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Holt v. Campbell County

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

June 7, 2013

ANTHONY HOLT, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
CAMPBELL COUNTY, KENTUCKY, ET AL., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

WILLIAM O. BERTELSMAN, District Judge.

This is an action by former detainees at the Campbell County Detention Center (CCDC) against the County and Southern Health Partners (SHP) alleging cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments and plaintiffs' civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs also allege state law claims.

This matter is currently before the Court on the motion of the Campbell County defendants for partial summary judgment as to plaintiff, David Weber (Doc. #132), and the motion of Southern Health Partners for summary judgment as to plaintiff, David Weber (Doc. #210).

Having reviewed the parties' supplemental letter briefs (Doc. 242), the Court concludes that oral argument is unnecessary to the resolution of these motions. The Court therefore issues the following Memorandum Opinion and Order.

Factual and Procedural Background

A. Facts Common to All Claims

Since February 1, 2007, the CCDC has had a contract with SHP pursuant to which SHP provides "all professional medical, mental health, dental and related health care and administrative services" for CCDC inmates, including sick call, nursing care, regular and emergency physician care. (Doc. 132-1). SHP, in turn, contracts with a physician and employs nurses to staff the CCDC. These arrangements were in place at all times relevant to this action.

Plaintiffs filed this case on June 17, 2009, as a proposed class action. (Doc. 1). On June 1, 2010, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Class Action Complaint, which is the operative complaint herein. (Doc. 38). Plaintiffs allege that they were denied medical attention for their serious medical needs in violation of their 8th and 14th Amendment rights. (Doc. 38 ¶¶ 331-32). Plaintiffs also allege negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.

On July 9, 2010, this Court denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification. (Doc. 48). Discovery ensued and, after numerous extensions, the pending motions for summary judgment were filed and briefed.

B. Plaintiff David Weber

Plaintiff David Weber ("Weber") was incarcerated at the CCDC from September 12, 2007 to August 6, 2008. Approximately a year before his incarceration, Weber had suffered a work-related ankle sprain for which he had been prescribed Lyrica (a nerve block), Elavil (antidepressant), and Percocet. At the time of booking, Weber reported that he was being treated for nerve damage in his left leg below the knee and drug withdrawal, and he also reported that he had a history of seizures and drug dependency problems. (Doc. 210-3).

The day after he was admitted, Weber submitted a sick call slip complaining of "nerves & panic attack voices every once in a while mind is racing no sleep but very little clostephobic [ sic ]." (Doc. 210-4). The SHP medical staff obtained his medical records, which stated that Weber had a history of "polysubstance" abuse, including opiates; that he "feigned" illness; that he had presented at the St. Elizabeth Medical Center on May 29, 2007, threatening suicide if something was not done about his pain and he became "very hostile and uncooperative" when told that his Percocet would not be continued; that he had been going to various area emergency rooms to get narcotics; and that he was "rather manipulative in regards to his pain condition." (Doc. 210-8, Doc. 132 Exh. 4).

Based on this information and on their examinations of Weber, SHP medical staff provided Weber with over-the-counter pain medications, medication for his seizures which also is used to decrease nerve pain, and, in June 2008, Elavil. Weber submitted numerous sick call requests on various issues, including pain in his left and right leg. He was examined by medical staff, who found no objective indications of abnormalities.

On June 8, 2008, Weber wrote a grievance addressed to Chief Deputy Jim Daley complaining about Nurse Amanda Pangallo's "smart mouth" and the delay in providing him with Tylenol. (Doc. 132-20). Daley requested information from the medical staff and, on June 16, 2008, responded to Weber:

Mr. Weber, I am in receipt of your grievance dated June 8, 2008. Information from your grievance was sent to medical for a response and a response was received on June 10, 2008. The information provided was that you were seen originally on May 29, 2008 and placed on medicine for pain in your leg. Additionally, it is my understanding that you were seen on June 10, 2008 and assessed for further treatment and that you would be put on different medication for pain as necessary.
Concerning the issues you have with medical staff, these concerns were forwarded to the medical department for investigation. I will follow up with the medical supervisor to determine what issues exist and ...

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