United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
LAMPTON J. TURNER, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., LISA KREBS, VENERIO SANTOS, ARNEL A. GARCIA, STEVE MEEKS, and LISA PRATHER, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge
Shannon (Plaintiff) filed a pro se complaint in this Court
under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that various correctional
officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs, including hand and wrist pain and an abnormal
BUN/CREAT ratio. The case is before the Court on
Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, seeking to
compel medical care for his hand/wrist pain and low BUN/CREAT
ratio (Doc. 2). Defendants moved to strike Plaintiff's
motion; Plaintiff opposed that motion (Docs. 47 and 53).
Defendants were directed to supplement their brief to further
explain the BUN/CREAT ratio and Plaintiff's current
condition. Defendants provided a supplemental affidavit (Doc.
79). Plaintiff filed a response to that affidavit (Doc. 83).
Based on the following, the Court denies Plaintiff's
motion for preliminary injunction.
Summary of Key Allegations and Facts
is incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center. He sues for
violation of his federally-secured constitutional rights,
seeking declarative relief, injunctive relief, and monetary
damages. As narrowed by the Court's threshold review
order (Doc. 8, which allowed four counts to proceed against
six named Defendants), Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have
been deliberately indifferent to his hand and wrist pain and
to the results of a blood test showing that Plaintiff had a
low BUN/CREAT ratio (described further below, this is a test
relating to kidney function). Plaintiff alleges that he
injured his hands and wrists when he fell on June 27, 2016
(Doc. 8, p. 2). He was seen by Dr. Garcia on July 27, 2016
(Id.). At that time, Plaintiff complained of
numbness, tingling, aching, and swelling in his hands and
wrists (Id.). Dr. Garcia diagnosed Plaintiff with
inflammation. He prescribed Prednisone (a steroid) and
Robaxin (a muscle relaxer) (Id.). Plaintiff had a
follow-up with Garcia on October 26, 2016, in which Plaintiff
again complained of pain, and his prescriptions were renewed
(Id.). Plaintiff sought an additional follow-up on
November 2, 2016 as his prescriptions, by then, had run out.
Told that he would have to pay a $5 co-pay for the visit,
Plaintiff refused the appointment (Doc. 8, p. 2).
November 10, 2016, Plaintiff began experiencing dizziness,
tingling, skin crawling, and headaches, as well as pain in
his hands and wrists (Doc. 8, p. 2). He requested pain
medication, but the nurse on duty refused, instead placing
him on a list to see the doctor (Id.). Plaintiff was
seen by Dr. Santos on November 12, 2016 and was told his
symptoms might be a side effect of the prednisone, or
possibly an allergy (Id.). Dr. Santos ordered a
blood test but declined to order pain medication or an x-ray
saw Dr. Santos again on November 17, 2016, to review
Plaintiff's blood test (Doc. 8, p. 3). Plaintiff
indicated he was still experiencing problems with his hands
and asked for an x-ray (Id.). Santos denied the
request for an x-ray. On November 25, 2016, Plaintiff
indicated that he began hearing crunching sounds in his hands
and experienced pain between his thumb and index finger, as
well as cramping while writing and brushing his teeth
(Id.). He also continued to experience back pain,
neck pain, and dizziness (Id.).
December 21, 2016, Plaintiff received his medical records and
noted that his BUN/CREAT ratio was out of range (Doc. 8, p.
3; Doc. 2, p. 8). Plaintiff believed that the ratio was
dangerously low, because his godmother (a nurse) told his
mother so (Id. at p. 3-4). Plaintiff filed a
grievance about his ratio and requested a blood pressure
check. He was told in response to his grievance that the
ratio, although “out of range, ” was not at
“panic level” (Id. at p. 4; Doc. 1-1, p.
December 22, 2016, Plaintiff was referred to the doctor for
continued pain in his arms and the crunching sound in his
wrists (Doc. 8, p. 4). Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Santos and
complained about symptoms in his right hand (Id.).
Santos ordered an x-ray and Ibuprofen (Id.).
Plaintiff experienced dizziness and passed out on January 15,
2017 (Id. at p. 5). Plaintiff also was experiencing
frequent urination, pain in his kidneys, and shaking
Dr. Santos, who informed Plaintiff that his right ear was
full of wax, which had caused the fainting (Id.).
Plaintiff was provided with ear drops to remove the wax
(Id. at p. 5). Plaintiff experienced dizziness again
on January 18, 2017, and he asked to speak to the doctor
(Id.). Plaintiff had an ear flush on January 21,
2017, which removed a ball of wax the size of a penny
(Id.). He was seen again on February 11, 2017, but
the nurse could not release any more wax in his right ear.
The nurse told Plaintiff that he also had wax in his left ear
that would need to be removed (Id.). However, Santos
later denied Plaintiff had any wax in his left ear
again saw Dr. Santos on February 6, 2017, reporting pain in
his kidneys (Doc. 8, p. 5). Santos told him all his lab test
results were normal (Id.). Santos also told
Plaintiff that he suspected Plaintiff was faking his pain,
because Santos had pushed on muscle and not his kidney when
palpitating the area (Id.). Plaintiff asked about
his BUN/CREAT ratio and asked for an MRI. Santos denied the
MRI (Id. at p. 5-6). Plaintiff again saw Santos on
February 14, 2017, asking for a CAT scan and an assessment of
his BUN/CREAT ration (Id. at p. 6). Santos denied
the CAT scan (Id.).
motion for preliminary injunction seeks a referral to a hand
specialist, a BUN/CREAT ratio specialist, and a neurologist
to treat his hand injury and assess his BUN/CREAT ratio.
Plaintiff alleges that his BUN/CREAT ratio has been out of
range since 2012 (Doc. 2, p. 7-8) and that it can lead to
kidney or liver failure, malnutrition, or the
“eating” of his bones (Doc. 2, p. 2, 11, 19).
Plaintiff explains that he stopped taking the ear drops he
was given, because the label indicated the drops could cause
dizziness, and Plaintiff had been experiencing dizziness
(Id. at p. 19).
Dr. Santos, Dr. Garcia, and Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
moved to strike Plaintiff's motion for preliminary
injunction. The Court sees no valid basis to strike the
motion for preliminary injunction. The Court
DENIES the motion to strike (Doc. 47) and
construes the filing as a brief opposing the motion for
Garcia and Santos furnished sworn affidavits in support of
their brief opposing a preliminary injunction. Dr. Garcia
attests that he evaluated Plaintiff on July 27, 2016 for hand
pain and provided Plaintiff with medication to treat his pain
and numbness (Doc. 47-8, p. 2). Dr. Garcia further attests
that he prescribed Plaintiff with Robaxin and a Medrol dose
pack (a steroid that prevents inflammation) (Id.;
Doc. 47-2, 47-3). Dr. Garcia acknowledged that Plaintiff had
a blood test which revealed a BUN/CREAT ratio of 8.1,
considered low on a 12-20 reference range (Doc. 47-8, p. 2).
Although the score is low, Dr. Garcia does not believe that
the results are indicative of a serious medical issue, since
the BUN level and Creatinine level individually are
each within normal range (Id.). Dr. Garcia dismisses
Plaintiff's concerns ...