Case Result: Inmate Claims Failure to Refer to Specialist, Provide Pain Meds

Areas of Law:
42 USC § 1983 — Deliberate Indifference
Correctional Healthcare

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (2015)

Dismissed on Summary Judgment

Plaintiff Boyer fell from her upper prison bunk, fracturing her left humerus near the shoulder. Defendant medical provider ordered that she be sent for treatment at the emergency department of a local hospital. The hospital’s medical personnel recommended Plaintiff see an orthopedic surgeon within five days.

Upon her return to the prison, Defendant medical provider gave short-term orders, until Plaintiff was able have a face-to-face appointment with a physician at the prison. Plaintiff then saw a physician who was not the Defendant medical provider. That physician determined a treatment plan and did not refer Plaintiff to an orthopedic surgeon at that time.

Several weeks later, Defendant medical provider learned that Plaintiff was in need of follow-up medical care. He referred her to an orthopedic surgeon for a consultation. The orthopedic surgeon determined that Mrs. Boyer did not need surgery. This orthopedic surgeon later determined that Plaintiff ’s healing was fairly complete and that she should have a fairly functional shoulder.

Plaintiff sued Defendant medical provider, alleging his deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs by: not providing sufficient pain mediation; not ordering that she stay in the prison infirmary; and not referring her to an orthopedic surgeon sooner. Plaintiff also sued for loss of consortium.

In granting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, the court opined: “Plaintiff’s belief that she should have received more comprehensive and unrestricted care is not cognizable. The actions [Defendant medical provider] took demonstrate that he was anything but deliberately indifferent to plaintiff’s serious medical needs. No deliberate indifference has been shown.”

The court dismissed Plaintiff ’s claim, finding that such a claim is not cognizable where the underlying claim is one pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

This information is a sample of our past results. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. Every case is different and each case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits. The circumstances of your case may differ from the results provided. The information provided has not been reviewed or approved by the State Bar.

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