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Peterson v. Boldman

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

February 27, 2015

BOLDMAN Lieutenant, CONLON Officer, JODI MURPHY RN Nurse, Defendants.


RICHARD L. YOUNG, Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff Lawrence Peterson, a former Indiana prisoner, filed this civil action alleging that certain prison workers were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and as a result delayed his access to medical treatment over the course of three days in 2012. The defendants, Lt. James Boldman, Sergeant Cory Conlon, and Nurse Jodi Murphy, seek resolution of this action through summary judgment.

For the reasons explained below, defendant Murphy's motion for summary judgment [dkt. 60] and defendants Conlon and Boldman's motion for summary judgment [dkt. 70] are granted.

I. Standard of Review

A motion for summary judgment asks that the court find that a trial based on the uncontroverted and admissible evidence is unnecessary because, as a matter of law, it would conclude in the moving party's favor. See Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56. To survive a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must set forth specific, admissible evidence showing that there is a material issue for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The key inquiry is whether admissible evidence exists to support a plaintiff's claims, not the weight or credibility of that evidence, both of which are assessments reserved to the trier of fact. See Schacht v. Wis. Dep't of Corrections, 175 F.3d 497, 504 (7th Cir. 1999). When evaluating this inquiry, the Court must give the non-moving party the benefit of all reasonable inferences from the evidence submitted and resolve "any doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue for trial... against the moving party." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 330. In compiling the facts set forth below, the court considered those portions of Peterson's declaration [dkt. 76] and the complaint [dkt. 1] which comply with Rule 56(c)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. That is, those statements which were made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and showed that he is competent to testify on the matters asserted were considered. Legal conclusions and facts based on speculation or hearsay were disregarded.

II. Material Facts

Applying the standards set forth above, the undisputed material facts are as follows:

A. Background

At all times relevant to this action, Peterson was incarcerated at J cell house of Pendleton Correctional Facility ("PCF"). Lieutenant James Boldman and Correctional Sergeant Cory Conlon were both assigned to J cell house at PCF. Jodie Murphy provided nursing services at PCF.

While incarcerated, Peterson had been diagnosed as suffering from chronic problems of viral hepatitis C, asthma, hypertension and diabetes mellitus.

B. June 4, 2012

On June 4, 2012, at or about 8:00 a.m., Peterson was taken by other inmates to Sgt. Conlon's office. Peterson told Conlon that he could hardly walk and was having bad chest pains and difficulty breathing. Conlon directed the other inmates to take Peterson back to his cell and stated that he was going to call medical. Conlon then called the infirmary. Conlon testified that he did not receive an answer. Peterson testified that around 8:30 a.m. Conlon told Peterson that medical stated that they did not want to see him.

At 12:30 p.m. offender Robinson encouraged Peterson to tell Lt. Boldman about his medical problems. Peterson was helped to Boldman's office and reported that he was having chest pains and difficulty breathing and walking. He stated that he needed to see medical. Conlon then told Boldman something and Boldman stated that medical did not want to see Peterson and that Sgt. Conlon had already told Peterson that.

At 1:00 p.m. Conlon asked Nurse Stacie Hoover to check on Peterson during his routine diabetic check. Peterson told Nurse Hoover what his problems entailed. Nurse Hoover does not specifically remember this encounter, but she testified that it would not be unusual for an inmate to tell her of a medical concern while she was monitoring diabetic patients' blood sugar and determining whether to offer insulin. Nurse Hoover testified that if the inmate was in obvious, serious distress she would have arranged for him to be transported to the infirmary for immediate treatment. If the inmate was not in obvious, serious distress she would have advised the inmate to fill out a healthcare ...

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