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Wilson v. Davis

February 18, 2009

LA'SHAWN WILSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES DAVIS, ET.AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER

This cause is before the court for consideration of the defendants' motions for summary judgment [d/e 29, 31, 32].

I. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff, a state prisoner, filed his lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 claiming his constitutional rights were violated at the Logan Correctional Center. The plaintiff named four defendants including Optometrist James Davis, Director of Nurses Kathleen Nelson, Case Worker Michael Montcalm and Medical Director Saleh Obaisi. The plaintiff also named an unspecified number of John Doe Defendants.*fn1 The plaintiff alleges that the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights when they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that he has struggled with eye problems for years and the defendants have refused to properly respond to his complaints or properly treat his eye problems which has led his condition to deteriorate.

II. FACTS

The plaintiff has not directly responded to the defendants' statements of undisputed facts. The following facts are taken from the supporting affidavits, documents and deposition transcript attached to the motions for summary judgment.

The plaintiff has been incarcerated at the Logan Correctional Center since September of 2005.

Defendant Nelson says she is the Health Care Administrator at Logan Correctional Center.

Her job is to work with the Medical Director in coordinating and reviewing the activities within the heath care unit. The defendant says if an inmate files a grievance concerning medical care, she reviews the medical records to determine if the inmate is receiving treatment and will often consult with the Medical Director. (Def. Mot, Ex. B, Nelson Aff, p. 1)

During (the plaintiff's) incarceration at Logan Correctional Center, I responded to all of his concerns regarding medical treatment by reviewing his medical records to ensure he was receiving treatment. When appropriate, I forwarded his concerns to the prison's medical staff for their review. I had no authority to override the decisions made by the medical staff and was never aware of any refusal by the medical staff to provide needed treatment to (the plaintiff.) (Def. Mot, Ex. B, Nelson Aff, p. 2)

Defendant Montcalm says he was serving as a grievance officer during the relevant time periods of the plaintiff's complaint. The defendant says he is not a medical professional and an not make determinations concerning medical care. Therefore, the defendant says he relies on the medical expertise of the plaintiff's treating physicians and had no reason to doubt their decisions. (Def. Memo, Ex C, Mont. Aff., p. 1)

Defendant Montcalm says the plaintiff did file a grievance on April 27, 2006 complaining that he needed dark glasses for his eyes. The defendant has attached his response. The document states that the plaintiff was seen by an optometrist on April 6, 2006. Eye cultures were ordered and a follow-up appointment was scheduled. However, there was no indication of a need for dark glasses. (Def. Memo, Ex C, Mont. Aff., attached memo).

Defendant Dr. Davis says he is an optometrist who has treated the plaintiff both at Danville Correctional Center and at Logan Correctional Center. The doctor says the fist time he treated the plaintiff was in 1999 and the last time was in early 2007. Dr. Davis says he and Dr. Obaisi have diagnosed the plaintiff's condition as bacterial conjunctivitis and or allergic conjunctivitis on different occasions over the years. "These are non-serious, benign medical conditions which are treatable and which in fact have been treated with topical and/or oral antibiotics and/or steroids." (Def. Memo, Davis Aff, p. 1) Dr. Davis also says the plaintiff is mildly nearsighted and his vision "is fully correctable with lenses that I have prescribed. This ...


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