United States District Court, E.D. Washington
WAYNE B. CLINTON, Plaintiff,
PEND OREILLE COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
SALADOR MENDOZA JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Wayne B. Clinton alleges that while he was incarcerated at
the Pend Orielle County Jail, he was denied equal access to
facilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA), and that staff at the jail were indifferent to his
medical needs. Specifically, he alleges that in August 2013,
he was denied the use of a walker and that he fell while
showering as a result of inadequate shower facilities,
causing serious injuries. He further alleges that he had
serious medical conditions and symptoms, including cancer,
diarrhea, night sweats, headaches, and leg pain, and that
jail personnel were aware of these issues but did not provide
any medical attention. The Court construes Clinton's pro
se complaint as alleging disability discrimination under the
ADA and violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right to
adequate medical care while in pretrial detention.
moves for summary judgment, arguing that Clinton has not
established a prima facie case of disability discrimination
because he has not demonstrated that he has a disability or
that he was excluded from or denied services based upon any
disability. Defendant also argues that Clinton has not
demonstrated that jail staff were deliberately indifferent to
his medical needs and has submitted evidence demonstrating
that jail staff were very attentive to Clinton's medical
needs. Clinton has not responded to Defendant's motion or
submitted any evidence.
of fact remain concerning whether Clinton had a disability
within the meaning of the ADA. However, because he has not
demonstrated that he was excluded from participation in or
denied benefits or services-in this case the ability to
shower-or that he was discriminated against in some other way
on the basis of a disability, he has not established a prima
facie case of disability discrimination under the ADA.
Clinton's medical care claim fails because Clinton has
not provided any evidence that his medical needs were
ignored. While Clinton need not show deliberate indifference
as would be required for an Eighth Amendment claim by a
post-conviction prisoner, he nevertheless cannot meet the
lesser standard required for a pretrial Fourteenth Amendment
claim because the evidence in the record demonstrates that
jail staff were very attentive to Clinton's medical needs
and concerns and that he received adequate medical care.
Notably, he was promptly seen by a physician's assistant
following each of his numerous medical requests during the
approximately three months he was at the jail, and he was
immediately taken to the hospital emergency room after his
fall. Accordingly, Defendant's motion is granted.
August 5, 2013, Clinton was booked into the Pend Oreille
County Jail. ECF No. 24 at 2. On that date his medical
history was noted as “terminal cancer patient, weak
heart, bad teeth, Hepatitis A, and having smashed his left
hand 1½ months ago.” ECF No. 25 at 2. During the
booking process, Clinton said he did not need any kind of
special care and did not complain of any pain. Id.
days later, Clinton submitted a medical request regarding
“pooping” his pants and regarding several
conditions, including cancer. ECF No. 24 at 3. On August 13,
2013, Plaintiff was seen by physician's assistant (PA-C)
Chris Buscher, who prescribed medications, noted that
Clinton's cancer was in remission, and ordered laboratory
studies. Id. On August 17, 2013, Clinton submitted a
second medical request regarding pain in his back and legs.
Id. On August 20, 2013, Clinton was seen by PA-C
Buscher, who noted that Clinton should use a cane or walker
as needed. Id. at 3-4. On September 2, 2013, Clinton
submitted a third medical request concerning pain in his
back, neck, head, hip, and ears, and difficulty sleeping.
Id. at 4. In response to this request, Pend Oreille
County Sheriff's Office Captain Geoff Rusho scheduled an
appointment for Clinton to see PA-C Buscher on September 10,
September 3, 2013, Clinton fell in the shower. Rusho
responded, and he found Clinton lying on the floor, face up
with his legs partially in the shower stall and his pants
partially pulled up. Id. Clinton told Rusho that he
fell while he was trying to put on his clothes. Id.
Clinton stated that his head hurt and he was dizzy.
the fall, Clinton was immediately transported to Newport
Hospital by ambulance. Id. He was treated for a neck
strain and released the same day. Id. The
emergency-room physician directed a follow-up visit with PA-C
Buscher in seven to ten days. Id.
September 6, 2013, Clinton submitted a fourth medical
request, stating he was having bad headaches and was dizzy.
Id. at 5. Clinton was seen by PA-C Buscher on
September 10, 2013, who prescribed several medications to
treat Clinton's symptoms. Id. Clinton submitted
additional medical requests on September 16 and 22,
complaining of similar symptoms, and he was seen again by
Buscher on September 24, 2013. Id. At the September
24 appointment, Buscher ordered laboratory studies and a
follow-up appointment. Id.
Buscher saw Clinton again on October 1, 2013. Id. at
6. Buscher conducted a physical exam and reviewed the
laboratory report. Id. Although he found no
indication of a recurrence of cancer, Buscher approved
Clinton's request for a referral to a specialist.
Id. However, Cancer Care Northwest determined
consultation was not necessary after reviewing Clinton's
lab studies and determining that his condition had not
submitted additional medical requests on October 7, October
14, October 19, and October 26, 2013, complaining of
headaches, neck and back pain, diarrhea, and night sweats.
Id. at 6-7. He refused to be seen by PA-C Buscher on
October 15, but he was seen by Buscher on October 29. ECF No.
24 at 7. At this appointment, Buscher performed a physical
examination, and based upon his assessment, ordered a
colonoscopy and prescribed additional medications. ECF No. 24
November 4, 2013, Clinton submitted another medical request
complaining of headaches and diarrhea. ECF No. 24 at 8. He
was transferred to Washington Department of Corrections (DOC)
custody on November 6, 2013, before a medical appointment on
the November 4 request could be ...