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Clay v. Correct Care Solutions LLC

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

July 19, 2018

BRIAN MORLANTHUS CLAY, ADC #119898 PLAINTIFF
v.
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, LLC; AMY L. ROWLAND; ARIC WADE SIMMONS; BRETT BUTLER; and TAMMY LYNE KIMBLE DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         The following Recommended Disposition (''Recommendation'') has been sent to United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright. 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 Wright 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

         Brian Morlanthus Clay (“Clay”) is a type 2 diabetic who takes insulin injections to control his blood sugar levels. He has filed this pro se ' 1983 action alleging that, while he was confined in the Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”), Defendants Correct Care Solutions, LLC (“CCS”), Dr. Brett Butler (“Dr. Butler”), Advance Practice Nurse Aric Wade Simmons (“APRN Simmons”); Health Services Administrator Amy Rowland (“HSA Rowland”), and Director of Nursing Don Kimble (“Nursing Director Kimble”) violated his constitutional rights by failing to provide him with adequate medical care for diabetes and neuropathy. Doc. 2. Clay seeks $50, 000 in compensatory damages and $25, 000 in punitive damages against each Defendant.[1] Id.

         Defendants have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the merits of Clay's inadequate medical care claim, a Brief in Support, and a Statement of Undisputed Facts. Docs. 74, 75, & 76. Clay has filed a Declaration in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, a Response, a Brief in Support, a Response to Statement of Facts, and a Statement of Facts. Docs. 91, 92, 93, 94 & 95.

         Before addressing the merits of the Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court will summarize the relevant undisputed facts giving rise to Clay's inadequate medical care claim:[2]

         1. In February of 2015, Clay was transferred from the Tucker Maximum Security Unit to the East Arkansas Regional unit. (Doc. 2, ¶ 18).

         2. On February 17, 2015, Dr. Butler changed Clay's insulin from Humalog R to Humulin R. Dr. Butler made this change despite Clay informing him that he believed he had experienced “adverse effects” from Humulin R in the past, which allegedly led another doctor to change his insulin from Humulin R to Humalog R. (Doc. 2, ¶ 19).

         3. While Clay believes that he is allergic to Humulin R, he acknowledges that no doctor has ever diagnosed him as having an allergy to Humulin R. (Clay depo., Doc. 76-2, Exh. B, at 22-23)

         4. Clay testified in his deposition that, if he takes Humulin R, he experiences side effects “[w]ithin a month's time” which include coughing, asthma, and loss of appetite. (Clay Depo., Doc. 76-2, Exh. B at 3-6). No. medical evidence supports Clay's subjective belief that these “side effects” are caused by taking Humulin R.

         5. Because of his belief that he is allergic to Humulin R, Clay refused to take the Humulin R that Dr. Butler prescribed in February of 2015. (Clay depo., Doc. 76-2, Exh. B, at 23).

         6. On April 2, 2015, Dr. Butler changed Clay's insulin from Humulin R to Novolin R to “pacify” Clay and stop his complaints that he believed he was allergic to Humulin R. Dr. Butler did not believe it was medically necessary to make this change in Clay's insulin; nor did he believe Clay was allergic to Humulin R. When he prescribed Novolin-R for Clay, Dr. Butler was unaware there would be future issues keeping it in stock. (Med. Records, Doc. 76-1, Exh. A at 4; Butler Decl., Doc. 76-4, Exh. D at 2; Clay Depo., Doc. 76-2, Exh. B at 23).

         7. On April 24, 2015, Dr. Butler wrote an order, at Clay's request, changing the timing of Clay's neurontin medication to a morning dose.[3] Clay complained that the four days it took Dr. Butler to respond to Clay's written request was too long. (Doc. 34, Exh. A at 30-32).

         8. On July 27, 2015, Clay was treated by APRN Simmons. During his appointment, Clay requested APRN Simmons to change his insulin regimen to three shots a day. After evaluating Clay's condition, APRN Simmons made the medical decision to keep Clay on a regimen of two insulin shots per day. (Simmons Decl., Doc. 76-5, Exh. E at 1-2).

         9. On a number of dates between September 11 and October 22 of 2015, Novolin R was unavailable when Clay appeared for pill call. However, on all of those dates, Humulin R was available and it was offered to Clay in lieu of Novolin R.[4] Clay consistently refused to take Humulin R in place of Novolin R. (Clay depo., Doc. 76-2, Exh. B, at 19; Kimble decl., Doc. 76-3, Exh. C at 1).

         10. In addition to offering Clay Humulin R when Novolin R was unavailable, CCS's Nursing Director Kimble continuously tried to explain to Clay that Novolin R and Humulin R were interchangeable.[5] (Kimble Decl., Doc. 76-3, Exh. C at 1; Simmons Decl., Doc. 76-5, Exh. E at 3; Clay Depo., Doc. 76-2, Exh. B at 21).

         11. Despite the ongoing educational efforts of Nursing Director Kimble, and other members of CCS's medical staff, Clay refused to receive the offered injections of Humulin R to treat his diabetes. Clay also skipped meals in an effort to manage his blood sugars. (Kimble ...


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