United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MASALA M. JAMES, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM A. SHERROD, et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [DOC. NO. 72]
BERNARD M. JONES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Masala M. James, a California state prisoner appearing pro
se, filed an Amended Complaint (Am. Comp.) under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging that while he was housed at North Fork
Correctional Facility (NFCF), Defendants showed deliberate
indifference to his serious medical condition [Doc. No. 19].
Chief United States District Judge Joe Heaton referred the
matter for proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. §
initially named five defendants; however, the Court has
already dismissed Defendants Sherrod, Solis, and Defibaugh
[Doc. No. 68]. Now pending before the Court is Defendant
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Dr. Keith
Ivens' Motion for Summary Judgment and Brief in
Support (Defendants' Motion) [Doc. No. 72]. Plaintiff has
filed an Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Plaintiff's Resp.) [Doc. No. 75] and the matter
is at issue. For the reasons set forth below, it is
recommended that the Court grant Defendants' Motion on
Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claim and enter
judgment as a matter of law in their favor. The Court should
also dismiss, on screening, Plaintiff's conspiracy claim.
alleges that before his transfer to NFCF, he was diagnosed
with Coccidioidomycosis, otherwise known as “valley
fever” (hereinafter Valley Fever). Am. Comp. at p.
4. Plaintiff was prescribed, in relevant part, Fluconazole.
Id. According to Plaintiff, after he arrived at
NFCF, officials were deliberately indifferent to his Valley
Fever. Id., passim.
the Court's dismissal of Defendants Sherrod, Solis, and
Defibaugh, Plaintiff's only remaining claims are against
Defendants CCA and Ivens. Plaintiff does not make any
specific allegations implicating Defendant CCA, except to
suggest it had a responsibility to uphold its contractual
commitments and follow the law. Id. at 4. As for
Defendant Ivens, then Regional Medical Director for CCA,
Plaintiff alleges the physician “ha[d] a mandate to
NFCF medical personnel to prohibit inmate-patients [from
receiving] fluconazole or any specialty-services, in
relation to victim/patients exposed to valley fever.”
Id. at p. 5 (emphasis in original).
Plaintiff accuses Defendants of conspiring to violate his
constitutional rights. Id. at p. 9.
Analysis of Defendants' Summary Judgment
reasons set forth below, the undersigned recommends the Court
grant Defendants' Motion.
Standard for Review
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court
shall grant summary judgment “if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-323 (1986). Once a moving
party shows it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law,
the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to point out the
specific facts that create disputed factual issues. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). The nonmoving party must present some evidence, other
than its initial pleadings, to show that there is more than
just a “metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986); see also
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (quoting Rule 56(e)
(“Rule 56(e) . . . requires the nonmoving party to go
beyond the pleadings and by her own affidavits, or by [other
evidence] designate ‘specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial.'”).
defeat a motion for summary judgment, evidence must be based
on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or surmise.
See Bones v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc., 366 F.3d
869, 875 (10th Cir. 2004). Conclusory allegations will not
create a genuine issue of material fact defeating a summary
judgment motion. See L&M Enter. Inc. v. BEI Sensors
& Systems Co., 231 F.3d 1284, 1287 (10th Cir. 2000).
In evaluating a motion for summary judgment, a district court
must consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences from those
facts in favor of that party. See Thomson v. Salt Lake
Cnty., 584 F.3d 1304, 1312 (10th Cir. 2009).
“However, because at summary judgment we are beyond the
pleading phase of the litigation, a plaintiffs version of the
facts must find support in the record: more specifically, as
with any motion for summary judgment, 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.” Id. (quotations, brackets, and
The Undisputed and Disputed Facts
on Defendants' Motion at pp. 7-14, ¶¶5-17,
20-22, 24, 26-31, 33-34, and Plaintiffs Response at pp. 2-3,
the following material facts are undisputed:
• Plaintiff received an initial health screening in
January 2013, upon his arrival at NFCF.
• On January 31, 2013, Dr. Eric Holt examined Plaintiff,
noted his Valley Fever diagnosis, and ordered ...