United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
CHARLES B. GOODWIN, United States District Judge.
before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No.
110) of Defendants Laura Neefe, Theresa Sellers, Denise
Beard,  Yvonne Neau, MD, and C. Stephen Paine, MD
(the “CCA Defendants”). Plaintiff Richard Lynn
Dopp has filed a Response (Doc. No. 113), and the CCA
Defendants have replied (Doc. No. 114).
sole surviving 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim stems from the
medical care he received while incarcerated (1) from July 1,
2015, to October 11, 2016, at Cimarron Correctional Facility
(“CCF”) (a facility in Cushing, Oklahoma,
operated by a company formerly known as Corrections
Corporation of America) and (2) from October 12, 2016, to
April 20, 2017, at North Fork Correctional Center
(“NFCC”), a facility operated by the Oklahoma
Department of Corrections (“ODOC”). See
Am. Compl. (Doc. No. 9) at 8-9, 11, 12-20; see also Dopp
v. Honaker, No. CIV-16-1164-D, 2018 WL 3301526, at *1
(W.D. Okla. Jan. 24, 2018) (R. & R.), adopted in
part, 2018 WL 1447876 (W.D. Okla. Mar. 23,
2018). The present Motion concerns the allegedly
improper treatment Plaintiff received from the CCA Defendants
while housed at CCF. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive
damages as well as injunctive relief, costs, and fees.
See Am. Compl. at 9, 10, 11.
judgment is a means of testing in advance of trial whether
the available evidence would permit a reasonable jury to find
in favor of the party asserting a claim. The Court must grant
summary judgment when “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). When
considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court views
the evidence and the inferences drawn from the record in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Pepsi-Cola
Bottling Co. of Pittsburg, Inc. v. PepsiCo, Inc., 431
F.3d 1241, 1255 (10th Cir. 2005).
the Court construes a pro se litigant’s pleadings
liberally, all parties must adhere to applicable procedural
rules. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218 (10th
Cir. 2007). A party that moves for summary judgment has the
burden of showing that the undisputed material facts require
judgment as a matter of law in its favor. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). To defeat
summary judgment, the nonmovant need not convince the Court
that it will prevail at trial, but it must cite sufficient
evidence admissible at trial to allow a reasonable jury to
find in the nonmovant’s favor-i.e., to show that there
is a question of material fact that must be resolved by the
jury. See Garrison v. Gambro, Inc., 428 F.3d 933,
935 (10th Cir. 2005). Parties may establish the existence or
nonexistence of a material disputed fact through:
• citation to “depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations . . ., admissions, interrogatory
answers, or other materials” in the record; or
• demonstration “that the materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or
that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A), (B).
assessing the CCA Defendants’ Motion, the undersigned
has treated the factual allegations of Plaintiff’s
verified filings (e.g., the Amended Complaint and
Plaintiff’s CCA Response), and of the affidavits
submitted by the CCA Defendants, as affidavit or declaration
evidence to the extent those allegations are sworn or
declared under penalty of perjury and are “made on
personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in
evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent
to testify on the matters stated.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(4); see Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1111
(10th Cir. 1991); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1746.
Defendants Sellers and Neefe
Defendants first argue that Plaintiff has shown no
“affirmative link” between any action taken by
either Defendant Sellers or Defendant Neefe and the alleged
constitutional deprivations, as required to hold someone
individually liable on a § 1983 claim. See CCA
Defs.’ Mot. at 25-30; Schneider v. City of Grand
Junction Police Dep’t, 717 F.3d 760, 767-68 (10th
Cir. 2013) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
676 (2009)). Plaintiff responds that these Defendants
“had minimal involvement” and that he does not
object to their “dismiss[al]” from this lawsuit.
Pl.’s CCA Resp. at 4.
upon Plaintiff’s express representation, the Court
shall dismiss Defendant Sellers and Defendant Neefe from this
lawsuit pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2).
The Remaining CCA Defendants
Beard, Neau, and Paine dispute many of Plaintiff’s
factual allegations and specifically deny that Plaintiff has
shown that a genuine issue exists as to whether they acted
with the requisite deliberate indifference in providing
Plaintiff medical treatment at CCF. See CCA
Defs.’ Mot. at 18-25.
filed his Amended Complaint on April 20, 2017, alleging, in
relevant part, that the CCA Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to Plaintiff’s medical needs in violation
of the Eighth Amendment when treating Plaintiff for severe
pain caused by his “serious degenerative medical
condition” of “cervical foraminal stenosis neck
bone nerve cord impingement.” Am. Compl. at 8-9, 10-17.
The Court has previously summarized his allegations:
Plaintiff has been diagnosed with a degenerative spinal
condition that causes severe, chronic pain ..... While at
CCF, Plaintiff received a previously scheduled appointment to
be evaluated by a neurosurgeon at the OU Medical Center; the
appointment resulted in Plaintiff’s examination by a
“screener” who advised Plaintiff that surgery
could correct his condition but OU Medical Center would not
provide it due to budgetary constraints. Plaintiff
“then requested Dr. Paine, T. Sellers, and S. May to
schedule him to see an independent medical facility such as
Laser Institute in OKC, OK, to provide the corrective
surgery, but said requests were denied.” See
Am. Compl. at 13. Plaintiff also provided the CCA Defendants
with “copies of results of totally . . . independent
medical facility, North American Spine Institute (NASI), . .
. after they reviewed [Plaintiff’s] 2014 MRI CD images
..... NASI concluded [Plaintiff] required surgical fusion to
correct his lower neck bone degenerative condition and
relieve the pain caused by the nerve cord impingement.”
Id. at 13.
Dopp, 2018 WL 1447876, at *5 (alterations and
second, third, and fourth omissions in original); see
also Id . at *2 (accepting two exhibits (Doc. Nos. 71-1
and 71-2) as part of Plaintiff’s pleading), *6 (noting
that Plaintiff’s remaining § 1983 claim regards
“surgical treatment of his medical condition”);
Pl.’s CCA Resp. at 3 (“The point of all this is
whether [Plaintiff] could have benefitted from corrective
surgery and . . . whether [the CCA Defendants] were
deliberately indifferent for failing to provide that
following facts are material to Plaintiff’s Eighth
Amendment claim against the CCA Defendants ...