Inmate Charles Garlick, was
supporting Plaintiff's head. (Teter Aff., ¶ 6.)
Plaintiff was incoherent and unaware of his surroundings.
(Mullen Aff., ¶ 7.) At some point, Mr. Garlick was
instructed to leave the cell. (Teter Aff., ¶ 9; Mullen
Aff., ¶ 10; Munson Aff., ¶ 8; Cook Aff., ¶ 9.)
Plaintiff was not conscious during the second seizure and has
no recollection of what happened. (Oslund Dep. 13:12-24.)
returned for medical treatment after having the second
seizure. (Fauvel Aff., ¶ 10.) Defendant Fauvel ordered
medication and checked Plaintiff's previous head wound
for any further damage. (Id., ¶ 11.) Given that
Plaintiff had experienced two seizures in one day, Defendant
Fauvel ordered that Plaintiff be placed in observation
segregation overnight as a precautionary measure.
(Id., ¶ 11.) Following the seizure events on
March 7, 2013, Defendant Fauvel began treating Plaintiff
approximately every two weeks. (Id., ¶ 13.) At
some point, Defendant Fauvel prescribed a wheelchair because
of Plaintiff's complaints of balance problems and
vertigo, which had developed after the seizures.
(Id., ¶¶ 14, 17.) From March 11, 2013,
through October 2014, when Defendant Fauvel left his
employment at the CDOC, Defendant Fauvel ordered radiographs,
CT scan, x-rays, and an MRI, all of which were read as
“normal” (id., ¶¶ 15, 16, 19);
ordered physical therapy to assist with Plaintiff's
transition to a walker (id., ¶ 21); and
continued to monitor and adjust Plaintiff's medication
levels (id., ¶¶ 18, 25).
judgment is appropriate 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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial burden
of showing an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving
party's case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 325 (1986). “Once the moving party meets this
burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to
demonstrate a genuine issue for trial on a material
matter.” Concrete Works, Inc. v. City & Cnty.
of Denver, 36 F.3d 1513, 1518 (10th Cir. 1994) (citing
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325). The nonmoving party may
not rest solely on the allegations in the pleadings, but must
instead designate “specific facts showing that there is
a genuine issue for trial.” Celotex, 477 U.S.
at 324; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A disputed
fact is “material” if “under the
substantive law it is essential to the proper disposition of
the claim.” Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir.1998) (citing Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A
dispute is “genuine” if the evidence is such that
it might lead a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the
nonmoving party. Thomas v. Metropolitan Life Ins.
Co., 631 F.3d 1153, 1160 (10th Cir. 2011) (citing
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248).
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, a court may consider
only admissible evidence. See Johnson v. Weld County,
Colo., 594 F.3d 1202, 1209-10 (10th Cir. 2010). The
factual record and reasonable inferences therefrom are viewed
in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary
judgment. Concrete Works, 36 F.3d at 1517. Moreover,
because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the court,
“review[s] his pleadings and other papers liberally and
hold[s] them to a less stringent standard than those drafted
by attorneys.” Trackwell v. United
States, 472 F.3d 1242, 1243 (10th Cir. 2007)
(citations omitted); see also Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972) (holding allegations of a pro
se complaint “to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers”). At the summary
judgment stage of litigation, a plaintiff's version of
the facts must find support in the record. Thomson v.
Salt Lake Cnty., 584 F.3d 1304, 1312 (10th Cir. 2009).
“When opposing parties tell two different stories, one
of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no
reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt
that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion
for summary judgment.” Scott v. Harris, 550
U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Thomson, 584 F.3d at 1312.
Deliberate Indifference Claim Against Defendant
Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. U.S.
Const. amend VIII. As such, it requires that “prison
officials . . . ensure that inmates receive adequate food,
clothing, shelter, and medical care, and [that they] must
‘take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of
the inmates.'” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994) (citation omitted). The court's analysis
of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims involves both an
objective and subjective component. Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298-99 (1991).
the objective component, the court considers whether
Plaintiff has been deprived of a sufficiently serious basic
human need. “[A] medical need is considered
‘sufficiently serious' if the condition ‘has
been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment . . . or
is so obvious that even a lay person would easily recommend
the necessity for a doctor's attention.' ”
Oxendine v. Kaplan, 241 F.3d 1272, 1276 (10th Cir.
2001) (quoting Hunt v. Uphoff, 199 F.3d 1220, 1224
(10th Cir. 2001)).
the subjective component of a deliberate indifference claim,
the plaintiff must prove that the prison official
“kn[ew] of and disregard[ed] an excessive risk to
inmate health and safety.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at
837. That is, “the official must both be aware of facts
from which the inference could be drawn that ...