Submitted: November 17, 2015
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Kansas City
COLLOTON, GRUENDER, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.
Ray Corwin appeals the district court's grant of summary
judgment and judgment on the pleadings in this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action. We affirm.
October 30, 2012, during an altercation with his nephew,
Corwin injured his hand. The nephew called police, and
officers with the Independence, Missouri Police Department
arrested Corwin and transported him to the Independence
Detention Unit. During transport and upon arrival at the
Detention Unit, Corwin claims he complained about his hand,
but his complaints were ignored. The next day, Corwin was
transferred to the Ray County Correctional Facility. The City
of Independence had a contract with Ray County for use of its
detention facility for Independence's detainees.
Thursday, November 1, Corwin submitted an inmate request form
stating he needed assistance for a "broke hand." On
that day, Corwin saw jail nurse Aleisa Moeller who examined
Corwin's hand. Corwin alleges that Moeller advised that
she would have him transported to an emergency room upon
approval from the City of Independence. Corwin claims the
City of Independence directed Moeller to have Corwin see the
doctor used by the Ray County Correctional Facility instead
of transporting him to the emergency room. Moeller provided
Corwin a prescription for Ibuprofen and applied an ACE wrap
to his wrist. She also placed Corwin on the list of inmates
to be transported to the doctor when transportation and an
appointment were available. Moeller did this by placing
Corwin's request form in a certain folder established for
inmates needing to see the contract jail doctor. The record
contains no evidence as to what steps were taken after
November 1 to obtain a doctor's appointment and transport
for Corwin. Corwin was released from the Ray County
Correctional Facility on Tuesday, November 6, before he was
able to be transported to the contract doctor for treatment.
obtained treatment from the Centerpointe Medical Center after
his release. He asserts the fracture in his wrist had begun
setting improperly and as a result he had to undergo surgery
and extensive physical therapy, although his counsel conceded
at oral argument that there is no medical evidence in the
summary judgment record to support the assertion that the
delay in treatment worsened his condition. Despite the
surgery and therapy, Corwin maintains that his hand does not
function properly, he continues to suffer pain, and he is
unable to work.
brought this section 1983 action against jail nurse Moeller
and jail administrator Margaret Farnan. He also named the
City of Independence and Ray County as defendants. The
district court granted summary judgment to Moeller and Farnan
and judgment on the pleadings to the City of Independence and
review of the district court's grant of summary judgment
to Moeller and Farnan is de novo, viewing the facts in the
light most favorable to Corwin. See Meuir v. Greene Cnty.
Jail Emps., 487 F.3d 1115, 1118 (8th Cir. 2007). Entry
of summary judgment is proper when "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."
asserts that Moeller acted with deliberate indifference to
his serious medical needs in two ways (1) by failing to
properly care for his broken hand and (2) by not taking
"affirmative, deliberate steps" to secure
additional medical care for him beyond placing him on the
list of prisoners to be seen by the doctor. Prisoners and
pretrial detainees are protected under the Constitution from
a state actor's deliberate indifference towards the
inmate's serious medical needs. See Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Davis v. Oregon
Cnty., Mo., 607 F.3d 543, 548 (8th Cir. 2010).
"Deliberate indifference has both an objective and a
subjective component." Butler v. Fletcher, 465
F.3d 340, 345 (8th Cir. 2006). The objective component
requires a plaintiff to demonstrate an objectively serious
medical need. Grayson v. Ross, 454 F.3d 802, 808-09
(8th Cir. 2006); Moore v. Jackson, 123 F.3d 1082,
1086 (8th Cir. 1997). The subjective component requires a
plaintiff to show that the defendant actually knew of, but
deliberately disregarded, such need. Grayson, 454
F.3d at 808; Moore, 123 F.3d at 1086. The parties do
not dispute that Corwin's fractured hand was an
objectively serious medical need.
response to Corwin's complaint, Moeller examined his
hand, prescribed over-the-counter pain medication, and
applied an ACE bandage wrap to his hand. Moeller also placed
Corwin's complaint form in a certain folder that had the
effect of placing him on the list of prisoners to be
transported to see the detention facility's contract
doctor. Corwin claims that this was inadequate care at the
time of treatment. Corwin claims that Moeller should have
provided more aggressive treatment for his injured hand, but
this asserts only a claim of negligence which is insufficient
to maintain a section 1983 claim. See Popoalii v. Corr.
Med. Servs., 512 F.3d 488, 499 (8th Cir. 2008)
(deliberate indifference requires more than gross negligence
or disagreement with treatment decisions; "[d]eliberate
indifference is akin to criminal recklessness"); see
also Langford v. Norris, 614 F.3d 445, 460 (8th Cir.
2010) (inmate must prove defendants knew of, but deliberately
disregarded, objectively serious medical need); Moore v.
Duffy, 255 F.3d 543, 545 (8th Cir. 2001) (mere
negligence does not support constitutional violation).
also claims that Moeller caused a delay in his receiving
treatment for his injured hand because she failed to obtain
more timely medical care from a doctor, either through a
visit to the emergency room or by securing a more timely
appointment for him with the detention facility's
contract doctor. Corwin alleges that after he was released
from the detention facility he sought medical care from a
doctor. He claims that doctor told Corwin the fracture had
begun to heal improperly and as a result Corwin would have to
undergo surgery to repair the fracture. At argument,
Corwin's attorney conceded that no medical evidence
existed in the record to support the claim that the five-day
delay in medical care caused Corwin to suffer a detrimental
effect. Therefore, the district court properly granted
summary judgment to Moeller on this claim. See Laughlin
v. Schriro, 430 F.3d 927, 929 (8th Cir. 2005) (affirming
grant of summary judgment where inmate based claim on
treatment delays but did not "place verifying medical
evidence in the record to establish the detrimental effect of
delay in medical treatment" (quoting Crowley v.
Hedgepeth, 109 F.3d 500, 502 (8th Cir. ...