United States District Court, D. Nevada
RENE F. FERNANDEZ, Plaintiffs,
ROMEO ARANAS, ET AL., Defendants.
before the court is defendant Romeo Aranas's motion for
summary judgment. (ECF No. 15). Plaintiff Rene Fernandez
filed a response (ECF No. 40), to which Aranas replied (ECF
before the court is plaintiff's motion to extend time to
respond to defendant's motion for summary judgment. (ECF
No. 34). Defendant Aranas filed a response (ECF No. 38).
Plaintiff has not filed a reply, and the time for doing so
has since passed.
before the court is defendant Aranas's motion to dismiss
defendants Hanf, Chang, Holmes, and Su from the action for
lack of service. (ECF No. 48). Plaintiff has not filed a
response, and the time for doing so has since passed.
before the court is plaintiff's “motion to deny
defendant's motions, oppositions, replies, and request
for Jury Trial.” (ECF No. 53). Defendant Aranas filed a
response. (ECF No. 54). Plaintiff has not filed a reply, and
the time for doing so has since passed.
before the court is defendant Aranas's motion to strike
plaintiff's amended complaint. (ECF No. 65). Plaintiff
has not filed a response, and the time for doing so has since
passed. . . .
present case involves a dispute over whether prison medical
staff provided adequate medical services to an inmate.
Plaintiff was incarcerated at High Desert State Prison
(“HDSP”) from June 3, 2011, through August 28,
2014, when he was transferred to Northern Nevada Correctional
Center (“NNCC”). (ECF No. 4). Plaintiff alleges
that during his time at HDSP, medical staff did not
adequately attend to his medical needs.
has a history of high blood pressure. (ECF No. 15-3). Prior
to his incarceration at HDSP, plaintiff was at Clark County
Detention Center (“CCDC”). While at CCDC, medical
staff prescribed Amlodipine to control plaintiff's blood
pressure. Id. (transfer records from CCDC to HSDP
refer to plaintiff's medication as
“Amlodipine”). Plaintiff claims that the drug he
took while at CCDC was called Norvasc. (ECF No. 4). Norvasc
is a brand-name drug with the same chemical composition as
Amlodipine. See (ECF No. 15-4) (declaration of Dr.
Romeo Aranas) (stating that Amlodipine is the generic name
for Norvasc). Medical staff at HDSP administered 10 mg doses
of Amlodipine to plaintiff from his intake at HDSP through
February of 2013. (ECF No. 15-3). Plaintiff asserts that he
requested Norvasc instead of Amlodipine. (ECF No. 4).
Plaintiff signed medication logs acknowledging his receipt of
the brand-name drug Norvasc on at least seven occasions. (ECF
complained of health issues while taking Amlodipine/Norvasc.
(ECF No. 4). On November 14, 2011, plaintiff sent a prison
claiming that his left hand was swollen, he was in lots of
pain, and he needed medical attention. (ECF No. 15-3).
Medical staff met with plaintiff the next day and prescribed
December 23, 2012, plaintiff sent a kite requesting a private
medical consultation. Id. The next day, HDSP Doctor
Ted Hanf ordered labs and a follow-up appointment.
Id. On December 26, 2013, staff collected labs from
plaintiff for urinalysis. Id. at 52.
January 24, 2013, plaintiff filed a kite complaining that his
labs had been cancelled and complaining of severe kidney pain
lasting three weeks. Id. at 34. Plaintiff requested
that staff change his blood pressure medication from
Amlodipine to Atenolol. Id. On January 31, 2013, Dr.
Hanf ordered additional labs and scheduled a follow-up
appointment with plaintiff. Id. at 27.
February 7, 2013, Dr. Hanf met with plaintiff. Id.
Dr. Hanf's notes indicate plaintiff was experiencing back
pain and plaintiff attributed the pain to Norvasc.
Id. at 37. Plaintiff reported prior use of Atenolol,
and stated he preferred Atenolol as a blood pressure
medication. Id. Dr. Hanf discontinued
plaintiff's Norvasc prescription and placed plaintiff on
100 mg of Metoprolol, another blood pressure medication.
Id. at 27, 37. Dr. Hanf scheduled a follow-up
appointment in a month. Id. at 37. On February 15,
2013, LabCorp completed processing of plaintiff's
remaining labs. Id. at 54-55.
next few months, plaintiff failed to report to numerous
medical appointments. Accordingly, records of plaintiff's
initial response to Metoprolol are sparse.
28, 2013, plaintiff filed an “emergency
grievance” with prison staff indicating that he felt
“sick with dizziness and a headache, with intense
pressure in the back of [his] head, vomiting and loose bowel
movements.” (ECF No. 15-2). That same day, staff
provided plaintiff with an immediate refill of his blood
pressure medication. Id.
February of 2013 and August of 2014 (when plaintiff was
transferred to NNCC), staff treated plaintiff's blood
pressure with multiple combinations of Metoprolol,
Lisinopril, Atenolol, and Amlodipine. (ECF No. 15-3)
(indicating numerous alterations to plaintiff's
medication regimen). When plaintiff did attend appointments,
he would sometimes describe pain, negative side effects, and
problems with his digestive system. Id. Plaintiff at
times refused to take prescribed medications, including
Norvasc and ibuprofen. (ECF No. 15-3 at 28, 55-56).
November 22, 2013, Fernandez filed an informal grievance
regarding HDSP staff's treatment of his blood pressure.
(ECF No. 15-1). On December 31, 2016, HDSP medical staff
responded to plaintiff's informal grievance by noting
staff's efforts to control plaintiff's blood pressure
and noting that periodic follow-up visits will help staff
continue to monitor plaintiff's blood pressure. (ECF No.
15-1 at 13).
part of his informal grievance, plaintiff had requested a
remedy of being prescribed “a non-generic Atenolol 25
mg or Norvasc 10 mg and Ibuprofen 400 mg.” Id.
At the time he made the request, he was already prescribed 25
mg doses of Atenolol. (ECF No. 15-3 at 28). On December 16,
2013, HDSP staff prescribed plaintiff Norvasc, but on January
16, 2014, plaintiff signed a legal refusal of the
prescription for Norvasc. Id. at 28, 55.
January 28, 2014, plaintiff filed a first-level grievance
disagreeing with the medical staff's response to his
informal grievance. Id. at 14-17. On February 13,
2014, medical staff responded. Id. at 18. The
response noted that high blood pressure symptoms evolve, and
sometimes medication that previously worked will no longer
prove effective and “must change.” Id.
March 6, 2014, plaintiff filed a second-level grievance
disagreeing with the first-level response. Id. at
22. On April 8, 2014, Dr. Aranas, acting NDOC medical