Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sims v. Clarke

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

December 4, 2019

WILLIAM T. SIMS, Plaintiff,
v.
HAROLD CLARKE, MELVIN DAVIS, and DR. LAURENCE WANG, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ELIZABETH K. DILLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pro se plaintiff William T. Sims alleges that the defendants have refused to treat or mistreated a variety of medical issues he has dealt with while incarcerated at Green Rock Correctional Center. One of the defendants, Dr. Laurence Wang, moves to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment.[1] Because Dr. Wang relies on evidence outside the pleadings in support of this motion, including his own declaration, the court will treat this as a summary judgment motion, which will be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Sims alleges that defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. (Compl. ¶ 13, Dkt. No. 1.) He asserts that defendants

are denying me medical treatment that I obviously need, they're ignoring medical orders, not honoring specialist's and primary care physician's orders that come to the Department of Corrections with me, they're ignoring all signs of physical deterioration, they're ignoring repeated complaints of worsening pain and repeated complaints that the course of treatment is not working, they're denying me medical visits with doctors qualified to treat, diagnose and monitor issues that Dr. Wang is not qualified to treat nor has the equipment to diagnose.

(Id. ¶ 8.) Sims' alleged ailments are as follows: persistent headaches, dizzy spells, blurred vision and brain tremors that affect his speech and orientation; blackouts and memory lapses; sleep apnea; weight gain; borderline diabetic, with circulation issues; hypertension and high cholesterol; neck and spine damages; lower back issues; and bowel movement issues. (Id.)

         Dr. Wang has been a contract physician for the Department of Corrections at Green Rock since 2007. (Declaration of Laurence Wang (“Wang Decl.”) ¶ 2, Dkt. No. 14-1.) His responsibilities include acting as a medical provider for Green Rock inmates. (Id. ¶ 3.)

         Dr. Wang has treated Sims for his shoulder, neck, and lower back pain. Sims has been repeatedly referred to outside medical providers for MRIs, epidurals, and physical therapy. Dr. Wang has treated Sims in accordance with his diagnosis and the recommendations of outside medical providers. (Id. ¶ 5.)

         As to his bowel issues, Sims received an abdominal x-ray that was unremarkable and has not exhibited or complained of relevant symptoms since then. In March 2018, Sims had lab work done, which was within normal limits, and no referrals were required. In visits to outside healthcare providers, Sims specifically denied bowel movement issues. (Id. ¶ 6.)

         Regarding Sims' weight issues, prior to receiving his prosthesis, [2] Sims' exercise routine was hampered by him being wheelchair-bound. Meanwhile, Sims purchases and eats unhealthy, fattening foods, including candy and sweets. (Id. ¶ 7.)

         Sims has not complained about or exhibited any symptoms indicative of brain issues. Sims' vision has been regularly screened, and he was provided eyeglasses with issues or complaints of blurry vision. In visits to outside healthcare providers, Sims specifically denied blurry vision. (Id. ¶ 8.)

         In November 2017, Sims told Dr. Wang that he had used a CPAP machine years ago and that Sims would ask his family to bring it to him in prison, which Dr. Wang said would be fine. About a year later, Sims indicated that he did not get the CPAP machine and he requested one. Sims was referred to a sleep apnea study, but he refused, and his oxygen saturation at that time was not indicative of sleep apnea. At no time did Sims exhibit symptoms consistent with sleep deprivation. (Id. ¶ 9.)[3]

         During his treatment of Sims, Dr. Wang did not diagnose any acute event or condition that was an emergency condition. Dr. Wang was aware that Sims complained of neck, shoulder, and lower back pain, complained of neurological issues, complained as to urological issues, and complained about carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Wang monitored Sims' condition and referred him for specialist treatment consistent with the standard of care for a physician licensed in the Commonwealth. Dr. Wang maintains that he did not ignore Sims' health issues or deny a referral to an outside healthcare provider when ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.