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Mancha v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

January 2, 2020

JORGE L. MANCHA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MARK T. PITTMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant United States of America's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 18). Having considered the motion, briefing, and applicable law, the Court finds that the United States' Motion for Summary Judgment should be and is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly, Plaintiff Jorge L. Mancha's (“Mancha”) claims against the United States are hereby DISMISSED with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Mancha is a sixty-five-year-old prisoner in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). See ECF No. 1 at 2. This lawsuit concerns the medical treatment Mancha received while in federal custody at Federal Medical Center, Fort Worth (FMC Fort Worth). See Def.'s App. MSJ at 1.

         Mancha alleges that he experienced severe pain and discomfort in multiple areas of his body, including his knees, right elbow, lower back, right shoulder, and left foot. See Pl.'s Orig. Pet. at 3. Mancha alleges that he “continuously” brought these issues to the attention of FMC Fort Worth medical staff, but they failed to provide him with timely care, evaluation, and treatment. Id. at 3, 5-6.

         Mancha suffers from significant health issues, including: hyperlipidemia; chronic kidney disease, stage 3; osteoarthritis of the knee and hip; gout; hypertension; anemia; gross hematuria; benign localized hyperplasia of the prostate; a past history of a repaired ACL and meniscus tear in the right knee (repaired in 2010); and renal cell carcinoma with a partial nephrectomy in November 2015. See Def.'s App. MSJ at 3-5; 12-17; 35-38.

         Mancha's medical records demonstrate that FMC Fort Worth medical staff responded to Mancha's complaints of pain by, among other things, conducting various tests to evaluate his conditions, prescribing and adjusting multiple types of medications, authorizing the use of specialized shoes and other accommodations, and otherwise providing timely medical care as appropriate. Mancha's medical records include numerous instances in which he either raised no concerns regarding pain or affirmatively reported to medical staff that he suffered no pain whatsoever. In particular, Mancha's relevant medical records reflect the follow medical visits and treatment:

• On January 24, 2017, Mancha was seen at sick call complaining of pain in his left big toe. Mancha reported that the pain had begun the night prior and rated it as a six out of ten. Mancha noted that he had a history of gout and had experienced similar joint pain several months ago. The attending mid-level provider (MLP) ordered Indomethacin (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)) for pain, ordered laboratory tests, and recommended that he be confined to living quarters except for meals, pill line, and medical treatment. Id. at 32-34, 36, 39, 57, 60.
• On January 26, 2017, Mancha reported to sick call to request a lower bunk pass and a pass for frequent urination. The attending nurse noted that Mancha suffered from gout, had a previous knee surgery in 2014, but reported no pain at that time. Id. at 30-31.
• On February 8, 2017, Mancha was seen by a nurse following a CT scan of his kidney. Mancha reported no pain at that time. Id. at 28-29.
• On February 10, 2017, Mancha was seen by a nurse following a dermatology procedure (removal of melanoma from right jaw). Mancha reported no pain at that time. Id. at 26-27.
• On February 13, 2017, Mancha was seen by an MLP for wound care following a dermatology procedure. The MLP evaluated Mancha, including conducting a general musculoskeletal assessment. The MLP determined that Mancha did not have any joint pain at that time. Id. at 24-25.
• On April 27, 2017, Mancha was evaluated by an MLP after complaining of joint pain in the right hip, right shoulder, right elbow, and right knee. Mancha reported that the pain began three to five days prior. Mancha rated the pain as five out of ten. Mancha reported that the pain was exacerbated by walking, but relieved by NSAIDs. The MLP conducted a musculoskeletal exam, finding swelling, tenderness, and decreased range of motion in his hip. The MLP noted that Mancha had osteoarthritis of the hip and a history of gout. The MLP renewed his prescription for Indomethacin, and ordered x-rays of the right knee, right elbow, and right shoulder, and laboratory tests (lipid profiles). The MLP counseled Mancha about gout and the importance of his diet. Id. at 4, 21-23, 34, 36, 53, 57, 60-61.
• On May 2, 2017, x-rays were taken of Mancha's right knee, right shoulder, and right elbow. The results were unremarkable, except for minimal osteoarthritic changes in his knee and an ...

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