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Proctor v. Foltz

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

January 8, 2019



          Susan O. Hickey United States District Judge

         Before the Court is Defendants Steven Foltz and Steven King's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 27). Plaintiff has filed a Response. (ECF No. 33). The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff, Cecil W. Proctor, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction, North Central Unit. Plaintiff's claims arise from alleged incidents that occurred between November 14, 2017, and November 18, 2017, while incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”). Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are as follows.

         Plaintiff was booked into the custody of the MCDC on November 14, 2017. (ECF No. 29-3, p. 1). Plaintiff arrived at the MCDC with a physician's order which continued his current medications as follows: Aspirin 81 mg PO QD; Amlodipine 10 mg PO QD; Famotidine 20 mg PO BID; Lisinopril 20 mg PO QD; Sulfatrim DS po x 9 days. (ECF No. 29-3, p. 10). Amlodipine and Lisinopril are blood pressure medications. At all times relevant, Southern Health Partners, Inc. was under contract with the MCDC to provide healthcare services to inmates housed there. King was a nurse practitioner employed by Southern Health Partners, Inc., and Foltz was a family nurse practitioner and contracted agent of Southern Health Partners, Inc. (ECF No. 28, p. 3).

         On November 15, 2017, during the daily chronic care clinic, Plaintiff's blood pressure was 80/64. King notified Foltz of Plaintiff's low blood pressure and vitals. In response, Foltz ordered discontinuance of 10 mg of Amlodipine until further notice and “BP checks A2H today and to notify him of the results.” (ECF No. 29-3, p. 2). Plaintiff's blood pressure was checked twice later that day. Plaintiff's blood pressure was 90/70 at 7:00 p.m., and 100/72 at 10:30 p.m. (ECF No. 29-3, p. 17).

         On November 16, 2017, Plaintiff was administered Lisinopril 20 mg at 8:00 a.m. as prescribed. His blood pressure reading was 108/72 at 8:45 a.m. On November 17, 2017, Plaintiff was administered his morning dose of Lisinopril 20 mg as prescribed. (ECF No. 29-1, p. 2). Later that morning, Plaintiff collapsed and was admitted to Wadley Regional Medical Center for syncope. Syncope is the sudden loss of consciousness, or fainting. Plaintiff was discharged from Wadley Regional Medical Center on November 18, 2017, with the diagnosis of hypotension, or abnormally low blood pressure. Id. Over the course of November and December of 2017, the nursing staff performed daily blood pressure checks on Plaintiff. (ECF No. 29-2, p. 2).

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on March 31, 2018. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges Defendants denied him adequate medical care when they “overmedicated” him causing his blood pressure to drop and loss of consciousness. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges:

I was taken to Wadley [regional] medical Center, they ran test and Dr. Wong (attending physician Doctor) Told me my Blood pressure Was too Low, Miller County Nurse is at fault for over medicating me & having a near death experience. I was admitted to Wadley regional medical center overnight due to being over medicated between the Hours of [approximately] 9:00am and 11:00 am the morning of Nov-17-2017…

(ECF No. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff sues Defendants in their official and individual capacities and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

         On October 4, 2018, Defendants filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment arguing they are entitled to summary judgment because: (1) they were not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs; and (2) no policy of Southern Health Partners, Inc. caused Plaintiff to suffer any unconstitutional harm. (ECF Nos. 27; 28). Plaintiff filed a Response to Defendants' motion reiterating his claim for denial of medical care and claiming Defendants also retaliated against him and charged him an unlawful co-pay for medical treatment. (ECF No. 33). The claims of retaliation and unlawful co-pay are not properly before this Court.[2] Therefore, only the claim regarding inadequate medical care will be addressed.


         Summary judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, the record “shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). “Once a party moving for summary judgment has made a sufficient showing, the burden rests with the non-moving party to set forth specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists.” Nat'l Bank of Comm. v. Dow Chem. Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607 (8th Cir. 1999).

         The non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. “They must show there is sufficient evidence to support a jury verdict in their favor.” Nat'l Bank, 165 F.3d at 607 (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). “A case founded on speculation or suspicion is insufficient to survive a motion for summary judgment.” Id. (citing Metge v. Baehler, 762 F.2d 621, 625 (8th Cir. 1985)). “When opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable ...

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