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Newsome v. Wexford Health Services

November 30, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harold A. Baker United States District Judge


This cause is before the court for consideration of the defendants' motions for summary judgment. [d/e 161, 168].


The pro se plaintiff originally filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.§1983 against 60 defendants. The plaintiff now has seven surviving claims against 29 defendants including allegations that:

1)Defendants Shettleworth, Evans, Kottkamp, West, Schomig and Marshall wrote false incident reports against the plaintiff and encouraged criminal prosecution in December of 2001 in retaliation on for the plaintiff's numerous grievances and lawsuits.

2) Defendants Beasley, Birkel, Brown, Shettleworth, Melvin, Edgeton, Dahlbach, Hageman, Allen, Cramer, Schomig, Funk, Jordan-Luster, Hetman, Tucker, Cravens, Hunt, Melvin, Pitchford and Snyder were deliberately indifferent to the plaintiff's serious medical condition when they caused delays and interfered with his diabetes treatment from October of 2001 to December of 2001 and from April of 2003 to May 2003.

3) Defendants Starkey and Allen was deliberately indifferent to the plaintiff's serious medical condition on May 1, 2001 when the plaintiff suffered an insulin reaction.

4) Defendant Starkey wrote a false disciplinary report in retaliation for plaintiff's legal activities in June of 2001 which was later expunged.

5) Defendants Gerber and Gerberding filed false disciplinary reports against the plaintiff in May of 2001 which were later expunged. These tickets were also written in retaliation for the plaintiff's various lawsuits and grievances.

6) Defendants Forsyth, Linn, Croft, Dahlbach, Cramer, Hageman, Shettleworth and Melvin were all involved in "conspiracy and retaliatory conduct" from April 2001 to October of 2001 based on the plaintiff's grievances and lawsuits.

7) Defendant Hobart used excessive force on December 24, 2001 when the plaintiff complained about a body cavity search.

The court notes that in response to the motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff still appears to be contesting what claims he are covered in this lawsuit. This court has been patient and lenient in providing multiple opportunities for the plaintiff to abide by Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See March 9, 2004 Text Order; March 16, 2005 Court Order; June 3, 2005 Court Order; June 13, 2005 Court Order; February 9, 2006 Court Order. This court has also been patient and lenient in its eventual interpretation of the plaintiff's potential claims. See June 13, 2005 Court Order; February 9, 2006 Court Order. The plaintiff has continually ignored the court's direction, made very broad and general accusations that did not provide the defendants a chance to provide a meaningful response, and has named as many as 67 defendants without stating what many were accused of doing.

The court has repeatedly tried to impress upon the plaintiff that it is to his advantage to narrow his claims to prevent his case from becoming "hopelessly confused." See February 9, 2006 Court Order. The plaintiff has repeatedly ignored the court's advice. At this point in the proceedings, the only claims before this court are those identified in the June 13, 2005 Court Order. Therefore, the court will not consider plaintiff's arguments concerning other incidents.*fn1


The plaintiff did not respond to the statement of facts provided with either motion for summary judgment. The following facts are taken from the motions and the attached documentation.

The plaintiff was incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center during the incidents alleged in his lawsuit and Dr. Arthur Funk was the Medical Director at the time. Dr. Funk says he did not personally exam the plaintiff during the time frame alleged in his complaint. However, he had previously examined the plaintiff and was familiar with the plaintiff's diabetic condition.

Dr. Funk does admit he received various letters from the plaintiff during the time frame of his complaint. On two occasions, October 6, 2001 and October 7, 2001, the plaintiff sent letters to Dr. Funk that dealt with housing or security issues. Dr. Funk still responded to the letters and informed the plaintiff where he should appropriately direct his concerns. (Def. Memo, Ex. 2)

The plaintiff also sent letters concerning his transfer to another unit that required him to wear leg shackles and receive his insulin in a holding cell. Dr. Funk responded that the plaintiff's complaints lacked merit. He was still able to receive his insulin and there was no reason he could not wear leg shackles when needed. (Def. Memo, Ex. 1)

The plaintiff also complained that a medical technician would not allow him to use Accucheck on April 24, 2003. Accucheck is apparently a diabetic testing monitor to test glucose levels. Dr. Funk simply responds that no Accucheck was ordered on this date. (Def. Memo, Ex. 1G, 1L).

The plaintiff next complained about missed dental, dietician and diabetic/hypertension clinic appointments. Dr. Funk responded that any chronic care appointments are rescheduled when an inmate is not in his cell when called. In addition, requests to reschedule dental or dietary appointments had to be made through the appropriate department. The doctor informed the plaintiff how to go about rescheduling these appointments. (Def. Memo, Ex 1N) The plaintiff's chronic care appointment was rescheduled. (Def. Memo, Ex. 1GG)

Some of the plaintiff's other letters were also forwarded to Dr. Funk. The plaintiff alleged in one letter that all diabetics at Pontiac Correctional Center were housed in the lower cell houses except the plaintiff and he needed the lower assignment due to his diabetic condition. The plaintiff also claimed that Dr. Funk had not responded to correspondence the plaintiff had sent him.

Dr. Funk replied with a letter stating that diabetics have never been exclusively housed in the lower cell houses and that daily treatment can be provided in any cell house. Dr. Funk also stated that he had responded to any correspondence he had received from the plaintiff in a timely manner. (Def. Memo, Ex. 1Q). Defendant Funk has attached all correspondence and responses to his motion for summary judgment.

Dr. Funk further states that "[w]hile diabetes may be considered a serous medical need, it is not considered a serious medical need if it is properly managed and with the cooperation from the patient." (Def. Memo, Funk Aff, p. 5) Dr. Funk says the medical record reveals that the plaintiff refused insulin injections on a number of occasions. (Def. Memo, Ex. 1R-AA) The plaintiff also admits he refused insulin at times. (Def. Memo, Plain Depo, p. 31, 40, 41; Dr. Funk says in his medical opinion, the plaintiff's "diabetic medicine was given as ordered but for the times Mr. Newsome refused to take his insulin." (Def. Memo, Funk Aff, p. 5) "At no time did I believe Mr. Newsome's diabetic condition was not being addressed adequately or that he was at increased risk of serious harm. Mr. Newsome did not suffer injuries or have any diabetic reactions" during the relevant time frames. (Def. Memo, Funk Aff, p. 5)

The plaintiff received two disciplinary reports on June 6, 2000.*fn2 Both accused the plaintiff of assaulting a staff member, making threats and insolence. The plaintiff was found guilty and lost one year of good time credits as a result. None of the documents associated with these ...

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