United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
JEFFREY D. MYERS, Plaintiff,
ALLEN COUNTY SHERIFF DAVID J. GLADIEUX, NURSE STEPHANIE HUPP, NURSE LAURA KENNY, OFFICER GREG GOBLE, OFFICER WILEY, OFFICER RUNYON, NURSE REGINA ADAM, NURSE MERISSA RUNYON, AND OFFICER YEAETHA DILLON, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
T. MOODY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is a brittle insulin dependent diabetic. Plaintiff was
incarcerated at the Allen County Jail on more than one
occasion in 2013, and this lawsuit stems from his complaints
regarding the monitoring and treatment of his diabetes during
those periods of incarceration.
takes two types of insulin each day: Humulin R
(“HR”), a fast-acting insulin, and Humulin N
(“HN”), which works more slowly. Plaintiff's
physician, Dr. H Stephen Beyer, submitted an prescription to
the jail regarding plaintiff's insulin regimen. That
regimen consisted of 15-25 units of HR, with a notation
stating “[patient] can decide, ” and 35 units of
HN, twice daily, with no notation regarding the patient's
ability to use his own discretion. (DE # 55-5 at 5.) However,
the treatment logs maintained by the jail indicate that
plaintiff was often dosed with HN according to his own
request, even if the requested dose did not match Dr.
Beyer's prescription. (DE # 62-2 at 1-4.)
claims that, throughout his incarceration generally, the
jail's nursing staff denied him the food trays necessary
to managing his diabetes. He also alleges that on July 1,
2013, he was denied glucose testing for six hours, despite
repeated requests and reports of low blood sugar to the
staff. He claims this denial was perpetrated by “the
jail nurse, ” but he does not state the identity of
that nurse. (DE # 62 at 2.) He also claims that during a
separate incarceration period, on September 8, 2013, a
specific nurse, Nurse Hupp, gave him 35 units of HN, despite
the fact that plaintiff requested 20 units. Plaintiff alleges
that Nurse Hupp was distracted by guards, with whom she was
chatting and flirting, when she made this error at around 8
p.m. that evening. The parties do not dispute that around
2:30 a.m., plaintiff's blood sugar plummeted. Plaintiff
claims he tried to call for help that night, and that two
officers, Officers Dillon and Wiley, ignored his pleas for
assistance. According to plaintiff, Officer Dillon also
stated that he would “get around to it.” (DE # 61
at 7.) It appears undisputed that plaintiff was treated with
glucose tablets and food at 3:00 a.m.
further alleges that Officer Dillon continued to ignore his
requests for assistance with respect to his blood sugar
levels on September 18 and 23, 2013. Also, plaintiff alleges
that another guard named Officer Runyon interrupted a medical
examination on September 23, 2013, by peppering him with
questions and comments relating to his condition, such as:
“Eat more, ” “Giving food away?”,
“Exercising too much?”, “Too much insulin,
cut back, ” “Myers, you're killing me.
I'm gonna [sic] leave you down here in a cell.” (DE
eventually sued the Sheriff of Allen County, along with a
number of officers and nurses, alleging negligence and
violations of the Eighth Amendment under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (DE # 31.) Plaintiff later dismissed all “medical
malpractice tort/negligence claims” against the nurses.
(DE # 47.) The nurses filed a motion for summary judgment,
seeking judgment on all claims against them. (DE # 55.) The
officers, including the Sheriff of Allen County, did the
same. (DE # 57.) Each group of defendants filed a Rule 56
motion to strike. (DE ## 65, 67.) All of the motions are
fully briefed, and ready for ruling.
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 requires the entry of summary
judgment, after adequate time for discovery, against a party
“who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish
the existence of an element essential to that party's
case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof
at trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986). In responding to a motion for summary
judgment, the non-moving party must identify specific facts
establishing that there is a genuine issue of fact for trial.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252
(1986); Palmer v. Marion County, 327 F.3d 588, 595
(7th Cir. 2003). In doing so, the non-moving party cannot
rest on the pleadings alone, but must present fresh proof in
support of its position. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248;
Donovan v. City of Milwaukee, 17 F.3d 944, 947 (7th
Cir. 1994). 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, 477 U.S. at 248. 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).
court's role in deciding a summary judgment motion is not
to evaluate the truth of the matter, but instead to determine
whether there is a genuine issue of triable fact.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50; Doe v. R.R.
Donnelley & Sons Co., 42 F.3d 439, 443 (7th Cir.
1994). In viewing the facts presented on a motion for summary
judgment, a court must construe all facts in a light most
favorable to the non-moving party and draw all legitimate
inferences and resolve all doubts in favor of that party.
NLFC, Inc. v. Devcom Mid-Am., Inc., 45 F.3d 231, 234
(7th Cir. 1995). Importantly, the court is “not
required to draw every conceivable inference from the record
[in favor of the non-movant]-only those inferences that are
reasonable.” Bank Leumi Le-Israel, B.M., v.
Lee, 928 F.2d 232, 236 (7th Cir. 1991) (emphasis added).
Nurse's Motion for Summary Judgment (DE # 55)
that remains of plaintiff's claims against the nurses is
his constitutional claim under Section 1983. Plaintiff's
allegations boil down to four types of allegedly
unconstitutional mistreatment by the nurses: (1) denial of
the food trays necessary to manage his diabetes; (2) denial
of glucose for six hours while being kept in a holding cell
on July 1, 2013; (3) Nurse Hupp's administration of 35
units of HN to plaintiff on September 8, 2013, when plaintiff
had requested 20 units; and (4) denial of treatment in the
early morning hours of September 9, 2013, when plaintiff
claims he was calling for help during an episode of diabetic
shock. As for the first, second, and fourth allegations,
plaintiff has failed to identify any particular nurse who
wronged him (and the fourth allegation appears to be directed
primarily at the officers). In his briefing and affidavit, he
uses phrases like “the jail nurse” and
“nursing staff” with respect to these
allegations, but plaintiff cannot move forward to the trial
phase based on allegations against unidentified individuals.
Williams v. Rodriguez, 509 F.3d 392, 402 (7th Cir.
left is plaintiff's allegation regarding Nurse Hupp's
administration of 35 units of HN on September 8, 2013, which
is really the heart of plaintiff's action. This claim
sounds in the Eighth Amendment, which “safeguards the
prisoner against a lack of medical care that ‘may
result in pain and suffering which no one suggests would
serve any penological purpose.'” Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv.,577 F.3d 816, 828 (7th Cir.
2009) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble,429 U.S. 97, 103
(1976)). Prison officials like Nurse Hupp violate the
Constitution if they are deliberately indifferent to
prisoners' serious medical needs. Estelle, 429
U.S. at 104. Accordingly, a claim based on deficient medical
care must demonstrate two elements: (1) an objectively