United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING DEFENDANTS WOLFE AND
MISCHIEF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
SARAH EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Plaintiff Larry Latham, a former inmate of the Pendleton Correctional Facility (“Pendleton”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need for treatment of chest pain in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Defendants Drs. William Wolfe and Michael Mitcheff move for summary judgment.
I. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment shall be granted where “the movant shows that 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). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. SMS Demag Aktiengesellschaft v. Material Scis. Corp., 565 F.3d 365, 368 (7th Cir. 2009). All inferences drawn from the facts must be construed in favor of the non-movant. Moore v. Vital Prods., Inc., 641 F.3d 253, 256 (7th Cir. 2011). To survive summary judgment, the “nonmovant must show through specific evidence that a triable issue of fact remains on issues on which he bears the burden of proof at trial.” Warsco v. Preferred Technical Grp., 258 F.3d 557, 563 (7th Cir. 2001) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986)). If the evidence on record could not lead a reasonable jury to find for the non-movant, then no genuine issue of material fact exists and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See McClendon v. Ind. Sugars, Inc., 108 F.3d 789, 796 (7th Cir. 1997). At the summary judgment stage, the court may not resolve issues of fact; disputed material facts must be left for resolution at trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249–50 (1986).
II. Undisputed Facts
At all times relevant to his Complaint, Mr. Latham was an inmate in the custody of the Indiana Department of Correction and was housed at Pendleton.
At all times relevant to Mr. Latham’s Complaint, Dr. Mitcheff was the Regional Medical Director for Corizon, Inc., f/k/a Correctional Medical Services, Inc. (“Corizon”), the company that contracts with the Indiana Department of Correction to provide medical care to various prisons throughout Indiana. Dr. Mitcheff currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the Indiana Department of Correction.
As Regional Medical Director for Corizon, Dr. Mitcheff hired facility physicians, reviewed requests for non-formulary medications, reviewed requests for outside consultations, and made alternative treatment suggestions, if appropriate, among other things. Dr. Mitcheff was not involved in scheduling outside consultations or other medical appointments.
The course of treatment for a particular offender is decided by the treating physician at the prison facility. As Regional Medical Director for Corizon, Dr. Mitcheff did not make treatment decisions for inmates. Rather, he reviewed requests from facility physicians and occasionally provided guidance and alternative treatment suggestions. The facility physician still had the ultimate determination as to what course of treatment to pursue for a particular inmate. Dr. Mitcheff did not personally treat Mr. Latham for any of his alleged injuries related to his Complaint.
Dr. Wolfe started at the Pendleton Correctional Facility on January 1, 2010 and first saw Mr. Latham on April 27, 2010 to monitor his chronic conditions, including asthma, hypertension, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque in the arteries). Mr. Latham has a history of coronary artery disease. He was already taking nitroglycerin as needed for occasional chest pain and Plavix (a blood thinner) to help prevent a heart attack. His hypertension and asthma were well-controlled and Dr. Wolfe continued his current medications and scheduled him to be seen for follow up on his cardiac condition. On May 4, 2010, Dr. Wolfe ordered Mr. Latham a bottom bunk pass due to his health issues.
Dr. Wolfe next saw Mr. Latham on June 16, 2010. At that time, Mr. Latham relayed some episodes of left-sided numbness lasting a few minutes, but it had not occurred for 3-4 weeks. In response, Dr. Wolfe ordered labs and prescribed metformin due to Mr. Latham’s previously elevated blood sugar levels and A1C results (a test measuring blood glucose levels), and Dr. Wolfe also ordered daily glucose monitoring for three weeks. Dr. Wolfe also discussed with Mr. Latham the potential dangers of noncompliance with his medications.
On July 16, 2010, Dr. Wolfe saw Mr. Latham for a Chronic Care visit. At that time, his atherosclerosis was stable and his diabetes, asthma, and hypertension were under good control. Dr. Wolfe continued Mr. Latham’s current medications and ordered additional labs. On August 2, 2010, Dr. Wolfe ordered a refill of Mr. Latham’s Plavix. On September 17, 2010, Mr. Latham refused to have his blood drawn to obtain labs.
On October 26, 2010, Bonnie Neff, APN saw Mr. Latham for a Chronic Care visit. At that time, Mr. Latham relayed no recent complaints of chest pain. Additional labs were ordered and his medications were continued. On January 16, 2011, Dr. Wolfe ordered a refill of Mr. Latham’s medications, including Zocor and Lopid, both of which aim to reduce cholesterol levels and the likelihood of a cardiac incident.
Dr. Wolfe next saw Mr. Latham on February 3, 2011. Mr. Latham’s hypertension, asthma and diabetes were under control and his cardiac issues were well controlled while taking Plavix. Therefore, Dr. Wolfe reordered Plavix for Mr. Latham. Additionally, Mr. Latham only rarely had to rely on nitroglycerin for occasional chest pain. On May 12, 2011, Dr. Wolfe saw Mr. Latham for follow up. At that time, Mr. Latham’s atherosclerosis was stable and he had not experienced a bout of chest pain since March, 2011, which had been controlled with just a single tab of Nitroglycerin. Because of this, Dr. Wolfe believed it was not necessary to refer Mr. Latham to an outside ...