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Taylor v. Roberts

United States District Court, D. Utah

September 22, 2017

ROY DEAN TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. SIDNEY ROBERTS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Jill N. Parrish United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Roy Dean Taylor raises claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on medical care he received at Utah State Prison (“USP”). Defendant Sidney Roberts, a doctor at USP who treated Plaintiff, filed a Martinez report (ECF No. 20); and he has moved for summary judgment (ECF No. 22). Plaintiff's response to the Martinez report and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment lacks substantive argument and evidentiary support. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

         SUMMARY-JUDGMENT & QUALIFIED-IMMUNITY STANDARDS

         Summary judgment is appropriate when “the movant shows that 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). Factual assertions may be supported by:

citing to parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . ., admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or . . . showing 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 primary purpose of summary judgment “is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses.” Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

         Ordinarily, the party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of showing “that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Id. at 325. This burden may be met by identifying portions of the record that show an absence of evidence to support an essential element of the opposing party's case. Johnson v. City of Bountiful, 996 F.Supp. 1100, 1102 (D. Utah 1998).

         However, when a defendant asserts qualified immunity at summary judgment, the burden shifts from the moving defendant to the plaintiff. Becker v. Bateman, 709 F.3d 1019, 1022 (10th Cir. 2013). The plaintiff then has the burden to show that “(1) the defendant violated a constitutional right and (2) the constitutional right was clearly established.” Id. Here, Plaintiff has done nothing to overcome this burden.

         UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS

         Based on review of the record, and in light of Plaintiff's failure to substantively oppose Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court finds the following undisputed facts:

• Plaintiff was housed in USP's Wasatch unit since his arrival on August 26, 2016, and Defendant was a USP doctor who treated Plaintiff. (Roberts Decl. ¶ 4.)
• Plaintiff's medical conditions include emphysema and degenerative disc disease, for which he has been at various times prescribed the following medications: Tramadol, Ultram, Acetaminophen, Amitriptyline, Sulindac, Cyclobenzaprine, and Flexeril. (Roberts Decl. ¶¶ 7, 8.)
• On September 18, 2015, one of Plaintiff's medications was discontinued because he diverted the pill (i.e., he pretended to swallow the pill and then dropped it onto a towel on the floor). (Roberts Decl. ¶ 9; med. records 000097.)
• Besides diagnoses and treatment at USP, Plaintiff had also been treated at University of Utah Medical Center ...

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