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Gladu v. Correct Care Solutions

United States District Court, D. Maine

October 3, 2018

NICHOLAS A. GLADU, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, et al., Defendants

          ORDER ON MOTION TO AMEND AND RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS

          JOHN C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         In this action, Plaintiff, an inmate at the Maine State Prison, alleges Defendants, who are medical providers at the prison, have demonstrated deliberate indifference toward his serious medical needs.

         The matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 40), Defendants' Motion to Stay in the Alternative (ECF No. 67/71), and Plaintiff's Motion to Amend (ECF No. 62). Through their motion, Defendants request dismissal of Plaintiff's action based on the doctrine of res judicata given the Court's recent judgment in the matter of Gladu v. Correct Care Solutions, No. 2:15-cv-384-JAW (the prior action), or, in the alternative, based on Plaintiff's failure to state an actionable claim.[1] Through his motion to amend, Plaintiff seeks to supplement his complaint to reference some of his most recent interactions with Defendants.

         Following a review of the relevant pleadings, and after consideration of the parties' arguments, I grant the motion to amend, and recommend the Court grant the motion to dismiss.

         Background

         A. The Prior Action

          On September 23, 2015, in the prior action, Plaintiff joined as defendants Correct Care Solutions and several other medical providers at the prison. In his original complaint, Plaintiff alleged the defendants did not treat appropriately Plaintiff's symptoms of hip pain. In an amended complaint filed on December 5, 2016, Plaintiff described a history of chronic pain in the hip region and his inability to obtain relief despite numerous palliative approaches taken by staff of Defendant Correct Care Solutions.

         In January, 2017, the defendants filed motions for summary judgment in which they set forth Plaintiff's course of treatment, and argued the record would not support a finding that Plaintiff's care violated the Eighth Amendment's Due Process Clause. (ECF Nos. 261, 266.) Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion to compel imaging studies and reports and a motion for injunctive relief, among other motions. (ECF No. 370, 371.) In an affidavit in support of his motions, Plaintiff described a skull anomaly, and argued that all of his various symptoms (including but not limited to his hip condition) were evidence of a serious underlying disease process that the defendants refused to acknowledge. (ECF No. 370-1.) As noted in the recommended decision on Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief in which Plaintiff asked the Court to order the defendants to provide appropriate care for various medical conditions, the Court addressed Plaintiff's claim regarding the alleged skull anomaly: “The record establishes that as recently as April 22, 2017, after examining Plaintiff in the emergency department at Maine Medical Center, which examination included a neurological exam and an assessment of Plaintiff's complaint about his skull, a physician determined that Plaintiff did not suffer from a serious head-related condition and that no imaging of Plaintiff's head was necessary. Given this record, Plaintiff has not established he is likely to prevail on his deliberate indifference claim against Defendants.” (ECF No. 405, Recommended Decision on Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction at 4 - 5.)

         On December 18, 2017, I issued a recommended decision on the Motions for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 512.) In the recitation of the material facts, I summarized some of Plaintiff's assertions as follows:

Citing some of the medical records, Plaintiff asserts that certain lymph node symptoms support the inference that his current symptoms are the product of the gradual progression of a serious underlying medical condition, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic eosinophilic leukemia, myeloproliferative disorders, autoimmune disease or systemic infection. Based on his review of medical reference material such as Hematology in Clinical Practice (5th ed.) and Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment (2015), Plaintiff believes that adequate care requires that CCS conduct differential diagnostic testing to rule out these diseases. Plaintiff contends that an MRI would also advance the differential diagnosis, and that an MRI is within the standard of care in accordance with Dr. Piers's recommendation. Plaintiff asserts that the CCS staff have little interest in his complaints regarding medical care, have treated him as a nuisance, and that the alleged deficiencies in his care are, in part, retaliatory.
More recently, Plaintiff appears to advance a different explanation for some of his symptoms and a different possible diagnosis. Based on blood work panels reported in 2009, and a new declaration in which he provides a revised list of his symptoms, Plaintiff asserts that he believes he is suffering from Cushing Disease.

(Recommended Decision at 18.) After review of the summary judgment record, I recommended the Court grant the defendants' motions for summary judgment because the record failed to reveal (1) an objectively serious, undiagnosed medical condition that posed a serious risk of harm to Plaintiff's health or (2) deliberate indifference toward Plaintiff's medical needs. (Id. at 22 - 23.)

         On February 14, 2018, the Court adopted the Recommended Decision. In its concluding summary, the Court made the following observation:

In short, Mr. Gladu presents a case where the doctors, including the specialist, agree on his primary diagnosis, that is, bilateral trochanteric bursitis, and agree generally on the proper treatment. For his own reasons, Mr. Gladu simply disagrees with the medical professionals and worries that he has medical conditions no medical professional has diagnosed. Although he is focused on his perceived need for an MRI scan, there is no evidence in this record that Dr. Piers actually ordered an MRI scan, only that Dr. Piers suggested an MRI might be appropriate at some date in the future. In these circumstances, the evidence establishes that … the CCS medical professionals have been attentive to Mr. Gladu, have arrived at a diagnosis that has ...

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