United States District Court, D. Colorado
DUMISAI H. HOCKADAY, Plaintiff,
HELENE CHRISTNER, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY
S. KRIEGER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on the Defendant's Motion
for Summary Judgment (# 149), the Plaintiff's Response (#
153), and the Defendant's Reply (# 156); and the
Plaintiff's “Motion Presenting Competing Expert
Opinions Previously Submitted” (# 147), the
Defendant's Response (# 150), and the Plaintiff's
Reply (# 154). For the reasons that follow, the Motion for
Summary Judgment is granted and the other Motion is denied as
Court exercises jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
relevant times, Plaintiff Dumisai Hockaday was an inmate at
the Sterling Correctional Facility, operated by the Colorado
Department of Corrections. On July 29, 2016, Mr. Hockaday was
attacked and injured by another inmate, suffering a broken
right hand. He was treated by Nurse Nicole Stumpf at the
Sterling clinic, who consulted via phone with Defendant
Helene Christner, a nurse practitioner. Though NP Christner
had the authority to refer inmates to a local emergency room,
she did not refer Mr. Hockaday. As a result, Mr. Hockaday did
not have a diagnostic radiology exam performed on his hand
for 91 hours after the incident. He contends that the delay
caused him excruciating pain, shortening and angulation of
the bone, loss of grip strength, difficulty grasping, finger
overlap, and stiffness.
the Court's order (# 94) at the dismissal stage, the
Amended Complaint (# 19) alleges one claim for a violation of
Mr. Hockaday's Eighth Amendment rights under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. It alleges that NP Christner was deliberately
indifferent to Mr. Hockaday's medical needs by delaying
treatment. NP Christner now moves for summary judgment (#
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure facilitates the entry
of a judgment only if no trial is necessary. See White v.
York Int'l Corp., 45 F.3d 357, 360 (10th Cir. 1995).
Summary adjudication is authorized when there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and a party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Substantive
law governs what facts are material and what issues must be
determined. It also specifies the elements that must be
proved for a given claim or defense, sets the standard of
proof, and identifies the party with the burden of proof.
See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986); Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. v. Producer's Gas
Co., 870 F.2d 563, 565 (10th Cir. 1989). A factual
dispute is “genuine” and summary judgment is
precluded if the evidence presented in support of and
opposition to the motion is so contradictory that, if
presented at trial, a judgment could enter for either party.
See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. When considering a
summary judgment motion, a court views all evidence in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party, thereby
favoring the right to a trial. See Garrett v. Hewlett
Packard Co., 305 F.3d 1210, 1213 (10th Cir. 2002).
movant has the burden of proof on a claim or defense, the
movant must establish every element of its claim or defense
by sufficient, competent evidence. See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 56(c)(1)(A). Once the moving party has met its burden, to
avoid summary judgment the responding party must present
sufficient, competent, contradictory evidence to establish a
genuine factual dispute. See Bacchus Indus. Inc. v. Arvin
Indus. Inc., 939 F.2d 887, 891 (10th Cir. 1991);
Perry v. Woodward, 199 F.3d 1126, 1131 (10th Cir.
1999). If there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact, a
trial is required. If there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact, no trial is required. The court then applies
the law to the undisputed facts and enters judgment.
moving party does not have the burden of proof at trial, it
must point to an absence of sufficient evidence to establish
the claim or defense that the non-movant is obligated to
prove. If the respondent comes forward with sufficient
competent evidence to establish a prima facie claim
or defense, a trial is required. If the respondent fails to
produce sufficient competent evidence to establish its claim
or defense, then the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
Christner moves for summary judgment on two grounds, first
arguing that Mr. Hockaday did not exhaust his administrative
remedies in CDOC's grievance process, and second arguing
that there was no violation of Mr. ...