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Lee v. Gulick

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 26, 2019

DERRYEL LEE, Plaintiff,
v.
GARTH GULICK, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOLIE A. RUSSO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pro se plaintiff, an inmate at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the conditions of his confinement.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges he has suffered from pain and numbness in his legs, back and neck for years and that

The doctors at the Oregon Department of Corrections at Snake River Correctional Institution, namely Dr. Gulick, Dr. Koltes and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Shelton from Salem, the Therapeutic Level Committee (TLC), nurses Wick, Curtis and White and officer Defrance, with deliberate indifference and wanton infliction of pain, have failed to provide proper and accepted standard medical diagnosis and treatment for a serious medical problem that would alleviate Mr. Lee's pain. They have unnecessarily added to the pain, anxiety and suffering by allowing this condition to persist, having an adverse effect on his daily activities.

Amended Complaint (doc. 13) at p. 2.

         Plaintiff further alleges diagnosis using X-rays have revealed no source for his pain and that his requests for further testing including MRIs and CT scans have been denied. Id. In addition, plaintiff asserts he has been denied referral to a specialist. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges despite suffering excruciating pain for two years, the only remedies prescribed have been “stretching, multiple NSAIDS, and Tramadol, which exacerbated painful skin lesions due to an allergic reaction.” Id.at p. 3. Moreover, plaintiff asserts he has requested further diagnosis to find the cause of his pain and has been told by Dr. Gulick that, "the pain is all in your head", "there is nothing we will do about it", "the DOC will not pay for anything" and by staff that "He is only looking for the drugs.". Id.at p. 3-4.

         Plaintiff seeks $2, 000, 000 in damages[1] and a “proper diagnosis and treatment for both physical and mental conditions.” Id. Plaintiff further requests “that a restraining order be put in place preventing Dr. Garth Gulick and Dr. Koltes from having anything to do with his continuing medical needs.” Id.at p. 5.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff has an Eighth Amendment right to necessary medical treatment. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976) (“An inmate must rely on prison authorities to treat his medical needs”); Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d 726, 731 (9th Cir. 2000) (“Prison officials have a duty to ensure that prisoners are provided adequate shelter, food, clothing, sanitation, medical care, and personal safety.”). To sustain a claim based on inadequate medical treatment, plaintiff must establish the existence of “a serious medical need” and show that defendant's “response to the need was deliberately indifferent.” Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006). A serious medical need exists if “the failure to treat a prisoner's condition could result in further significant injury or the ‘unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.'” Id. (citation omitted).

         Prison officials may demonstrate deliberate indifference by denying, delaying, or intentionally interfering with medical treatment, or by the way in which medical treatment is provided. Id.; Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 744 (9th Cir. 2002). Mere difference of medical opinion does not establish deliberate indifference. Clement v. Gomez, 298 F.3d 898, 904 (9th Cir. 2002).

         A. Undisputed Facts

         The undisputed facts, [2] viewed in a light most favorable to ...


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