United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
Jeffrey J. Helmick United States District Judge
Daboni is an inmate at the Toledo Correctional Institution.
Daboni contends he has severe low back pain and is unable to
walk. He alleges having had a wheelchair upon his arrival at
TOCI. The wheelchair was taken away from him as the
Defendants claim he is feigning an inability to walk. He
alleges being forced to scoot around the prison without a
wheelchair and that the Defendants are deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs.
instituted suit against Warden John Coleman, Kathleen
Meehan-de la Cruz, M.D., Hannah Kroggel, Kim Henderson,
Captain Mark Green, Captain Scott Mathias, Kelly Robertson,
Lt. Melissa Cowell, Sgt. Ronnie Morton, Major Keith
Fullenkamp, Lt. Michael Warren, and Bobbi David. The nature
of his complaint is an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging an Eighth Amendment violation for deliberate
indifference to his medical condition and necessary care.
addition to his complaint, the pro se Plaintiff also
moved for emergency injunctive relief (Doc. No. 3) which I
construed as a motion for a temporary restraining order.
After having the benefit of a response from the Defendant on
this issue, I denied Plaintiff's motion (Doc. No. 14),
set this matter on an administrative track, and set a
briefing schedule for dispositive motions (Doc. No. 20).
27, 2017, the Defendants filed their Notice of Compliance per
my order requiring disclosure of names, addresses of
witnesses, documents, and other evidence having a significant
bearing on the claims and defenses. Their five page notice
included the names and addresses of twenty-six individuals
likely to have discoverable information. (Doc. No. 27).
Additionally, the notice provided eight categories of
documents along these same lines. (Id.)
before me are multiple motions filed by parties, responses,
and replies thereto. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1331. For the reasons stated below, the
Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted. As
that motion is dispositive of the case, the remaining motions
are denied as moot.
is an inmate at TOCI. His complaint alleges problems began on
December 13, 2016, when he as assessed by Dr. Kathleen
Meehan-de la Cruz, M.D. for severe back pain. At that
appointment, Daboni alleges the doctor “made light of
[his] situation saying everyone has back pains.” (Doc.
No. 1, p. 6). Daboni saw Dr. Meehan-de la Cruz again right
before the end of December and continued to complain about
severe back pains which he claims precluded him from walking.
The doctor told him to “buy pills & muscle rub out
of the store if [you're] in pain.” (Id. at
p. 7). The Plaintiff was not satisfied with Meehan-de la
Cruz's response. The doctor then decided to admit Daboni
into the infirmary for assessment.
Daboni's admission to the infirmary, his wheelchair was
taken from him and he was given a walker. He alleges
attempting to “use the walker in vain, I would fall
when I tried lifting the walker off the ground.”
(Id.) Despite his multiple tries, Plaintiff
“was told by the nurses, that the Dr. instructed to
keep trying despite my numerous falls. I was sore &
bruised all over but I would ask for pain pills &
continue trying.” (Id.)
alleges he learned from one of the nurses of the
“Dr.'s Orders not to assess [Plaintiff] if [he]
didn't walk out [out] of the cell.” (Id.
at p. 8). During the Plaintiff's time in the infirmary,
he was not assessed per Dr. Meehan-de la Cruz's orders
but provided pain medication and encouraged to exercise by
various staff members. (Id.)
January 3, 2017, Plaintiff was advised the doctor wanted to
see him but he “had to walk out to see her.”
(Id. at p. 9). On January 5, 2017, Dr. Meehan-de la
Cruz went to see Daboni in the infirmary, told him he was
“cleared medically” as she could not find
anything wrong with him. (Id. at p. 10). Plaintiff
again told the doctor about “the severity of [his] back
pain that [wa]s preventing [him] from walking. She told [him]
to buy pills off the store & muscle rub & that [he]
was cleared.” (Id.)
was returned to the regular cell block in his wheelchair then
physically removed from the wheelchair and placed on the
floor. Plaintiff continued to protest his inability to stand
or walk to numerous TOCI employees to no avail. He alleges
that Hannah Kroggel, TOCI Healthcare Administrator,
repeatedly “instructed everyone to leave [Plaintiff] on
the floor.” (Id. at p. 11). Because of his
inability to walk, Daboni's fellow inmates got him off
the floor and onto his bed. When it came time for meals,
Plaintiff states he started to “scoot there, inmates
seen me struggling & 6 of them picked me off the ground
& carried me to chow.” (Id. at p. 12).
result of the Plaintiff's scooting himself from location
to location, he “was written up by [Lieutenant] Warren
& taken to the hole, dragged out of my wheelchair &
sat on the ground in my cell.” (Id.) Daboni
was found guilty of this infraction and received “15
days time served & refer[red] to H.C.A. for Secondary
anatomical. I applaud that decision because this is not a
disciplinary issue, this is a medical issue.”
(Id.) Thereafter, Daboni alleges he was allowed to
leave “the hole” but had to walk out. When the
Plaintiff was unable to walk out on his own, he alleges he
was given another 15 days in the hole. (Id.)
contends he incurred additional infractions because of his
inability to walk. He continued to make unsuccessful requests
for a chair to assist him in showering and other types of
relief. (Id. at pp. 13-14). He characterizes the
events described in his complaint as “cruel, &
evil, & barbaric as they may seem are real &
Defendants' Statement of Facts
to being transferred to TOCI, Daboni was confined to the
Meigs County Jail during the pendency of his trial. According
to Scott Trussell, a Major in the Meigs County Sheriff's
Office, Daboni was confined to jail awaiting trial when he
suffered an injury. (Doc. No. 34-3). A video recording of the
incident was submitted as an exhibit in support of the
Defendant's motion. Major Trussell characterized the
event as follows:
The video being authenticated depicts Jacques Daboni lying on
a mobile plastic bunk with blankets on it designed for
inmates to sleep on. The bunk was directly on the ground
rather than any other surface. After an Officer enters
Daboni's cell, Daboni lifts his head up and attempts to
stand. After rising approximately four (4) inches to one (1)
foot, Daboni slips back onto the bunk. He decides not to
stand up because of the fall. Before the incident depicted in
this video, Daboni was fully capable of walking on his own
initiative unimpeded and without the assistance of any
(Id. at ¶ 5).
to Dr. Meehan-de la Cruz, who is the Chief Medical Officer at
TOCI, she reviewed the Plaintiff's prior medical records
and describes his relevant history prior to his transfer to
I am familiar with Inmate Jacques Daboni (#A725394)
(“Daboni”). He is a current inmate at TOCI.
Daboni has been incarcerated at TOCI since June 17, 2016.
Prior to his incarceration at TOCI, Daboni's medical
records show that he was incarcerated at the Corrections
Reception Center (“CRC”).
It is my opinion, based on a reasonable degree of medical
certainty, after examining Daboni numerous times, that he has
the ability to walk on his own accord, without the assistance
of any device, and that he is feigning the inability to walk.
Daboni came to TOCI (from CRC) with a wheelchair. A review of
Daboni's medical records shows that when the medical
staff at CRC was contemplating taking Daboni's
wheelchair, he claimed he could not walk. He was housed in
that institution's infirmary where he did not walk;
therefore he was permitted the wheelchair.
Pursuant to the records, prior to this incident at CRC,
Daboni was able to get up on an exam table under his own
power, without assistance, and could move from a lying
position to a sitting position, then from a sitting position
to a standing position, without issue.
(Doc. No. 34-1 at ¶¶ 3-5(a)).
his fall, the medical records show Daboni received a CT scan
on October 13, 2015, which showed no fractures and states a
“normal” impression. (Doc. No. 34-1 at p. 6). Two
and a half months later, Daboni underwent an MRI with the
findings appearing to be normal. (Doc. No. 34-1 at p. 7). A
hand-written notation by the physician on the MRI report,
noted, “MRI is essentially normal. There is no reason
for him to be in wheelchair. Please check if home health PT
will come to jail or if ...