United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge.
Tellis Sears initiated this action against Defendant County
of Saginaw by filing his complaint on November 19, 2015.
Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiff Sears alleges that Defendant
showed deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs
in violation of the Eighth Amendment by failing to treat an
open wound on his right scrotum, perineum, and thigh region
while he was incarcerated at the Saginaw County Jail.
Id. Sears argues that this injury was the result of
Defendant County of Saginaw's unlawful policy pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Monell v. Department of Social
Services of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978). Id.
August 15, 2016, Defendant County of Saginaw moved for
summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim. See Mot.
Summ. J., ECF No. 37. For the reasons stated below,
Defendant's motion will be granted.
Tellis Sears is a resident of Saginaw, Michigan. See
Compl. ¶ 1. Defendant County of Saginaw is a
governmental entity within the State of Michigan that
exercises supervising and governmental authority over the
Saginaw County Jail (the “Jail”). Id. at
¶ 2. The Jail contracts with Corizon Healthcare Systems
for the provision of jail medical services. See Geda
Dep 3-4, ECF No. 45 Ex. 1. Under the contract, at least two
nurses are available at the Jail at all times. Id.
at 4-6. However, the facility medical provider and physician,
Dr. Dennis M. Lloyd, D.O., is generally only present at the
Jail on Fridays. Id. at 5-6. Registered Nurse Jeremy
Geda testified that the Jail nurses are required to call Dr.
Lloyd for any medical administration, including over the
counter medicines. Id. at 10. Dr. Lloyd is always
available by telephone on the days that he is not present at
the Jail. Id. at 11.
October 14, 2014 Plaintiff Tellis Sears was taken into the
custody of the Saginaw County Jail after being charged with
violating his probation, where he remained to await
sentencing. See Compl. ¶ 5; Sears Dep. 13, ECF
No. 37 Ex. D. At the time of his intake Sears did not have
any serious or otherwise notable medical issues. See
Jail Med. Rec. 001-003, ECF No. 37 Ex. B; Sears Dep. 13.
Sears was placed in a cell that slept up to 12 inmates that
included a toilet, sink, and shower. See Sears Dep.
October 19, 2014 Plaintiff informed jail medical staff that
he had been experiencing constipation for a week.
See Jail Med. Rec. 008. As a result, he was examined
by Registered Nurse Jason Rickett. Id. Nurse Ricket
then called Dr. Lloyd, who prescribed Plaintiff one bottle of
magnesium citrate. See Lloyd Aff. Ex. A, ECF No. 37
Sears did not report any further medical issues to the Jail
staff until mid-November. In his deposition, Sears testified
that, after noticing a cyst on his upper right groin on
November 16 or 17, 2014, he sent around 10 notes, or
“kites”, to jail staff over the course of three
days before receiving any medical attention. See
Sears Dep. 15. This testimony is somewhat at odds with
Sears's medical records, which reflect that Sears was
examined on November 16, 2014 at around 2:45 PM by Nurse
Ricket after he complained of lower abdominal pain.
See Jail Med. Rec. 012-013. Sears testified that he
showed Nurse Ricket the lump on his groin and that Nurse
Ricket informed him he had a hernia. See Sears Dep.
16. There is no corroboration of this conversation in the
medical records. Instead, the records simply reflect that
Sears complained of lower abdominal pain, was prescribed 200
milligrams of Ibuprofen three times a day for seven days, and
that Nurse Ricket recommended that Dr. Lloyd review Plaintiff
Sears's file. See Jail Med. Rec. 012-013.
Sears's medical chart reflects that, pursuant to the
prescription, he received ibuprofen three times a day for the
duration of his time in the Jail. Id.at 21; Lloyd
Aff. Ex. A.
did not see another nurse until November 18, 2014 at around
1:30 PM when the cyst on his upper groin burst. See
Jail Med. Rec. 014; Sears Dep. 16. Sears alleges that he
received medical attention only after a guard noticed that
his jumpsuit was covered in blood, after which he was taken
to health services. Sears. Sears Dep. 37. The examining
nurse, Nurse Kimberly Cheslik noted that Sears complained of
a draining “hernia” on his right groin related to
his ongoing abdominal pain. See Jail Med. Rec. 014;
Cheslik Aff ¶¶ 3-6. Upon examining Plaintiff Sears,
Nurse Cheslik observed that Sears had an abscess that was
draining red, purulent fluid. Id. She also noted
redness around the drainage site and approximately two to
three centimeters of swelling, and that Sears was
experiencing a temperature of 102.1º Fahrenheit.
Id. After taking Sears's vital signs, Nurse
Cheslik contacted Dr. Lloyd, who ordered Bactrim, Epsom salt
soaks, and a wound culture. See Lloyd Aff. Ex. A.
Sears was also instructed to continue taking
“motrin;” a name that he appears to have been
using interchangeably with the “ibuprofen”
previously prescribed. Id. Finally, Sears was
scheduled for an appointment with Dr. Lloyd for Friday,
November 21, 2014. See Jail Med. Rec. 015.
meantime, Sears was placed in a single cell to prevent the
spread of any infection. See Sears. Dep. 20.
Plaintiff Sears testified that, because his new cell did not
have a shower and only had a sink, he had trouble using the
Epsom salt soaks. See Sears Dep. 21-22. Nurse Jeremy
Geda testified that in general patients were instructed to
apply Epsom salt soaks using a warm, wet washcloth.
See Geda Dep. 24-25. Sears attempted to use the
salts in this way, but claimed that it was ineffective and
that the wound continued to bleed. Sears Dep. 22.
Sears underwent a follow-up examination by Nurse Cheslik two
days later, on November 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM. See
Jail. Med. Rec. 016. Nurse Cheslik's progress notes from
that examination provide as follows:
Assessment complete on [right] inguinal
abscess. Contains moderate amount of red, thick
drainage noted. Appears to have a noted tunnel present
Also noted a second open area. Scrotum is enlarged as well as
reddened, edematous area on [right] anterior leg. Spoke to
Dr. Lloyd who advised to send to ER for treatment.
Id. Dr. Lloyd corroborates this report in his
affidavit, stating that upon receiving Nurse Chelsik's
telephone call he ordered that Plaintiff Sears be taken to
the emergency room as soon as possible because his condition
was worsening. See Lloyd Aff. ¶ 10; Lloyd Aff.
Ex. A. As a result, Sears was immediately taken to the St.
Mary's of Michigan Hospital emergency room. See
St. Mary's Med. Rec. 001, ECF No. 37 Ex. F.
arriving, Sears reported that he was experiencing fever,
chills, abdominal pain, and constipation. Id. ...