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Martin v. Smith

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

July 12, 2019

Jesse L. MARTIN PLAINTIFF
v.
Dr. Kevin SMITH, et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge

         I. Introduction

         This case is before the Court on the Defendants' motion for summary judgment. DN 56. Plaintiff responded (DN 63) and Defendants replied (DN 68). Therefore, this matter is ripe for review. Finding that Plaintiff's claims fail on the merits, the Court will grant the motion for summary judgment on all claims remaining in the complaint.

         II. Factual Background and Procedural History

         At all times relevant to this lawsuit, Plaintiff Jesse L. Martin was a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (“LMDC”) in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He claims that he was not provided proper medical treatment by Defendants-Dr. Kevin Smith and Nurse Brenda Junk[1]-during his detention, giving rise to his claims of negligence and a Fourteenth Amendment violation. Specifically, he claims Smith had scheduled an x-ray that was not conducted, that he was subjected to a colonoscopy when he was supposed to receive an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (“EGD”), that he was treated by nurse practitioners instead of doctors, that there was a delay in responses to his health service requests, and that employees were not properly trained.

         In response, Defendants have produced Martin's medical records. See DN 54 (sealed). The Defendants summarize the pertinent medical entries chronologically. DN 56 at 3-6. Martin does not object to the accuracy of this recitation or the records themselves. Having reviewed Martin's entire medical record, the Court adopts the Defendants' recitation (with minor edits for clarity) as representing the undisputed history of Martin's medical treatment while at LMDC:

Jan. 13, 2017: Martin submitted a Healthcare Request form indicating “acute abdomen pain is not getting any better. In alot [sic] of pain.” The triage nurse noted that Martin was scheduled to see the doctor on January 24, 2017. DN 54 at 10.
Jan. 19, 2017: Nursing evaluated Martin due to complaints of acute abdominal pain made on January 13, 2017. The nurse noted that Martin was scheduled for an appointment with the doctor on January 24, 2017, but that she would follow-up with the doctor on call regarding Martin's condition. Id. at 11.
Jan. 24, 2017: Martin is evaluated by Dr. Smith with complaints of groin pain and pain with urination. Dr. Smith noted that Martin made “no mention of rectal bleeding” and was not in distress. Dr. Smith took vitals, ordered lab work and advised Martin to follow-up in two weeks. Dr. Smith also advised Martin that he would obtain Martin's records from his recent ER visit to the University of Louisville (“Uof L”) hospital. Martin's weight was documented at 160 lbs. Id. at 12.
February 28, 2017: Martin is re-evaluated by Dr. Smith, who noted that Martin reported a 5-6 month history of nausea and vomiting and occasional rectal pain. Dr. Smith noted that he received Martin's Uof L records and that they revealed “no significant abnormal findings.” Dr. Smith noted Martin was in no distress, but looked pale. A urine sample was normal. Dr. Smith noted that, in spite of the purported vomiting, Martin's weight had been stable at 160 lbs. for one month. Dr. Smith ordered Zofran (a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting) and testing including a complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, and an x-ray of his kidneys, ureters, and bladder. He advised Martin to return in two weeks for a genitourinary/rectal examination. Id. at 13-14.
March 10, 2017: Martin submitted a Healthcare Request form indicating that his medications were not working and that he still has acute abdominal pain. The triage nurse placed a call to the provider for new orders and referred him to the physician. Id. at 15.
March 11, 2017: Martin is evaluated by the gastroenterology clinic. He is noted to be constipated, with a soft, distended abdomen. He is noted not to have gastroesophageal reflux disease, but instead, an inguinal hernia. Martin was prescribed Bisacodyl for constipation and referred to the provider. Id. at 16-25.
March 14, 2017: Martin was again evaluated by Dr. Smith for GU/rectal exam and to discuss lab work, which was normal. Martin indicated his nausea and vomiting was resolving and Dr. Smith noted that his weight was stable (even increasing) at 163 lbs. Dr. Smith ordered iron, ferritin (iron testing), repeat lab work, repeat rectal exam and consider colonoscopy. Martin was scheduled for follow-up in four weeks. Id. at 25-26.
April 11, 2017: Martin refused to attend his follow-up appointment with Dr. Smith. Id. at 27-28.
April 20, 2017: Martin submitted a Healthcare Request form to medical with complaints of acute abdominal pain. The triage nurse noted that Martin missed two separate doctor's appointments, but would schedule an appointment for a third time. Id. at 29-30.
May 30, 2017: Martin is evaluated by RN Marvanna Juberg who noted that Martin had abdominal pain and difficulty keeping food down. The RN referred Martin to the medical provider. Id. at 31-32.
June 27, 2017: Martin is evaluated by APRN Pamela Taylor with complaints of abdominal pain and difficulty keeping food/liquids down. APRN Taylor referred Martin to a gastrointestinal (“GI”) specialist. Id. at 33-34.
July 4, 2017, July 13, 2017: Martin submitted Healthcare Request forms indicating his continued complaints of difficulty keeping food down and occasional pain. The triage nurse informed Martin that he had a scheduled GI appointment coming up (she could not tell him when due to safety concerns); Martin did not want to be seen regarding his complaints. Id. at 35-37.
July 28, 2017: Martin submitted a Healthcare Request form regarding rash on his shoulders and chest. The triage nurse evaluated Martin and diagnosed him as having hives. Martin was prescribed hydroxyzine. Id. at 38-40. Martin refused to take the ...

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