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Wade v. Director of Nursing

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana

September 10, 2014

BOBBY LEE WADE, Plaintiff,
v.
DIRECTOR OF NURSING, MIAMI CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

WILLIAM C. LEE, District Judge.

This matter is before the court on a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant, Director of Nursing, Miami Correctional Facility ("the Director"), on June 5, 2014. The plaintiff, Bobby Lee Wade ("Wade"), who is proceeding pro se [1], has failed to file a response.

The motion for summary judgment will be granted.

Summary Judgment

Summary judgment must be granted when "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine issue of material fact exists when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Not every dispute between the parties precludes summary judgment, however, since "[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law" warrant a trial. Id . To determine whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must construe all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Heft v. Moore , 351 F.3d 278, 282 (7th Cir. 2003). A party opposing a properly supported summary judgment motion may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own pleading, but rather must "marshal and present the court with the evidence she contends will prove her case." Goodman v. Nat'l Sec. Agency, Inc. , 621 F.3d 651, 654 (7th Cir. 2010).

Discussion

Wade was incarcerated at the Miami Correctional Facility at all times relevant to his Complaint. Wade originally filed this action for alleged violations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under 42 U.S.C. ยง1983 and for injunctive relief against Karen Cummings, who was the Director of Nursing at the Miami Correctional Facility during the relevant time period. During the course of this litigation, Karen Cummings died.

This Court therefore dismissed the individual claim against Karen Cummings for deliberate indifference to Wade's medical needs and allowed Wade to proceed solely on his claim for injunctive relief against the current Director of Nursing at the Miami Correctional Facility in her official capacity. In his request for injunctive relief, Wade asks this Court for an order compelling Defendant to provide him with dental treatment to repair his tooth.

The Director argues that summary judgment is appropriate because the Director does not have the power or authority to provide Wade with the dental treatment that he seeks and Wade has already been offered dental treatment which he declined, so his request for injunctive relief is moot.

Lee Ann Ivers is a registered nurse and the Director of Nursing at the Miami Correctional Facility. As the Director of Nursing, she rarely treats offenders personally. Rather, her job is to oversee the nursing staff, both administratively and with regard to their treatment of offenders. She does not supervise or oversee the providers, i.e. the nurse practitioners, doctors, or dentists. She is not responsible for scheduling offenders to see the doctor, dentist, or nursing staff within the prison and is not responsible for scheduling offenders to go to outside hospitals for specialty consultations or treatment. Part of Nurse Ivers' job as Director of Nursing is to help offenders informally resolve disputes or complaints about the nursing staff. If she cannot help the offender resolve his issue with the nursing staff, the offender can then file a grievance through the prison grievance system.

Wade entered the Miami Correctional Facility on February 16, 2010. He submitted a Request for Healthcare on April 15, 2010 asking for his wisdom teeth to be removed. One of the dentists, Dr. Olinger, examined Wade on April 19, 2010. Wade complained of pain in the upper and lower left wisdom tooth. Dr. Olinger noted that teeth #16 and #17 were both partially impacted and that #17 had chronic pericoronitis (infection). Dr. Olinger ordered a panoramic xray and noted that he would evaluate it to see if Wade needed to be referred to Dr. Smith, the oral surgeon. Dr. Olinger examined Wade again on April 26, 2010. Based on the x-ray, he scheduled Wade for an extraction. He also advised Wade to use warm salt water rinses 3 times a day.

Dr. Olinger saw Wade again on May 4, 2010 for extraction of tooth #17. However, after injecting one carpule of Lidocaine, Wade's left condyle became dislocated and his jaw locked open. It took about 10 minutes to reset the condyle and Wade was very sore afterwards. Dr. Olinger opted not to proceed with the extraction and referred Wade to Dr. Smith. Dr. Olinger advised Wade to use warm, moist compresses to the left TMJ for the rest of the day. On May 13, 2010, Dr. Smith extracted tooth #17 without incident. Dr. Smith prescribed Ibuprofen for pain.

Wade was seen in nursing sick call on June 19, 2010 for complaints of a "locked jaw." He claimed to have trouble talking, but was able to move his jaw. He reported that his problems started when he had his wisdom tooth pulled. The nurse did not note any grimacing, but gave Wade some moist warm heat to the neck/jaw area and told him to relax and lay down in observation.

On October 7, 2010, Wade submitted a Request for Interview to Karen Cummings, who was the Director of Nursing. He claimed that on September 27, 2010 at dinner time, he was eating a brownie and bit into a screw and chipped his tooth. He stated that now the left side of his jaw and tooth hurt and he could barely eat. He also submitted a Request for Healthcare the same day with the same information. The Request for Interview was received on October 11, 2010 by Karen Cummings and she referred the information to the dental staff. After Karen Cummings referred Wade's complaints to the dental staff, Wade was triaged by ...


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