United States District Court, D. Nevada
WAYNE A. PORRETTI, Plaintiff,
DZURENDA, et al., Defendants.
Richard F. Boulware, II United States District Judge.
this Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary
Injunction. ECF Nos. 32, 33. Plaintiff is an inmate
incarcerated in the Nevada Department of Corrections and
currently housed at Lovelock Correctional Center. Plaintiff
alleges that he is being denied necessary anti-depressant and
anti-psychotic medication and, as a result, is suffering from
depression, paranoia, delusions, and hearing voices. For the
reasons stated below, the Court grants Plaintiff's Motion
for Preliminary Injunction and orders that Defendants provide
Plaintiff a medical evaluation to assess Plaintiff's
current medical condition and needs.
filed the initial complaint on June 23, 2017 and the
operative complaint on September 26, 2018. ECF Nos. 1, 16. On
January 9, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for
Preliminary Injunction. ECF Nos. 32, 33.
Court held a hearing regarding the Motion for Preliminary
Injunction on January 18, 2019. ECF No. 44. The Court
continued the hearing to receive testimony from psychiatrist
Carla Carroll, M.D., an employee of the Nevada Department of
Court held a second hearing on January 29, 2018 and received
testimony from Dr. Carroll. ECF No. 48. On January 30, 2019,
the Court issued an order requesting additional medical
records and referring Plaintiff to the pro bono program for
appointment of counsel. ECF No. 50.
April 9, 2019, the Court held a status conference. ECF No.
103. The Court granted the Motion for Preliminary Injunctions
for the reasons stated on the record and further explained in
this order. The Court stated that it would grant relief in
the form of a medical evaluation of Plaintiff, with
Defendants to cover costs. The Court expressed its
willingness to appoint psychiatrist Norton Roitman, M.D.,
based on his treatment history with Plaintiff and his
established record as a medical expert with this Court. The
Court acknowledged Defendants objection to Dr. Roitman and
permitted Defendants to submit a list of contracted experts
and their credentials by April 18, 2019 as potential
alternative avenues for an objective evaluation.
Court has reviewed Plaintiff's medical records and
received testimony from psychiatrist Carla Carroll, M.D., an
employee of the Nevada Department of Corrections. The medical
records submitted in the record are incorporated by reference
here. The Court makes the following factual findings based
upon the entire record, including medical records and
testimony. The Court incorporates by reference its findings
on the record at the hearing on April 9.
to Plaintiff's incarceration, Plaintiff was treated by
Dr. Roitman. Dr. Roitman prescribed Seroquel and Wellbutrin
to manage Plaintiff's mental health symptoms, and these
prescriptions were initially continued by prison doctors upon
Plaintiff's incarceration. Dr. Roitman found these
medications to be medically necessary given Plaintiff's
mental health diagnoses. Dr. Roitman found Plaintiff to be a
credible reporter of his symptoms and the effectiveness of
the medications prescribed to Plaintiff. The Court credits
these findings and observations based upon the record and the
Court's own observations.
discontinued Plaintiff's prescriptions for Seroquel and
Wellbutrin on May 31, 2017 absent the recommendation of a
psychiatric health care provider to do so. Defendants had no
medical basis for discontinuing the medications. These
medications were allegedly discontinued due to their
potential for abuse. However, the Court is unconvinced of
this alleged motivation. Defendants had no information that
Plaintiff had ever abused his medications or misused them as
contraband. Plaintiff was not medically monitored when his
medications were discontinued although he should have been to
provide adequate medical care for his mental health ailments.
Plaintiff was not seen by a mental health provider until
September 13, 2017, at which time he was prescribed
alternative medications. Plaintiff has not received any
Seroquel or Wellbutrin since the discontinuation of these
prescriptions in May 2017.
January 29, 2019, the Court obtained testimony from Dr.
Carroll. Dr. Carroll testified that, in her opinion, Seroquel
and Wellbutrin are not medically necessary for Plaintiff. She
diagnosed Plaintiff with only personality disorder,
Tourette's syndrome, and malingering and opined that
Plaintiff has no other diagnoses.
Court now finds that Dr. Carroll's limited diagnoses of
Plaintiff and her medical opinion that Seroquel and
Wellbutrin are not medically necessary for Plaintiff are not
credible as compared to the diagnoses and prescriptions in
Plaintiff's medical record. The Court finds that Dr.
Carroll did not have or take the necessary time to complete
an adequate and complete examination of Plaintiff and that
her records review appears to have been tailored to
supporting the Defendants' existing position that
Plaintiff does not need the medications he had been
previously prescribed. The Court notes that Dr. Carroll is an
employee of NDOC.
medical record includes credible and documented diagnoses of
depression, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive
disorder, schizoaffective disorder or paranoid schizophrenia,
personality disorder, and Tourette's syndrome issued by
in-person treating physicians. Plaintiff was prescribed
Seroquel and Wellbutrin by Dr. Roitman, who treated Plaintiff
in person for years. Dr. Carroll's summary dismissal of
all of Plaintiff's diagnoses except personality ...