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Grund v. Corizon

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

September 6, 2017

SUSAN GRUND, Plaintiff,



         This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Corizon (Health Services, Inc.) (“Corizon”), Julie Murphy (“Murphy”), and Dr. David Hinchman (“Dr. Hinchman”) (collectively, the “Defendants”). Plaintiff Susan Grund (“Grund”), an Indiana inmate, formerly confined at the Indiana Women's Prison (“IWP”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging the Defendants were deliberately indifferent to her serious medical needs. Specifically, Grund alleges she was improperly denied testing, including an MRI, to determine if she is suffering from complications related to her breast implants. She also alleges that she was improperly cleared to work a strenuous prison job. The Defendants have moved for summary judgment and Grund has responded. For the following reasons, the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Filing No. 36), is granted.


         The purpose of summary judgment is to “pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial.” Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that summary judgment is appropriate “if 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.” In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the admissible evidence presented by the non-moving party must be believed and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in the non-movant's favor. Hemsworth v., Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Zerante v. DeLuca, 555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009) (“We view the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.”). However, “[a] party who bears the burden of proof on a particular issue may not rest on its pleadings, but must affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations, that there is a genuine issue of material fact that requires trial.” Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490. Finally, the non-moving party bears the burden of specifically identifying the relevant evidence of record, and “the court is not required to scour the record in search of evidence to defeat a motion for summary judgment.” Ritchie v. Glidden Co., 242 F.3d 713, 723 (7th Cir. 2001).

         II. FACTS

         The statement of facts is not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed evidence are presented in the light reasonably most favorable to Grund as the non-moving party. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). The facts presented are those material to Grund's claims regarding her job assignment within the prison and the necessity of testing for breast implant complications.

         A. Julie Murphy

         Defendant Murphy is the Health Services Administrator at IWP. During the time relevant to the Complaint, she was employed by Corizon, the prison medical provider which contracted with the Indiana Department of Correction to provide healthcare to Indiana prisoners. As the Health Services Administrator, Murphy is responsible for ordering medical supplies for the facility, hiring medical staff, maintaining the nursing staff schedule, responding to offender grievances regarding medical issues, and dealing with human resources issues for the medical staff. She occasionally treats offenders if the medical team is short-staffed or if there is an emergency or a difficult medical issue. Murphy was not involved in Grund's day-to-day medical assessment and treatment; rather, the decisions regarding Grund's course of treatment were made by doctors and nurse practitioners.

         Grund wrote a letter to Murphy on December 30, 2015, stating that she had been reclassified from a non-laborious job as a game clerk to a laborious job as a porter. Grund requested that Murphy provide her medical verification and/or medical restrictions so that Grund could be reclassified to a non-laborious job. Murphy referred this matter to a doctor because the doctor is the only person who can recommend that an inmate be reclassified to a different job classification based on a medical condition. Murphy never submitted a job request for Grund to be assigned to any particular job at the prison. As the Health Services Administrator, Murphy cannot assign an inmate to a prison job; that is done by the prison administration. The only involvement Murphy has with the job assignment process is to confirm whether or not an inmate has a medical condition that prevents her from performing a particular prison job.

         Grund saw Dr. Sackett regarding her job assignment, however Dr. Sackett told her to speak to Murphy. Grund then spoke personally to Murphy, who stated that she would tell Dr. Sackett to write a restriction order. In addition, over the years there have been occasions when Murphy has responded to Grund's requests for healthcare. If Grund submitted a Request for Healthcare form that asked a question or sought specific information, rather than asking for specific medical treatment, then Murphy might be the one to respond to such a request. Murphy has also ordered new batteries for Grund's hearing aid. Grund sent Murphy a letter on February 10, 2015, regarding a list of vitamins and eyeglasses that she wanted. Murphy forwarded this letter to Dr. Malola to determine if Grund could have the items she requested and forwarded the response back to Grund. However, Murphy made no decision regarding Grund's requests.

         B. Grund's Breast Implants

         Grund had breast implants prior to coming to prison. In July 2010, her implants were replaced because they had ruptured and were leaking. Grund arrived at the IWP in 2012. While at IWP, she saw Dr. Raines because she was experiencing a tightening sensation in her breasts. He prescribed a “detox” treatment. This treatment alleviated the tightening for a while, but the sensation returned after a few months. Dr. Raines referred Grund to Dr. Hinchman, who at that time was the provider of gynecological services for inmates at IWP, including their yearly gynecological examinations.

         Dr. Hinchman examined Grund on October 16, 2013. Grund reported breast discomfort that began after her breast surgery. She reported that she always had discomfort along the outer sides of both breasts. Dr. Hinchman noted that subsequent breast examinations and mammograms after her surgery were normal and unremarkable. Grund's vital signs were within normal limits. Dr. Hinchman performed a physical examination of Grund's breasts. Her breasts appeared to be symmetrical and the skin surface of both breasts was normal to inspection and palpation. Grund expressed mild tenderness to palpation along the outer sides of both breasts. There were no palpable masses in the tissue of either breast. Grund states that her pain had lessened at this time because of the detox treatment. Dr. Hinchman's examination of Grund's breasts was normal and he felt no physical abnormalities in her breasts. Dr. Hinchman's plan was for Grund to continue monthly breast self-exams and to return as needed.

         On September 17, 2014, Grund had a mammogram, which was normal. Grund was concerned that if her new implants had ruptured, the mammogram would cause more damage, but she did not refuse the test. Grund experienced considerable pain during and after the mammogram. In October of 2014, she submitted a healthcare request to see a doctor for her breast pain. She saw Dr. Malola who ...

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