United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
MICHAEL A. FISHER, Plaintiff,
DR. CATALDI, et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. LITKOVITZ, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a former inmate at the Lebanon Correctional Institution
(LeCI), brings this pro se prisoner civil rights action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against LeCI defendants Dr. Cataldi and
Ms. Smith, R.N., for violations of his constitutional rights.
This matter is before the Court on defendants' motion for
summary judgment and supporting exhibits (Docs. 30, 31) and
plaintiffs memorandum in opposition (Doc. 38).
verified complaint alleges he had surgery in September 2015
for prostate cancer and that since the surgery he has had
discharge and bleeding from his rectum. (Doc. 4). Plaintiff
alleges that a urologist has ordered that he be seen for
these symptoms but Dr. Cataldi "overlooked" his
symptoms. Plaintiff cites to a medical record from December
1, 2015 from the Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC)
showing that he "still has some blood per rectum"
and noting "refer to GI [gastrointestinal] for blood per
rectum." (Doc. 38-1 at 7). Plaintiff also contends that
Dr. Cataldi "overlooked" nodules on a lobe of his
lung, which plaintiff states "could be cancer as
well." (Doc. 4). Plaintiff states that Dr. Cataldi
discharged him from the pulmonary chronic care clinic when he
knew plaintiff has lung diseases. (Doc. 38 at 2; Doc. 38-1 at
10). Plaintiff cites to an OSUMC record from January 13,
2016, which indicates imaging results showing a 0.6 cm nodule
on his lung. (Doc. 38-1 at 13). In addition, plaintiff
alleges he has issues with chronic pain and with pain
medication. Plaintiff states he has experienced chronic pain
since undergoing open heart surgery in 2005 and he
experiences pain during bowel movements. Plaintiff contends
that Dr. Cataldi has tried to make him quantify the number of
times he experiences pain even though the pain is chronic.
(Id.). Plaintiff alleges defendant Smith is a health
care administrator whose "job is to make sure that the
doctor is given [sic] each inmate proper care."
(Id. at 8). Plaintiff alleges that defendant Smith
"allowed Dr. Cataldi to violate policies" and
"saw the neglect from Dr. Cataldi, but also refused to
do anything about it." (Id.).
present evidence that plaintiff arrived at LeCI on January
22, 2015 and transferred to Madison Correctional Institution
(HMaCI") on June 13, 2016. (Doc. 31, Ex. A at
I - 2). Defendants have presented extensive records of
plaintiff s medical visits, summaries, and encounters with
Dr. Cataldi and other medical professionals at LeCI and OSUMC
concerning treatment for plaintiffs numerous medical
conditions. (Doc. 31, Exs. F, G, H, I, J, K). Dr. Cataldi
estimates there have been approximately 180 encounters with
plaintiff throughout his time at LeCI. (Doc. 31, Ex. B,
Cataldi Declaration, ¶I4; Doc. 31, Ex. G, FisherMed
Cataldi's first visit with plaintiff was on January 28,
2015. (Doc. 31, Ex. G FisherMed 0028). Dr. Cataldi assessed
multiple medical problems, including hypertension, elevated
lipid level, chronic chest wall pain, and elevated PSA level.
Dr. Cataldi monitored plaintiffs prostate condition including
by ordering and monitoring lab work, performing examinations,
and referring plaintiff to a urologist for a prostate biopsy
and to other off-site specialists. (Doc. 31, Ex. B,
¶¶ 11, 28; Doc. 31, Exs. F, G, H, I, K (d)). In May
2015, Dr. Cataldi informed plaintiff of the biopsy result,
which was positive for prostate cancer. Dr. Cataldi ordered a
urology consultation for a surgical evaluation. (Doc. 31, Ex.
G FisherMed 00303-04). Dr. Cataldi continued to monitor
plaintiffs prostate condition following the biopsy result.
While plaintiff initially expressed uncertainty about
pursuing surgery (Id. at 000298-29), following
further discussions with Dr. Cataldi about his treatment
options plaintiff eventually opted for and underwent surgery
on his prostate gland on September 4, 2015. (Id. at
000295; Doc. 31, Ex. B, ¶ 19; Doc. 31, Ex. K, (d)). Upon
his return to LeCI following surgery, plaintiff recovered in
the LeCI infirmary and was returned to the general population
on September 17, 2015. (Doc. 31, Ex. Gat 000287).
Discharge from Rectum
his prostatectomy, plaintiff experienced symptoms of
discharge and rectal bleeding. Plaintiff was seen by an OSUMC
urologist on December 1, 2015 for a post-surgery
consultation. (Doc. 31, Ex. H at 0084). Dr. Cataldi examined
plaintiff on December 4, 2015 and reviewed his PSA results.
Dr. Cataldi also ordered hemoccult testing to be performed on
three separate days to test for blood in plaintiffs stools.
(Id. at 0085). At plaintiffs next visit with Dr.
Cataldi on December 15, 2015, Dr. Cataldi reported they were
awaiting the results of the hemoccult testing. (Doc. 31, Ex.
H at 0077-80). Dr. Cataldi states that plaintiff completed
the hemoccult card tests and all three cards returned
negative for fecal blood. (Doc. 31, Ex. B, ¶ 27). Dr.
Cataldi states that if the tests had been positive for blood,
he would have placed a referral for a gastrointestinal
consultation. Because the tests were negative, a
gastrointestinal referral was not warranted. (Id.).
February 2016, Dr. Cataldi performed a digital rectal
examination to check the site of the prostatectomy.
(Id., ¶ 26). Dr. Cataldi noted that an anal
fissure was the source of plaintiff s pain. (Id.).
Dr. Cataldi then prescribed Anusol ointment and the medicine
was continued through May 2016. (Id.; Doc. 31, Ex. H
at 0042-43). In a follow-up visit to OSUMC in March 2016,
there were no objective signs of bleeding noted and no
complaints of pain. Plaintiff was to follow-up with the
urology specialist in six months. (Doc. 31, Ex. H at 0039).
Cataldi states that plaintiff had long-standing complaints of
chronic pain, including chest pain. (Doc. 31, Ex. B, ¶
28). Plaintiff was referred to OSUMC for several tests for
chest pain, which were followed up by Dr. Cataldi with
referrals, examinations and cardiology evaluations.
(Id.; Doc. 31, Exs. F, G, I, K). During plaintiffs
multiple examinations, his presentation and vital signs did
not indicate he was in distress. (Doc. 31, Ex. B, ¶ 32;
Doc. 31, Exs. F, H). Plaintiff complained repeatedly of chest
pain; however, examinations related to this pain, including
cardiac studies, indicated that the pain was not cardiac
related. (Doc. 31, Ex. B, ¶ 39).
was seen at the emergency department on January 12, 2016 for
complaints of chest pain after he developed pressure in his
chest while jogging. (Doc. 31, Ex. J at 000392). Plaintiffs
symptoms resolved with medication and he was subsequently
transferred to OSUMC for further testing. (Id. at
00394-000458). On January 19, 2016, upon his return to LeCI,
plaintiff was seen for his post-hospital discharge. Dr.
Cataldi reviewed the OSUMC discharge report and examined
plaintiff. (Doc. 31, Ex. B, Cataldi Declaration, ¶¶
29, 30; Doc. 31, Exs. F, H). Dr. Cataldi noted that
plaintiffs chest pain was not cardiac in origin, and he
should accept that he will have chronic, recurrent chest pain
and that Ultram/Tramadol will not eliminate the pain. Dr.
Cataldi also observed that the OSUMC report advised plaintiff
to lose weight as his weight may be a contributing factor and
recommended that he reduce his Ultram/Tramadol intake. (Doc.
31, Ex. B, ¶ 29; Doc. 31, Ex. H at 0047). That same day,
Dr. Cataldi reduced plaintiffs prescription for
Ultram/Tramadol. (Doc. 31, Ex. B, ¶ 30; Doc. 31, Ex. H
at 0080). Dr. Cataldi readjusted plaintiffs medications on
February 11, 2016. (Doc. 31, Ex. B, ¶ 30). He also
placed a consultation request to the Mental Health Department
to assist plaintiff in managing his chronic pain.
(Id., ¶ 31). On April 24, 2016, plaintiff
complained of chest pain and Dr. Cataldi ordered promethazine
and 650 mg of aspirin as a form of pain control and
instructed nursing to monitor him for one hour.
(Id., ¶ 41). He also ordered sublingual
Nitroglycerin in an effort to reduce plaintiffs chest pain.
(Id.). On April 26, 2016, plaintiff was admitted to
the infirmary for complaints of dizziness. Dr. Cataldi
suspected that plaintiff was experiencing the effects of
withdrawal from Ultram/Tramadol (an opioid) and increased the
Tramadol to 50 mg, twice daily as needed. (Id.,
¶ 42). The dizziness cleared and plaintiff was released
from the infirmary one day later. (Id.). Dr. Cataldi
states he attempted to decrease the amount of ...