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Doering v. Kelley

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

March 27, 2018

WENDY KELLEY, Director, Arkansas Department of Correction; et al. DEFENDANTS



         The following recommended disposition has been sent to United States District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. Any party may serve and file written objections to this recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. If the objection is to a factual finding, specifically identify that finding and the evidence that supports your objection. An original and one copy of your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. The copy will be furnished to the opposing party. Failure to file timely objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal questions of fact.

         If you are objecting to the recommendation and also desire to submit new, different, or additional evidence, and to have a hearing for this purpose before the District Judge, you must, at the same time that you file your written objections, include the following:

1. Why the record made before the Magistrate Judge is inadequate.
2. Why the evidence proffered at the hearing (if such a hearing is granted) was not offered at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge.
3. The details of any testimony desired to be introduced at the new hearing in the form of an offer of proof, and a copy, or the original, of any documentary or other non-testimonial evidence desired to be introduced at the new hearing.

         From this submission, the District Judge will determine the necessity for an additional evidentiary hearing. Mail your objections and “Statement of Necessity” to:

Clerk, United States District Court
Eastern District of Arkansas
600 West Capitol Avenue, Suite A149
Little Rock, AR 72201-3325



         Alan Doering (“Plaintiff”), formerly incarcerated at the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) and now incarcerated at the Cummins Unit, filed this action pro se and pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. No. 2.) He alleges Defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, specifically by (1) depriving him of his HIV and blood pressure medications; (2) refusing him drug therapy for hepatitis C; and (3) refusing to renew a “no stairs” prescription.[1] (Id. at 4-5.) Plaintiff seeks monetary damages as well as injunctive relief - specifically, immediate hepatitis C treatment and “steps put into place” to prevent missed medications. (Id. at 6.)

         Defendants Wendy Kelley and Rory Griffin (“the ADC Defendants”), as well as Defendants Correct Care Solutions, Jason Kelley, Stuckey, [2] Powell, [3] and Heather Allen (“the Medical Defendants”), have filed separate Motions for Summary Judgment, contending they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Plaintiff's claims. (Doc. Nos. 59-61, 62-64.) Plaintiff has not responded, and these matters are now ripe for a decision. After careful review, and for the following reasons, I find both Motions for Summary Judgment should be granted and Plaintiff's claims should be dismissed.

         II. FACTS

         Plaintiff has been diagnosed with HIV, hepatitis C, and high blood pressure. (Doc. Nos. 2 at 4, 63 at 3-4.) He is seen regularly in the chronic care clinic for all three issues. (Doc. No. 63 at 4.) He takes three medications for HIV and also takes a blood pressure medication. (Id. at 3-4.) According to the Medical Defendants, Plaintiff's relevant lab values have been below the treatment threshold for hepatitis C, which means he is followed in the chronic care clinic but does not qualify for drug therapy. (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff alleges he is entitled to receive a specific drug with a ninety-eight percent “cure rate” but has been denied this treatment because of its expense. (Doc. No. 2 at 4.) He claims he is suffering irreversible liver damage due to the failure to treat his hepatitis C. (Id.)

         According to Plaintiff's Complaint, he was deprived of his HIV medications and blood pressure medication “for 4 or 5 months in a row for long periods of time.” (Id.) Although he does not provide exact dates of his missed medications, his claims have previously been limited to those raised in three[4] exhausted grievances: (1) on August 25, 2016, he grieved he had been out of his blood pressure medication for eight days; (2) on October 22, 2016, he grieved he had been denied his “life saving” medication and his blood pressure medication for a week; and (3) on November 22, 2016, he grieved he had again gone over a week without his blood pressure medication and his “life saving Sustiva and other medication.” (Doc. No. 43-3 at 8, 12, 18.) Plaintiff alleges the missed medications caused stress, chest pains, nausea, ...

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