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Howe v. Hoover

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

December 13, 2016

ADAM ANTHONY HOWE, Plaintiff,
v.
STACIA HOOVER, NURSE, Defendant.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         For the reasons explained in this Entry, the defendant's motion for summary judgment [dkt. 24] is granted.

         I. Background

         The plaintiff in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action is Adam Howe (“Mr. Howe”), an inmate who at all relevant times was confined at the Pendleton Correctional Facility (“Pendleton”). The defendant is Nurse Stacia Hoover Frazee (“Nurse Hoover”). In his second amended complaint, Mr. Howe alleges that Nurse Hoover was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He seeks a declaratory judgment and all other proper relief.

         The defendant seeks resolution of the plaintiff's claims through summary judgment. The plaintiff has responded to the defendant's motion for summary judgment and the defendant has replied. The motion is ripe for resolution.

         II. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to 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). 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 Court views the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Darst v. Interstate Brands Corp., 512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It cannot weigh evidence or make credibility determinations on summary judgment because those tasks are left to the fact-finder. O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc., 657 F.3d 625, 630 (7th Cir. 2011).

         A dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if 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). 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).

         III. Discussion

         A. Undisputed Facts

         On the basis of the pleadings and the portions of the expanded record that comply with the requirements of Rule 56(c)(1), construed in a manner most favorable to Mr. Howe, the non-movant, the following facts are undisputed for purposes of the motion for summary judgment:

         While he was confined at Pendleton on August 30, 2014, Mr. Howe injured his left wrist playing handball outdoors. Nurse Hoover saw Mr. Howe in the Pendleton clinic. Based on her examination, Nurse Hoover suspected Mr. Howe may have fractured his left wrist and that he would require outside medical attention in the emergency room. After Nurse Hoover obtained approval from the on-call medical provider, Dr. Michael Person, Mr. Howe was immediately transported to St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital (“St. Vincent”) for further evaluation of his wrist injury.

         Mr. Howe's wrist was evaluated by emergency room physicians at St. Vincent. His x-ray results showed a non-displaced closed radial styloid fracture of his left wrist. A non-displaced fracture is a fracture in which the bone remains aligned. The St. Vincent emergency room medical providers stabilized the fracture with a glass thumb spica cast and ace wrap and prescribed pain medication. They did not recommend surgery. It was recommended that Mr. Howe keep it elevated, ice for swelling and pain, wear the splint, and have a follow up visit with an orthopedic provider the following week. Mr. Howe was returned to Pendleton at approximately 6:30 p.m. on August 30, 2014.

         On September 3, 2014, Mr. Howe was seen by Dr. Person for follow up. Dr. Person continued the prescription for Norco (a narcotic pain reliever) for an additional five days and ordered that his meals be delivered to his cell for 30 days. Dr. Person also noted in his ...


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