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Snellen v. Kennedy

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

April 17, 2018



          Greg N. Stivers, Judge United States District Court.

         This is a pro se civil rights action brought by a pretrial detainee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff Jason Kyle Snellen leave to proceed in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss certain claims but allow Plaintiff the opportunity to amend his complaint.


         Plaintiff is incarcerated at Hardin County Detention Center (HCDC). He brings this action against Defendant Heather Kennedy in her official capacity as a nurse at Southern Health Partners (SHP).

         Plaintiff first states that on November 15, 2017, “I dislocated my left knee, my knee cap was dislodged and located on the side of my leg. Knee cap went back into place after straighting my leg out.” He then alleges that at around 2:00 a.m. the following morning, the swelling in his knee worsened so that he could not walk. At that time, he asked a correctional officer to call “medical.” Plaintiff then writes:

When the nurse came to my pod and looked at my knee, she told [the correctional officer] to the medical room. [The correctional officer] told that nurse I wasn't able to walk, all she said is that she couldn't do anything for me until I was brought to medical. So [the correctional officer] went to get a wheelchair. While at medical, the nurse only asked what happened and took my vitals. She didn't do any joint test on my knee, I was given ibuprofen and an icepack. Around 9:00 a.m. . . . I was taken to medical to take x-ray on my knee. November 19th during morning pill call, [Defendant] Kennedy told me my x-ray said there was nothing wrong with my knee, no swelling, no inflammation, brakes, nor bruising. [Another correctional officer] told her what do you mean you can see in plain sight that his knee is swollen.

         Plaintiff next alleges that on November 26, 27, and 29, 2017, he completed medical requests to be seen for his knee injury. He states that on November 29, 2017, he was “seen by medical, ” and the nurse put him back on ibuprofen, gave him an ice pack, and put him on the list to be seen by the nurse practitioner. Plaintiff states that when he was not seen by the nurse practitioner on December 6, 2017, he completed another medical request form asking why he had not been seen, and that on December 9, 2017, he was “taken to medical” and told the nurse practitioner had said that he “was only to be monitored.” Plaintiff states that he and the nurse again talked about what happened to his knee and she stated that she would put him back on the list to see the nurse practitioner “with a more detailed explanation about my knee.” Plaintiff also states that he was given another ice pack at this time. He then writes that during pill call on this same day, Defendant Kennedy refused to give him another ice pack when he tried to exchange the one he had.

         Plaintiff states that he was “finally seen by the nurse practitioner” on December 13, 2017. During this visit, the nurse practitioner told him she was going to order him a knee brace.

         Plaintiff next writes that on January 5, 2018, approximately “three weeks” after he was told that a knee brace would be ordered for him, he was informed that he had not received a knee brace yet because “they received the wrong knee brace.” Plaintiff then states that on January 6, 2018, he was given a “compression type knee brace that was too small” and then given “another knee brace that fits. But still not the type of support my knee needs.”

         Plaintiff states that on January 10, 2018, he was “taken to medical” after completing another request to be seen. He states that he told the nurse that he wanted to speak to the nurse practitioner, and she told him that she would put him on the list. Plaintiff then writes: “But this makes 8 weeks sense I first injuryed my knee and it is still swollen. I sit here in pain and not knowing what's going on. The nurses don't check on me or monitor me, nor ask about my knee. I still don't have full movement in my knee.”

         Plaintiff next alleges that when he did not see the nurse practitioner on January 18, 2018, he was told that it was because “when I was seen on January 10 my knee had minimal swelling.” Plaintiff then writes: “But my knee is still just as swollen from when the nurse practitioner seen it.”

         On January 25, 2018, Plaintiff alleges that he again “went to medical and talked to a nurse. She told me that there isn't much else they can do for my knee. She said she would talk to the nurse practitioner to try to get me some anti-inflammatory for my knee.”

         Plaintiff then writes that on February 4, 2018, “after 81 days they finally started giving me an anti-inflammatory for the swelling in my knee.” Plaintiff concludes his allegations as follows:

I was told by medical that they won't do anything further with my knee because I dislocated my knee over 4 years ago. But not as bad as I did this time. I have never dislodged my knee cap before. . . . They say the pain is just arthritis. I've had arthritis in both of my knees for many years and know that the pain I have in my knee is not arthritis pain. They never did any ligament tests or scans other than the one x-ray. I still don't get checked or monitored. Nor ...

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