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Guenthner v. Martinez

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

December 10, 2013

PAUL MILLER GUENTHNER, Plaintiff,
v.
MARTINEZ, R.N. of the Snake River Correctional Institution, in her Official and Individual Capacity; BRADFORD, R.N. of the Snake River Correctional Institution, in her Official and Individual Capacity; BONNER, R.N. of the Snake River Correctional Institution, in her Official and Individual Capacity; WICK, R.N. of the Snake River Correctional Institution, in her Official and Individual Capacity; DR. S. SHELTON, Health Services Director for Policies for the Department of Corrections, in his Official and Individual Capacity; CLEMENTS, R.N. of the Snake River Correctional Institution, in her Official and Individual Capacity, Defendants.

WILLIAM V. DEATHERAGE, EDWARD H. TALMADGE, BRENT N. WILKINS, Frohnmayer Deatherage, Medford, OR, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

ELLEN ROSENBLUM, Attorney General, MICHAEL R. WASHINGTON, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, OR, Attorneys for Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion (#26) for Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion.

BACKGROUND

On February 17, 2011, Plaintiff Paul Miller Guenthner, an inmate at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), underwent surgery on his right shoulder at St. Alphonsus Medical Center.

On February 18, 2011, Richard Davis, M.D., treating surgeon, prepared a Discharge to Home Medication List for Plaintiff in which, among other things, Dr. Davis prescribed hydrocodone 5 mg/acetaminophen (Vicodin) and Celebrex (NSAID) for pain, directed Plaintiff to have his dressing changed after 24 hours, and set out detailed instructions for shoulder exercises for Plaintiff to perform for the four weeks following surgery.

On February 19, 2011, Plaintiff was discharged from St. Alphonsus. In a handwritten communication to SRCI, Dr. Davis prescribed Percocet (oxycodone 5 mg/acetaminophen) and Celebrex for pain management. At SCRI J. Elliott-Blakeslee, M.D., treating physician, reviewed Dr. Davis's orders and replaced Plaintiff's prescriptions for Celebrex with a different NSAID (Naprosyn) and Percocet with a long-acting morphine (MS Contin) because Celebrex and Percocet were not available at SRCI. SCRI medical staff provided Plaintiff with Dr. Davis's discharge instructions related to shoulder exercises, instructed Plaintiff to do the shoulder exercises as set out by Dr. Davis, and gave Plaintiff an arm sling. At 6:55 p.m. on February 19, 2011, SCRI medical staff gave Plaintiff a dose of MS Contin and returned Plaintiff to general population.

At 7:30a.m. on February 20, 2011, Plaintiff was seen by an SCRI nurse and complained of pain at a level of nine out of ten. The nurse contacted Dr. Elliott-Blakeslee by telephone. Dr. Elliott-Blakeslee prescribed short-acting Vicodin to be administered to Plaintiff in the morning and at noon.

At 11:30 a.m. on February 20, 2011, SRCI medical staff changed the dressing on Plaintiff's shoulder. Medical staff noted 16 staples were intact and there was not any drainage. Medical staff cleaned Plaintiff's suture area, applied an antibiotic ointment, and redressed Plaintiff's wound. Plaintiff reported a pain level of seven out of ten. Medical staff gave Plaintiff morphine and Naprosyn.

On February 21, 2011, Plaintiff reported to medical staff that he thought there had been "mistakes about [his] pain medication." Decl. of Steve Shelton, Ex. 2 at 23. Specifically, Plaintiff reported a pain level of nine out of ten and stated he did not believe his medication was strong enough. Medical staff reviewed Plaintiff's chart and Dr. Elliott-Blakeslee's orders and placed a telephone call to Dr. Elliott-Blakeslee.

On February 22, 2013, Dr. Elliott-Blakeslee "clarified" Plaintiff's MS Cantin order to 15 mg twice a day for 14 days. Medical staff also sent a recommendation to the Therapeutic Level of Care Committee (TLC) for Plaintiff to have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Davis in two weeks.

On February 23, 2011, Plaintiff requested more Naproxen[1] because it "helps with morphine" and reported he had only two pills left. Medical staff scheduled Plaintiff for a medical review by a doctor. Also on February 23, 2011, the TLC approved Plaintiff for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Davis in two weeks.

On February 24, 2011, Dr. Elliott-Blakeslee approved Plaintiff for more Naproxen.

On February 24, 2011, Plaintiff filed a grievance in which he complained that medical staff had not provided the medications prescribed by Dr. Davis and instead substituted other pain medications. Plaintiff reported he had pain of eight or nine out of ten after physical therapy, but he believed he would not suffer a similar level of pain if he received the specific medications prescribed by Dr. Davis. Plaintiff noted Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) policy prohibits inmates in general population from receiving medications between 9:00p.m. and 6:30a.m., which caused Plaintiff to suffer breakthrough pain beginning at "4 or 5 am." Shelton Decl., Ex. 3 at 4.

On February 28, 2013, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Davis, who recommended Plaintiff take Norco (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) or Vicodin and continue with MS Contin for two weeks. Dr. Davis also recommended Plaintiff continue to work on the range-ofmotion exercises as directed by Dr. Davis and to have another follow-up appointment in four weeks.

On February 28, 2011, Dr. Elliott-Blakeslee wrote Plaintiff a prescription for Vicodin to be taken twice a ...


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