United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON PIERCE COUNTY DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
J. BRYAN, United States District Judge
MATTER comes before Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment
of Defendants Pierce County, Sheriff Paul Pastor, and Chief
Patti Jackson-Kidder (Pierce County Defendants). Dkt. 102.
Plaintiffs and Defendant Correct Care Solutions, LLC (CCS)
filed Responses, Pierce County Defendants filed a Reply, and
Defendant CCS filed a Surreply. Dkts. 131, 134, 142, 149. The
Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to the motions and the remainder of the file
herein. No. party requested oral argument.
outcome of this motion, and ultimately entirety of this case,
rests on the showing by Plaintiffs' counsel. While
Plaintiffs may have constructed a plausible case theory,
Plaintiffs needed to counter Defendants' motion with
evidence showing issues of material fact. Instead, Plaintiffs
submitted an incomplete showing on the most necessary of
elements or relied on bare representations by counsel. The
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure orient this Court towards
resolving cases on their merits, but the Court can only
consider the record submitted. Plaintiffs have failed to meet
their burden. As discussed below, the claims against Pierce
County Defendants should be dismissed, Pierce County
Defendants' cross-claim should be remanded, and any
pending motions should be stricken as moot.
The record considered.
County Defendants have incorporated the Statement of Facts as
set out in Defendant CCS' Motion for Summary Judgment.
Dkt. 102 at 2. See Dkt. 90. Pierce County Defendants
have supplemented the record in two respects: (1) with facts
relevant to the two individually named defendants, Paul
Pastor and Patti Jackson-Kidder, and (2) with facts relevant
to a contract dispute between Defendant Pierce County and
Defendant CCS (“the Pierce County/CCS contract”),
which is the subject of a cross-claim by Pierce County
Defendants against Defendant CCS.
Response refers to no declarations, deposition transcripts, a
sworn complaint, or other attachments, but the pleading
states an intent to incorporate facts by reference. Dkt. 134
at 2. See Dkt. 134 at 4-10. This appears to be
reliance by Plaintiffs on the record submitted by the
defendants, as well as the record submitted by Plaintiffs in
their Response to Defendant CCS' Motion for Summary
Judgment. See Dkts. 108, 110, 112.
County Defendants' Reply further supplements the
circumstances surrounding the Pierce County/CCS contract with
declarations. Dkts. 144, 145, 146. Defendant CCS, in its
Surreply, moves to strike portions of the declarations and
related arguments. Dkt. 149.
Underlying incident facts.
Plaintiffs have not further supplemented the record, facts
recited do not substantively differ from those in the
Court's prior Order. See Dkt. 127.
case centers on an injury to Plaintiff Justin Roosma while in
custody at Pierce County Jail in mid-2014. Mr. Roosma was
medically screened at Pierce County Jail on April 28, 2014.
Dkt. 81-1 at 4. A Screening Questionnaire signed by Mr.
Roosma and a nurse states that Mr. Roosma “does not
know names of medications.” Id. at 4-6.
Correct Care Solutions faxed a medical release and medication
verification form to Rite Aid Pharmacy, which returned the
request as “Not verifiable.” Id. at 9.
After visiting with a mental health provider, Mr. Roosma was
given two anti-depressants, Norvasc and Effexor. Id.
at 14. Mr. Roosma was released on bail on May 3, 2014.
Id. at 21. Mr. Roosma maintains that he was released
after having two seizures, caused by an abrupt stop of
medications. Dkt. 110 at 3.
Roosma was again booked into Pierce County Jail on June 17,
2014. Dkt. 81-1 at 25. A second Screening Questionnaire noted
that Mr. Roosma currently takes medication but does not
specify the type. Id. at 28. A second medication
verification form completed by Rite Aid Pharmacy noted a
60-day prescription on June 10, 2014 for Mirapex, a drug
prescribed for Restless Leg Syndrome. Id. at 33. The
medication verification form also confirmed other
then-current prescriptions, including Prilosec
(gastrointestinal) and Effexor (antidepressant). Id.
21, 2014 healthcare request, or “kite, ”
requested “meds” because “I'm really
sick due to not having them.” Dkt. 81-1 at 37.
Following a second kite, on June 23, 2014, Mr. Roosma
received treatment for gastrointestinal issues. Id.
at 39, 40.
26, 2014, Mr. Roosma sent a third kite, stating, “I
have a severe case of RSP [sic] (Restless Leg
Syndrome) . . . I take Maripax [sic] everyday I
can't sleep or rest due to pain from it[.]” Dkt.
81-1 at 45. A signed response by a nurse notes, “Seen
6/27/14.” Id. The same nurse's handwritten
notes reflect a June 27, 2014 discussion of Mirapex and a fax
to St. Clare Hospital for release of Mr. Roosma's
“RLS shoulder pain” records. Id. at
7, 2014, Mr. Roosma sent a fourth kite. “I was seen
about a week ago for my meds . . . I take Maripax
[sic] for Restless Leg and I haven't had my meds
[and] they are current[.]” Dkt. 81-1 at 54. Mr. Roosma
met with a nurse on July 9, 2014 and began taking some
medications. Id. The Medication Administration
Record, a medical log of medicine given to Mr. Roosma,
reflected administration starting on either July 9 or 10,
2014 of Lopid (cholesterol), Effexor (antidepressant),
Niaspan (cholesterol), and Prilosec (gastrointestinal
medication). Dkt. 117-1 at 20; Dkt. 81-1 at 58.
11, 2014, Mr. Roosma sent a fifth kite, stating,
“I've sent a couple kites out to find out about my
Restless Leg medication “MeriPex” [sic]
could you Please let me know what the hold up is. I would
like to sleep.” Dkt. 81-1 at 60. The comments portion
of the kite stated, “Seen 7-14-14. Medication not being
filled at this time per Carver ARNP.” Id.
12, 2014, Mr. Roosma sent a sixth kite, stating,
“I'm kicking in my sleep! When I sleep, I'm
hurting my toes and there [sic] bleeding all over my
sheets. . . I really need my RLS MeriPex [sic] to
sleep.” Dkt. 81-1 at 62. The comments portion, signed
by a nurse, stated, “appointment already
scheduled.” Id. Another kite, sent on either
July 10, 2014 or July 18, 2014, stated, “I think I
broke my foot from kicking in my sleep do [sic] to
my RLS Restless Leg. I want my Meripex [sic] I'm
really hurting[.]” Id. at 64. The unsigned
comment section read, “Seen.” Id.
21, 2014, at approximately 3am, Mr. Roosma fell from the top
bed bunk onto the floor. Mr. Roosma was alone in the room.
Mr. Roosma states that he “did not go to sleep until
very late” because “they did not allow me to take
the Mirapex[.]” Dkt. 110 at 10. Mr. Roosma represents
that at some point prior to the fall, he had asked an
unidentified person if could sleep on a lower bunk, but
“they would not grant me one.” Id. at 8.
Roosma states that he is “sure it was my restless leg
syndrome (RLS) that caused me to fall out of bed . . .
because after going into custody and being cut off of the
Mirapex I started feeling the familiar symptoms, severe pain
in my legs.” Further, he recalls, “a few days
before the fall I had actually suffered injury to my foot and
toes kicking the wall in my sleep, [which] leaves no doubt in
my mind it was my RLS that caused the fall.” Dkt. 110
asked at his deposition about self-diagnosing his own medical
issues, Mr. Roosma agreed with opposing counsel that he
“do[es] not have any medical training that would permit
[him] to personally diagnose or treat any serious medical or
mental health issues, ” Dkt. 78 at 4, although, he
maintains, he is “at the worst end of the range of
symptoms” for a person with Restless Leg Syndrome. Dkt.
110 at 11. A doctor first diagnosed Mr. Roosma with the
condition in 2008, when he was first prescribed Mirapex,
which made a difference “like night and day.”
Id. at 8; Dkt. 108-9 at 9. Mrs. Roosma also noticed
a difference after Mr. Roosma began taking Mirapex, observing
that Mirapex “was a godsend . . . There was no more
thrashing [and] [s]udden leg movement ceased.” Dkt. 112
at 3. Since first being prescribed Mirapex, Mr. Roosma
reports, his doctor has increased dosage from 1mg to 3mg per
day. Dkt. 110 at 10. But compare to Dkt. 108-9 at 2,
8, 9 (.50 mg and .25mg).
the fall incident, Mr. Roosma was transported first to Tacoma
General Hospital, then to Harborview Medical Center. Dkt. 110
at 8. Mr. Roosma maintains that he broke his eye socket,
suffered a concussion, broke his wrist, and had to have
twenty-two stiches on his knee. Id. at 9. A
radiology report dated July 21, 2014, concludes that an x-ray
“showed no fractures besides the left orbital
roof.” Dkt. 81-1 at 80, 82. According to the Medication
Administration Record, Mr. Roosma was administered Mirapex
from July 22, 2014 until July 24, 2014. Dkt. 117-1 at 20. It
appears that a single person authorized administration of all
medicine for Mr. Roosma. Dkt. Id. According to RN
Jonathan Slothower, the nurse on duty when Mr. Roosma fell
from his bed, inmates are given medication when
“medically necessary, ” a determination made by a
doctor or nurse practitioner. Id. at 9, 20.
CCS' expert witness, Dr. Scott Bonvallet, medical
director of Overlake Sleep Disorders Center, is familiar with
distinctions between Restless Leg Syndrome and obstructive
sleep apnea. Based on his review of Mr. Roosma's medical
records, Dr. Bonvallet has concluded that Mr. Roosma's
Restless Leg Syndrome “was not the cause of, or even a
contributor to, his falling out of bed.” Dkt. 80 at 3.
According to Dr. Bonvallet, the condition “does not
cause individuals to fall out of bed, as the movements are
quite subtle[, ]” and the “limb
twitching/awakenings from RLS occur during the first few
hours of sleep . . . [but] Mr. Roosma fell out of bed at
approximately 0300, making it very unlikely that his fall was
caused by RLS.” Id. He opines that
“there are much more probable explanations to include
[Mr. Roosma's] severe obstructive sleep apnea, known
history of sleep walking, or he simply fell out of
Roosma's experience, “sleep apnea never arose as a
practical problem causing restlessness[.]” Dkt. 112 at
3. Mr. Roosma acknowledges his diagnosed sleep apnea, but Mr.
Roosma had not been using the “CPAP, ” a
respiratory ventilation to aid with sleep apnea,
“because I was sleeping so well from the
Mirapex.” Dkt. 110 at 10. Mrs. Roosma confirms that Mr.
Roosma tried a CPAP without success, but Mirapex
“profoundly” helped his RLS symptoms, “from
mild irritation to severe kicking.” Dkt. 112 at 4.
Bonvallet has also concluded that it was reasonable and
within the standard of care for the jail medical providers to
not prescribe Miramex. Dkt. 80 at 5. According to Dr.
Bonvallet, “I understand that there are substantial
reasons to restrict access to such medication in the setting
of jail[, ]” and “there were no foreseeable
medical risks through its discontinuance[.]”
Defendant Pastor and Defendant Jackson-Kidder facts.
time of the fall incident, Defendant Jackson-Kidder worked
for Pierce County as the Prison Rape Elimination Act
Coordinator/Medical liaison, where she was responsible to
serve as a liaison between Pierce County Jail and medical
providers “with regard to any issues that arose out of
their performance of the contract.” Dkt. 104 at
¶6. Defendant Jackson-Kidder was “unaware of
Justin Roosma as an inmate in the jail” and “made
no decision and took no actions regarding his medical
care.” Id. at ¶8. At that time, she also
lacked “authority to supervise, direct or order the
activities of CCS employees.” Id. at ¶6.
In September of 2015, Defendant Jackson-Kidder transitioned
to become the Chief of Corrections for Pierce County
Sheriff's Department in September of 2015. Id.
Pastor, Pierce County Sheriff, delegated the responsibility
to “prepare and pursue a contract for medical
services” to Julie Williams, Defendant Pastor's
Chief of Staff to Defendant Pastor. Ms. Williams executed the
task “in consultation with other individuals who had
relevant specialized knowledge[.]” Dkt. 103 at ¶9.
She represents that, on behalf of Pierce County, Defendant
Pastor was not the sole signatory to the Pierce County/CCS
contract. Id. at ¶15. See id. at 5.