United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jacqueline Hayes, pro se, for Plaintiff.
David Fuller, Assistant United States Attorney, for Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND ORDER
FRANKLIN L. NOEL, Magistrate Judge.
THIS MATTER came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on Defendants' second motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 67) and Plaintiff's request for an extension of time to file responsive briefing (ECF No. 76). The matter was referred to the undersigned for Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's request is DENIED, and the Court recommends that Defendants' motion be GRANTED.
I. FINDINGS OF FACT
A. Factual Background
Plaintiff Jacqueline Hayes was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute in Waseca, MN ("FCI-Waseca") from November 2008 until October 2010 after being convicted for conspiracy to defraud a health care benefit program (18 U.S.C. §§ 2 and 371), failure to pay over employment taxes (26 U.S.C. § 7202; 18 U.S.C. § 2), and fraudulent use of another's social security number (42 U.S.C. § 408; 18 U.S.C. § 2). Defs.' Mem. in Supp. of Second Mot. for Summ. J. 9, ECF No. 68.
Upon her arrival at FCI-Waseca, Hayes signed up to work for Federal Prison Industries, Inc. ("UNICOR"). Id. at 9. The UNICOR facility at FCI-Waseca produces clothing items and offers inmates various work positions that involve sewing, trimming, folding, and packaging clothing. Id. at 2-3. Hayes was initially assigned to work a "button-hole" machine, but was reassigned to a simpler "trim table" four weeks later. Id. at 9. According to Cynthia Hamrock, a Fabric Worker Supervisor at UNICOR, Hayes experienced difficulty understanding how to operate the button-hole machine and thus, pursuant to Hayes' request, she was reassigned to work at the trim table. Hamrock Decl. ¶ 4-5, ECF No. 73. The reassignment was not, however, due to any physical limitation. Id. ¶ 4. Hayes's work on the trim table involved using a "nippers"-a small, spring-loaded snipper used to cut fabric. ECF No. 68 at 9-10.
Around April 2009, Hayes began experiencing pain in her hands and fingers due to the work she was performing for UNICOR. See Pl.'s Post-Hearing Exs., ECF No. 56-1 at 89 (showing that Hayes noted in an inmate request that she was experiencing pain in her "trigger finger"). This pain persisted for months and made it difficult for her to perform the fine-hand manipulation required by her job at UNICOR. This pain ultimately forced Hayes to quit working at UNICOR in November 2009. ECF No. 68 at 16. In August 2010, corrective surgery was conducted on Hayes' left hand. Buege Decl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 33. At a July 2013 hearing before this Court, Hayes confirmed that she later had corrective surgery on her right hand as well.
B. Procedural Background
On March 5, 2012, Hayes filed a pro se complaint against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") and ten named defendants, in both their official and individual capacities. See Compl., ECF No. 1. Hayes filed an Amended Complaint on April 23, 2012. Am. Compl., ECF No. 4. Hayes's Amended Complaint alleges that for eight months (March 2009 to November 2009), the named defendants were deliberately indifferent to her serious medical needs (i.e., her hand and wrist pain) and that they negligently or intentionally inflicted pain, suffering, and emotional distress. See generally id. The ten named defendants were: (1) Nicole English, Warden of FCI-Waseca; (2) Ricardo Rios, Warden of the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin, IL; (3) Michael Abbott, Superintendent of Industries at FCI-Waseca; (4) Jorge Diaz, a former Factory Manager at FCI-Waseca; (5) Joyce Anderson, the Health Services Administrator at FCI-Waseca; (6) Dr. Samuel Willis, a medical service provider at FCI-Waseca; (7) Michael Isaaccson, a former Unit Manager at FCI-Waseca; (8) Deanna Hiller, a former Case Manager at FCI-Waseca; (9) Jennifer Jones, a former Case Manager at FCI-Waseca; and (10) Jeffrey Ingvaldson, a Correctional Counselor at FCI-Waseca. See generally ECF No. 4. Reading Hayes's Amended Complaint liberally, Hayes asserted three separate claims: (1) a Bivens claim against all Defendants for their alleged deliberate indifference to her medical needs under the Eighth Amendment; (2) a negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against all Defendants under the Federal Tort Claims Act; and (3) a medical malpractice claim against Dr. Willis. See generally id.
On May 13, 2013, all named Defendants filed motions to dismiss and/or motions for summary judgment. See Mot. to Dismiss or for Summ. J., ECF No. 27; Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 47. Although Hayes did not submit opposition memoranda, she did appear by telephone at the motion hearing held before this Court on July 19, 2013. See Court Minutes, ECF No. 55. Following the motion hearing, Hayes submitted, with the Court's approval, 234 pages of documents. See Pl.'s Post-Hearing Exs., ECF Nos. 56 and 56-1. The Court issued a Report and Recommendation on January 29, 2014, recommending that most of Hayes's claims should be dismissed. Report and Recommendation 26-27, ECF No. 59. Specifically, the Court recommended dismissing all of Hayes's claims against all Defendants except for Hayes's Bivens claim against Defendants Abbott and Diaz, Hayes's UNICOR supervisors, for their alleged deliberate indifference to Hayes's medical needs under the Eighth Amendment. Id. at 15-19. The Court concluded that given the record before it, without a more comprehensive explanation for the procedures an inmate must follow to get work restrictions from medical services and a new job assignment, it could not say as a matter of law that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to Hayes's Bivens claim against Abbott and Diaz. Id.
Defendants Abbott and Diaz objected to this Court's Report and Recommendation on February 12, 2014, arguing, among other things, that the Court incorrectly determined that Abbott and Diaz were not entitled to summary judgment. Objection to Report & Recommendation 1, ECF No. 60. Specifically, Defendants argued that in denying the motion, the Report and Recommendation incorrectly relied on post-hearing documents submitted by Hayes that Defendants did not have the opportunity to respond to. Id. at 8-11. On March 17, 2014, Judge Patrick J. Schiltz issued an Order, adopting in part and rejecting in part this Court's Report and Recommendation. Order, ECF No. 64. In his Order, Judge Schiltz agreed that Hayes's Eighth Amendment claims against Abbott and Diaz should survive, but noted:
Defendants object to these recommendations, in large part based on the argument that Judge Noel wrongly assumed that some of the documents submitted by Hayes had previously been submitted to the BOP or to UNICOR. But defendants seem to have overlooked the fact that Hayes's amended complaint is verified, which makes it equivalent to an affidavit for purposes of summary judgment. See Davis v. Jefferson Hosp. Ass'n, 685 F.3d 675, 682 (8th Cir. 2012). Defendants have therefore not addressed whether the allegations in Hayes's amended complaint, in combination with the documents that Judge Noel permitted her to submit, create a genuine issue of fact. Although the Court is sympathetic to defendants' complaint that they should not have been sandbagged by Hayes's belated submissions, the Court believes that, at this point, the best course of action is to deny their motion as to the Eighth Amendment claims against Abbott and Diaz without prejudice. On remand, a full record can be developed, defendants can again seek summary judgment on those claims, and the issues can be properly briefed.
Id. at 3-4. Additionally, with regard to whether Hayes provided sufficient factual support for her claims to avoid summary judgment, Judge Schiltz stated, "If defendants again move for summary judgment-and, in response, Hayes fails to submit sufficient evidence to establish an essential element of her Eighth Amendment claims-defendants' motions should be granted." Id. at 5. Judge Schiltz concluded his Order by denying, without prejudice, Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to Hayes's Eighth Amendment Bivens claims against Abbott and Diaz in their individual capacities. Id. at 7. Judge Schiltz did, however, (1) dismiss all claims against Dr. Willis with prejudice; (2) dismiss all claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act without prejudice; (3) dismiss all of Hayes's Eighth Amendment claims against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the individual defendants in their individual capacities without prejudice; and (4) dismiss all other claims with prejudice. Id. at 7-8. Accordingly, Hayes's only remaining claims after Judge Schiltz's Order are: (1) an Eighth Amendment Bivens claim against Abbott in his individual capacity, and (2) an Eighth Amendment Bivens claim against Diaz in his individual capacity. Id.
Abbott and Diaz (collectively, "Defendants") now move again for summary judgment. Second Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 67. Primarily, Defendants argue that they have provided additional evidence that demonstrates that none of the allegations against them in Hayes's Amended Complaint establish a constitutional violation. ECF No. 68 at 28. Hayes did not respond to this motion. For the reasons discussed below, the Court agrees with Defendants and recommends that ...