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Tharp v. Bradley

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division

July 8, 2016

AMBER S. THARP, Plaintiff,
v.
NURSE RHONDA BRADLEY; NURSE RHONDA MESCHEDE; DR. MULLINS; and NURSE PEGGY VICKERY, Defendants.

          Amber S. Tharp, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Nurse Rhonda Bradley, Defendant, represented by JaNan Arnold Davis, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, P.A..

          Nurse Rhonda Meschede, Defendant, represented by JaNan Arnold Davis, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, P.A..

          Dr. Mullins, Defendant, represented by JaNan Arnold Davis, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, P.A..

          Nurse Peggy Vickery, Defendant, represented by JaNan Arnold Davis, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, P.A..

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI, Magistrate Judge.

         This is a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis.

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institute Carswell, Federal Medical Center, in Ft. Worth, Texas. The events that are the subject of this case occurred while the Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center (WCDC) in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Plaintiff contends her constitutional rights were violated when Defendants denied her adequate medical care. The claims that remain in this lawsuit are her claims against the Defendants in their individual capacities.

         Defendants filed a Summary Judgment Motion (Doc. 55). A hearing was held on February 2, 2016, to allow Plaintiff to testify in response to the Motion. Plaintiff appeared by video conference. She also submitted a number of exhibits (Doc. 64) that were admitted during the hearing.[1] The Motion (Doc. 55) is ready for decision.

         1. Background

         Plaintiff was booked into the WCDC on May 22, 2013, and reported a history of seizures. Defendants' Exhibit (hereinafter Defts' Ex. ) A-1 at 2 & 82.[2] She was on no medications. Id. at 82. She testified she had never been on any seizure medication. Plaintiff was asked if she had any allergies and said she did not but had kidney reflux.[3]

         She reported having a seizure on July 26, 2013. Defts' Ex. A-1 at 72. She testified Nurse Bradley told her to submit a sick call slip so she could be placed on seizure medication. Plaintiff submitted a medical request on July 29, 2013. Defts' Ex. A-1 at 147.

         Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Mullins for the first time related to her seizures on July 30, 2013.[4] Defts' Ex. D at ¶ 2(c). She reported a history of seizures and Dr. Mullins prescribed Dilantin[5] for her seizure disorder to be taken 100 mg. in the morning and 200 mg. in the evening. Id. She had never taken Dilantin before. Plaintiff testified that Dr. Mullins would have been aware that she had kidney reflux because she had made them aware of it at intake.

         Plaintiff testified she received her first dose of Dilantin on July 31, 2013. Two days later, Plaintiff testified she began to develop small red splotches. By the third day, Plaintiff testified it had developed into "one big rash." She testified she was running a fever, could not eat, and had sores in the back of her throat. That day, Plaintiff testified the nurses came and took her pulse, listened, to her heart, and said they would come back that day. Plaintiff testified she told the nurses she might have scarlet fever. According to Plaintiff, no one checked into drug allergies. No record of this contact with medical staff appears in the exhibits.

         Plaintiff's first mention of any type of rash or outbreak on a medical request occurred on August 11, 2015. Defts' Ex. A-1 at 148. She indicated she needed Benadryl because she was breaking "out with hives." Id. Plaintiff testified the rash was visible all over her body.

         At approximately 7:30 p.m., the intercom button was pushed in Z-block and Corporal Jones was informed that Plaintiff had a fever all day and was drooling. Defts' Ex. A-1 at 68. Nurse Meschede came and took the Plaintiff's temperature and it was 98.6 degrees. Id. Nurse Meschede informed the Plaintiff that she would be put on the list to see a doctor. Id. Corporal Jones was instructed to keep an eye on Plaintiff throughout the night. Id.

         On August 12, 2013, Plaintiff testified she was scheduled for court and the guard asked what was wrong with her and said he could get her court rescheduled. Plaintiff did not believe detention center officials wanted her to be taken before the state court judge in the condition she was in.

         Although there is an incident report completed by Deputy Johnson on August 12, 2013, in which she reported that Plaintiff was flushed, was very red with splotches, felt very hot and clammy, and her eyes were glassed over, there is no mention of Plaintiff being scheduled for court on this day. Defts' Ex. A-1 at 67. Plaintiff's condition was reported to the nurse's station. Id. Later that day, Plaintiff was transported to Washington Regional Medical Center (WRMC). Id. She was diagnosed with urticaria or hives, given an injection of Depo-Medrol, and put on Benadryl. Defts' Ex. C at 6-8.[6]

         Corporal Jones completed an incident report on August 12, 2013. Defts' Ex. A-1 at 63. She noted that Plaintiff stated she was vomiting, still had a fever, and that the shot she received at the hospital was not working. Id. Plaintiff complained of feeling worse and asked for Benadryl and Tylenol. Id. Nurse Meschede approved the Benadryl. Id. It was noted that Plaintiff was now shaking. Id. A nurse was requested to come to the cell block and evaluate the Plaintiff. Id; see also Defts' Ex. A-1 at 65 (incident report of Deputy Center) & 66 (incident report of Nurse Meschede).

         Nurse Meschede checked Plaintiff and instructed Corporal Jones to give Plaintiff two Tylenol and have her moved to medical holding so she could be monitored throughout the night. Defts' Ex. A-1 at 63 & 78-79. Plaintiff did not make any complaints of discomfort during the hourly welfare checks. Id.

         Although she could not recall seeing him, Dr. Mullins indicates he saw Plaintiff on August 13, 2013. Defts' Ex. D at ¶ 2(d). He reviewed her hospital records and noted she had been diagnosed with urticaria or hives which he described as a vascular reaction of the skin marked by transient appearance of smooth, slightly elevated patches (wheals) which are redder or paler than the surrounding skin and often attended by severe itching. Id. He indicated the condition rarely lasted for more than two days. Id.

         Dr. Mullins examined Plaintiff and found the rash was smooth and homogenous-not typical for strep, but Plaintiff complained of a sore throat. Defts' Ex. D at ¶ 2(d). Dr. Mullins wanted to rule out strep. Id. He prescribed penicillin VK 500 mg., four times a day, for ten days, which he describes as being excellent for skin infections, Benadryl, 25 mg three times a day, which he indicates is an antihistamine to ...


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