United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
CHRISTOPHER A. STANTON, Plaintiff,
INDIANA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. SIMON, JUDGE.
A. Stanton, a prisoner without a lawyer, proceeds on an
Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs against Barbara Eichmann and Charles
Dalrymple. He alleges that Dr. Eichmann and Dalrymple were
aware of his mental condition and deprived him of psychiatric
medication and housing accommodations in a single or double
cell from January 18, 2016, to July 20, 2016, at the
Westville Correctional Facility. Both sides seeks summary
judgment. On the one hand, Stanton argues that the defendants
acted with deliberate indifference by denying his requests to
be housed in a single or double cell and by denying his
requests for medication. For their parts, the defendants
argue that they provided medical treatment in accordance with
their medical judgment, and this fact precludes summary
Eichmann worked as a psychiatrist at the Westville
Correctional Facility. ECF 69-1 at 1. Charles Dalrymple
worked as a mental health therapist at the same facility. Dr.
Eichmann and Dalrymple each submitted an affidavit (ECF 69-1,
ECF 69-3) and the relevant medical records (ECF 69-2), which
revealed the following.
Westville Correctional Facility provides specialized housing
for inmates determined to be significantly impaired by mental
illness in the Special Needs Acclimation Program
(“SNAP”) Unit. ECF 69-3 at 3. Though Dalrymple
could make placement recommendations, the lead psychologist
and correctional staff ultimately determined whether an
inmate would be placed in the specialized housing.
Id. Dr. Eichmann was not involved with this
decision-making process. ECF 69-1 at 1.
to the defendants' expertise, 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. at 3-4. No. medication specifically treats
antisocial personality disorder, but medication may be
prescribed to treat the symptoms, including anxiety or
depression. Id. Psychotherapy is also used to treat
antisocial personality disorder. Id. Depression is a
mood disorder with persistent feelings of sadness and loss of
interest. Id. at 4. Symptoms include difficulty
eating and sleeping, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and
thoughts of death or suicide. Id. It can be treated
with antidepressants or psychotherapy. Id.
stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in
individuals who experience a shocking or traumatic event.
Id. Symptoms, which may be latent and may occur
sporadically, include intrusive memories of the event,
avoidance of the traumatic event, negative changes in
thinking or mood, and changes in physical and emotional
reactions. Id. Flashbacks and dissociation may also
occur, but violence during flashbacks is extremely unusual.
Id. Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes
mood swings, including manic episodes, in which an individual
has increased energy and activity levels; depressive
episodes, in which an individual feels depressed and has
decreased energy levels; and mixed episodes, in which an
individual experiences both manic and depressive symptoms.
October 8, 2015, Stanton underwent a psychological intake
evaluation at the Reception Diagnostic Center. ECF 69-2 at
199-201. A mental health counselor noted Stanton's
history of using suicidal intent and self-harm to manipulate
his housing assignments during his previous term of
incarceration. Id. Stanton reported a history of
psychotropic medication and several diagnoses, including
anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), bipolar
disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial
personality disorder. Id. On October 12, 2015,
Stanton underwent an initial psychiatric evaluation.
Id. at 1-6. He was diagnosed with major depressive
affective disorder and polysubstance dependence and was
prescribed Celexa to reduce stress and anxiety. Id.
tedious, in order to fully appreciate the extent of the
attention that Stanton received from mental health providers,
it is important to go through the chronology of events. So
here goes: On October 27, 2015, Stanton was transferred to
the Westville Correctional Facility and was placed in general
population. Id. at 7-8. On November 2, 2015, Dr.
Eichmann discontinued Celexa because Stanton had refused it.
Id. at 17. He explained that he did not believe he
needed it if he was able to keep busy. Id. On
November 3, 2015, Stanton met with Gary M. Durak, Ph.D., and
reported no mental health symptoms and repeated that he did
not need Celexa. Id. He also reported previous
suicide attempts but he admitted that he engaged in
self-mutilating behavior to facilitate housing changes.
Id. He reported that, when he was eight years old,
he witnessed the murder of his grandfather. Id. But
the psychologist observed no symptoms of PTSD and assessed
major depressive affective disorder and polysubstance
November 19, 2015, Stanton again told Dr. Eichmann that he
felt fine without medication and wanted to continue without
it. Id. at 25-29. On December 29, 2015, during an
individual therapy session, Stanton revealed that previous
suicide attempts were not motivated by suicidal intent but
were intended to achieve a desired result. Id. at
30-33. The statements by Stanton that he did not need any
medication and his repeated admissions that, in the past, he
used his mental health to achieve some ulterior goal, later
informed many of the decisions made by Dalrymple and Dr.
January 18, 2016, Stanton was moved to segregation following
a disciplinary incident. Id. at 34-35. On the same
day, Stanton submitted a request to be moved to segregation,
stating that he could not tolerate an open dormitory and that
he would assault a correctional officer if necessary.
Id. at 160. Three days later, Stanton submitted a
request to be moved to a single or double cell. Id.
at 161. Dalrymple responded that he would speak to Stanton
during weekly rounds and explained that mental health staff
had no say on housing assignments. Id.
January 29, 2016, Stanton submitted a request, stating that
he could not tolerate an open dormitory due to post-traumatic
stress syndrome (PTSD) and anxiety and that he would stab
somebody if necessary. Id. at 162. He stated that he
wanted “to see the head doctor not no therapist
flunky.” Id. At Stanton's cell, Dalrymple
told Stanton that the mental health unit could recommend
housing accommodations but that housing decisions were
ultimately made by the administration. Id. at 45-46.
Stanton responded, “I guess I'll just have to keep
stabbing people.” Id. Dalrymple thought he was
being played by Stanton. He found Stanton's behavior to
be consistent with antisocial personality disorder and
forwarded the housing request to the lead psychologist.
February 14, 2016, Stanton submitted a request to speak to a
therapist. Id. at 163. Dalrymple responded that he
would see Stanton no later than February 23. Id. On
February 23, 2016, Dalrymple noted that the medical records
did not include a PTSD diagnosis but forwarded Stanton's
housing request to the lead psychologist. Id. at
53-56. On February 27, 2016, Stanton submitted a request,
stating that he would be released from segregation in fifteen
days. Id. at 164. He stated that, if he was placed
in an open dormitory and received another disciplinary write
up due to PTSD, he would file a lawsuit. Id.
Dalrymple forwarded the housing request to the lead
March 5, 2016, Stanton submitted a request, seeking an update
on his housing request. Id. Dalrymple told Stanton
once again that the mental health department did not
determine housing assignments. Id. A few days later,
Dalrymple met with Stanton at his cell and informed him that
correctional staff ultimately determined housing assignments
and that his case manager was working on this issue.
Id. at 61-63. The following day, Stanton submitted a
request, stating that mental health did have the
authority to dictate housing assignments, citing a document
from another lawsuit, and threatened that he was going to
contact the ACLU. Id. at 166. Dalrymple responded
that the terms of that other lawsuit did not apply to
Stanton. Id. Stanton and Dalrymple met again the
following day, and Stanton told Dalrymple that he had bipolar
disorder and denied ever seeing a psychologist since
transferring to the Westville Correctional Facility.
Id. at 64-66. Dalrymple noted that no records
indicated diagnoses for bipolar disorder or PTSD but that the
records did indicate that Stanton had seen a psychologist in
November 2015. Id. Once again, Dalrymple noted that
he found Stanton's behavior to be consistent with
antisocial personality disorder. Id.
Stanton transferred to a different unit, Dalrymple did not
interact with Stanton again until April 20, 2016. ECF 69-3 at
11. Dalrymple did not recommend Stanton for placement in the
SNAP Unit because his symptoms did not suggest that such
placement was required. Id. From Dalrymple's
perspective, Stanton, who frequently exhibited argumentative
and demanding behavior, presented with the symptoms of
antisocial personality disorder rather than the symptoms of
PTSD or bipolar disorder. Id.
March 15, 2016, a psychologist reviewed Stanton's
treatment plan, and Stanton attended an individual therapy
session. Id. at 68-72. On April 4, 2016, Stanton
submitted a request, stating that he needed mental health
assistance due to family issues and that he would “do
something messed up” if he was “not locked up and
stripped of everything.” Id. at 76. On April
7, 2016, Stanton received a disciplinary write up for
threatening correctional staff. Id. at 77. On April
11, 2016, Stanton attended an individual therapy session.
Id. at 78-80. On April 12, 2016, Stanton received
another disciplinary write up -- this one for refusing an
order. Id. at 81.
April 19, 2016, Stanton assaulted a correctional officer and
was then placed in segregation. Id. at 82-83. On
April 20, 2016, Stanton submitted a request, stating that he
was going to file a lawsuit because the mental health staff
allowed his PTSD to result in the loss of good time credit.
Id. at 169. Specifically, he explained that he
blacked out and had a flashback when the correctional officer
grabbed him and that he had the correctional officer in a
headlock when he regained consciousness. Id. On
April 23, 2016, Stanton submitted a request, declaring that
he would start a hunger strike until he was transferred to
another correctional facility and until his medical needs
were satisfied. Id. at 167. A nurse observed that
that Stanton became upset after learning that the physician
had stopped insulin orders. Id. at 95-96. Stanton
refused all food and medication. Id. On April 25,
2016, Stanton stated he would not eat until he was
transferred to a different facility and explained that he
assaulted to correctional officer because he could not
tolerate general population. Id. at 101-02. However,
Stanton abandoned the hunger strike later that day.
Id. at 103-04.
April 26, 2016, Dalrymple met Stanton at his cell and Stanton
explained that he assaulted the correctional officer after he
learned that he was being transferred to an open dormitory
and blacked out. Id. at 109-10. He further
complained about stress, anxiety, and PTSD. Id.
Dalrymple agreed to an out-of-cell visit no later than May 3,
2016. Id. On that date, Stanton asked Dalrymple for
medication for his mental condition. Id. at 113-15.
He also complained about the lack of available coping
strategies as he did not have a stress ball, punching bag, or
enough space to exercise; he also complained about his
relationship with his family. Id. Dalrymple advised
Stanton to consider both the positive and the negative