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Ellis v. Davis

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

January 10, 2018

TYRONE ELLIS PLAINTIFF
v.
GORDON DAVIS, Nurse, Correct Care Solutions DEFENDANT

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         The following Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States Chief District Judge Brian S. Miller. Any party may file written objections to this Recommendation. Objections must be specific and include the factual or legal basis for disagreeing with the Recommendation. An objection to a factual finding must specifically identify the finding of fact believed to be wrong and describe the evidence that supports that belief.

         An original and one copy of the objections must be received in the office of the United States District Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. If no objections are filed, Judge Miller can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing all of the evidence in the record. By not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Tyrone Ellis (“Ellis”), proceeding pro se, contends that while detained in the Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”), he was denied constitutionally adequate medical care by Defendant Gordon Davis (“Nurse Davis”), a Licensed Practical Nurse (“LPN”) with Correct Care Solutions. Docs. 2 & 21. More specifically, Ellis contends that during a 26-day period between December 24, 2014 and January 19, 2015, Nurse Davis delayed his treatment for stomach issues caused by his prescribed medication. Ellis sues Nurse Davis solely in his personal capacity.

         Ellis seeks $250, 000 in damages, injunctive relief, and a transfer to the Tucker Max Unit of the ADC.

         Nurse Davis has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, a Brief in Support, a Statement of Undisputed Facts, and a Reply. Docs. 42-44; 48. Ellis has filed a Brief and an “Objection” in opposition. Docs. 46-47.[1]

         Before addressing the merits of Nurse Davis's Motion, the Court will summarize the relevant undisputed facts giving rise to Ellis's claims.[2]

         1. On December 24, 2014, Ellis was examined by Nurse Davis, the triage duty nurse in the sick call clinic, in response to his sick call request complaining of right ear pain and drainage.[3] During the examination, Ellis also mentioned that he was suffering from an upset stomach and loose stools which Ellis believed was caused by a prescription supplement, alpha lipoic acid.[4] To address Ellis's complaints of abdominal discomfort, Nurse Davis referred Ellis to be seen by a doctor or Advanced Practice Nurse (“APN”). (Ellis Depo., Doc. 43-2 at 15-16; 18-19; Treatment Notes, Doc. 43-1 at p. 2; Davis Aff., Doc. 43-3).

         2. After seeing Ellis on December 24, 2014, Nurse Davis had no further contact with him regarding his medical care. (Doc. 43-3).

         3. After his appointment with Nurse Davis on December 24, 2014, Ellis submitted two sick call requests to “see the doctor.” On January 7, 2015, a non-party LPN responded that Ellis had been referred to see a doctor or APN and was “on the list to be seen.” (Doc. 43-1 at 3-4).

         4. On January 19, 2015, Ellis was examined by a non-party APN, who directed Ellis to discontinue the alpha lipoic acid and ordered Nortriptyline to treat Ellis's complaints of neuropathy. (Ellis Depo., Doc. 43-2 at 35-36; Doc. 43-4).

         5. Nurse Davis does not know why his December 24, 2014 referral of Ellis to see an APN or doctor was not acted upon until January 19, 2015. (Doc. 43-3).

         6. In the medical opinion of Dr. Jeffrey Stieve, the Regional Medical Director for Correct Care Solutions, Ellis's loose stools and upset stomach were caused by him taking alpha lipoic acid, a dietary supplement that needed to be taken with food. According to Dr. Stieve, Ellis's abdominal discomfort did not rise to the level of a serious medical need. (Dr. Stieve Aff., Doc. 43-4, at 1-2). Finally, Dr. Stieve states that the medical care and treatment Nurse Davis provided to Ellis was appropriate and satisfactory for Ellis's complaints during the relevant period of time. (Id.).

         II. ...


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