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Proctor v. King

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

January 10, 2019

CECIL WAYNE PROCTOR PLAINTIFF
v.
STEVEN KING and CHELSEY FOSTER DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          SUSAN O. HICKEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendants Steven King and Chelsey Foster's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 20). Plaintiff Cecil Wayne Proctor has filed a response. (ECF No. 29). Defendants have not filed a reply and their time to do so has passed. See Local Rule 7.2(b). The Court finds the matter ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction, North Central Unit in Calico Rock, Arkansas. However, the allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint concern matters that occurred while he was incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center in Texarkana, Arkansas. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff asserts two claims of deliberate indifference in relation to two alleged incidents: one occurring in November 2017 when Plaintiff allegedly received an inappropriate dosage of blood pressure medication, and the other occurring in January 2018 when Defendants allegedly failed to give him adequate medical care related to his scrotum. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff proceeds against Defendants in both their individual and official capacities. Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are as follows.

         Plaintiff was booked into the Miller County Detention Center on November 14, 2017. The initial physician's order dated November 14, 2017, continued Plaintiff's then-current medications, including “Aspirin 81mg PO QD; Amlodipine 10 mg PO QD; Famotidine 20 mg PO BID; Lisinopril 20 mg PO QD; and Sulfatrim DS po x 9 days.”[1] (ECF No. 22-3 at 4).

         On November 15, 2017, during a routine check, Plaintiff's blood pressure was noted as 80/64. (ECF Nos. 22-2; 22-3 at 3, 5). Following the blood pressure check, Nurse Practitioner Steven Foltz (“Nurse Practitioner Foltz”)[2] ordered the Amlodipine 10 mg to be held until further notice. (ECF Nos. 22-2; 22-3 at 4). Plaintiff's blood pressure was checked two more times on November 15, 2017, and the readings were 90/70 at 7:00 p.m. and 100/72 at 10:30 p.m. (ECF Nos. 22-2; 22-3 at 5).

         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. (ECF Nos. 22-2; 22-3 at 5). On the morning of November 17, 2017, Plaintiff was administered Lisinopril 20 mg as prescribed. (ECF No. 22-2). Later that morning, Plaintiff was admitted to Wadley Regional Medical Center for syncope[3] and collapse. On November 18, 2017, Plaintiff was discharged with a diagnosis of hypotension. (ECF Nos. 22-2 at 2; 22-3 at 6).

         Plaintiff's medical records reflect that all medications were administered as prescribed from November 15, 2017, through November 18, 2017. (ECF No. 22-3 at 12-15). Plaintiff's medical records further reflect that Defendant King administered Plaintiff's Lisinopril on the mornings of November 15-17, 2018. (ECF No. 22-3 at 13). Defendant King did not have authority to change Plaintiff's prescription orders and could not direct that blood pressure medications be started or stopped. (ECF No. 22-2 at 2).

         On January 24, 2018, Plaintiff submitted a medical request to be seen at sick call for an irritated scrotum. (ECF No. 22-3 at 23). Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Foster at nurse call on January 24, 2018, at approximately 8:27 p.m. (ECF Nos. 22-1; 22-3 at 23). Defendant Foster noted in Plaintiff's medical chart that Plaintiff said his scrotum was irritated, but that she did not see anything. Plaintiff states that he told Defendant Foster that he thought he had been bitten. (ECF No. 1 at 4). Plaintiff states that he also told Defendant Foster that he had a hole in the bottom of his scrotum and that it “was bleeding with pus coming out.” (ECF No. 1 at 5). Defendant Foster placed Plaintiff on the doctor list to be seen by other medical staff. Plaintiff's medical records further note that Plaintiff told Defendant Foster that he previously had surgery on his scrotum on December 12, 2016, due to an infection. (ECF No. 22-3 at 23).

         At some unspecified time on January 25, 2018, and January 26, 2018, Plaintiff asked Defendant King to send him to the emergency room for treatment of his scrotal wound. Defendant King knew that Plaintiff was scheduled to see Nurse Practitioner Foltz on January 26, 2018 for the same issue, so he deferred treatment to Nurse Practitioner Foltz and did not send Plaintiff to the emergency room. (ECF No. 22-2 at 2).

         On January 26, 2018, Plaintiff was seen at doctor's call by Nurse Practitioner Foltz. (ECF Nos. 22-3 at 27; 29-1 at 64). At that time, Nurse Practitioner Foltz noted an abscess on Plaintiff's scrotum and sent him to the emergency room for evaluation. (ECF No. 22-3 at 27). That same day, Plaintiff was admitted to Wadley Hospital with an admitting diagnosis of scrotal cellulitis/scrotal abscess. (ECF No. 23-3 at 28). A procedure was performed which involved incision and drainage of the scrotal abscess. (ECF No. 23-3 at 29).

         Plaintiff was discharged on January 29, 2018, with instructions to keep his incision dry. (ECF No. 23-3 at 28). Plaintiff was proscribed clindamycin HCI 300 mg, three times a day for eight days. Plaintiff was further instructed to flush the scrotal wound with 50 cc of hydrogen peroxide, rinse with 50 - 100 cc of sterile water, and apply Neosporin antibiotic ointment and redress daily until the cavity closed. (ECF No. 23-3 at 33-36). Plaintiff submitted a medical request on January 30, 2018, asking for “medicated cream for wound after shower.” He was seen by Defendant Foster following his request. (ECF No. 23-3 at 37).

         At all times relevant, both Defendant King and Defendant Foster were employees of Southern Health Partners, Inc. At all times relevant, Southern Health Partners, Inc. was under contract with Miller County, Arkansas, to provide healthcare services to inmates housed at the Miller County Detention Center. (ECF Nos. 22-1; 22-2). As nurses, neither Defendant Foster nor Defendant King could prescribe antibiotics or other any other medications. (ECF Nos. 22-1 at 2; 22-2 at 2).

         On September 14, 2018, Defendants filed the instant motion for summary judgment, arguing that they are entitled to summary judgment on ...


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