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Brown v. Cain

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

March 2, 2015

LEWIS E. BROWN (#73428)
v.
BURL CAIN, ET AL.

RULING AND ORDER

SHELLY D. DICK, District Judge.

Before the Court is a Motion for Sanctions [1] filed by Plaintiff Lewis E. Brown (#73428). An evidentiary hearing was conducted on February 26, 2015. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions shall be granted.

I. BRIEF OVERVIEW OF PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

Brown, an inmate at Louisiana State Penitentiary ("LSP"), filed his pro se Complaint [2] against Warden Burl Cain, Asst. Warden Darren Barr, and Jonathon Roundtree, M.D. He contends that LSP's medication delivery system was implemented in a manner that was deliberately indifferent to Brown's medical needs in violation of his 8th amendment constitutional rights. Brown also alleges that LSP's Dr. Roundtree was deliberately indifferent in failing to provide him with timely medical care for a broken hip.

II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL POINTS

The Court considers the following chronology of events to be critical in conducting its analysis of Brown's spoliation claim. Brown filed his lawsuit on February 24, 2011, wherein he asserted claims arising out of LSP's pharmaceutical operations. On May 10, 2011, Brown sought and was granted leave to amend his Complaint, wherein he specifically stated, "[s]ince the time of filing this complaint the LSP has terminated its pharmaceutical contract to provide pharmaceutical services with PHARMACORR' [A private pharmaceutical company in Oklahoma] and re-opened an on-site pharmacy at the prison."[3] On July 6, 2011, Brown filed his First Set of Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents.[4] Thereafter, Brown filed a Motion to Compel Discovery in light of his requests, which the Court granted on October 13, 2011[5]. Defendants have remained largely non-compliant with the Court's October 2011 Order compelling production of documents. Notably, Defendants never produced any of the following records which were requested by the Plaintiff in July of 2011[6] and compelled by the Court in October of 2011.[7]

• Monthly Pharmaceutical Administration Sheets for all medications prescribed to Brown;
• Monthly pharmacy records indicating dates and doses of 81 mg aspirin dispensed to Brown;
• Policies, procedures and regulations pertaining to how pharmaceuticals are accounted for, audited and inventoried; and
• Policies, procedures and regulations pertaining to the documentation and investigation into irregularities of pharmacy inventories and missing pharmaceuticals.[8]

Last year, Brown re-urged his production requests and sought relief from the Court to direct Defendants to comply. Twice more the Court ordered the Defendants to produce documents.[9] Specifically, on June 13, 2014, [10] the Court ordered the Defendant's to produce the following: (1) Pill Call Manifests; (2) the Return of Damaged or Adulterated Medication Logs; (3) the Identity of the LSP On-Site Pharmacist from April 19, 2010 through April 18, 2011; (4) Drug Control Book; and (5) the Monthly Pharmacy Reports.

In what they called a "Notice of Compliance" the Defendants claimed they did not have the documents which the Court ordered produced in their possession because LSP's pharmacy records had been transferred to PharmaCorr, LLC. Defendant's claimed that no personnel at LSP had access to the data. Defendants further argued that the request was unduly burdensome and that the Plaintiff could obtain the documents in a less burdensome manner, namely by subpoena to PharmaCorr.[11]

Again, the pro se Plaintiff moved the Court to compel production by filing an Objection[12] to the Defendant's "Notice of Sufficiency". After examining the State's contract with PharmaCorr, which served as the basis for the Defendant's refusal to produce the subject documents, the Court found that:

According to a State Purchase Order attached to the [PharmaCorr] contract, the parties' twelve month contract ended on April 18, 2011... Based on the express terms of the contract, PharmaCorr as the Contractor will, at its own expense, "upon request, " return "all records, reports, documents, or other material prepared for ...

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