United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
N. Parrish United States District Court Judge
Judge Jill N. Parrish Before the court is a Motion for
Summary Judgment filed by defendants Chad Duford and Richard
Garden on June 23, 2017 (ECF No. 36). Plaintiff Michael
Jensen, who proceeds pro se, filed a response on
July 6, 2017 (ECF No. 40) and various other responses (ECF
Nos. 42, 43, 50). The defendants replied on September 5, 2017
(ECF No. 44). For the reasons below, the defendants'
motion is GRANTED.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), summary judgment is
warranted 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.” A dispute is
genuine only if “a reasonable jury could find in favor
of the nonmoving party on the issue.” Macon v.
United Parcel Serv., Inc., 743 F.3d 708, 712 (10th Cir.
2014). “In making this determination, ” the court
must “view the evidence and draw reasonable inferences
therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party.” Id. (citation omitted).
when qualified immunity is presented at the summary judgment
phase, the court must employ a different paradigm:
“When a defendant asserts qualified immunity at summary
judgment, the burden shifts to the plaintiff, who must clear
two hurdles in order to defeat the defendant's
motion.” Riggins v. Goodman, 572 F.3d 1101,
1107 (10th Cir. 2009). The plaintiff must show: “(1)
the defendant violated a constitutional right and (2) the
constitutional right was clearly established.”
Panagoulakos v. Yazzie, 741 F.3d 1126, 1129 (10th
Cir. 2013). This burden is a heavy one. See Albright v.
Rodriguez, 51 F.3d 1531, 1534 (10th Cir. 1995).
qualified immunity cases, the requirement that the court view
the evidence and draw inferences in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party “usually means adopting . . .
the plaintiff's version of the facts.” Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007) (citation omitted).
However, “a plaintiff's version of the facts must
find support in the record.” Thomson v. Salt Lake
County, 584 F.3d 1304, 1312 (10th Cir. 2009). If the
plaintiff's story is “blatantly contradicted by the
record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court
should not adopt that version of the facts.”
Id. (citation omitted).
plaintiff meets the requisite two-part burden by
demonstrating the violation of a clearly established
constitutional right, then the burden shifts to the defendant
“to show that there are no disputes of material fact as
to whether his conduct was objectively reasonable in light of
clearly established law and the information known to the
defendant at the time.” Felders ex rel. Smedley v.
Malcom, 755 F.3d 870, 877 (10th Cir. 2014) (citation
omitted). This showing is made under the traditional summary
judgment standard. See id.
Jensen is an inmate at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah.
At the time of Mr. Jensen's allegations, Dr. Garden was
the Administrative and Clinical Director over health services
for the Utah Department of Corrections. Mr. Duford was a
Physician Assistant at the prison.
January 11, 2014, Mr. Jensen was working in the boiler
operations department of the prison as a plumber when he
heard a pop and felt pain in his shoulder. He immediately
informed his supervisor, Jason Corey. Mr. Corey called the
medical department and requested medical attention for Mr.
Jensen. Mr. Corey also completed an Initial Contract Report
documenting the injury.
January 29, Mr. Jensen submitted an Inmate Care Request,
which reads: “I would like to see a provider. My arm
popped at work and it's not getting any better. Please
[sic] see me on this matter. Thanks.”
Jensen did not receive medical treatment until he was seen by
Mr. Duford on February 3, 2014. On exam, Mr. Duford noted
that Mr. Jensen had limited range of motion but good strength
in his shoulder. He diagnosed Mr. Jensen with
“UNSPECIFIED SITE OF SPRAIN AND STRAIN” and
proscribed Naproxen tablets (500 mg, twice a day). He also
referred Mr. Jensen to Bohn Bales for physical therapy with
the following note: “Right shoulder strain, Mild pain
with abduction. Please evaluate and treat.”
Jensen attended physical therapy appointments with Mr. Bales
on February 12, February 19, February 26, and March 5. On
June 11, Mr. Jensen again saw Mr. Duford, who noted that Mr.
Jensen's shoulder pain had not improved with
anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. Mr. Duford then
prescribed acetaminophen tablets (325 mg, twice a day) and
referred Mr. Jensen to Joseph Coombs, PA, at the onsite
orthopedic clinic. After that, Mr. Duford had no further role
in treating Mr. Jensen's shoulder injury.
22, 2014, Mr. Coombs ordered an x-ray of Mr. Jensen's
shoulder. And on August 6, Dr. Garden authorized an MRI. The
x-ray was generally unremarkable, but the MRI revealed
“a partial thickness tear bursal sided tear of the
anterior supraspinatus tendon involving the anterior half of