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Richmond v. Huq

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 5, 2016

MELISA RICHMOND, Plaintiff,
v.
RUBAB HUQ, M.D., et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          John Corbett O'Meara United States District Judge

         Before the court are twelve motions for summary judgment filed by Defendants. The court heard oral argument on September 22, 2016, and took the matter under advisement. For the reasons explained below, Defendants' motions are granted.

         BACKGROUND FACTS

         Plaintiff Melisa Richmond alleges that she was denied medical treatment while at the Wayne County Jail from December 2012 to February 2013. Defendants are physicians Rubab Huq and Thomas Clafton; nurse practitioner Marie Shoulders; resident nurses Jacqueline Lonberger, Shevon Fowler, April Williams, Felecia Coleman, and Maxine Hawk; medical assistant Danielle Allen; and psychiatric social workers Agron Myftari and Patricia Rucker.

         Plaintiff was arrested during a domestic disturbance on December 25, 2012. While in the back of the police car, Plaintiff set her shirt on fire with a lighter and suffered burns to her right breast and torso. The police took her to the hospital, where Plaintiff was diagnosed with first and second degree burns. Plaintiff was discharged the same day into police custody, with prescriptions for pain medication and Silvadene skin cream.

         Plaintiff was taken to the Wayne County Jail after her arraignment on December 26, 2012. Plaintiff was booked and then screened for medical and mental health issues by a medical assistant. Defs.'s Ex. 16. The medical assistant referred Plaintiff for medical and mental health evaluations. Id. Two hours later (at 10:30 p.m.), Defendant Nurse Shevon Fowler examined Plaintiff, changed her wound dressing, and phoned the on-call doctor. The doctor prescribed Hydrocodone (Lortab), a narcotic painkiller, and daily wound dressing changes.

         The next morning, on December 27, 2012, Defendant Nurse Maxine Hawk changed Plaintiff's dressing in the jail clinic. Plaintiff was given two doses of Hydrocodone that day. On December 28, 2012, Plaintiff received three doses of Hydrocodone. She was also examined by Defendant Rubab Huq, M.D., who changed her wound dressing. See Defs.' Ex. 18 (electronic medical record). In addition to the treatment previously ordered, Dr. Huq prescribed antibiotics and Motrin for pain and ordered a follow up for January 10, 2013. Plaintiff was permitted to carry the Motrin on her person and dispense it herself.

         Also on December 28, Plaintiff saw Defendant Agron Myftari, a psychiatric social worker, who provided mental health screening. Plaintiff told Myftari about her history of bipolar disorder and current medications (Prozac and Xanax). Myftari found Plaintiff to have “mild-moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety” but noted that she “denied suicidal ideation.” Pl.'s Ex. 13. Myftari set up an appointment for Plaintiff with a psychiatrist for January 11, 2013. In doing so, Myftari judged that Plaintiff did not require in-patient mental health treatment, but was stable enough to wait for an appointment in the normal course. See Myftari Dep. at 79-80.

         On December 29, 2012, Plaintiff received three doses of Hydrocodone. She allegedly refused a dressing change from Defendant Nurse Jacqueline Lonberger. Plaintiff contends that Nurse Lonberger was unnecessarily rough in attempting to change the dressing, causing her pain. Nurse Lonberger did change Plaintiff's dressing the next day, when Plaintiff also received two doses of Hydrocodone.

         From December 31, 2012, until January 4, 2013, Plaintiff's dressings were changed once a day by Nurse Hawk, with the exception of January 3, when Plaintiff was in court. On those dates, Plaintiff received two doses of Hydrocodone.

         On January 5, 2013, Plaintiff's dressing was changed by Defendant Medical Assistant Danielle Allen. She received two doses of Hydrocodone. On January 6, 2013, there is no record of a dressing change, but Plaintiff received two doses of Hydrocodone. On January 7, 2013, Allen changed Plaintiff's dressing and Plaintiff was given three doses of Hydrocodone. On that same date, Plaintiff saw Defendant Patricia Rucker, a psychiatric social worker, to ask about obtaining psychiatric medication. Because Plaintiff did not mention that she had already been evaluated, Rucker sent Plaintiff to the mental health unit for an evaluation. There, the social worker (Jim Gilfix) found that Plaintiff already had an appointment for January 11, 2013, and that she “seems stable [and] denies feeling suicidal.” Defs.' Ex. 18. Gilfix determined that Plaintiff could wait for her January 11 appointment.

         Also on January 7, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a grievance, complaining that her “medical needs are being neglected . . . [Their] excuse is they are busy ... the nurse won't come & give me clean bandages or burn cream here I need to go to the hospital. . . .” Pl.'s Ex. 8. It does not appear that the grievance was acted upon because it was not referred for action until Plaintiff had already been released from jail.

         Although Plaintiff received three doses of Hydrocodone on January 8, there is no record of a dressing change. On January 9, 2013, Plaintiff received three doses of Hydrocodone and Allen changed her dressing. On January 10, 2013, Plaintiff received two doses of Hydrocodone. Allen noted that she was unable to change Plaintiff's dressing because Plaintiff was in court.

         On January 11, Plaintiff received two doses of Hydrocodone. She was also triaged by Nurse April Williams before being seen by Thomas Clafton, M.D., and Nurse Practitioner Marie Shoulders. Dr. Clafton ordered addition medications for Plaintiff: Ultram (Tramadol, a painkiller), Santyl (ointment), and Silvadene (antimicrobial ointment). On that same day, Plaintiff also saw psychiatrist Lisa Hinchman, who diagnosed Plaintiff with bipolar disorder, ...


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