United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief Judge.
Jeffrey Andrew Bloss, an Idaho state prisoner, filed this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
state tort law, alleging deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs. Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se. Currently pending before the Court is
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 37) and
Motion to Seal (Dkt. 38). For the reasons explained below,
the Court will grant both Motions in full.
Plaintiff's Injury and Medical
in the custody of Twin Falls County Adult Detention Facility
(“County Jail”) on October 3, 2013, Plaintiff
injured his left knee in an altercation with another
detainee. Kane Aff., Ex. B at 39-43, Dkt.
39-4. On the same day, immediately following the altercation,
Plaintiff was placed in a wheelchair and taken to St.
Luke's Quick Care. Id. At St. Luke's, the
clinic personnel took x-rays of his left knee and examined
him. The clinic noted swelling, but no “acute
injuries.” Id. The clinic prescribed ibuprofen
and an icing regimen. The clinic also advised if there was no
improvement in two to three weeks to schedule a follow up
visit for a possible MRI. Kane Aff, Ex. A at 1522,
Dkt. 39-4. Following the clinic visit, the Plaintiff returned
to the County Jail and healthcare personnel at the jail
followed the medical directions provided. See Ippolito
Aff.¶ 3-4, Dkt. 39-2; Probasco Aff. ¶ 5,
October 7, 2013, Plaintiff complained of a “fluttering
feeling” in his ankle and was transported to St.
Luke's Magic Valley Regional Medical Center Emergency
Department that same day. Hughes Aff, Ex. A at
290-92, Dkts. 37-5, 39. Plaintiff was diagnosed with a
hamstring strain. Id. He was given a hamstring
stretch pamphlet along with direction to continue taking
ibuprofen. Id. In addition, the clinic prescribed
him a muscle relaxer and to take it every six hours.
October 10, Plaintiff filed three separate grievances through
services available at the County Jail,  all alleging
intense pain and requesting pain medication, an MRI, and
surgery. Hughes Aff., Ex. A at 285, 288-89, Dkt. 39.
The following day, Corle, a jail nurse, examined Plaintiff
Under the supervision of Dr. Ippolito, she informed Plaintiff
that a nerve conduction study may be necessary, but would not
be effective until three to four weeks after the injury
occurred. In addition, Corle advised Plaintiff not to limit
his activity. Hughes Aff., Ex. A at 284,
286-87, Dkt. 39.
next day, October 12, Plaintiff submitted another grievance
demanding an MRI and a doctor's written recommendation
advising him to walk on his injury. Hughes Aff.,
Ex. A at 283, Dkt. 39. On October 15, Plaintiff was
seen by jail nurse, Lou Probasco. At that appointment,
Probasco told Plaintiff that an orthopedic appointment would
be scheduled. Hughes Aff., Ex. A at 282,
Dkt. 39 On October 17, Plaintiff filed two more grievances
stating that his leg was not working, and again, requested
pain medication, an MRI, and surgery. Hughes Aff.,
Ex. A at 278-79, Dkt. 39. Plaintiff saw Probasco the
next day, at which time Probasco told Plaintiff that he was
to continue ibuprofen and that he would arrange a nerve
conduction study and neurology consult. Id. at 277.
evaluated Plaintiff on October 25, prescribed him Motrin, and
planned to re-evaluate him the following week. In addition,
Ippolito planned to schedule a nerve conduction survey if
there was no improvement. Hughes Aff., Ex.
A at 263-64. At Plaintiff's October 31 appointment,
Ippolito scheduled the nerve conduction survey for November
19. Id. at 262. Ippolito re-evaluated Plaintiff on
November 1 and planned to check in with him following his
nerve conduction survey. Id. at 252.
filed two more grievances on November 8 and 10 complaining
about leg and foot pain. He said that he needed to see a
specialist and needed quicker care. Hughes
Aff., Ex. A at 256-57. In response,
Probasco evaluated Plaintiff on November 12 and prescribed
ibuprofen until Plaintiff's November 19 appointment.
Id. at 254.
the Plaintiff's nerve conduction survey, Plaintiff saw
Ippolito who, after discussing the results with Dr. Steffens,
discussed the possible avulsion of the peroneal nerve.
Ippolito scheduled an MRI for December 3 and a neurology
consult on December 10, 2014. Hughes Aff., Ex.
A at 205, 237, 248.
November 26, 2013, the day before Plaintiff was transferred
to the Idaho State Correctional Institution, Probasco
provided a Medical Request for Payment Authorization
form requesting medical visits for Plaintiff's MRI and
follow up with a neurologist. In addition, it requested
Plaintiff be provided with ibuprofen. Hughes Aff.,
Ex. A at 227. On December 6, Ippolito noted that
Probasco had informed the Correctional Institution of
Plaintiff's scheduled MRI and neurologist consult through
the Medical Request for Payment Authorization form.
However, Ippolito indicates that the Correctional Institution
“elected to take him to the Correctional Institute and
follow up in their setting and not have it done [at the
County Jail].” Id. at 208. It is unclear
whether the Correctional Institution kept or rescheduled his
November 29, 2013, Dr. Friedman performed an independent
medical examination of Plaintiff. After reviewing and
discussing Plaintiff's medical records, history, and
symptoms, Friedman concluded that Twin Falls County had
provided him with appropriate medical care and treatment
during his detention. Friedman Aff. ¶ 4, Dkt.
39-1. Friedman's report indicates that Plaintiff suffers
from permanent nerve damage that limits the movement in his
lower leg and left foot. Friedman Aff. at 9, Dkt.
39-1. As a result of this nerve damage, Plaintiff must now
use an Ankle-Foot Orthosis to improve gait function and
stability. Id. Friedman concluded that Plaintiff
will “always have a foot drop, with numbness” as
a result of his October 3 knee injury. Id. at 10.
However, Friedman's report also indicated that he
believed that the nerve damage may have resulted, in part,
from a previous car accident unrelated to the October 3
incident. Id. at 9.
Twin Falls County Jail Medical Structure
County hires independent Idaho licensed medical doctors and
nurses to provide county inmates healthcare services. These
independent contractors are required to comply with Idaho
law, the Rules of Idaho State Board of Medicine, and the
Board of Nursing, which set up licensing criteria and handle
any disciplinary matters. Hughes Aff. ¶ 5. Twin
Falls does not have its own training program for medical
personnel. Probasco Aff. ¶ 3.
addition, the jail deputies are not tasked with providing any
healthcare to inmates. A jail deputy receives medical
requests and grievances, which are passed on to medical
personnel. See Hughes Aff. ¶ 6; Carter
Aff., Ex. A. at 999.
Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office Custodial Manual
describes the medical procedures for the County Jail.
Licensed nurses handle all of the medically proscribed
activity mentioned in the manual. Carter Aff.,
Ex. A. The manual details how staff should handle
grievances and ...