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Brewer v. Thompson

United States District Court, D. Utah

April 28, 2017

JORDAN ALAN NEVES BREWER, Plaintiff,
v.
TERRY THOMPSON et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS OF DEFENDANTS PERRY, WOOD, AND RUSSELL

          TENA CAMPBELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Jordan Alan Neves Brewer, a former inmate of the Davis County Correctional Facility (DCCF) and the Weber County Correctional Facility (WCCF), filed this pro se civil-rights suit alleging, among other things, violations of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. See 42 U.S.C.S § 1983 (2017). Specifically, Mr. Brewer alleges that Defendants Sheila Perry, a licensed clinical social worker at both facilities; Dr. John Wood, director of medical treatment at both facilities; and Richard Russell, a physician's assistant at WCCF, were deliberately indifferent to Mr. Brewer's serious medical needs when they failed to adequately address Mr. Brewer's complaints of anxiety, insomnia, and back pain.

         As ordered, Defendants filed Martinez reports and summary-judgment motions addressing Mr. Brewer's claims. These motions are now fully briefed and before the Court.

         UNDISPUTED FACTS

         The facts are drawn from Defendants' Martinez reports: Defendants' affidavits and DCCF and WCCF records of medical policies and Mr. Brewer's medical treatment. Mr. Brewer's response to the summary-judgment motion primarily uses these same sources, making unpersuasive arguments about how they may be interpreted in certain ways to bolster Mr. Brewer's claims. To these, he added his own unsworn statement, medical records from treatment he received at other facilities (both before and after his stays in DCCF and WCCF), copies of drug indications and Wikipedia definitions of his allegedly diagnosed illnesses, and news reports of other inmates who had allegedly received poor medical treatment at DCCF and WCCF. Mr. Brewer's submissions are either inadmissible or are irrelevant to Defendants' alleged provision of inadequate medical treatment and are not relied on here.

(1) Under United States Marshal Service (USMS) custody, Mr. Brewer was held in DCCF (first) and WCCF (second), from about October 13, 2011, through December 5, 2012. (Docket Entry # 61, Defendants' Martinez Rep't, p. 2.)
(2) DCCF medical personnel (including and under supervision of Dr. Wood) saw Mr. Brewer at least sixteen times, on these dates: 10/13/11, 10/15/11, 11/07/11, 11/09/11, 12/28/11, 2/21/12, 3/28/12, 4/6/12, 5/1/12, 5/23/12, 5/25/12, 6/14/12, 6/18/12, 7/30/12, 8/6/12, and 8/7/12. Other times, they tried to see Mr. Brewer, but he was unavailable. They also “reviewed [past] medical records, including x-rays and medical related faxes or calls concerning [Mr. Brewer's] care on” (at least) 11/03/11, 11/17/12, 2/1/12, 2/8/12, 4/12/12, 4/19/12, and 5/2/12. (Id. at ¶¶ 41, 46, 64, 68.)
(3) During his time at DCCF, Mr. Brewer averaged at least one medical appointment per month--even as many as three in one month. (See id. at ¶ 46.) Past medical providers and a specialist were consulted and sometimes their treatment advice was adopted. (See id. at ¶¶ 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 56.) X-rays were taken and reviewed. (Id. at ¶ 55.)
(4) When treating an inmate, Dr. Wood independently evaluates the inmate's condition. He reviews available medical records and history (as he did here) but may choose to discontinue a past medical provider's course of treatment. He uses his own “professional judgment, the patient's history, and [his] personal observations of the inmate's current condition to determine the proper treatment plan.” (See id. at ¶ 43.)
(5) During medical visits, Mr. Brewer would sometimes ask for certain drugs, like Wellbutrin and Remeron; however, DCCF medical personnel, under Dr. Wood's guidance, decided to treat him with different drugs deemed more suitable. (See id. ¶¶ 48, 49, 51, 63)
(6) On May 23, 2012, Defendant Sheila Perry, LCSW, saw Mr. Brewer about his request for different medication from that which had been prescribed and referred him to Dr. Wood. On August 7, 2012, she saw Mr. Brewer again for anxiety and depression and educated him as to “distraction and breathing techniques.” (See id. at ¶¶ 62, 63, 67.)
(7) On September 11, 2012, Mr. Brewer filed a grievance, stating he had been prescribed Wellbutrin and Trazadone (apparently by outside personal physician(s)), but was not getting them at DCCF. Neither of those drugs was allowed by DCCF policy but medical staff evaluated and treated Mr. Brewer based on the prevailing standard of care with alternative prescriptions for anxiety and depression, like Lexapro, Celexa, and Prozac. (See id. at ¶ 69.)
(8) After Mr. Brewer's transfer to WCCF, Mr. Brewer was seen by medical staff there for back pain and depression at least eleven times in about three months: 9/13/12, 9/17/12, 9/21/12, 9/25/12, 10/1/12, 10/10/12, 10/11/12, 10/24/12, 10/25/12, 11/21/12, and 11/25/12. His past medical records were reviewed and he was freshly evaluated. During every visit, action was taken to try to improve Mr. Brewer's plight--i.e., medication was prescribed; dosages were modified or adjusted; follow-up appointments were arranged; an ...

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