United States District Court, S.D. Texas
Cornelius E. DeGefferd, TDCJ 1692519, Plaintiff,
Joseph M. Curry, et al., Defendants.
OPINION ON DISMISSAL
N. HUGHES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
DeGefferd sues Joseph M. Curry, Natarajan Venkatayan,
Ernestine Julye, Dr. Naik, Lisa Vatani, Laraine Mayfield,
Fausto Avila, David Callender, Rick Thaler, Carey S. Staples,
and David Rice for civil rights violations. DeGefferd raises
claims on medical care. He filed his original complaint in
another district. Some of the claims he raises concern
medical treatment provided in the Houston division of the
Southern District of Texas. Those claims were transferred to
states he had needed a wheelchair before he went to prison
and while he was in prison. When he arrived at the Gurney
Unit in 2011, Physician's Assistant Curry saw DeGefferd
and told him he needed a wheelchair because his legs were
numb and paralyzed. Curry, however, told DeGefferd that
medical personnel first will see how well he does with
crutches and then go from there.
filed a prison grievance against Curry raising improper
medical treatment. He filed another grievance at a higher
level and talked to other medical providers. Prison officials
responded to his grievances. They told DeGefferd there was
nothing to substantiate his complaint and the unit in which
he was housed was not a wheelchair unit. In 2012, DeGefferd
was diagnosed with diabetes and arthritis. DeGefferd
maintains these conditions were the result of Curry's
improper medical treatment, including the failure to provide
him a wheelchair. DeGefferd says he did not have a wheelchair
from 2011 to 2013.
states he suffers from back pains and he says doctors told
him he has arthritis in both hands. He says these things
affect his daily functions. DeGefferd maintains he suffers
from these conditions because of Curry's improper medical
treatment. DeGefferd claims deliberate indifference in Curry
not allowing him to see a specialist at the John Sealy
Hospital. He states he needed a wheelchair and the medical
staff denied him a wheelchair for over a year. DeGefferd
claims medical personnel provided him improper remedies,
which affected his mobility. He argues the medical staff knew
the medical treatment they were giving him was improper.
DeGefferd also maintains medical personnel knew that giving
him a walker and crutches was not medically appropriate.
standard in medical care claims is "deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs." Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). Negligence and gross
negligence are insufficient for constitutional liability.
Hare v. City of Corinth, Ms., 74 F.3d 633, 645 (5th
Cir. 1996). The Eighth Amendment prohibits "obduracy and
wantonness, not inadvertence or error in good faith."
Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir.
1998). The Fifth Circuit has stated that the deliberate
indifference standard is an "extremely high" one to
meet. Domino v. Texas Dep't of Criminal Justice,
239 F.3d 752, 756 (5th Cir. 2001).
papers show that prison medical personnel and others saw him
and treated him for his medical conditions. He essentially
complains he should have received more and different
treatment in the days following his original medical visit.
That prison medical personnel provided some medical care
shows the absence of deliberate indifference. Banuelos v.
McFarland, 41 F.3d 232, 235 (5th Cir. 1995).
disagreement with the specific medical treatment he received
and the amount of his treatment does not show deliberate
indifference. Id. Even if standard medical care in
DeGefferd's situation calls for different or more
treatment, that alone does not show deliberate indifference.
Medical malpractice does not raise a constitutional
violation. Hare v. City of Corinth, MS, 74 F.3d 633
(5th Cir. 1996). Furthermore, evidence of sick calls,
examinations, diagnoses, and medication negates deliberate
indifference. Bass v. Sullivan, 550 F.2d 229 (5th
Cir. 1977). DeGefferd was examined and provided treatment.
His pleadings do not show that the Defendants or any medical
personnel were aware of and ignored an excessive risk to his
health by failing to treat him further or provide other
medical care in the days following his medical visit.
claims and allegations do not show that prison medical
personnel were deliberately indifferent to his medical
conditions. A plaintiff must show that prison officials
"refused to treat him, ignored his complaints,
intentionally treated him incorrectly, or engaged in any
similar conduct that would clearly show a wanton disregard
for any serious medical needs." Domino, 239
F.3d at 756. DeGefferd has not alleged this kind of behavior
by prison health care workers. Under his claims, he was seen
by medical personnel and received some treatment.
DeGefferd's allegations show that the defendants and
other medical personnel saw him and provided medical
treatment. His claims and allegations do not raise deliberate
indifference 3. Conclusion DeGefferd has not shown