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Bowles v. Wells

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

March 23, 2018

LESTER EUGENE BOWLES, Plaintiff,
v.
D. WELLS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Hon. Jackson L. Kiser Senior United States District Judge

         Lester Eugene Bowles, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the sole defendant, Nurse D. Wells. Plaintiff alleges that Nurse Wells was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, at River North Correctional Center ("RNCC"). Nurse Wells filed a motion to dismiss, to which Plaintiff responded, making this matter ripe for disposition. After reviewing Plaintiffs submissions, I grant in part and deny in part the motion to dismiss.

         I.

         A.

         Plaintiff presents three brief claims in the complaint. Plaintiff first writes, "Deliberat[e] indifference to a serious medical need. In Orientation Manuals [, ] insulin is to be giv[en] to insulin dependent diabetics before chow at 5:00 to 6:00 am by night nurse." Plaintiff next writes, "Was told my insulin was changed per doctor signed by Nurse Wells. All papers show wrong doing on medical that is run by Nurse Wells to department is working on insulin problem for 22 month[s] now. Since I been here school chow is more important here than health." Lastly, Plaintiff writes, "Bathroom pass gave by doctor for medical reason and taken back by security not allowed to use pod restroom. Have had to stop taking three meds not allowed to use my toilet but ever[y] hour on the hour when at pod rec[reation] or at programs[.] Being a diabetic[, ] I need to go a lot for fluid reasons as well as medical won't allow access to pod restroom at all." Plaintiff requests $50, 000 and equitable relief.

         In a letter attached to the complaint, Plaintiff complains, inter alia, that he gets filters, but not new parts and distilled water, for his CPAP machine and does not get inserts for medial shoes. He also complains about correctional officers generally and believes "they" discriminate "against anyone in a wheelchair."

         B.

         Plaintiff also filed grievance records and an operating policy in support of the complaint. In sum, these documents reflect that Plaintiff believes the doctor should not have changed his insulin administration to 7:00 a.m., which was after breakfast instead of before breakfast. Plaintiff argues that "anyone who is a nurse should know you don't eat then take insulin cause[] you [have] to ... take more."

         Nurse Wells responded to an informal complaint in November 2015, noting the change in time and telling Plaintiff, "If you would like to discuss this with the doctor, please submit a request for service." On a request for services form from January 2016, a nurse noted that Plaintiffs insulin order "does not state give before you eat. The order reads just to be given in the morning. When the nurse arrives you have the option to show up or not to show up. This is your choice."

         In an informal complaint dated, January 4, 2017, Plaintiff wrote, "For the past months, I've been getting my morning insulin sometimes hours after I've ate. It's hard for me to keep taking it this way. I'm getting dizzy, sick to my stomach, agitated with the highs and lows from taking insulin late in [morning].... [H]aving nothing to eat makes me sick and agitated from highs and lows." Nurse Wells responded a few days later, stating, "A review of your past glucose recordings have shown your sugar to be stable with the exception of two occasions during the past 45 days. You may request sick call to discuss changing your regimen with the doctor."

         In an informal complaint dated February 15, 2017, Plaintiff wrote:

Today... medical has yet to give me my morning insulin before I eat breakfast. You are const[a]ntly late at giving me my insulin making me sick. You said or changed my order to 7:00 a.m. that still don't happen.... Fix this problem. Give me my insulin when I'm supposed to get it.

         Nurse Wells responded on March 1, 2017, noting, "The medical department is working with Dr. Stevens to initiate a new insulin and blood sugar schedule."

         Plaintiff was informed via a grievance response that all bathroom passes were had been revoked on September 29, 2016. The prison's administration had determined that "[a]n overwhelming amount of offenders were abusing the use of their bathroom pass by entering and exiting their cells numerous times during pod recreation, trading their ...


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