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Flanders v. Correct Care Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division

April 15, 2019

ROBERT FLANDERS PLAINTIFF
v.
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, LLC, et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

         Pro se Plaintiff Robert Flanders filed this civil action in state court. Defendants Correct Care Solutions, LLC, and Dr. Lester Lewis removed the action to this Court. Because Plaintiff is a prisoner suing government officials, the Court must screen the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915A. McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the following reasons, this case will be dismissed.

         I. STATEMENT OF CLAIMS

         Plaintiff is a prisoner at the Green River Correctional Complex (GRCC). He states that after a stroke in 2006 he lost all hearing in his right ear except for a non-stop, loud ringing. In 2013, he was put on the pain medication Baclofen, which worked for him. He states that when Defendant Lewis took the place of the prior doctor at GRCC he discontinued the Baclofen and that since then Plaintiff has had numbing and tingling pain every night and sometimes throughout the day. He states that the only medication that Defendant Lewis instructed the nurse practitioner to give to him was nortriptyline, which Plaintiff states “was of no use or help” to him.

         Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Lewis denied his request for a “masking device” for his tinnitus. He states:

The Correct Care Solutions does not have a tinnitus retraining therapy center which is why Doctor Lester Lewis is so possative this will not work for [Plaintiff]. But in my case this is not what I asked for. [Plaintiff] asked for a masking device which are small electronic devices that use sound to make tinnitus less noticeable, or seem softer, ‘according to the response letter [Plaintiff] received from the C.D.C. centers for disease control[.]”

         Plaintiff asks for declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and monetary and punitive damages.

         Plaintiff attaches a number of documents to his complaint. One of these documents is a Kentucky Department of Corrections note dated December 6, 2012, regarding “hearing loss/tinnitus.” That note stated, “Please inform the pt that all efforts have been exhausted from medical's end and that his condition is permanent.”

         Also included in those attachments is a medical progress note by Defendant Lewis dated June 13, 2018. That note stated that Plaintiff gave Defendant Lewis:

A news clip . . . for the sound therapy recommendation. Also complains of needed his muscle relaxer and how it solved all of his complaints. I explained that this was for short term therapy and his dependence on the medication was a problem and further evidence that alternative treatment is needed. He does not want any other muscle relaxer and will not accept any short term use of Baclofen to address his problems in order to get through particularly bad times.

         That note continued in the “assessments” portion, “Tinnitis, dependence on Baclofen (at least psychological dependence), ” and in the “Treatment” portion it noted, “[r]eview literature on management of tinnitus, try to further assess muscuskeletal complaint. Will present case to TLOC for disposition.”

         Plaintiff also attaches a response from Defendant Lewis dated June 11, 2018, to a grievance from Plaintiff. In that response, Defendant Lewis states that Plaintiff's “determination of Baclofen as the answer to all of his issues, is not consistent with the efficacy of the medication.” He states that Baclofen is “used on a short term basis for acute injuries or for exacerbations of chronic conditions during difficult times but not a medication to take for years. I was not responsible for starting him and cannot account for the use of the medication for years by other providers.” He further states:

I cannot attest to effectiveness of any Tinnitus retraining therapy provided by any Center due to variability of the center protocols. The dependency on Baclofen is not an appropriate therapeutic approach and this individual is so focused on a specific therapy that he will not accept any discussion to the contrary.

         II. ...


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