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Marshall v. Dawson

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

June 25, 2018

JERMAINE MARSHALL, Plaintiff,
v.
MARGARET DAWSON, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          PHILIP P. SIMON JUDGE

         Jermaine Marshall, a prisoner without a lawyer, proceeds on an Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs against Margaret Dawson. He alleges that Dawson was aware of his mental condition and deprived him of psychiatric medication beginning on August 22, 2016, which resulted in his attempted suicide one month later. Dawson filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that she did not act with deliberate indifference but relied on her medical judgment.

         Dawson also provided Marshall with the summary judgment notice required by N.D. Ind. L.R. 56-1 and a copy of both Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Local Rule 56-1. ECF 40. The notice informed Marshall of the importance of filing a response. It advised that, unless he disputed the facts presented by Dawson, the court could accept those facts as true. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). It further advised that a lack of response could result in the dismissal of his case. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Nevertheless, Marshall did not file a response.

         FACTS

         Margaret Dawson works as a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Miami Correctional Facility. ECF 39-2 at 1. Dawson submitted an affidavit (ECF 39-2) and the relevant medical records for Marshall's time in the custody of the Department of Corrections (ECF 39-3), which revealed the following. On January 9, 2015, Marshall underwent an initial psychiatric evaluation at the Reception Diagnostic Center. Id. at 31-34. He reported hearing voices and a two-week hospitalization in Kentucky for hallucinations. Id. He also reported a history of getting into fights and substance abuse. He received diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia and polysubstance dependence and was prescribed Risperdal, an antipsychotic. Id.

         On March 5, 2015, following his transfer to the Miami Correctional Facility, Dawson saw Marshall for the first time for medication management. Id. at 28-30. She renewed his Risperdal prescription based on his report that it effectively reduced auditory hallucinations. Id.

         On September 3, 2015, Marshall reported that he was expelled from the GED program due to an altercation and did not have a job. Id. at 17-19. Dawson began to question the schizophrenia diagnosis as well as Marshall's need for Risperdal. Id. She observed that his presentation was not consistent with severe mental illness and saw no impairment with his ability to function. Id. She also noted that he received conduct reports even when receiving Risperdal. Id. When she raised these concerns, Marshall became defensive, and continued to argue until a correctional officer instructed him to leave the building. Id. Dawson suspected that Marshall might have been attempting to manipulate her for secondary gain. Id. She diagnosed Marshall with antisocial personality disorder and discontinued Risperdal. Id.

         According to Dawson's expertise, the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia include anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking or speech, abnormal motor behavior, and lack of an ability to function normally, including lack of eye contact and flat affect. ECF 39-2 at 2-3. Other symptoms include reluctance to acknowledge one's diagnosis and an unwillingness to take antipsychotic medication. Id. The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include the tendency to manipulate and treat others harshly or with callous indifference, aggressive or violent behavior, lying, impulsive behavior, inability to sustain consistent work behavior, and substance abuse. Id. No medication specifically treats antisocial personality disorder, but medication may be prescribed for depression or anxiety. Id. Psychotherapy, including anger management training, is also used to treat the disorder. Id.

         On September 24, 2015, Marshall complained of aggravation and not wanting to be around people. ECF 39-3 at 11-13. Dawson reviewed Marshall's medical history, noting that, though he persistently requested medication, he did not present with symptoms consistent with paranoid schizophrenia. Id. Marshall was offered additional therapy sessions but was denied medication. Id. Marshall continued to argue, leaving only the office after being asked several times. Id. Dawson determined that there was no clinical indication for medication, no impairment in his ability to function, and that Marshall was seeking drugs for himself or for secondary gain. Id.

         Shortly thereafter, Marshall transferred to a different correctional facility. ECF 39-2 at 7. At that facility, Marshall requested Risperdal from a physician and complained of anxiety and paranoia. ECF 39-3 at 8-10. The physician resumed the prescription for Risperdal. Id. On June 21, 2016, Marshall returned to the Miami Correctional Facility and was placed in the restrictive housing unit. Id. at 161-62

         On July 19, 2016, Dawson saw Marshall for medication management, and she renewed his prescription for Risperdal. Id. at 142-45. He indicated that he was first diagnosed with schizophrenia about one year ago upon his entry into the correctional system and that he had had no job since age sixteen. Id. Dawson observed Marshall in the waiting area conversing and laughing with another inmate. Id. She requested that he sign an authorization for her to obtain medical records from his mental health-related hospital stay in Kentucky, and he agreed. Id. She reasoned that she needed to verify Marshall's reported medical history. Id. According to her expertise, mental health patients may not be forthcoming or aware of their diagnoses and may also try to manipulate medical treatment through self-reporting. ECF 39-2 at 9-10.

         On August 12, 2016, a nurse observed that, when she gave Marshall two Excedrin pills and one Risperdal pill, he moved the Risperdal pill to the other hand as he approached the water fountain, which suggested an attempt to divert Risperdal. ECF 39-3 at 138. When the nurse asked to see the pills in Marshall's hands, he said that he had accidentally dropped the Risperdal pill. Id.

         On August 23, 2016, Dawson discontinued Marshall's prescription of Risperdal based on his refusal to sign a medical records authorization form, his attempt to divert his medication, and her previous doubts regarding the paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis. Id. at 130-32. She concluded that his symptoms were more consistent with antisocial personality disorder and that discontinuation would not result in significant withdrawal symptoms. Id. She planned to follow up with Marshall in one month and to discuss his treatment plan at the weekly mental health meeting. Id.

         On August 26, 2016, during an individual psychotherapy session with Barbara Gibbs, Marshall again refused to sign the medical records authorization and requested medication. Id. at 126-29. He also denied suicidal ideation. Id. Gibbs observed alert, pleasant, cooperative behavior and no evidence of significant impairment or distress. Id. She noted that Marshall was actively and appropriately participating in anger management classes and that he had no disciplinary issues since his arrival at the Miami Correctional Facility. Id. She discussed cognitive behavioral therapy skills to manage anger and depression and gave him a self-help packet for him to complete. Id. She also consulted with the ...


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