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Workman v. Atencio

United States District Court, D. Idaho

September 19, 2018

KENNETH MICHAEL WORKMAN and RAY MARVIN NICHOLS, Plaintiffs,
v.
HENRY ATENCIO, CORIZON MEDICAL SERVICES, DR. MURRAY YOUNG, and UNKNOWN AND UNNAMED INDIVIDUALS OF THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND CORIZON MEDICAL SERVICES, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill Chief U.S. District Court Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         The Court has before it Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 29). For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants the motion in part, and denies the remainder without prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs Kenneth Workman and Ray Nichols have both been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and are each serving life sentences in the Idaho State Correctional Institute (ICSI). Compl. ¶¶ 4-5, 9; Defendant Henry Atencio's Answer (“Atencio Ans.”) ¶¶ 4-5, 9; Defendants Corizon Medical Services and Dr. Murray Young's Answer (“Corizon Ans.”) ¶¶ 4-5, 9. Each has a medical history indicating chronic care treatment. Atencio Ans. ¶ 9.

         Plaintiffs each submitted grievance forms concerning their Hepatitis C condition. Atencio Ans. ¶ 12. Workman submitted his on or around March 22, 2016, and Nichols submitted his on or around May 24, 2016. Id. Workman's grievance reads as follows:

The problem is:
Corizon failure to provide me with a specific date when I am to be given the new treatment for Hep-C. I was told by Corizon M/S several years ago I would receive treatment when the new drugs became available and Corizon has not provided it.
I suggest the following solution for the problem:
That I be treated for my chronic illness ASAP.

Compl. Ex. 1 at 1, Dkt. 5-1 (“Grievance Forms”). On the same day, he received the following response:

Treatment for Hep C is triaged using the Federal Bureau of Prison prioritization guidelines. There are four categories determined by labs, comorbidities, and liver biopsy. Category one is the highest priority for treatment based on your current labs and previous liver biopsy. You are not a candidate for category one at this time. Please submit and HSR to further discuss prioritization process / guidelines with a provider.

Id. Workman appealed this decision twice over the following month, each time unsuccessfully. Id. at 2.

         Nichols's grievance reads as follows:

The problem is:
I've been told for several years by Corizon medical staff at ISCI that when the new treatment for Hep-C (Harvoni) became available I would be treated. This has not happened. I specifically requested for a date I would start treatment to be cured of my disease and my request was not responded to. The refusal to provide date is the basis for this grievance.
I suggest the following solution for the problem:
To provide me with immediate treatment to cure me of my Hep-C disease.

Id. at 3. Two days later, he received the following response:

Hepatitis C treatment is triaged based on the Federal Bureau of Prison Prioritization guidelines. Based on your most recent labs, you are currently a Priority 4 patient, which indicates the lowest need for treatment at this time. Priority 1 patients have the highest need, following by Priority 2 & 3 patients. Your labs and biopsy from 2010 indicate that your hepatitis C is currently stable. We will continue to monitor and manage your care appropriately. Thank you.

Id. Like Workman, Nichols appealed this decision twice and was twice denied. Id. at 4.

         Plaintiffs filed a pro se complaint in this Court on July 8, 2016 (Dkt. 1). Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Defendants' violation of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the named Defendants - Henry Atencio, the IDOC Director; Corizon, LLC, which contracts with IDOC to provide medical care to ICSI inmates; and Dr. Murray Young, the Corizon Regional Medical Director from June 2013 to July 2016 - implemented a policy that was deliberately indifferent to their needs for direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAA) to treat their Hepatitis C. Compl. ¶ 1; Corizon Ans. ¶¶ 7-8; Atencio Ans. ¶ 6. Plaintiffs describe DAAs as a new treatment that now constitute the standard of care for all individuals with Hepatitis C. Compl. ¶ 1. Plaintiffs ask the Court to order Defendants “to formulate and ...


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