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Taylor v. Fleming

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

March 6, 2017

LESLIE FLEMING, et al., Defendants.


          Elizabeth K. Dillon United States District Judge.

         Daniel Taylor, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against several defendants at Wallens Ridge State Prison (“Wallens Ridge”). This matter is before the court on a motion for summary judgment filed by defendants Dr. Dulaney and Nurse Stanford. Having considered the record, the court will grant the motion for summary judgment.


         Taylor alleges that, in October 2014, he “put in a sick call form for excessive weight loss” because his weight dropped from 158 pounds to 144 pounds during the year.[1] Taylor states that he saw Dr. Dulaney, but she “flat-out refused to run lab work, ” was unwilling to evaluate Taylor's “week-to-week recorded weights, ” and denied his request for a “food supplement energy drink.”

         Taylor alleges that he saw Dr. Dulaney again on October 26, 2015, concerning headaches. Taylor alleges that Dr. Dulaney asked him several questions and when Taylor “didn't answer the question[s] the way she wanted, ” Dr. Dulaney “gave [him] an evil look” and cut the visit “short.” Taylor alleges that Dr. Dulaney did not “investigat[e] the situation whole- heartedly.” Taylor states that he requested various medications, including a pain reliever, and Dr. Dulaney prescribed them.

         Taylor claims that in 2016, his weight dropped to 135 pounds and his shoes would not stay on his feet. He states that he requested, and Dr. Dulaney ordered, lab work. He complains, though, that she did not prescribe an energy drink.

         Taylor alleges no facts against or conduct committed by Nurse Stanford, but seeks to hold her responsible for her supervisory role in the medical department.

         In support of the motion for summary judgment, Nurse Stanford, who is the head nurse at Wallens Ridge, provides an affidavit stating that she did not provide any direct clinical care to Taylor, had no involvement in or contemporaneous knowledge of the provision of medical services to Taylor, and is not aware of any incident in which Taylor was denied access to adequate medical care.

         Dr. Dulaney, a licensed physician who provides medical services at Wallens Ridge, submits a declaration detailing her treatment of Taylor beginning in October 2014. According to her declaration, Dr. Dulaney saw Taylor on October 26, 2014, for complaints of weight loss and a request for Boost nutritional supplement. At the time, he weighed 145 pounds with restraints on. She states that he reported that, for the previous year and a half, his weight had been approximately 145 pounds. Taylor told Dr. Dulaney that he had been told that there was an issue with his thyroid. Dr. Dulaney noted that Taylor's thyroid stimulating hormone (“TSH”) level was normal in 2011. She noted that Taylor did not have any actual weight loss, and on exam his vitals were stable, he was afebrile, had no appreciable disease, he was alert and oriented, and he appeared well. Dr. Dulaney determined that Taylor's complaints of weight loss were unfounded, and she denied his request for a Boost supplement.

         Dr. Dulaney saw Taylor again on September 10, 2015, for complaints of dry skin. He refused vital signs, but on exam Dr. Dulaney noted dry skin in his groin area, arms, and feet. She ordered an ointment to be applied every day for 90 days. He did not report any complaints of weight loss at that visit.

         Dr. Dulaney saw Taylor on October 26, 2015, for complaints of headaches. Taylor told Dr. Dulaney that he had headaches since 2013, but only when he is in segregation. He claimed to have daily headaches and sometimes several a day. Dr. Dulaney states that when she asked him how long each headache lasted, he refused to answer any of her questions directly. When she asked him for specifics, he repeated over and over: “that's what I'm trying to tell you, ” but he never actually told Dr. Dulaney anything. She states that he was short tempered during the whole visit. She also states that his refusal to cooperate and answer her questions interfered with her ability to fully assess his condition. Security ended the visit after approximately 10 minutes. Taylor did not complain of weight loss at this visit.

         Dr. Dulaney saw Taylor on January 13, 2016, for complaints of dry skin, shaving bumps, and weight loss and his request for ointment and lab work. Dr. Dulaney states that Taylor refused vital signs. On exam, Dr. Dulaney noted that he had very dry skin in some areas, but no skin issues on his face. She ordered the ointment for him to use every day for 20 days. She told him to decrease his shaving frequency. She ordered lab work and weight checks every two weeks.

         Dr. Dulaney reviewed Taylor's lab work on January 25, 2016, and noted that everything was within normal limits. She ordered that he continue with weight checks every two weeks for one month and that his chart be reviewed after the first weight check. On February 1, 2016, she reviewed his chart, noted that his weight was 150 pounds, and discontinued the weight checks as his weight was stable.

         Dr. Dulaney saw Taylor on February 8, 2016, for his request to have certain foods removed from his diet. Taylor reported that he had seen a gastroenterologist when he was 12 years old. He also requested ointment for facial shaving irritation. On exam, no appreciable disease was noted, he was alert and oriented, and his skin appeared normal. Dr. Dulaney explained the food allergy policy to Taylor. She also noted that, in her medical opinion, he did not have any food ...

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