United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Jackson L. Kiser Senior United States District Judge.
Drakeford, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed a civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 about his
conditions of confinement at Red Onion State Prison
("ROSP"). Plaintiff names Dr. Mullins and Nurse
Scott, who are medical staff at ROSP, as defendants.
Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiff
responded, making this matter ripe for
complains that he hurt his wrist while on the recreation yard
at ROSP on May 23, 2014. He feels that the medical treatments
he received - assessments, treatments, medications, and
surgery - violated the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff takes
particular issue with the use of Tylenol to treat his pain,
Nurse Scott allegedly telling him he does not need
medication, and the thirteen-day delay between when he broke
his wrist and when he received surgery. Because the record
does not support a finding of deliberate indifference, I
grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment.
Friday, May 23, 2014, Dr. Mullins received a call that
Plaintiff had injured his wrist. Dr. Mullins instructed that
Plaintiff keep the wrist elevated above his heart, and Dr.
Mullins ordered an ace wrap, an ice pack, an X ray, Motrin
800 m.g. by mouth immediately, and Motrin 400 m.g. by mouth
twice a day for five days. Dr. Mullins also ordered Plaintiff
to be admitted into the medical department until seeing the X
that day, Dr. Mullins learned that the X ray revealed a
fracture, and Dr. Mullins ordered a splint and an ice pack as
needed for 24 hours. Dr. Mullins again instructed that
Plaintiffs wrist be elevated above heart level.
not scheduled to do so, Dr. Mullins went to ROSP on Saturday,
May 24, 2014, to review the X ray results and examine
Plaintiff to ensure that someone saw him within twenty-four
hours of the injury. The X ray showed an "acute
comminuted fracture of the distal radius epiphyseal
metaphyseal region." Dr. Mullins ordered staff to splint
the wrist and schedule a consultation with an orthopedic
specialist and instructed Plaintiff to keep the wrist above
heart level. To treat pain, Dr. Mullins prescribed both
"Tylenol #3" - which contains 300 m.g. of Tylenol
and 30 m.g. of the narcotic codeine - four times a day and
800 m.g. of Ibuprofen three times a day for twenty-one days.
Dr. Mullins prescribed both medications in case Plaintiff
could not tolerate one of them, but Plaintiff could receive
only one of the two medications.
Scott worked the night shift on May 24, 2014, and saw
Plaintiff at 6:30 p.m. for his complaints of
"throbbing." Nurse Scott reviewed the chart and
read that the prior duty nurse had given Tylenol #3 to
Plaintiff at 3:20 p.m. Nurse Scott did not administer pain
medication at that time because it was too soon since
Plaintiff received his last dose, which Nurse Scott argues is
very different from "refusing" to provide him with
ordered medication. Nurse Scott denies ever telling Plaintiff
that he did not need to be medicated.
Scott saw Plaintiff again at 9:15 p.m. Plaintiff complained
that his wrist hurt, Nurse Scott gave Tylenol #3 to
Plaintiff, and Nurse Scott did not receive further complaints
from Plaintiff that night.
Scott examined Plaintiff next at 6:15 p.m. on May 25, 2014,
which revealed no distress, and Plaintiff did not complain of
pain at that time. Plaintiffs medical record informed Nurse
Scott that Plaintiff had received Tylenol #3 at 4:20 p.m.
p.m., Plaintiff complained that his wrist began to hurt
again, and Nurse Scott gave him Tylenol #3. Nurse Scott did
not interact with Plaintiff for the remainder of the shift
and would not return to ROSP until May 31, 2014. Other
medical staff continued to dispense Plaintiffs medication,
Mullins saw Plaintiff again on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Dr.
Mullins noted that the medical staff was trying to schedule
an orthopedic consultation that same day. Dr. Mullins renewed
the Tylenol #3 for four times a day.
Mullins saw Plaintiff again on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Dr.
Mullins noted that arrangements had been made for him to see
an orthopedic specialist on Monday, June 2, 2014. Dr. Mullins
noted that Plaintiff was doing well at that time. Dr. Mullins
personally contacted the orthopedic office to make sure they
were aware of the date of injury and the X ray findings and
diagnosis, and the orthopedic office did not make any
recommendations at that time or move up the appointment.
30, 2014, Dr. Mullins was advised that the order for Tylenol
#3 had expired, and Dr. Mullins ordered prescription strength
Ibuprofen 800 m.g. three times a day for pain. Dr. Mullins
did not renew Tylenol #3 because of the risks of dependency
to codeine. Dr. Mullins received a call later that evening
that Plaintiff was complaining about pain, so ...