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Hee v. U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

July 2, 2018

ALBERT S.N. HEE, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Albert S.N. Hee is currently an inmate at the Federal Prison Camp (FPC) in Terre Haute, Indiana. He filed this action against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and individual medical providers and administrators. Mr. Hee alleges that he has been denied adequate medical care and that the continued disregard of his serious medical conditions is damaging his physical and mental health. In addition, Mr. Hee alleges that the BOP's written policies are life-threatening given the medical care regimen he requires. Mr. Hee alleges that FPC Terre Haute doctors have stated in writing that his current placement is not safe, but the BOP has refused to transfer him to a more suitable facility. He also seeks injunctive relief specifically an order transferring him to the FPC at Devens, Maine, and the ability to carry injectable Benadryl or, in the alternative, compassionate release.[1]

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. § 1915A(b). For the reasons explained below, certain claims shall proceed, while other claims are dismissed for failure to state a claim or because they are misjoined.

         I. The Complaint

         A. Background

         Mr. Hee describes his serious medical need as follows:

Between 1972 and 1976, while in the Navy, I was given a course of monthly antibiotics to treat chronic bronchitis. The treatments severely compromised my immune system resulting in my developing severe allergies to: medications including antibiotics; environmental - molds, mildew, pollen; multiple foods; and a sensitivity to chemicals and odors.

Dkt. No. 1 at 2. Mr. Hee states that his allergies are so severe that they can cause asthma and anaphylaxis. On one occasion prior to his incarceration, Mr. Hee had to be taken to the emergency room for intubation, mechanical ventilation and an induced coma. On two other occasions, he lost consciousness. Mr. Hee claims that his medical conditions are controlled by avoidance of allergens, daily medications, and emergency use of injectable Benadryl.

         B. Injunctive Relief Claims Against the BOP and Dr. Jeffery Allen

         The claim against the BOP is that it kept the money UPS paid for losing Mr. Hee's property, refused to allow Mr. Hee to buy another Omron portable nebulizer, stopped his medications for chronic medical conditions (including immediate access to injectable Benadryl), failed to process his request for compassionate release, maintains a medical care policy that will harm Mr. Hee (specifically, the mandated use of epinephrine), and refuses to transfer him to a safer camp.

         1. Transfer to safe environment

         Dr. Jeffery Allen is the BOP Health Services Director in Washington D.C. Mr. Hee alleges that Dr. Allen is responsible for denying Mr. Hee's request for transfer out of FPC Terre Haute to a safer facility. Mr. Hee argues that the medical staff at the FPC Terre Haute agree that the setting is not safe for him and have requested that he be transferred. In addition, as a result of the environment at FCP Terre Haute, Mr. Hee has doubled his intake of oral Benadryl (100 mg/day) and has required injections of Benadryl several times during the summer months.

         Mr. Hee alleges that his transfer to the FPC at Butner was denied because it has staffing similar to the FPC at Terre Haute, so there would be no benefit. Mr. Hee alleges that he should not be placed at risk because of BOP medical staff shortages. Mr. Hee claims that the FPC at Devens would be an appropriate placement because he could be transported to an emergency room faster, it has a smaller camp population, and it is air conditioned.

         2. BOP Epinephrine policy

         Mr. Hee further claims that the BOP's standard written treatment of epinephrine could kill him. Dkt. No. 1 at 2. Mr. Hee explains that in 2011, he had a heart attack requiring the placement of a stent. As a result, he should receive injectable Benadryl first and EpiPen second in an emergency situation. The BOP's written policy instead calls for the use of epinephrine that could cause Mr. Hee to have another heart attack.

         3. Omron nebulizer

         The medications and Omron nebulizer Mr. Hee took with him to the Federal Medical Center in Rochester were mailed back to his home via UPS. UPS notified BOP that the shipment had been lost and when UPS reimbursed BOP for Mr. Hee's lost property, BOP kept the money (more than $1000). The Omron nebulizer was never found and BOP refused to replace it or reimburse Mr. Hee.

         This is understood to be a claim for injunctive relief seeking provision of a Omron nebulizer. It is also understood to be a claim for $1000 against the ...

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