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Hudson v. Grider

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

January 17, 2019

PATRICK SHAWN HUDSON, PLAINTIFF
v.
GINGY GRIDER et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Joseph H. McKinley Jr., District Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Patrick Shawn Hudson filed the instant pro se prisoner complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 proceeding in forma pauperis. Plaintiff alleged that he had been denied proper mental health treatment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Upon initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007), the Court allowed Plaintiff's individual and official-capacity claims to continue against Defendants Gingy Grider, a mental health care provider at Green River Correctional Complex (GRCC); Denise Burket, the Medical Director at the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR); Dawn Patterson, a Health Service Administrator at the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC); and Christy Jolly, an Administrative Specialist at KDOC.

         This matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff's amended complaint (DN 28). The Court construes the filing as a motion to amend the complaint and GRANTS the motion. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2).

         The Court must undertake initial review of the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d at 604. Upon initial review of the amended complaint, it is evident that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, and the Court will dismiss the action.

         I.

         The amended complaint generally restates the allegations of the complaint but provides greater detail and attaches medical records. Plaintiff names the same four Defendants in the caption of the amended complaint as he named in the original complaint. He sues them in both their individual and official capacities. He states that Grider, Burkett, Patterson, and Jolly “are responsible for inmates medical needs in Kentucky Department of Corrections . . . Bound by duty and a moral & ethical obligation.” (Ellipses used by Plaintiff). In addition, he states that he wishes to “include heads of administration such as the warden, director, commissioner, superintendent, etc. who are leagally responsible for the over all operation of departments and each institution under its jurisdiction.”

         Plaintiff states, “Due to inadiquate staffing, and a lack of compassion, it took over a month to get to see the OPS provider Gingy Grider.” He asserts, “Prior to meeting and talking to me on 8-16-17, Gingy Grider proscribed me medication that is harmful and dangerous for me (Prozac 20 mg).” He continues, “When I finally got to see OPS Grider she was very cynical, unkind, and unprofessional in her evaluation and comments and sugestions.” He states that Grider “refused to accept my sugestions or believe my account of my mental health history and treatment.” He reports that Grider offered to prescribe him medications “like Raspiritol, Lythium, thorazine . . . . Dangerous and inapropriate medicens . . . . Instead of/rejecting the medication sugestions of my ‘actual' doctors that I gave account of.” (Ellipses used by Plaintiff). He states that no attempt was made to obtain his medical records to show his history of treatment.

         Plaintiff further states, “My follow up apointments were/have been put off 30, 60, and 90 days at a time with no reguard of my ongoing symtoms.” He asserts, “As a result of my untreated (unproperly treated) mental illness, I have experienced a kind of nervous breakdown and an increase in the depression and anxiety symtoms I struggle with and suffer from. My frustration & despair is often unbarable.” Plaintiff attaches medical records, which he states “verify” his factual allegations. He states that he used the grievance process at GRCC and was sent a response stating that the grievance had been resolved but that was untrue.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and punitive damages in the amount of $1.00.

         II.

         An Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference to a prisoner's medical needs has both an objective and a subjective component. The objective component requires the existence of a sufficiently serious medical need. Turner v. City of Taylor, 412 F.3d 629, 646 (6th Cir. 2005). To satisfy the subjective component, the defendant must possess a “sufficiently culpable state of mind, ” rising above negligence or even gross negligence and being “tantamount to intent to punish.” Horn by Parks v. Madison Cty. Fiscal Court, 22 F.3d 653, 660 (6th Cir. 1994). Put another way, “[a] prison official acts with deliberate indifference if he knows of a substantial risk to an inmate's health, yet recklessly disregards the risk by failing to take reasonable measures to abate it.” Taylor v. Boot, 58 Fed.Appx. 125, 126 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 527, 837-47 (1994)).

         Where a prisoner has received some medical attention and the dispute is over the adequacy of the treatment, federal courts are generally reluctant to second guess medical judgments. Westlake v. Lucas, 537 F.2d 857, 860 n.5 (6th Cir. 1976).

We distinguish between cases where the complaint alleges a complete denial of medical care and those cases where the claim is that a prisoner received inadequate medical treatment. Where a prisoner has received some medical attention and the dispute is over the adequacy of the treatment, federal courts are generally reluctant to second guess medical judgments and to constitutionalize claims which sound in state tort law.

Id. Thus, a court generally will not find deliberate indifference when some level of medical care has been offered to the inmate. Christy v. Robinson, 216 F.Supp.2d 398, 413-14 (D.N.J. 2002). Mere disagreement over medical treatment between an inmate and prison medical personnel cannot give rise to a constitutional claim of deliberate indifference. Durham v. Nu'Man, 97 F.3d 862, 869 (6th Cir. 1996). An inmate's disagreement with medical staff over the proper medical treatment ÔÇťalleges no more than a medical malpractice claim, which is a tort actionable in state court, but ...


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