United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Curt Lowder's
(“Mr. Lowder”) Motion for Preliminary injunction.
At the time of the filing of this lawsuit, Mr. Lowder was an
Indiana prison inmate incarcerated in the Indiana State
Reformatory (ISR) in Pendleton, Indiana. He sued Dr. Paul
Talbot and Health Services Administrator LaFlower, medical
employees at ISR, for their alleged deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs. He seeks specific medical
treatment and medications. After defendants answered, Mr.
Lowder filed this motion for a preliminary injunction seeking
essentially the same relief he seeks in his lawsuit.
Defendants responded in opposition to the motion. Mr. Lowder
did not reply. For the reasons stated below, the motion, dkt.
 is denied.
Preliminary Injunction Standard
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary equitable remedy
that is available only when the movant shows clear
need.” Turnell v. Centimark Corp., 796 F.3d
656, 661 (7th Cir. 2015). “To survive the threshold
phase, a party seeking a preliminary injunction must satisfy
three requirements.” Valencia v. City of
Springfield, 883 F.3d 959, 966 (7th Cir. 2018) (internal
quotations omitted)). It must show that: (1) “absent a
preliminary injunction, it will suffer irreparable harm in
the interim period prior to final resolution of its
claims”; (2) “traditional legal remedies would be
inadequate”; and (3) “its claim has some
likelihood of succeeding on the merits.” Id.
Only if the moving party meets these threshold requirements
does the court then proceed to the balancing phase of the
analysis. Id. In the balancing phase, “the
court weighs the irreparable harm that the moving party would
endure without the protection of the preliminary injunction
against any irreparable harm the nonmoving party would suffer
if the court were to grant the requested relief.”
arriving at ISR, Mr. Lowder was incarcerated at the Wabash
Valley Correctional Facility (WVCF). While there he had seen
outside medical provider Dr. Kurt Madsen, and apparently
medical providers at WVCF followed the specialist's
recommendations in some respects. He received Ultram,
Gabapentin, Tylenol, and other non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory medications for pain, as well as Pepcid for
a gastrointestional condition. After he was transferred from
WVCF to ISR, defendants changed his treatment, specifically
discontinuing Ultram. Mr. Lowder also contends that Dr.
Madsen recommended surgery, but defendants will not follow
that recommendation. Mr. Lowder contends he is in pain
because defendants' have been deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs by not following Dr. Madsen's
Court will address the three Valencia factors to
assess Mr. Lowder's motion.
Likelihood of Success on the Merits
Lowder's argument that he is likely to succeed on the
merits of his claims are premised on the assertion that
defendants are deliberately indifferent because they are not
following Dr. Madsen's recommendations. Defendants offer
evidence that they are providing constitutionally adequate
medical treatment, and therefore Mr. Lowder's likelihood
of success on the merits is not a foregone conclusion.
state a valid Eighth Amendment claim for inadequate medical
care, Mr. Lowder must “allege acts or omissions
sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976). A deliberate indifference claim is
comprised of two elements: one objective and one subjective.
McGee v. Adams, 721 F.3d 474, 480 (7th Cir. 2013).
Defendants do not dispute that Mr. Lowder suffers from
serious medical conditions. To demonstrate deliberate
indifference to a serious medical judgment a plaintiff must
show that medical decisions were “such a substantial
departure from accepted professional judgment, practice, or
standards, as to demonstrate that [they] . . . did not base
the decision[s] on such a judgment.” Proctor v.
Sood, 863 F.3d 563, 568 (7th Cir. 2017).
the Eighth Amendment, [a plaintiff] is not entitled to demand
specific care. [H]e is not entitled to the best care
possible. [H]e is entitled to reasonable measures to meet a
substantial risk of serious harm to [him].” Forbes
v. Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir. 1997). Mr. Lowder
“is not entitled to demand specific care.”
Talbot's affidavit submitted in opposition to the motion
for preliminary injunction, he states that when Mr. Lowder
arrived at ISR, he reviewed Mr. Lowder's records and
performed research on recommended treatments for Mr.
Lowder's conditions. He prescribed Mobic for pain, which
is a long-acting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
and recommended, with exercise, for the condition afflicting
Mr. Lowder. He also determined that Gabapentin was no longer
recommended for Mr. Lowder's condition, so he ordered a
gradual reduction of the Gabapentin. Dr. Talbot also states
that there was no specific recommendation from Dr. Madsen for
Mr. Lowder to receive any back or hip surgery. Finally, Dr.
Talbot continued Mr. Lowder's prescription for Pepcid.
Talbot also states in the affidavit that he has seen Mr.
Lowder numerous times in 2017 and 2018, and Mr. Lowder does
not require a cane, walker, or wheelchair, is able to walk to
the health care unit, get up and down from the examination
table, and dress and bathe himself. While Mr. Lowder always
asks for Ultram, Dr. Talbot states that his physical findings
and the medical research do not warrant that medication.
Finally, Dr. Talbot ...