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Barnett v. Curtis

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

December 6, 2017

JAMES ANTHONY BARNETT, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
DR. CLIFFORD CURTIS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the court on defendant's motion for summary judgment (DE 30). The issues raised have been fully briefed and are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants defendant's motion.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         On March 2, 2016, plaintiff, a state inmate, filed this civil rights action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting a claim of deliberate indifference to his medical needs. (Complaint (DE 1)). On July 7, 2016, the court completed its frivolity review and ordered that the case proceed. (DE 13). On April 26, 2017, defendant filed the instant motion for summary judgment, including a memorandum in support of their motion, statement of material facts, and the following exhibits: affidavit of Dr. Clifford Curtis (“defendant”), movement log and movement records, and 93 sets medical records covering treatment received by plaintiff from February 18, 2015 to March 2, 2016 (“applicable time period”). Plaintiff filed a response in opposition on June 22, 2017.[1]

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

         The undisputed facts are as follows. Plaintiff is an inmate at Warren Correctional Institution (“Warren”). During the applicable time period, plaintiff was treated by defendant and by numerous other medical care providers at Warren, Rex Hospital, Maria Parham Emergency Room, Central Prison Urgent Care/Emergency Department, Granville Medical Center, and Central Prison Mental Health.[2]

         Just prior to the applicable time period, medical care providers approved orders for defendant to receive prescriptions of oxycodone for management of pain associated with priaspism among other medications.[3] (Def.'s Aff. (DE 32-1) at 3-4). On February 6, 2015, defendant was transferred Rex Hospital and was diagnosed with a Tegretol overdose as a means to “get attention.”[4] (Id. at 4). Physicians at Rex Hospital discontinued plaintiff's use of oxycodone, among other medications and no pain medication was prescribed at discharge. (Id. at 5-6).

         During the applicable time period, plaintiff was treated at the following facilities, the following days, for the following reasons:

2/18/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Inability to urinate
2/23/2015
Central Prison Urgent Care/Emergency Department
Inability to urinate
3/12/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Complications due to hunger strike
3/17/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Inability to urinate
3/18/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Complications due to hunger strike
3/19/2015
Central Prison Urgent Care/Emergency Department
Complications due to hunger strike
3/20/2015
Central Prison Urgent Care/Emergency Department
Complications due to hunger strike
3/20/15 - 3/27/15
Central Prison Mental Health Admission
Complications due to hunger strike
6/22/2015
Granville Medical Center
Swallowing pills
7/3/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Inability to urinate
7/10/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Inability to urinate
7/12/2015
Central Prison Urgent Care/Emergency Department
Complications due to hunger strike
7/12/15 - 8/4/15
Central Prison Mental Health Admission
Complications due to hunger strike
8/12/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Swallowing pills
8/13/15 - 8/25/15
Central Prison Mental Health Admission
Swallowing pills
9/26/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Complications due to hunger strike
9/27/15 - 9/29/15
Central Prison Mental Health Admission
Complications due to hunger strike
10/5/2015
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Complications due to hunger strike
10/7/15 - 11/4/15
Central Prison Mental Health Admission
Complications due to hunger strike
2/16/2013
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Inability to urinate
2/18/2016
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Inability to urinate
2/26/2016
Maria Parham Emergency Department
Inability to urinate

(Def.'s Aff. (DE 32-1) at 79-80; Exs. 4, 7, 13-18, 41, 44-45, 47, 51-53, 56-57, 67, 69, 74-77, 86, 89 and 95).

         During this time, plaintiff was prescribed oxycodone or similar pain medications three times. In the first instance on February 25, 2015, defendant examined plaintiff upon his return to Warren from the emergency room after plaintiff had pulled out his catheter. (Def.'s Aff. (DE 32-1) at 8). In consideration of pain complaints, defendant ordered plaintiff a three-day prescription until a urology appointment could be completed. (Id. at 8-9). Following the urology appointment and the urologist's recommendation that plaintiff's pain medication be discontinued, defendant determined plaintiff should not continue taking pain medication. (Id. at 8-11, 78-79).

         In the second instance, plaintiff was prescribed oxycotone by Dr. Mineiro, but the prescription was discontinued by defendant on March 27, 2015, upon defendant's review of plaintiff's discharge chart from Central Prison Mental Health indicating manipulative behavior in order to receive pain medication. (Id. at 23-24, 79). In the third instance, upon discharge from Maria Parham Emergency Department on July 3, 2015, defendant was prescribed norco for five days by a medical care provider working in the emergency department. (Id. at 80). The on-call provider at Central Prison, P.A. Christopher ordered that the norco be discontinued because no pain prescriptions had been authorized due to defendant's recent overdose, because of plaintiff's history of manipulative behavior and malingering, and because of the lack of medical necessity for such a prescription. (Id. at 80-81).

         DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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