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Thompson v. Jones

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

January 26, 2015

ROGER N. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. JONES, et al., Defendants.

ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANT DR. JONES' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, District Judge.

I. Background

Plaintiff Roger N. Thompson ("Mr. Thompson") is a former prisoner. Mr. Thompson alleges that while he was incarcerated, psychiatrist Dr. Jones acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs from January through September 2013 by failing to provide Mr. Thompson with medical care necessary to treat his anxiety condition.

Dr. Jones has filed a motion for summary judgment seeking resolution of the claim against him. Mr. Thompson has opposed the motion for summary judgment and Dr. Jones has replied.

For the reasons explained in this Entry, defendant Dr. Jones' motion for summary judgment [dkt. 63] must be granted.

II. Discussion

A. Legal Standards

Summary judgment should be granted "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). A "material fact" is one that "might affect the outcome of the suit." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute is genuine only if a reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party. Id. If no reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party, then there is no "genuine" dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). The Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the non-movant's favor. Ault v. Speicher, 634 F.3d 942, 945 (7th Cir. 2011).

B. Undisputed Facts

On the basis of the pleadings and the expanded record, and specifically on the portions of that record which comply with the requirements of Rule 56(c), the following facts, construed in the manner most favorable to Mr. Thompson as the non-movant, are undisputed for purposes of the motion for summary judgment:

At all relevant times, Mr. Thompson was incarcerated at Plainfield Correctional Facility ("Plainfield"). Defendant Dr. Jones is a psychiatrist who treats inmates of the Indiana Department of Correction for mental health issues. While incarcerated, Mr. Thompson was evaluated on a regular basis by mental health providers. He was diagnosed with mixed Axis II traits (i.e., personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder). He has a history of substance abuse.

Dr. Jones first saw Mr. Thompson on January 4, 2013, for a Medication Management visit. Mr. Thompson related a history of being burned at an early age and stated that, as a consequence, he sustained a brain injury which resulted in anxiety that can only be treated with benzodiazepines. Dr. Jones declined to prescribe the benzodiazepines Mr. Thompson requested because, in his professional opinion, they were not clinically indicated. Benzodiazepines can be highly addicting with a potential for abuse in a prison setting. As an alternative, Dr. Jones suggested Remeron (mirtazapine) which is commonly prescribed for treatment of a variety of mood disorders including anxiety disorders. Mr. Thompson refused a prescription for Remeron to treat his reported symptoms of anxiety. Dr. Jones noted that Mr. Thompson exhibited drug seeking behavior along with Axis II traits.

On May 10, 2013, Dr. Jones saw Mr. Thompson for a Medication Management visit. Dr. Jones noted that Mr. Thompson presented as hostile, argumentative and belligerent. Mr. Thompson became angry when Dr. Jones informed him that he would not prescribe the Clonazepam that he requested. Dr. Jones told Mr. Thompson that he would prescribe non-addicting medications with anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties. Although Mr. Thompson exhibited signs of anger, Dr. Jones observed no signs of anxiety during the examination.

On September 5, 2013, Dr. Jones saw Mr. Thompson for a Medication Management visit. Once again, Mr. Thompson presented as hostile, belligerent and argumentative. Dr. Jones offered Mr. Thompson numerous safe and appropriate alternatives to the benzodiazepines Mr. Thompson requested, including Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, Remeron, Imipramine and Effexor. Once again, Mr. Thompson refused all suggested ...


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