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Robinson v. United States

March 25, 2010

GARY ROBINSON, PLAINTIFF
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rambo

MEMORANDUM

Before the court is a motion to dismiss Plaintiff Gary Robinson's ("Robinson") combined Bivens*fn1 -styled complaint and Federal Tort Claims Act*fn2 ("FTCA") complaint, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment, filed on behalf of the United States of America and several prison officials employed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP").*fn3 (Doc. 27.) Also pending are Robinson's motions for leave to amend the complaint. (Docs. 53 & 59.) In his complaint, Robinson generally contends that Defendants were deliberately indifferent and negligent with respect to his medical needs, including those related to his discoid lupus; interfered with the proper issue of prescribed medication for his medical needs, including his discoid lupus; and delayed access to a dermatologist, while he was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania ("USP-Allenwood").*fn4 For the reasons set forth below, the motion for summary judgment will be granted.

I. Background

A. Facts

Robinson began his incarceration at USP-Allenwood on July 17, 2001. (Doc. 33 ¶ 1.) While there, Robinson presented with several medical conditions, including discoid lupus, prostate cancer, leg pain, and Hepatitis B and C. The record indicates the following with respect to his medical conditions and associated treatment, set forth here in chronological order.*fn5

Robinson arrived at USP-Allenwood with history of discoid lupus, an elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) level, and a prostate biopsy from April 23, 2001. (Id.) Upon arrival, an intake screening was performed by a physician's assistant ("PA") and Robinson was assigned to USP-Allenwood's chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 2.) Further, on July 23, 2001, a PA examined Robinson and cleared him medically to work in USP-Allenwood's Food Service. (Id. ¶ 3.)

On July 31, 2001, Robinson was evaluated during chronic care clinic by Dr. Chanmugam, USP-Allenwood's Clinical Director. (Id. ¶ 4.) Dr. Chanmugam found Robinson to have patches of alopecia, or loss of hair, on his scalp, and minor swelling in both legs. (Id. ¶¶ 4-5, 7.) He ordered laboratory work to evaluate lupus, prostate cancer, and a Hepatitis profile. (Id. ¶ 6.) He also ordered compression stockings for Robinson's legs. (Id. ¶ 7.) A follow-up visit in three months was also scheduled. (Id. ¶ 8.)

Robinson's laboratory tests were scheduled for October 24, 2001, but he failed to appear. (Id. ¶ 10.) He was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic again on October 29, 2001, and was found to have a few small patches of alopecia on his scalp. (Id. ¶ 11.) Robinson also complained of occasional headaches. (Id. ¶ 14.) Dr. Chanmugam prescribed coal tar shampoo for the scalp. (Id. ¶ 12.) He also noted that Robinson had failed to pick up his compression stockings. (Id. ¶ 13.) Further, he re-ordered Robinson's laboratory work and scheduled him for a follow-up visit in three months. (Id. ¶ 15.)

On December 13, 2001, Robinson was seen for a urology consultation. (Id. ¶ 16.) He also had a sick call appointment scheduled for December 26, 2001, but failed to appear. (Id. ¶ 17.)

In January 2002, Robinson was scheduled for a prostate biopsy, and Dr. Chanmugam prescribed medication prior to that biopsy on January 13, 2002. (Id. ¶ 18.) On January 17, 2002, Robinson traveled to an outside hospital for the prostate biopsy. (Id. ¶ 19.)

On January 25, 2002, Dr. Chanmugam evaluated Robinson during chronic care clinic and diagnosed him with borderline hypertension, Hepatitis B, and a small abrasion to his calf. (Id. ¶¶ 20-21.) He prescribed Selsun Shampoo and Lidex cream for discoid lupus of the scalp, and scheduled Robinson for a follow-up visit in three months. (Id. ¶ 22.)

In February 2002, Robinson was seen for various medical conditions. Specifically, on February 8, 2002, he was examined and treated by a PA for cold symptoms. (Id. ¶ 23.) On February 12, 2002, he was examined and treated by a PA for bronchitis and varicose veins. (Id. ¶ 24.) On February 14, 2002, he was examined by a urologist and diagnosed with prostate cancer. (Id. ¶ 25.) Additional tests and follow-up visits were ordered, but on February 19, 2002, Robinson refused to be transported to an outside medical facility for a CT and bone scan. (Id. ¶¶ 25-26.) However, on March 15, 2002, Robinson informed a PA that he now wanted to go to the facility for the tests. (Id. ¶ 27.) His request was forwarded to the Health Services Administrator. (Id.)

On March 19, 2002, Robinson was examined and treated by a PA for stomach problems. (Id. ¶ 28.) A PA also examined and treated him for athlete's foot on April 10, 2002. (Id. ¶ 29.)

On April 25, 2002, Robinson was examined by a urologist and stated that he wanted to think further about the surgical options for his prostate cancer. (Id. ¶ 30.) Also on that day he was started on lupron shots for the prostate cancer. (Id. ¶ 31.)

On April 26, 2002, Robinson was evaluated during chronic care clinic by Dr. Chanmugam and again prescribed Selsun Shampoo and Lidex cream for discoid lupus of the scalp. (Id. ¶ 32.) Robinson also agreed to the prostate cancer surgery on that date. (Id. ¶ 33.) Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson should continue on the lupron injections until the surgery. (Id. ¶ 32.) As a result, Robinson received lupron injections on the following dates: May 8, 2002 (id. ¶ 36), June 5, 2002 (id. ¶ 37), July 3, 2002 (id. ¶ 39), July 31, 2002 (id. ¶ 45), and August 28, 2002 (id. ¶ 46).

Prior to his prostate cancer surgery, Robinson received the following treatment for various medical conditions. On May 3, 2002, a PA refilled Robinson's antacid medication. (Id. ¶ 33.) On May 6, 2002, a PA removed sutures from a finger wound Robinson had sustained. (Id. ¶ 35.) On June 20, 2002, Robinson had a urology consultation. (Id. ¶ 38.) On July 12, 2002, a PA examined and treated Robinson for shoulder and back pain. (Id. ¶ 40.) On July 19, 2002, a PA refilled Robinson's antacid medication. (Id. ¶ 41.) On July 26, 2002, Robinson was evaluated during chronic care clinic by Dr. Chanmugam and again prescribed Selsun Shampoo and Lidex cream for discoid lupus of the scalp. (Id. ¶ 42.) Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson did not have any new complaints on that date. (Id. ¶ 43.) However, in his counter statement of material facts, Robinson asserts that he may not have made any new complaints, but "reiterated concerns of old complaints." (Doc. 58 at 3.) Further, on July 30, 2002, a PA examined and treated Robinson for a leg lesion. (Doc. 33 ¶ 44.)

On August 29, 2002, Robinson was transferred to the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina ("FMC-Butner"), for treatment of his prostate cancer. (Id. ¶ 47.) He returned to USP-Allenwood on December 17, 2002. (Id. ¶ 48.) Upon his return to USP-Allenwood, Robinson was not on any medication and made no complaints to medical staff. (Id. ¶ 49.)

Robinson was examined by Dr. Chanmugam on December 23, 2002, upon his return from FMC Butner. (Id. ¶ 50.) In his notes, Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson agreed that he had a good response to the radiation treatment for his prostate cancer. (Id. ¶ 51.) Dr. Chanmugam issued Robinson compression stockings due to mild swelling in his legs and ordered routine laboratory tests. (Id. ¶ 52.)

On January 9, 2003, Robinson had a urology consultation. (Id. ¶ 53.) On January 14, 2003, Robinson was examined and treated by a PA after complaining of headaches and requesting the compression stockings he had previously failed to pick up. (Id. ¶¶ 54-55.) He was given Motrin, issued the compression stockings, and shoe inserts were ordered. (Id. ¶ 56.)

On January 21, 2003, after complaining of sores on his scalp, Robinson was examined and treated by a PA and prescribed selenium sulfide shampoo to be used daily. (Id. ¶¶ 57-58.) Further, on February 28, 2003, Robinson was examined and treated by a PA for a urinary tract infection. (Id. ¶ 59.)

On March 12, 2003, Robinson was given an eye examination. (Id. ¶ 60.) On April 8, 2003, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 61.) During the evaluation, Robinson stated that he sometimes felt heartburn and that he was concerned about cataracts in his eyes. (Id. ¶ 62.) At that time, Dr. Chanmugam prescribed Maalox. (Id. ¶ 63.) Also in April 2003, Robinson was given a refill of his antacid medication. (Id. ¶ 64.) Further, on April 25, 2003, he left the Health Services area before being seen by medical staff. (Id. ¶ 65.)

On June 12, 2003, after Robinson requested cream for his face, a PA diagnosed him with a rash (small macules) and prescribed Triamcinolone, a steroid cream. (Id. ¶¶ 66-67.) On June 24, 2003, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 68.) Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson had no new complaints and was not in any acute distress. (Id. ¶ 69.) However, as noted above, Robinson counters that he "reiterated concerns of old complaints." (Doc. 58 at 3.) Further, Dr. Chanmugam ordered routine laboratory tests and encouraged Robinson to lead a healthy lifestyle. (Doc. 33 at ¶ 70.)

On September 23, 2003, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 71.) Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson had no new complaints. (Id. ¶ 72.) However, as noted above, Robinson counters that he "reiterated concerns of old complaints." (Doc. 58 at 3.) Nevertheless, Dr. Chanmugam referred Robinson to an optometrist for possible cataracts and ordered routine laboratory tests. (Doc. 33 ¶ 73.)

On October 17, 2003, Robinson requested pain medication after a tooth extraction he had the previous day. (Id. ¶ 74.) A PA prescribed Ibuprofen. (Id. ¶ 75.)

On December 29, 2003, Robinson was evaluated by PA Inch during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 76.) Robinson complained of occasional migraines. (Id. ¶ 77.) PA Inch discussed with Robinson his laboratory results and prescribed Motrin for the migraines. (Id. ¶ 78.)

On January 14, 2002, Robinson was examined by an optometrist. (Id. ¶ 79.) On March 17, 2004, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 80.) Robinson complained of swelling in his legs and acid reflux. (Id. ¶ 81.) It was also noted that Robinson has been unable to externally rotate his right elbow for many years. (Id. ¶ 82.) Dr. Chanmugam prescribed Aciphex, a heartburn medication, Maalox for his acid reflux, and ordered routine laboratory tests and an x-ray of his right elbow. (Id. ¶ 83.) The laboratory work was performed on April 20, 2004, and the x-ray was taken on April 22, 2004. (Id. ¶¶ 84-85.) Robinson was informed of the x-ray results on April 30, 2004. (Id. ¶ 86.)

On June 18, 2004, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 87.) Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson did not have any new complaints. (Id. ¶ 88.) However, as noted above, Robinson counters that he "reiterated concerns of old complaints." (Doc. 58 at 3.) Nevertheless, Dr. Chanmugam explained the results of the laboratory work, ordered new laboratory work, and prescribed Naproxen. (Doc. 33 ¶¶ 89-90.)

On August 25, 2004, Robinson was prescribed penicillin and Tylenol after a dental visit. (Id. ¶ 91.)

On September 10, 2004, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 92.) Robinson stated that the swelling in his legs was no longer bothering him. (Id. ¶ 93.) Further, Dr. Chanmugam explained to Robinson his most recent laboratory results; ordered more routine laboratory tests; informed Robinson that his blood pressure was not ideal that day; and prescribed Aciphex, Naproxen, and Clotrimazole cream for athlete's foot. (Id. ¶¶ 94-95.)

On October 20, 2004, Robinson was evaluated by PA Inch after complaining of two knots under his left arm. (Id. ¶ 96.) PA Inch prescribed Tetracycline for the infection. (Id. ¶ 97.)

On December 6, 2004, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Chanmugam during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 98.) Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson did not have any new complaints. (Id. ¶ 99.) However, as noted above, Robinson counters that he "reiterated concerns of old complaints." (Doc. 58 at 3.) Nevertheless, Dr. Chanmugam noted that Robinson was using the Aciphex with benefit and refilled that prescription, as well as the one for Naproxen. (Doc. 33 ¶¶ 100, 102.) He also ordered routine laboratory tests, including one for H-Pylori, a bacteria which may cause ulcers. (Id. ¶ 101.)

On December 17, 2004, Robinson was evaluated by a PA after he scratched his leg, and was prescribed an antibiotic. (Id. ¶¶ 103-104.) Further, on January 6, 2005, he was evaluated by PA Inch after he complained of ankle pain from an old wound. (Id. ¶ 105.) PA Inch ordered an x-ray and exchanged a pair of compression stockings. (Id. ¶ 106.) Robinson was evaluated by PA Inch for ankle pain again on February 23, 2005. (Id. ¶ 107.) On that date, PA Inch also prescribed an antibiotic and referred Robinson to the optometrist. (Id. ¶ 108.)

On March 4, 2005, Robinson was evaluated by PA inch during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 109.) PA Inch noted that Robinson did not have any new complaints. (Id. ¶ 110.) However, as noted above, Robinson counters that he "reiterated concerns of old complaints." (Doc. 58 at 3.) Nevertheless, PA Inch also noted that the results of Robinson's laboratory test for H-Pylori, performed on February 10, 2005, were not within normal limits. (Doc. 33 ¶ 111.) As a result, PA Inch prescribed Naprosyn, Amoxicillin, Clarithromycin, and Prilosec. (Id. ¶ 112.) It was also noted that Robinson was still waiting for a consultation with an optometrist for possible cataracts. (Id. ¶ 111.)

On April 6, 2005, Robinson failed to appear for a sick call appointment. (Id. ¶ 113.) Also in April, Robinson was evaluated again by PA Inch for complaints related to his ankle. (Id. ¶ 114.) PA Inch prescribed antibiotics and instructed Robinson to wear his compression stockings. (Id. ¶ 115.)

On May 3, 2005, Robinson was prescribed penicillin after a dental visit. (Id. ¶ 116.) On May 18, 2005, Robinson was evaluated by PA Inch after he complained of a skin rash on his lower legs, and was prescribed steroid cream. (Id. ¶¶ 117-18.) Further, on May 25, 2005, Robinson was evaluated by Dr. Vermeire during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 119.) Dr. Vermeire noted that the treatment for H-Pylori had helped, but Robinson still had abdominal pain and his legs remained swollen. (Id. ¶¶ 120-21.) As a result, Dr. Vermeire ordered a CT scan for his abdomen and pelvis. (Id. ¶ 122.)

On August 22, 2005, Robinson was evaluated by PA Inch during chronic care clinic. (Id. ¶ 123.) PA Inch discussed with Robinson his laboratory and CT scan results. (Id. ¶ 125.) In addition, Robinson informed PA Inch that he suffered from discoid lupus of the scalp. (Id. ¶ 124.) As a result, PA Inch prescribed ...


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