United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
WILLIAM T. SIMS, Plaintiff,
HAROLD CLARKE, MELVIN DAVIS, and DR. LAURENCE WANG, Defendants.
ELIZABETH K. DILLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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. 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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
Sims' weight issues, prior to receiving his prosthesis,
Sims' exercise routine was hampered by him being
wheelchair-bound. Meanwhile, Sims purchases and eats
unhealthy, fattening foods, including candy and sweets.
(Id. ¶ 7.)
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.
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.)
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