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Odom v. Hiland

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

May 23, 2013

GLENN D. ODOM, II, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. STEVE HILAND et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

THOMAS B. RUSSELL, District Judge.

Pro Se Plaintiff, Glenn D. Odom, II, proceeding in forma pauperis, has filed an amended complaint (DN 25).[1] This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997).[2] For the reasons set forth below, the following claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 will proceed: (1) the individual capacity claims against Defendants Chanin and Steve Hiland for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical need in violation of the Eighth Amendment; and (2) the claim against Defendant Crall in his official capacity for prospective injunctive relief alleging an unconstitutional informal Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP) policy of denying African American inmates in segregation examinations and treatment given to Caucasian inmates. All other claims and Defendants will be dismissed from this action.

I.

Plaintiff brings this action against the following five Defendants: (1) Dr. Steve Hiland, a medical doctor at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP); (2) Chanin Hiland, presently a nurse practitioner at Western Kentucky Correctional Complex (WKCC);[3] (3) Doug Crall, the Medical Director for the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC); (4) Terri Jones, a nurse at KSP; and (5) Randy White, the Warden of KSP. Plaintiff sues each Defendant in his or her individual capacity. In addition, he sues Defendant Crall in his official capacity also. The relief Plaintiff seeks is compensatory damages, punitive damages, various kinds of injunctive and declaratory relief, recovery of the costs of this action, and additional relief that the Court deems "just, proper, and equitable."

In his complaint Plaintiff alleges the following claims: (1) deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) racial discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981(c); (3) violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101; (4) violation of the Rehabilitation Act (RA), 29 U.S.C. § 794; and (5) negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) and (4).

Plaintiff alleges that he has an ongoing problem with blood dripping from his penis. He states that he sustained an injury to his scrotum on December 8, 2011, which "may or may not be the cause of his penis dripping blood." Plaintiff states that he "may have cancer, a hernia, bleeding ulcer, or a bladder/kidney infection." He "does not know the cause of the bleeding and pain and Dr. Steve Hiland simply (and cleary) does not care to find out." Thereafter, Plaintiff breaks his complaint into sections in which he addresses the alleged wrongful allegations against four of the Defendants[4] and sets forth the basis upon which he alleges racial and disability discrimination.[5]

Chanin Hiland

As to Defendant Chanin Hiland, Plaintiff states that he stopped her on March 20, 2012, during segregation sick call rounds and told her that "his penis is dripping blood." According to Plaintiff, Defendant Chanin Hiland did not ask him any questions about his problem nor did she perform any type of physical examination. However, three hours later an "LPN gave plaintiff a urine test which the results were negative." Plaintiff states that he filed a grievance about this situation because he had not been dripping blood for "several days." He contends that had Defendant Chanin Hiland asked him some questions about his symptoms she would have found this out and concluded that a urine test was unnecessary because it would "show no signs of blood." According to Plaintiff, "[o]n a later date plaintiff had blood in his boxers and sheets and stopped Chanin Hiland to show her the bleeding. Chanin Hiland then carelessly kept walking and stated theres nothing wrong with you in that area.'" Plaintiff states that Defendants Chanin Hiland and Steve Hiland "have a continuous habit of conducting no exams on segregation inmates regardless of the severity of a problem."

Dr. Steve Hiland

According to Plaintiff he stopped Defendant Steve Hiland during a segregation round and explained that his penis was still dripping blood and he was having minor aches. Plaintiff states that Defendant Steve Hiland asked Plaintiff what was wrong and why his penis was bleeding. Plaintiff states he showed Defendant Hiland "a prior M.D.'s note recommending an ultrasound if problems continued." According to Plaintiff, Defendant Hiland responded, "I'll ask for an ultrasound but I don't know if they'll' approve it." Plaintiff states that on the next rounds he told Defendant Steve Hiland that he had "pain and bleeding after ejaculation." According to Plaintiff, Defendant Hiland responded, "thats perfectly normal. Trust me, I've been doing this for over 30 years." Plaintiff states that the following week he "woke from sleep with blood in his sheets and boxers"; he had Nurse Scott Tebow document this occurrence. Subsequently, Plaintiff states that he "began to show Dr. Steve Hiland blood in his underwear and sheets and Dr. Hiland would make comments such as drink more water' and I'm sick of this guy.'" Plaintiff continues, "After many occurances of showing Steve Hiland actual blood, nurses documenting bloody boxers and sheets, and nurse Scott Tebow, personally, going to Dr. Hiland expressing that plaintiff is in pain and is, in fact, bleeding S. Hiland refuses to treat plaintiff or give him a simple examination."

According to Plaintiff, on July 19, 2012, he had bloody drainage. He showed "Sgt. McGee and ofc. Davenport blood on his left thigh, blood in his uretha, bloody boxers, and also clotty blood traces in his urine." Plaintiff states that McGee and Davenport called Defendants Jones and Steve Hiland and informed them about this occurrence. Plaintiff states that Defendant Steve Hiland told McGee and Davenport that he would see Plaintiff the following day. However, according to Plaintiff, Defendant Steve Hiland "never came and refuse to log this phone call." Plaintiff states that he continued to experience pain and bleeding. According to Plaintiff he stopped Defendant Steve Hiland during segregation rounds on July 25, 2012, and informed him of the pain and bleeding. Plaintiff "held his bloody boxers up to the window and begged Dr. Hiland for treatment and pain medicine." Plaintiff states that he also told Dr. Hiland "if I ejaculated or urinated right now you will clearly see blood." According to Plaintiff, Dr. Hiland asked Plaintiff not do to that and walked off. Plaintiff states that Defendant Jones responded "if you stop us one more time I'm gonna write you up! Everytime you stop us thats $3.00." Plaintiff states "[t]o this very day [he] is experiencing minor aches and major pains (at times), burning while urination, and his penis is still dripping blood for no apparent reason(s)."

Plaintiff contends that Dr. Hiland has been neglecting his patients for 25 years. He further states that he has written the "Warden seeking help" and "the KY. Board of Medical Licensure seeking help."

Doug Crall

As to this Defendant, Plaintiff states that he has filed many grievances and appealed many grievances in which he expressed that Defendants Chanin Hiland and Steve Hiland "are refusing to pull inmates out of their cells just because they are housed in segregation." Plaintiff "also explained that some inmates are expressing major problems and both Hilands are relentlessly refusing to pull them out of their cells. This is being done to save time and many inmates are suffering due to this informal policy." According to another section of the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Steve and Chanin Hiland "are doing for whites (and others) but not doing for blacks." Further, according to the complaint, the African American inmates in segregation are not pulled from their cells to be examined and treated whereas the Caucasian inmates in segregation are taken out of their cells, examined, and treated. Plaintiff contends that Defendant Crall has knowledge of Plaintiff's problem with his penis and knowledge that "inmates have died at the hands of Chanin and Steve Hiland, " yet he has upheld this informal policy of not pulling the African American inmates in segregation out of their cells to be examined and treated. Plaintiff contends that this informal policy is against "K.S.P policies and C.P.P policy."

Terri Jones

Plaintiff states that Defendant Jones was "well aware that plaintiff's penis was dripping blood." According to Plaintiff, Defendant Jones refused to document "seeing plaintiff's bloody boxers and sheets" and "retaliated against plaintiff and threatened to write him up if he continued to complain about his bleeding."

II.

When a prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of it, if it determines that the complaint is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A; McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d at 604. A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The trial court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Id. at 327. In order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

"[A] district court must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true." Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)). "But the district court need not accept a bare assertion of legal conclusions.'" Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995)). The court's duty "does not require [it] to conjure up unpled allegations, " McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a claim for a plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise would require the Court "to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the ...


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