AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities
Monthly Law Journal Article: Civil Liability for Inadequate Prisoner Medical Care, 2007 (9) AELE Mo. L.J. 301.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Forced Feeding or Medication of Prisoners, 2007 (12) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Legal Issues Pertaining to Inmate Funds, 2008 (4) AELE Mo. L.J. 301. (includes section on recovery of medical costs).
Monthly Law Journal Article: Transsexual Prisoners: Medical Care Issues, 2009 (8) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Civil Liability for Inadequate Prisoner Dental Care, 2009 (9) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Mental Health Care of Prisoners, 2009 (11) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners, 2009 (12) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Avoiding Liability for Antibiotic Resistant Infections in Prisoners, 2011 (3) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Civil Liability for Inadequate Prisoner Medical Care: Eye and Vision Related, 2014 (12) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
An arrestee stated that he suffered from seizures caused by a prior head injury, that he took medication to treat his condition, and that he had not taken his medication. Placed in a “bullpen” cell, he suffered a seizure 12 hours later and was taken to a hospital. A lawsuit claimed that after he returned to the city jail he was not given medical attention although he displayed symptoms of deteriorating health. Instead he was shackled, with a spit mask placed on his face. Officers allegedly ignored his cries for help and complaints of difficulty breathing. Then he was transferred to the county facility, where nurses found him medically unfit to be booked. Despite this, they allegedly gave him no medical care and did not remove the mask, which was seeping blood. When a nurse finally removed the mask, he was no longer breathing. He died less than 24 hours after his arrest. A trial court rejected his family’s claims against individual defendants and their argument that the city had a de facto policy of failing to investigate in-custody deaths and ignoring detainees’ medical difficulties. A federal appeals court reversed in part, ruling that the evidence, including surveillance footage, while disputed, would permit a jury to find liability on civil rights claims against some individual defendants. Rejecting claims of qualified immunity, the appeals court found that it was clearly established that a detainee was entitled to objectively reasonable medical care for a serious medical need. The alleged lack of care, if true, was objectively unreasonable. Estate of Perry v. Wenzel, #16-3130, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 18010 (7th Cir.).
Several correctional officers touring a dorm at night observed nothing unusual about an inmate asleep in his bunk. At 3:45 a.m., when the dorm supervisor started awakening inmates for kitchen duty, he saw he prisoner breathing abnormally and making noises, with his body making sudden moves. Despite efforts to wake him, the prisoner was unresponsive. The supervisor noted this in the logbook and called an officer, who later denied that he was given all information. The prisoner did not wake up for breakfast, and when other prisoners returned from the meal, the supervisor heard someone shout “man down!” He called a medical emergency, and the prisoner was pronounced dead at 6:54 a.m. He had died from a methadone overdose, taking pills he bought from another prisoner. Medical experts stated that he would have fully recovered if he had received medical care between 3:45 and 5:48 a.m. A federal appeals court reversed summary judgment for the defendants on Eighth Amendment claims, finding that there was a material dispute of fact as to whether the defendants were deliberately indifferent to the prisoner’s severe medical condition. The court also ruled, however, that the decedent’s father did establish a substantive due process violation from the loss of his familial relationship due to the prisoner’s death because there was no evidence that either of the correctional facility officers intentionally interfered in the father’s familial relationship with his adult son. Orlowski v. Milwaukee County, #16-2166, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 17991 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner could not show a jury that correctional officials and private medical service providers at a prison acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs when his reports of abdominal pain and colon spasms were thoroughly investigated. Medical providers were able to substantiate only a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, and the prisoner failed to produce any evidence that his subsequent treatment for this condition deviated from accepted medical practices and standards. Physical exams and ordered X‐rays, an ultrasound, bloodwork, stool cultures, and other tests were performed, but the results were consistently normal. The decision whether further diagnostic testing, such as a colonoscopy, was necessary was “a classic example” of a matter for medical judgment. Proctor v. Sood, #16-1942, 863 F.3d 563 (7th Cir. 2017).
A federal statute, 42 U.S.C. Sec 1396d(29)(A), bars the payment of federal Medicaid funds for the medical care of “any individual who is an inmate of a public institution (except as a patient in a medical institution),” A person is not, however, an “inmate of a public institution” if he resides in the public institution “for a temporary period pending other arrangements appropriate to his needs.” The state of Ohio sought to classify pretrial detainees under age 19 as non-inmates, living in a public institution for only “a temporary period pending other arrangements appropriate to [their] needs,” for whom the state could claim Medicaid reimbursement. Federal Medicaid officials rejected this, finding that the inmate exclusion recognized “no difference” between adults and juveniles, or convicted detainees and those awaiting trial. A federal appeals court agreed, ruling that the involuntary nature of the stay is the determining factor. The exception does not apply when the individual is involuntarily residing in a public institution awaiting adjudication of a criminal charge, whether adult or juvenile. Ohio Department of Medicaid v. Price, #16-3550, 410 F.3d 919 (6th Cir. 2017).
An Illinois prisoner claimed that nearly two dozen prison employees both deliberately ignored his medical needs and retaliated against him because he filed grievances and lawsuits. He claimed that he received inadequate supplies of toothpaste, laundry detergent, and mailing supplies at three different prisons over a period of six years. Screening the complaint, the trial court narrowed the number of defendants and then granted summary judgment for the defendants who remained. “This lawsuit is not the first one,” the appeals court commented in upholding the result, in which the prisoner “has tossed into a single complaint a mishmash of unrelated allegations against unrelated defendants.” He had engaged in “nearly constant” litigation during 2009 and 2010. Owens v. Godinez, #15-3892, 860 F.3d 434 (7th Cir. 2017).
An inmate suffered from a severe form of psoriasis that causes debilitating pain from large and deep fissures that form on the bottom of his feet. Soriatane was the medication that had provided some relief in the past, when multiple other treatments had proved useless. That medication, however, was not on the approved drug formulary for Ohio prisons, and the facility could not obtain it at the time of the prisoner’s arrival. He developed fissures on his heels, pain, and difficulty walking after weeks without the drug, resulting in multiple visits to the infirmary, during which doctors unsuccessfully tried other drugs. He finally received Soriatane after a year. Overturning summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity for the defendants, a federal appeals court found that it was “clearly established” by 2011 that failing to provide a prisoner with needed medication, choosing to prescribe an arguably less effective treatment method, and continuing on a treatment path that was clearly known to be ineffective could constitute a constitutional violation and support a finding of deliberate indifference. Darrah v. Krisher, #15-4136, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 13502, 2017 Fed. App. 0163P (6th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that staff members at a facility improperly delayed giving him medical attention for a painful back condition, as well as using excessive force when they eventually took him to a hospital for treatment. A federal appeals court vacated summary judgment for the defendants, noting a failure to preserve videotaped evidence of the plaintiff in his cell during the time in question. It also ruled that reasonable jury could find that a security supervisor and a nurse were deliberately indifferent to the plaintiff’s serious medical needs. Lewis v. McLean, #16-1220, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 13184 (7th Cir.).
An inmate was awarded $307,733.82 on his federal and state claims that correctional officers hit him, causing a fracture to his eye socket, and then left him in his cell without medical attention. A federal appeals court upheld the liability award, rejecting an argument that sovereign immunity barred the state law claim. It reversed and remanded an attorneys’ fee award. Under 42 U.S.C. 1997e(d), the attorney fee award must first be satisfied from up to 25 percent of the damage award, and the trial court did not have discretion to reduce that maximum percentage to 10%. Murphy v. Smith, #15-3384, 844 F.3d 653 (7th Cir. 2017).
Parents of a prisoner who died while on suicide watch after falling twice in his cell were awarded damages by a jury, including $1 million for wrongful death and lesser amounts for denial of adequate medical care and pain and suffering. Upholding the trial court’s denial of judgment as a matter of law for the defendants, a federal appeals court found the evidence sufficient to sustain the damage awards. It also ruled that the close-observation policy at the prison was ministerial and the corrections officers were not entitled to official immunity. The trial court did not clearly and prejudicially abuse its discretion by determining that evidence of what medical staff thought but did not disclose was irrelevant and, therefore, inadmissible under Fed. R. Evid. 401 and 402. Letterman v. Lammers, #16-1410, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 11052 (8th Cir.).
While a pretrial detainee in a county jail, the plaintiff was diagnosed with meningitis, and then suffered multiple strokes, resulting in permanent injuries. He sued, claiming inadequate medical care. Rejecting this claim, a federal appeals court found that all of the health care providers at the jail acted within the course and scope of their discretionary authority in providing the plaintiff with care. They were entitled to qualified immunity as they did not act with deliberate indifference. Since there was no constitutional violation, there was also no basis for supervisory liability on the part of the sheriff. Nam Dang v. Sheriff, Seminole County, Florida, #15-14842, 856 F.3d 842 (11th Cir. 2017).
Police officers arrested a bipolar delusional man who had not taken his medication and took him to a jail where he died of a heart attack after he attacked a corrections officer and was restrained. The officers were entitled to qualified immunity, as there was no clearly established constitutional requirement that they take him to a hospital rather than a jail. Corrections officers at the jail were also entitled to qualified immunity even if they had reason to know the detainee was bipolar, as no prior case clearly established that the detainee’s medical instability required immediate medical attention. Failure to train claims against the city failed. The city could not be found to be deliberately indifferent to a constitutional right that was not clearly established. The officers were also entitled to immunity under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2744.03(A)(6)(b) as to state law claims because no reasonable jury could have found recklessness. Arrington-Bey v. City of Bedford Heights, #16-3317, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 9207, 2017 Fed. App. 112P (6th Cir.)
An inmate repeatedly experienced and complained about chest pain, as well as pain in his neck, arms, and shoulders, together with dizziness and shortness of breath. After he was taken to a hospital emergency room, cardiologists recommended that he undergo a cardiac catheterization procedure to find out whether he needed surgery or a stent to prevent a heart attack. Correctional doctors employed by a private contractor, however, would not approve the procedure. Three grievances concerning this were denied, after which the chest pains reoccurred, and an outside cardiologist then recommended the medication Ranexa. Because that heart drug was not on the prison’s drug formulary, doctors at the prison denied him that medication, instead keeping him on another drug that made him dizzy. Chest pains over the next two and a half years resulted in multiple hospitalizations. He then received cardiac catheterization, and heart disease was ruled out. He was later provided with Ranexa. But after a six month prescription ran out, renewal was denied and his symptoms returned. A federal appeals court upheld the rejection of claims against a physician’s assistant for failing to send the prisoner to a hospital emergency room because he could not show that this constituted deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, since he did not actually suffer a heart attack or similarly serious problem at the time in question. Because there were factual issues as to whether the plaintiff exhausted his available administrative remedies on claims against three prison physicians that they denied him a medication that had been effective to control his angina pain, further proceedings on those claims were ordered. Mattox v. Edelman, #16-1412, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 4510, 2017 Fed. App. 59P (6th Cir.).
An inmate complained 14 times about knee instability and pain stemming from an injury suffered in a fight. The prison’s medical director recommended that the prisoner be assigned to a lower bunk and ordered an MRI test that showed a complete right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. A private company that provides medical care to state prisons approved orthopedic follow-up, but the prisoner received no follow-up and no physical therapy. An emergency grievance requesting surgery and complaining that his condition effectively confined him to his cell was denied. He sued doctors and the warden for alleged deliberate indifference to his injury and sought an injunction ordering surgery. A federal appeals court vacated summary judgment for the defendants, ruling that a reasonable jury could find deliberate indifference by the warden and a number of doctors under the circumstances. Diggs v. Ghosh, #16-1175, 850 F.3d 905 (7th Cir. 2017)
A detainee who was a regular heavy drinker and was suffering alcohol withdrawal was allowed to keep with him a bottle of Librium that he had with him when arrested for DUI, and to use it to treat anxiety and withdrawal. Officers checked on him every 15 minutes. By the second day, he complained of shaking from withdrawal, and was given both vitamins and Librium. A nurse ordered that he be given normal treatment for alcohol withdrawal when he again complained. When his symptoms persisted, he was sent to a hospital, but returned to the jail when a doctor concluded that he was not experiencing delirium tremens. He was later again taken to the hospital, and found to be hypothermic, as well as having low blood pressure, suffering from dehydration, sepsis, and acute respiratory failure. He was in a medically‐induced coma for several days. A federal appeals court found no evidence of deliberate indifference and ruled that the level of medical care provided was reasonable. Collins v. Al-Shami, #15-3179, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 4921 (7th Cir.).
An inmate claimed that correctional
employees failed to prevent an assault on him by his cellmate that caused a
broken ankle and also left the injury untreated for months. The trial court granted
summary judgment to the defendants, ruling that the prisoner had failed to
exhaust available administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. 1997e(a). A federal appeals court reversed,
finding that the plaintiff had made a timely complaint to the facility’s
complaint examiner and filed a second administrative complaint. Correspondence
was then sent to him at the facility after he was transferred elsewhere to a
mental health facility where he was forced to take psychotropic drugs. The
trial court’s ruling ignored the fact that he had done the best he could under
these circumstances Prisoners can’t be required to exhaust remedies that are
unavailable to them, the court commented.
Weiss v. Barribeau, #16-3039 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 6063 (7th Cir.).
Correctional officers were entitled to qualified immunity on an excessive force claim brought on behalf of the estate of an inmate who died. The prisoner was actively resisting the extraction procedure by ignoring directives to lie down on his bunk and resisting the officers’ efforts to subdue him once they entered his cell, and their testimony about the degree of his resistance was corroborated. Under the totality of these circumstances, none of their actions, either singly or in combination, amounted to an objectively unreasonable application of force. Genuine issues of fact, however, remained on the question of whether they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs when they allegedly allowed him to scream, howl, and bang against his cell door for eight hours without attempting to talk to him or seek medical care for him. Ryan v. Armstrong, #16-1341, 850 F.3d 419 (8th Cir. 2017).
An Illinois prisoner sued a prison doctor and nurse for alleged deliberate indifference to his pain following nine abdominal surgeries, the management of his diet, and inattention to a possible renal cell tumor. Upholding summary judgment for the defendants, a federal appeals court found insufficient evidence to show that either of the defendants had ignored a substantial risk of harm to the prisoner. Every time he went to the medical center he was evaluated and treated. He was also told to return if his symptoms continued. He had no right to dictate the specifics of his treatment or whether his treatment required that he be transferred. The doctor discontinued his Vicodin prescription but was engaged in efforts to manage his pain, and his active monitoring of the prisoner’s diet was the opposite of deliberate indifference. Harper v. Santos. #15-1903, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 2521 (7th Cir.).
An Illinois inmate suffered an asthma
attack in his segregation unit cell, which had no emergency call button. A
number of hours later, his cellmate alerted guards by banging on the door, and
the inmate was taken to a prison medical unit operated by a private company.
Wheezing and having difficulty breathing, he was given medications and started
on oxygen by a nurse, who then called a doctor, who was on-call for several
prisons. He slept through the call, but later returned the call, prescribing
medications, and then ordering the inmate sent to a hospital via ambulance when
his difficulties continued. At the emergency room, more medications were
administered for two hours before a breathing tube was inserted. Then the
inmate died. A federal appeals court upheld a jury verdict in favor of the
warden, the private healthcare company, and the guards. Evidence in the case
didn’t support a reasonable inference that the warden consciously disregarded a
substantial risk of harm to the inmate by failing to install emergency call
buttons or to fill the vacant position of permanent medical director in a
timely manner, or that a company policy caused the death. Chatham v. Davis, #14-3318, 839 F.3d 679 (7th Cir.
Upon arrival at a new unit at a prison, an inmate told a guard that he had a brain tumor and was entitled to a lower bunk. The guard stated that he had to just follow his upper bunk assignment. The inmate subsequently fell out of the bunk, was examined in a hospital emergency room, and returned to the prison, where his upper bunk assignment continued. The prisoner failed to follow the procedure for requesting a new bunk assignment, but continued to complain to the guard. He then broke his back when he again fell out of his bunk. After surgery, he was again temporarily returned to the upper bunk. He sued the guard he complained to and the warden, but not the guard responsible for making bunk assignments or medical personnel responsible for determining which prisoners had a medical need for a lower bunk. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants. Inaction after receiving an inmate’s complaint about someone else’s alleged misconduct was insufficient to impose liability. Estate of Miller v. Marberry, #15-1497, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 1655 (7th Cir.).
A former pretrial detainee asserted that a private orthopedic doctor, as well as a jail nurse and doctor, were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs after he fell, broke his left humerus, dislocated the hardwear in his arm, and began to suffer extreme pain. Summary judgment was upheld for the private orthopedic doctor, since he had relayed his diagnosis of the plaintiff's arm to jail officials and had no responsibility to oversee the continuing medical decisions of the jail, nor was he informed about the subsequent alleged lack of treatment or severe pain. The jail nurse and doctor, however, were not entitled to qualified immunity, as the evidence could be interpreted as showing that they each knowingly and deliberately inflicted pain on the plaintiff by failing to provide timely medical treatment. Melton v. Abston, #15-11412, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 20681 (11th Cir.).
A former federal prisoner could proceed with his claims that a prison doctor and prison administrator acted with deliberate indifference in failing to provide him with needed insulin and in allegedly failing to provide aid to him after he used an emergency phone or for two to five days after he reported vomiting blood and other signs of evident physical distress. If true, they disregarded a substantial risk that serious bodily injury would result or had already occurred. Scinto, Sr. v. Warden Stansberry, #15-1587, 841 F.3d 219 (4th Cir. 2016).
A prisoner heard a "pop" and experienced extreme pain while climbing some stairs. A doctor at the prison infirmary prescribed Vicodin, crutches, and a week of "lay-in" rest. The injury was listed as an Achilles tendon rupture by the medical director, who modified the instructions by mandating an MRI and an orthopedic examination on an "urgent" basis. A lockdown at the facility resulted in cancelation of three medical appointments, so that he only received an orthopedic boot eight weeks later. The prisoner claimed that he still experienced ankle stiffness, soreness, and pain a year later. His lawsuit claimed that the medical director had been deliberately indifferent in failing to immediately immobilize his ankle with a cast or boot, and that another doctor later was deliberately indifferent in failing to order physical therapy. While a federal appeals court panel affirmed summary judgment for the defendants, a rehearing en banc reversed. It stated that even when a doctor disputes knowing that he was exposing a plaintiff patient to a substantial risk of harm, evidence from which a jury could reasonably conclude that he knew that the treatment being provided was deficient. There was sufficient evidence to defeat summary judgment for the defendants. Petties v. Carter, #14-2674, 836 F.3d 722 (7th Cir. 2016).
An arrestee suffered an injury to his hand in a fight prior to his arrest. A trial court properly granted summary judgment on a deliberate indifference claim against a jail nurse as her treatment of his injury, if at all deficient, was at most negligent, which was insufficient for a federal civil rights claim, and the plaintiff's own attorney agreed that there was no medical evidence in the record to support the plaintiff's claim that a five-day delay in treatment caused a detrimental effect to his hand. Further, this isolated incident was insufficient to support municipal liability claims. Corwin v. City of Independence, MO, #15-1732, 829 F.3d 695 (8th Cir. 2016).
While serving a probation-revocation sentence, a prisoner fell ill with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A doctor at first merely diagnosed it as an infection and prescribed antibiotics and some nonprescription pain relievers. Two months later, the doctor ordered a biopsy that discovered the cancer. The prisoner sued the doctor and the prison's private medical provider for alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs during the two months his cancer went undiagnosed. Summary judgment for the defendants was upheld as there was no evidence from which a jury could infer that the doctor was subjectively indifferent to the prisoner's condition. Without expert testimony, a lay jury could not infer that because amoxicillin and Bactrim did not work, it was obvious to the doctor that the doxycycline and Augmentin also would fail. To survive summary judgment, the prisoner needed to present evidence sufficient to show that decision was "so far afield of accepted professional standards as to raise the inference that it was not actually based on a medical judgment." He failed to do so. Whiting v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., #15-1647, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 18416 (7th Cir.).
A federal prisoner suffered burns on his leg, foot, and ankle while working in the prison kitchen. His second-degree burn was treated by a nurse and he returned to the healthcare unit daily for cleaning and dressing of his wound. A physician's assistance told him that the pain and numbness he was experiencing were probably normal and that he should return in six months. When he did so, he was told that his symptoms were probably permanent. A doctor allegedly refused to examine him, look up his records, or authorize any treatment. The doctor allegedly told him that he would not have gotten burned if he wasn't in prison, and that only "God" could help him. He also allegedly threatened to write up a disciplinary report if the prisoner complained again. The doctor disputed this. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for a prison administrator who was not a medical professional, but reversed it as to the doctor. A reasonable jury might infer that personal hostility, divorced from medical judgment, motivated the doctor's refusal to authorize any further treatment, including from a burn specialist that the prisoner's family would have paid for. Rivera v. Gupta, #15-3462, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 16544 (7th Cir.).
A prison doctor sent an inmate to an off-site orthopedic surgeon when he broke his wrist. X-rays were taken and instructions were given that the prisoner should return in three weeks. The prison doctor did not follow those instructions, but waited almost seven weeks to send the prisoner back. By then, the wrist had healed at an improper angle and two surgeries were needed to correct the problem. A federal appeals court overturned summary judgment for the prison doctor. There was evidence from which it could be found that rather than simply disagreeing with the specialist, which would have been insufficient to prove deliberate indifference, the prison doctor consciously disregarded the specialist's instructions. Zaya v. Sood, #15-1470, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 16374 (7th Cir.),
A pretrial detainee asserted that medical care at a county jail fell below constitutional standards as a matter of official policy, custom, or practice.The 2008 findings from a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of health care at the jail found systemic flaws in the jail's scheduling, record-keeping, and grievance procedures that produced health care below the minimal requirements of the U.S. Constitution. In this case, a federal appeals court reversed the trial court’s refusal to allow admission of the report as evidence toward meeting a plaintiff’s burden of proving an unconstitutional custom, policy, or practice. The appeals court concluded that it should be admitted under the hearsay exception for civil cases in Federal Rule of Evidence 803(8)(A)(iii) for factual findings from legally authorized investigations. Daniel v. Cook County, #15-2832, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 14886 (7th Cir.).
Before his incarceration, a prisoner had marbled implanted in and tattoos drawn on his penis. While incarcerated, he underwent surgery to remove the marbles. He claimed that prison officials threatened him with segregation for the rest of his sentence and loss of eligibility for parole if he did not consent to the surgery. He claimed that he suffered physical injury and mental anguish because of the surgery, and that there was no security or penological justification for the requirement. A federal appeals court held that the plaintiff alleged possible Eighth Amendment and Fourth Amendment violations as well as a class-of-one equal protection claim. Because the trial court did not consider the plaintiff's due process claim, the appeals court ordered further proceedings on that claim. King, Jr. v. Rubenstein, #15-6382, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis10276 (4th Cir.).
Two prisoners at a federally-owned and contractor-run prison sued the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 1346, after they contracted coccidioidomycosis (cocci). They claimed that the government failed to protect them from contracting this illness. An independent contractor exception to the FTCA did not bar liability. The Bureau of Prisons' duty to warn prisoners before transferring them to this facility arose outside of its contractual relationship with the company running the prison. As the owner of the facility, the U.S. government had a duty under California law to exercise reasonable care in the ownership and management of the property, and state law recognizes a special relationship between jailer and prisoner. Additionally, the BOP did not delegate all of its duties to the contractor once the prisoners arrived at the prison, and explicitly excluded the contractor from participating in the development of a cocci prevention policy. Edison v. United States, #14-15472, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 9250 (9th Cir.).
A Native American inmate claimed to have contracted Hepatitis C while participating in a communal pipe-smoking ceremony at a prison. He sued the Executive Director of the state prison agency for violating his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by failing to protect him from the risk of contracting communicable diseases, including Hepatitis C. A federal appeals court noted that there was no policy requiring the plaintiff to participate in the communal pipe ceremony, and he did so voluntarily based on his religious beliefs. He therefore failed to state a claim for an Eighth Amendment violation. Legate v. Livingston, #15-40079, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 9106 (5th Cir.).
A prisoner in a prison job as an electrician's assistant fell off a ladder and suffered an umbilical hernia. His lawsuit claimed deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The trial court granted a preliminary injunction and ordered the prisoner's evaluation for surgery. He then received surgery on his hernia. He sought damages for the pain he suffered because of prison officials' refusal to authorize the surgery prior to the lawsuit. Rejecting this, a federal appeals court found the individual defendants entitled to qualified immunity because they relied on legitimate medical opinions, and it was at least debatable whether they had complied with the Eighth Amendment. Hamby v. Hammond, #15-35283, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 7894 (9th Cir. 2016)
A prisoner serving a life sentence was diagnosed with arthritis and high cholesterol, and received a low-cholesterol diet planned by a prison dietician for ten years. Then a new warden fired the dietician and cancelled all special diets, as well as decreasing the frequency of outdoor recreation. The prisoner asserted cruel and unusual punishment claims, as well as an equal protection claim based on the assertion that other Illinois prisons provided prescription diets and more outdoor recreation. While upholding summary judgment on claims relating to outdoor recreation, a federal appeals court found that the defendants were not entitled to it on claims relating to the cancellation of the prisoner's prescription diet. McDonald v. Hardy, #15-1102, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 8535 (7th Cir.).
A pretrial detainee in a county jail developed severe and persistent pain in his abdomen and back. A CT scan revealed a paratracheal mass, and he had trouble breathing, as well as experiencing partial paralysis as the mass rapidly grew. His lawsuit claims that medical personnel at the jail were aware of these difficulties, but accused him of malingering, merely giving him over the counter medications and ordering him to seek psychiatric care. After about four months, his condition severely deteriorated, and he was taken to a hospital, where lung cancer was diagnosed, leading to his death two months later. Overturning the dismissal of his mother's lawsuit, a federal appeals court found that a reasonable jury could find that pervasive systemic deficiencies in the jail's medical care were the "moving force" behind the decedent's injury and death. Dixon v. Cook County, Illinois, #13-3634, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 6459 (7th Cir.).
A pretrial detainee in a county jail fell and hurt his back. He was not able to see a doctor for a month. Even then, he claimed, officers did not move him, although a doctor determined to use a lower bunk. There was no ladder to get to his upper bunk, so he was forced to sleep on the floor until released from custody. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants, stating that “it is undisputed that Plaintiff never received a lower bunk permit at any time while at the jail.” Reversing, a federal appeals court found that it was in fact disputed and that there was evidence that he did receive a doctor's order that he be assigned to a lower bunk. Bolling v. Carter, #15-2254, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 7521 (7th Cir.).
A 59-year-old African-American man civilly committed as a sexually violent predator sued state employees, claiming that he was improperly denied certain treatments for Hepatitis C. Specifically, he claimed that a doctor used an explicitly racial classification to deny him interferon and ribavirin treatment since such treatment had been largely unsuccessful on African-American males. In addition, after reviewing the plaintiff's biopsy results, the doctor told him that his Hepatitis C had not progressed to a level that would justify the harsh side effects of the requested treatment. Several years later, the plaintiff was placed on interferon and ribavirin, and the treatment was ultimately unsuccessful. Federal civil rights claims against the defendants in their individual capacities were not barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity, since that immunity only extends to claims against the state, such as claims against the defendants in their official capacities. But it was not clearly established that the use of race-related success-of-treatment data as a factor in a medical treatment decision would be unconstitutional, so the doctor was entitled to qualified immunity. Mitchell v. State of Washington, #13-36217, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 4648 (9th Cir.).
A man intoxicated from PCP use was arrest for a disturbance and then transported a short distance to a jail, where he died from PCP toxicity. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants on claims under the Texas Wrongful Death statute, as the plaintiff, the decedent's mother, was unable to produce evidence that the alleged denial of medical care caused the decedent's death. Slade v. City of Marshall, 15-40517, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 2323 (5th Cir.).
A man arrested for DUI was placed in a holding cell at a police station and died there. Summary judgment in favor of the defendants on claims for excessive force and denial of medical care was improper. From the evidence, a reasonable jury could have concluded that the injuries suffered by the arrestee were the result of excessive force in transporting him to the holding cell, or it could disbelieve that. A trial was required. Miranda-Rivera v. Toledo-Davila, #14-1535, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 2480 (1st Cir.).
Prior to incarceration, a prisoner had surgery for laryngeal cancer, leaving him with a tracheotomy tube. Other medical problems followed, involving ongoing memory issues, hypothyroidism, depression, smoking, and alcohol abuse. After his incarceration, medical personnel noted spikes in his blood pressure, an occasional low pulse, low oxygen saturation level, confusion, and anger. His condition worsened, with his symptoms suggesting acute renal failure. He then died after a short hospital stay. His mother filed a federal class action lawsuit, claiming that the failure to implement a departmental health care service directive requiring a plan for the management of chronic diseases constituted deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs. Upholding summary judgment for the private medical provider that furnished medical services to prisoners at the state prison, a federal appeals court found that the claim failed because no evidence was shown that the failure to implement the directive led to a widespread practice of deliberate indifference against not only the inmate, but other inmates as well. As there was no evidence of either a series of incidents or a widespread practice of ignoring the needs of prisoners with chronic diseases, it could not be inferred that the failure to implement the directive was the result of deliberate indifference. Glisson v. Corr. Med. Servs, Inc., #15-1419, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 2666 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that a nursing supervisor had been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by failing to take action in a timely manner when the artery comprising his dialysis access port ruptured. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendant when the prisoner failed to present evidence that the alleged delay in treatment had a specific detrimental impact. Jackson v. Riebold, #14-2775, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 3180 (8th Cir.).
A prisoner was diagnosed with a painful hernia when his incarceration began in 1995, and a second hernia in 2000. Outside doctors concluded that surgery was needed to repair them, but correctional officials and the company which provided medical care for inmates allegedly delayed until May 2007, when both hernias required emergency surgical repair. The prisoner sued over the delay and settled his claim with the private medical provider for $273,250, and signing a release of further claims against them and the doctors. A second surgery did not occur, however, until 2013, and the prisoner again sued. The trial court, based on the release, granted summary judgment to the defendants. A federal appeals court reversed, as the release did not mean that the medical provider was free to ignore the recurrent hernia, which allegedly grew increasingly painful and to act with deliberate indifference to a serious medical need by delaying the second surgery. The plaintiff claimed that this was done under a policy that classified all hernia operations as elective surgery. Heard v. Tilden, #15-1732, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 387 (7th Cir.).
Late at night, an inmate who suffered from chronic high blood pressure woke up with excruciating pain in his chest and left arm, and symptoms of a heart attack. A guard and supervising lieutenant contacted the nurse on call, who told them that the prisoner's condition was not an emergency, and told them that the prisoner should go to the infirmary in the morning. Almost four hours after what proved to be a heart attack, the prisoner went to the infirmary and was taken to a hospital by ambulance. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the guard and prison doctor on deliberate indifference claims, but reversed the dismissal of such claims against the supervising lieutenant and the on-call nurse, stating that “civilization requires more in a life and death situation,” questioning “what the judge thinks the minimum level of care is to which a prisoner who is suffering a heart attack is entitled.” The supervising lieutenant told the prisoner that she believed that he was having a heart attack, and she had authority to call 911 to seek emergency medical care, yet failed to do so. The nurse, when contacted, made no efforts through tests or an examination to determine whether immediate emergency medical care was needed. Mathison v. Moats, #14-3549, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 2138 (7th Cir.).
A federal prisoner had a prostate
operation performed by a doctor who was not a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
employee. He later noticed that the amount of his ejaculate was reduced, and
the doctor diagnosed him with retrograde ejaculation, advising that a specific
medication should be prescribed to heal a hole opened up during the laser
surgery, in order to prevent the prisoner's ejaculate from going into his
bladder. The prisoner was afraid that without the recommended treatment, he
might experience impotence. The BOP declined to provide the medication, taking
the position that treatment of a sexual dysfunction is not "medically
necessary." It also stated that medical providers should not talk to
inmates about ejaculation, "since it is a prohibited sexual act." The
trial court held that the prisoner's claims could survive summary judgment
because the prisoner had alleged that retrograde ejaculation could make him
sterile and that prisoners had a fundamental right to preserve their procreative
abilities for possible use after their release from custody. A federal appeals
court reversed, finding that the defendants were entitled to qualified
immunity. No clearly established law guaranteed a prisoner's right to treatment
for infertility, erectile dysfunction, or retrograde ejaculation. Michtavi v.
Scism, #14-4104, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 21553 (3rd Cir.).
A transsexual prisoner claimed that defendant prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs by refusing to provide hormone replacement therapy for her Gender Identity Disorder (GID). The plaintiff's claims against the defendants in their official capacities were barred by sovereign immunity. The defendants in their individual capacities were entitled to qualified immunity because the evidence, even viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, did not show an Eighth Amendment violation. The appeals court noted that "numerous" mental health professionals had evaluated the plaintiff, but that none of them reached a diagnosis of GID or stated that GID treatment was appropriate. The fact that the plaintiff disagreed with their medical judgment was no basis for a federal civil rights claim. Reid v. Griffin, #15-1678, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 21926 (8th Cir.).
An Illinois state inmate claimed that a prison's medical staff were deliberately indifferent to the results of 11 blood tests it administered over a period of five years, during which he progressed from pre-diabetic to diabetic, even failing to tell him, until the last test, that his blood glucose levels were dangerously high. A federal appeals court held that the allegations, if true, did constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The two-year statute of limitations would have tolled between the time he discovered that he was diabetic and when he filed suit, since he was then engaged in exhausting available administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Nally v. Ghosh, #14-3426, 799 F.3d 756 (7th Cir. 2015).
An insurer had no duty under a Commercial Umbrella Liability policy to defend or indemnify a private corporation operating a prison against claims that an inmate's death was caused by the failure to provide needed medications, as this fell under a professional liability exclusion in the policy. It did, however, have a duty to defend and indemnify the defendant on this claim under a Commercial General Liability policy, and was not required to do so under a Commercial General Liability policy because of an exclusion for providing medical services. LCS Corrections Services, Inc. v. Lexington Ins., #14-40494, 800 F.3d 664 (5th Cir. 2015).
A female prisoner who was pregnant when she arrived at a county jail claimed that the jail employees were deliberately indifferent in failing to take a proper medical history, failing to respond to several requests for medical assistance, and failing to react quickly enough when she went into labor. As a result, she further claimed, her child suffered serious birth defects. She was taken to a hospital where she gave birth and then returned to the jail where she was transferred to another facility after four days. The trial court erred in dismissing the lawsuit for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies at the jail. Even had she been informed upon her return to the jail from the hospital that he had only four days to file a grievance, that time period would have been an unreasonable deadline to impose on a woman right after she gave birth to a severely impaired child. White v. Bukowski, #14-3185, 800 F.3d 392 (7th Cir. 2015).
A pretrial detainee who saw medical staff members 26 times during 18 months of detention failed to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs or that he was deprived of essential medical care despite his allegations that he did not receive the medications that he had been prescribed before confinement, as the medications he brought with him were confiscated. He did receive the medications prescribed for him by a physician's assistant at the detention center, including an opioid pain medication similar to Vicodin. A two-day delay in the distribution of his pain medication may have been negligent, but did not constitute deliberate indifference. Burton v. Downey, #14-3591, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 17616 (7th Cir.).
A county detention center employee saw a newly arrived prisoner put something in his mouth and swallow, and conveyed her observation to deputies who had started the booking procedure. The prisoner was sweating profusely, and appeared to be under the influence of something. While being questioned, he had trouble standing and his demeanor deteriorated. He stated that he had high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoporosis, and an MRSA infection. He denied alcohol or drug addiction and listed several prescription medications. A licensed practical nurse examined him and instructed the deputies to admit him to the facility despite his condition. While he was placed on suicide watch, there was no evidence that he was evaluated for suicidal ideation, that he received blood pressure medication, or that facility nurses questioned why his blood pressure dropped even in the absence of medication. Three days after arriving, he died from MRSA complications. A federal appeals court reinstated a claim for inadequate medical care, finding that the variety of medical conditions found that required treatment and care easily met the objective component of the deliberate indifference standard. The court also found that a reasonable jury could conclude that the medical contractor's failure to provide adequate training and supervision to the nurses could constitute deliberate indifference to the risk of the potential unconstitutional behavior by licensed practical nurses who lacked the essential knowledge and preparation to respond to prisoners' recurring medical needs in a jail setting. Shadrick v. Hopkins Cnty., #14-5603, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 19386, 2015 Fed. App. 272P (6th Cir.).
A prisoner who claimed that a prison doctor was negligent in treating his hepatitis was not entitled to summary judgment when he did not even attempt to establish the amount of damages that he claimed he was entitled to. Establishing damages was an essential element of his state law claim. The court committed no error in failing to have the trial proceedings recorded by a court reporter when it informed the plaintiff that one was not then available. The plaintiff also failed to show that the trial judge exhibited bias or prejudice towards him. Jameson v. Desta, #D066793, 241 Cal. App. 4th 491, 2015 Cal. App. Lexis 919.
A prisoner failed to show that prison officials were aware of a substantial risk of harm to him in the time leading up to his injuries in a prison riot to impose liability. But he did adequately show a basis for moving forward on an Eighth Amendment claim relating to his alleged conditions of confinement in the hospital for his injuries for a three day period. A deputy warden was not entitled to qualified immunity, as it was clearly established that forcing a prisoner to soil himself over several days while chained in a hospital bed could create an "obvious health risk," and constituted "an affront to human dignity." Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(e), however, the plaintiff could not recover compensatory or punitive damages in the absence of a claim of physical injury resulting from the hospital stay, but could seek nominal damages for an Eighth Amendment violation. Brooks v. Warden, #13-14437, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 15696 (11th Cir.).
A doctor at a prison infirmary prescribed Vicodin, crutches, and a week of "meals lay-in" after a prisoner felt a "pop" and extreme pain in his left ankle while climbing stairs. The medical director noted in the prisoner's medical file that he had suffered an "Achilles tendon rupture" and directed that he "urgently" be scheduled for an MRI and an examination by an orthopedist. Three appointments were cancelled, however, as a result of prison lockdowns, and eight weeks passed before the prisoner received an orthopedic boot. Over a year later, the prisoner claimed that he still suffered serious pain, soreness, and stiffness in his ankle, and that the medical director was deliberately indifferent by failing to immediately after the injury immobilize the ankle with a cast or orthopedic boot. He also claimed that a doctor he saw later was deliberately indifferent by failing to order physical therapy for him. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants. The trial court had found that waiting before immobilizing the ankle was not deliberate indifference, since several doctors held different opinions about the appropriate treatment and that a jury could not reasonably find the rejection of a recommendation for physical therapy to constitute deliberate indifference, since it was based on medical judgment. The appeals court agreed that a jury could not reasonably find the treatment of the ankle injury to be a constitutional violation. Petties v. Carter, #14-2674, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 13281 (7th Cir.).
An inmate suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause severe heartburn. When he arrived at the prison, he stated that he took prescription medication for the condition. He asked a nurse to get his prescription renewed, but an appointment to see the doctor the next day for that purpose was cancelled because of a prison lockdown. He filed an emergency grievance, but the warden decided that it was not an emergency, so that he could not see the doctor until the lockdown ended. He complained about his condition for two months to no avail until he saw a doctor, and once pressed an emergency button upon vomiting stomach acid. A responding guard allegedly told him “you are not bleeding, you are not dead… it can’t be an emergency.” Ultimately, a doctor renewed his prescription. A federal appeals court reversed a grant of summary judgment to the defendants on the prisoner's deliberate indifference lawsuit, finding that the trial judge had engaged in "medical speculation" rather than evidence in concluding that there was no deliberate indifference. Miller v. Campanella, #14-1990, 794 F.3d 878 (7th Cir. 2015).
An Illinois prisoner who completed his rape sentence continued to be confined civilly as a sexually violent offender. He suffers from a number of medical conditions—carpal-tunnel syndrome, pain in his hips and back lingering from past injuries, flat feet, and ligament damage in one foot—that, he says, prevent him from climbing to the top bunk in his cell. During a previous incarceration, he had a low-bunk permit but a doctor at his present facility refused his request to authorize a similar permit, which he claimed forced him to sleep on the floor of his cell. He sued the doctor for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and the jury returned a verdict for the defendant. On appeal, the court rejected an argument that the trial judge should have declared a mistrial when the doctor violated a pretrial order by mentioning to the jury that the plaintiff had been incarcerated for 26 years, noting that the jury could already infer from the plaintiff's testimony and his medical issues going back at least 13 years that he had been in prison a long time. Collins v. Lochard, #14-1915, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 1184 (7th Cir.).
Upholding a judgment for prison medical staff in a lawsuit the plaintiff brought concerning their cutting off of his methadone treatment while incarcerated, a federal appeals court held that it wss an error to instruct the jurors in a prison medical care case to defer to the adoption and implementation of security-based prison policies absent a plausible connection between the prison's narcotics policy and the challenged decision to cut off the treatment. The error was harmless, however, as the policy did not categorically prevent the plaintiff from receiving methadone. Chess v. Dovey, #12-16516, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 10753 (9th Cir.).
A prisoner serving a 120-day sentence for marijuana was moved to a padded cell in a manic state after he beat on the walls of his cell. That night, the staff merely viewed him through a monitor camera, despite a supposed obligation to conduct in-person checks for an affirmative response four times an hour. He fell and hit his head first against a wall and then on a door jamb. Staff members allegedly did not open the cell door despite him complaining that he had injured his head and required medical attention. In the morning, attempts to wake him were unavailing, and he died in a hospital three days later, as a result of a subdural hematoma caused by his falls. A sergeant and a lieutenant were denied qualified immunity on claims for deliberate indifference as a jury could infer that they were aware of a substantial risk of serious harm but failed to respond appropriately. A third defendant employee, a case manager, was entitled to qualified immunity as her actions constituted, at most, negligence, rather than deliberate indifference. Letterman v. Farnsworth, #14-1571, 789 F.3d 856 (8th Cir. 2015).
An inmate injured his hand during a prison basketball game. While a nurse quickly wrapped his hand, she was not able to either give him medicine or do stitches. A day later, the inmate saw a doctor who also did not stitch his wound, but prescribed antibiotics and recommended a specialist. Approval for seeing a specialist took a number of days, during which the wound remained open and bleeding. The prisoner filed a grievance, which was rejected, arguing that the delay was retaliatory for him having filed a previous grievance over the withholding of prescription medication. He was then taken to a clinic where he saw a physician's assistant, who stated that he could not suture the wound because of its age. The inmate claimed that prison officials did not follow care instructions after that and did not return him to the clinic for follow-up care. Seven months later, he still had continuing pain, and then had surgery. He claims that due to an overall ten-month delay in getting required treatment, he suffered irreparable damage. The trial court dismissed his lawsuit after screening it, and a federal appeals court reversed, finding that the alleged facts stated both valid Eighth Amendment and First Amendment retaliation claims. Perez v. Fenoglio, #12-3084, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11672 (7th Cir.).
Death row inmates at a new prison that has no air conditioning claimed that the heat they were exposed to during the summer violated their Eighth Amendment rights because of their pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities, including hypertension, obesity, diabetes, depression, and high cholesterol. They also claimed that this constituted disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12132, and the Rehabilitation Act (RA), 29 U.S.C. 794. A federal appeals court upheld a trial court finding of deliberate indifference constituting an Eighth Amendment violation, as the heat put the plaintiffs at substantial risk of serious harm, but found that an injunction issued requiring the installation of air conditioning throughout death row was overbroad under prior precedent and the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. 3626, so that further proceedings were required. The appeals court upheld the rejection of the disability discrimination claims, however, as the prisoners failed to present evidence to prove that they were disabled. Ball v. LeBlanc, #14-30067, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11769 (5th Cir.).
An inmate claimed that his free exercise of religion rights under the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. 2000cc et seq. were violated because he was prohibited from consuming wine during communion, he was required to work on the Sabbath, and he was housed with non-Christian and anti-Christian cellmates, including an active Satanist. He further asserted a claim for deliberate indifference to his medical needs. A federal appeals court found that the plaintiff successfully alleged facts sufficient to go forward on his Sabbath and cell assignment claims, and the fact that he received some medical treatment for some of his various symptoms did not defeat his deliberate indifference claim when he alleged that some symptoms were not treated at all. The appeals court reversed the summary dismissal of the wine communion claim, as the plaintiff did not have the opportunity to submit a brief on whether the wine ban substantially burdened the exercise of his religion and the record did not show that the total ban on wine consumption during communion was the least restrictive means of furthering the prison's asserted security interest. Jehovah v. Clarke, #13-7529, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11818 (4th Cir.).
A prisoner suffered symptoms of acute appendicitis, and was sent to a hospital emergency room the following day based on the recommendation of the prison doctor. The officer who accompanied the prisoner initially refused to remove his restraints, allegedly causing a 45 minute delay in treatment. The prisoner allegedly suffered nerve damage to his leg during the surgery, and the prison doctor allegedly subsequently decline to prescribe Neurontin for pain from the nerve damage, a medication that other doctors indicated was necessary. A federal appeals court found that the defendants (the prison doctor and correctional officer) had waived possible qualified immunity defense by failing to assert them in an answer to the complaint. Allowing them to assert that defense at this point in the proceeding, after discovery issues had been litigated for a number of years would unduly prejudice the plaintiff. Henricks v. Gonzalez, #13-4468, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 5646, 2015 Fed. App. 0065P (6th Cir.).
A prisoner who was allegedly injured during a violent scuffle with correctional officers sued two prison staff nurses for deliberate indifference to his serious medical problems. The nurses were improperly granted summary judgment, as the prisoner claimed that he told them that he was in pain and that his jaw was broken. If that were true, it would be obvious even to a lay person that they should have at least examined his jaw. There were disputed factual issues as to whether he had, at the time, been barely able to speak or open his mouth. Perry v. Roy, #14-1466, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 5403 (1st Cir.).
A prisoner reported symptoms of constipation and gas and received treatment for those problems for about two weeks, after which he suffered a bowel obstruction and perforation, requiring emergency surgery to repair his bowel and install a colostomy bag. Rejecting a federal civil rights claim for inadequate medical care, a federal appeals court agreed that the prisoner had shown that the medical staff had failed to properly diagnose his bowel obstruction and that the failure to treat it led to the bowel perforation, but he failed to show that they acted with deliberate indifference to a known serious medical problem. Allard v. Baldwin, #14-1087, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 3503 (8th Cir.).
Corizon Health, a private medical firm which services more than 345,000 inmates in 27 states, along with a California county, reached a settlement in a lawsuit based on the death of a man detained in the county jail for failing to appear in court on a warrant for drunken driving after being arrested for jaywalking. The decedent's family claimed that the firm's employees failed to properly diagnose the detainee, who was suffering from alcohol withdrawal (delirium tremens with hallucinations) and had allegedly been beaten by 10 deputies at the jail, as well as shocked with a Taser in the dart mode, first for two cycles or ten seconds, and then for at least 27 more seconds in five separate sessions. The lawsuit further claims that the detainee should have been hospitalized for the alcohol withdrawal. The defendants agreed to pay $8.3 million to the family. The private medical firm also agreed to stop using licensed vocational nurses to perform work intended for registered nurses, a practice that allegedly had saved the company 35% in labor costs. An unsupervised licensed vocational nurse, instead of an RN, did the medical screening of the decedent when he was placed in custody at the jail. The county sheriff stated that the decedent had, before his death, attacked jail officers, after acting erratically, making a mess of his cell, breaking food trays, screaming, and blocking a toilet. The county previously entered into a separate $1 million settlement with one of the deceased detainee's minor children. Harrison v. Alameda County and Corizon Health Care, Inc., #3:11-cv-02868, U.S. Dist. Ct., (N.D. Cal. February 27, 2015). Prior decisions in the case are M.H. v. County of Alameda, #11-cv-02868, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6412 (N.D. Cal.), and M.H. v. County of Alameda, #11-cv-02868, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 55902 (N.D. Cal.).
An inmate stated a plausible claim of deliberate indifference against a doctor when he alleged that the doctor had failed to enter the orders needed to provide him with the promised medical care including prescribed tests and treatment for a serious heart condition. It could fairly be inferred, since that doctor had prescribed those tests and treatments, that he subjectively believed that they were necessary and therefore must have known that failure to follow through and provide them could pose an excessive risk to the inmate's health. Claims against a second doctor boiled down to a mere disagreement over the proper medical care to provide. Jackson v. Lightsey, #13-7291, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 23830 (4th Cir.).
A $3 million settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of a mentally ill inmate who died in a Colorado prison while officers and nurses allegedly laughed and joked while watching him on camera shaking from seizures that turned out to be fatal. He suffered from bipolar schizoaffective disorder. The cause of death was severe hyponatremia (low sodium-blood levels), which is treatable if medical assistance is quickly provided. When the prisoner was found lying face down on the floor, officers believed that he was intentionally refusing to respond, and they dragged him out, took off his clothes, chained him to a chair, and placed a mask over his head. They watched the seizures, apparently thinking that he was faking. He ultimately died lying on the concrete floor in his underwear. Three prison employees were fired and five others disciplined after the death. Lopez v. Wasko, #1:14-cv-01705, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D. Colo. Dec. 11, 2014). Click here to see the complaint. Click here to see an edited video of the death. [Age-restricted, may be disturbing, requires free YouTube registration and sign-in].
An Illinois prisoner slipped on some wet stairs and injured his back. He had previously used those steps while showering and had, one month before, alerted the warden to the fact that the stairway could be "treacherous" as a result of the water tracked onto the stairs from nearby showers. He sued the warden for alleged deliberate indifference to the hazard and a private company and one of its doctors, under contract to provide medical care at the facility, for alleged inadequate care for his back injury, neglecting to investigate his ongoing, significant pain. A federal appeals court found that the stairway hazard was insufficiently dangerous to support an Eighth Amendment claim. The medial deliberate indifference claim was also rejected, as a reasonable finder of fact could not, from the evidence submitted, find anything more than a mere disagreement about the appropriate course of treatment for the back injury. Pyles v. Fahim, #14-1752, 771 F.3d 403 (7th Cir. 2014).
UPDATE: An anatomically male prisoner in their mid-sixties suffering from gender identity disorder and self-identifying as a female sued the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for not providing her with sex reassignment surgery. It was providing her with hormonal and other medical treatments. A prior federal appeals court panel decision held that the plaintiff was entitled to taxpayer-funded sex change operation, and that refusing to provide the procedure would violate the Eighth Amendment. The request for sex reassignment surgery, the panel stated, was based on a serious medical need, and the defendant correctional department refused to meet that need for reasons amounting to a pretext that were not supported by any legitimate penological interests. Kosilek v. Spencer, #12-2194, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 951 (1st Cir.). The full federal appeals court, ruling en banc, reversed, finding that, in light of the community standard of medical care, the adequacy of the already provided treatment, and various concerns related to safety and prison security at the medium-security facility where the prisoner was incarcerated, the care currently provided did not violate the Eighth Amendment. Kosilek v. Spencer, #12-2194, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 23673 (1st Cir. en banc).
A man claimed that he had been denied needed medical care for a pre-incarceration abdominal bullet wound during his nine months as a pretrial detainee in a county jail. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit for failure to properly exhaust available administrative remedies as there was no record of his having filed a grievance. He testified that he had never received or been allowed access to a copy of the jail's grievance procedure, while acknowledging that he knew of the existence of the procedure from other prisoners. He also stated that he had asked a guard for a grievance form, but never received one. There was testimony from another prisoner who overheard the plaintiff ask for a grievance form. There was also evidence that the plaintiff met with the warden, who promised to "take care" of the problem and speak to the medical staff, but allegedly did not suggest filing a grievance. The federal appeals court reinstated the lawsuit. When a jail official invites noncompliance with a grievance procedure, the detainee is not required to follow the procedure. Swisher v. Porter Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't., #13-3602, 769 F.3d 553 (7th Cir. 2014).
In a prisoner's lawsuit claiming that correctional officers used excessive force in restraining him, a federal appeals court reversed a grant of summary judgment on claims against one officer, as he had exhausted available administrative remedies against that defendant. The law did not require the jury instruction given that it was established that he had resisted the officers (because he was found guilty of resisting in a disciplinary hearing), and the plaintiff was prejudiced on his claims that were tried by the instruction given, so the judgment based on a jury verdict for the remaining defendants was vacated. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, #11-17911, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 21809 (9th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that he experienced excruciating pain from large and protruding keloids (scar tissue growths) on his hips, chest, and legs. He further claimed that he tested positive for a stomach infection from the bacterium helicobacter pylori, and that a prison's medical director ignored both his conditions, acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The trial court ruled that the claim concerning the keloids could continue while dismissing the infection claim in light of the fact that blood tests that the plaintiff attached to his complaint revealed that he actually tested negative for the infection. The trial court also denied a motion that the medical director be immediately ordered to refer the plaintiff to a "suitable doctor." Upholding this result, a federal appeals court found that the record did not show that an immediate referral was warranted. The limited evidence in the case so far did not show that the prisoner would experience any irreparable harm without the issuance of a preliminary injunction, and also did not establish that his deliberate indifference claim against the defendant had a reasonable likelihood of success. Wheeler v. Talbot, #13-3294, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 20090 (7th Cir.).
A man claimed that he was beaten by police officers and sustained a fractured collarbone, a SLAP-type labral tear, and facial injuries leaving permanent scarring and requiring two nose surgeries. He also became legally deaf in one ear and has reduced hearing in the other. A federal appeals court reversed the dismissal of a deliberate indifference denial of medical care claim against the doctor at a hospital emergency room, finding that if the complaint were amended to allege two things claimed in the plaintiff's opposition to the doctor's motion to dismiss, it would show a sufficiently culpable state of mind for a constitutional violation. Those two things were that the officers falsely told the female doctor that one of the officers he allegedly attacked was a woman, and that he should therefore be "ignored and left alone." Nielsen v. Rabin, #12-4313, 746 F.3d 58 (2nd Cir. 2014).
A hospital sued federal agencies and officials, asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment that 18 U.S.C. 4006(b)(1), imposing the current Medicare rate as full compensation for medical services a hospital renders to a federal detainee, was unconstitutional as applied. Rejecting the argument, a federal appeals court ruled that the hospital had voluntarily opted into the Medicare program, that as a condition of participation it was required to provide emergency services to federal detainees, and that it was therefore barred from challenging the compensation provided as an "unconstitutional taking" under the Fifth Amendment. Baker County Medical Services v. U.S. Attorney General, #13-13917, 763 F.3d 1274 (11th Cir. 2014).
Massachusetts state prisoner suffering from HIV challenged a change in medication practices. While previously, they had been provided with a monthly or bimonthly supply of their prescribed HIV medications, the state Department of Corrections decided to only dispense such medication in single doses. The prisoners claimed that this violated their Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as constituting disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Upholding summary judgment for the Department, the federal appeals court ruled that the change did not violate these constitutional or statutory rights. Nunes v. Mass. Depart. of Corrections, #13-2346, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 17647 (1st Cir.).
A pretrial detainee was in jail waiting for a probable cause determination. He was rapidly tapered off of psychotropic medication by the jail's medical staff, and complained of seizure-like symptoms, but was placed in an isolated cell for seven hours, after which he was found dead. A lawsuit was filed against the county and a jail nurse. During summary judgment proceedings in the case, an appeal, and post-remand pretrial preparations, both sides used a deliberate indifference legal standard, but six weeks before trial, the plaintiff's counsel argued for the first time that the correct legal standard for the jury instructions was objective reasonableness rather than deliberate indifference. The trial court abused its discretion in granting the nurse's motion to bar the plaintiff arguing this legal standard and in trying the case under the deliberate indifference standard. While the plaintiff's long, unexplained delay in asserting the correct standard was "puzzling," there was not a sufficient explanation in the trial court's ruling as to how the defendant nurse would suffer prejudice as a result of the delay. The judgment in favor of the county was upheld, however, as the shift in the legal standard would not have any impact on the ruling as to it liability. King v. Kramer, #13-2379, 763 F.3d 635 (7th Cir. 2014).
A prisoner who ultimately was diagnosed with kidney stones defeated qualified immunity defenses by a prison nurse who allegedly acted with deliberate indifference to his several hours of severe abdominal pain by failing to provide him then with any kind of medical treatment or evaluation. His pain was a sufficiently serious medical need to meet the objective part of the deliberate indifference test. A number of other defendants who were not medical professionals, however, were entitled to qualified immunity. Al-Turki v. Robinson, #13-1107, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 15407 (10th Cir.).
A state law wrongful death claim against both government officials and private medical contractors rising out of the death of a pretrial detainee from diabetic ketoacidosis was properly dismissed for failure to comply with affidavit and report requirements of a state statute. But the failure to allow the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to attempt to comply with those requirements was an abuse of discretion, particularly when the trial court did not make any factual determinations to base that refusal on. Claims against the sheriff were properly dismissed as the plaintiffs failed to present any evidence that the sheriff had any knowledge about a problem with diabetic detainees refusing to participation in their medical treatment, causing serious adverse effects. Hahn v. Walsh, #13-1766, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 15401 (7th Cir.).
A domestic violence probation violator with a lengthy history of substance abuse and mental health problems killed himself while awaiting transportation to another facility. A federal appeals court ruled that prison administrators in the case were not entitled to qualified immunity on a claim that inadequate provision of medical care by a private third party contractor cause the prisoner's suicide. Barkes v. First Corr. Med. Inc., 12-3074 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 17261 (3rd Cir.).
A prisoner submitted a number of requests for healthcare for his bloodshot left eye, but was allegedly released on parole without receiving treatment. Upon release, he underwent laser surgery for glaucoma in his right eye, but continued to have problems with his left eye. When he was reincarcerated, he made several more attempts to receive treatment, and finally underwent surgery to remove part of his left eye's ciliary body three years later. In his lawsuit claiming deliberate indifference to his glaucoma condition, the trial court denied repeated requests for an appointed lawyer, finding that his claims were not meritorious or overly complex. A federal appeals court found that this denial of appointed counsel was an abuse of discretion and that this abuse impacted on the prisoner's ability to develop and litigate his claim. DeWitt v. Corizon, Inc., #13-2930, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 14236 (7th Cir.).
The widow of a detainee at a county jail claimed that officers used excessive force while extracting him from his cell, which resulted in his asphyxiation and death, and that some defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs during the incident. The appeals court, overturning summary judgment for the defendants, found that there were genuine issues of material fact from which a jury could conclude that excessive force was used. Further proceedings were needed to consider whether individual defendants should face trial on either direct liability for use of force or on a bystander liability theory. The appeals court upheld summary judgment for the individual defendants on the claim concerning deliberate indifference to serious medical needs and for the municipality on an inadequate training claim. Kitchen v. Dallas County Texas, #13-10545 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 13699 (5h Cir.).
A pre-trial detainee failed to show that a prison doctor acted with deliberate indifference to a surgical thread that was protruding from a wound on his abdomen from bowel obstruction surgery he had almost a year before, prior to his incarceration. The appeals court also upheld a ruling that a prison nurse's alleged act of hitting the plaintiff's nose was a de minimus (minimal) use of force that was not a violation of his due process rights. Jackson v. Buckman, #13-1165, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 12127 (8th Cir.).
A prisoner broke his hand in a fight. He claimed that he filed an emergency grievance over an alleged inadequate medical treatment for his injury, but never received any response. He then was transferred to another facility, where he allegedly told an officer that he had been authorized, at the first facility, to be assigned to a bottom bunk, but was told to merely work things out with his cellmate. He claimed to have filed a grievance over this too, but prison officials said that he had not. His lawsuit was dismissed for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act. A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of the claim against the receiving officer at the second facility, as the grievance allegedly filed had not mentioned that officer's name nor contained information from which he could be identified. If the defendants wanted to contest whether the emergency grievance at the first facility was filed, an evidentiary hearing would be required. Roberts v. Neal, #13-1335, 745 F.3d 232 (7th Cir. 2014).
A prisoner claimed that he was denied adequate medical treatment and that, further, he was punished for seeking it. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the lawsuit after the prisoner engaged in slurs, insults, and abusive attacks on the magistrate judge to whom the case was referred. The trial court properly found that the plaintiff was acting in bad faith and that no lesser sanction would be sufficient. Koehl v. Bernstein, #12-3855, 740 F.3d 860 (2d Cir. 2014).
A prisoner claimed that prison officials and medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference to his need for medical treatment for his epilepsy. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice because he did not pay the initial partial filing fee, which was $8.40, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act. He claimed to have had no money or income when the fee was due, and also asserted that any money received in his account was automatically deducted by the prison to pay for the costs of printing copies of his complaint. A federal appeals court found that the trial court had not abused its discretion by setting the initial filing fee at $8.40, even though there was only two cents in the prisoner's account at the time, but the lawsuit was improperly dismissed without a determination of whether the plaintiff was at fault for not paying. Thomas v. Butts, #12-2902, 745 F.3d 309 (7th Cir. 2014).
A private company served as an independent contractor providing healthcare service to those detained in a county jail. After a pretrial detainee there died from self-inflicted injuries, a federal civil rights lawsuit claimed that three jail employees were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. A federal appeals court found that it lacked jurisdiction to review a denial of qualified immunity to the defendants when the basis for the denial was based on the presence of disputed issues of material fact. Cady v. Cumberland County Jail, #13-2040, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 10416 (1st Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated when a sergeant pepper-sprayed him because he refused to return to his cell after showering. He further claimed that another officer then turned off the water, which prevented him from rinsing off the pepper spray for ten to fifteen minutes. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendant on the excessive force claim, noting that the prisoner had been warned that he would be pepper sprayed if he did not comply with orders, and that he either threw an object at or spit at the sergeant three times, with a small quantity of pepper spray used after each act of defiance. There was no indication of a malicious intent to harm or that the force used was excessive. The other officer was entitled to qualified immunity on the delayed decontamination claim, as the prisoner failed to establish that he acted with deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Burns v. Eaton, #13-1730, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 9596 (8th Cir.).
A man arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court on a drug charge died in custody during booking. A number of officers restrained him when he allegedly acted in an insubordinate manner, pinning him face-down to the ground while one put him in a carotid restraint and another used a Taser on him in the stun mode on his leg for eight seconds after he was handcuffed. The appeals court upheld the trial court's denial of the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity on both excessive force and denial of medical care claims. There was evidence that, viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, showed that the officers used various types of force on the arrestee while he was handcuffed, not resisting, and on his stomach. Estate of Booker v. Gomez, #12-1496, 745 F.3d 405 (10th Cir. 2014).
Prisons in California have operated under a receivership since 2006 to comply with consent decrees concerning prison health care. The trial court ordered the state to disclose its expert witnesses and their reports 120 days before moving to terminate the decrees under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The state appealed the order, and the appeal was denied. The trial court's order was a sensible scheduling order designed to allow the plaintiffs and the court adequate notice of the evidence the state would rely on in support of its motion. Plata v. Brown, #13-15466, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 9801 (9th Cir.).
A detainee at a county jail died as a result of a perforated duodenal ulcer, succumbing to sepsis. He had allegedly complained about stomach pain prior to his death, displayed signs of agitation, and acted in a bizarre manner indicating mental health problems. His estate claimed that medical staff members were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs, and could have saved his life if they had given him prompt medical attention in the 36 hours before his death. Expert witnesses stated that he received substandard care. Summary judgment for the defendants was upheld as it could not be concluded that the medical staff deliberately failed to provide appropriate treatment after becoming aware of his serious medical needs. They had mistakenly interpreted his symptoms as indicating a different medical condition, for which they provided appropriate care. Claims against the private corporation providing medical care for inadequate training and supervision were properly rejected, and the trial court appropriately decided not to exercise jurisdiction over state law claims. Rouster v. Saginaw Cnty., #13-1673, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 6491, 2014 Fed App. 0069P (6th Cir.).
A jail detainee claimed that he became partially blind because of a delay in treatment for his high blood pressure. A doctor and a nurse were entitled to qualified immunity on a claim that they failed to carry out a medical screening of the plaintiff when he was booked into the jail, as there was no clearly established right to a general medical screening upon admission to a detention center. The county was also entitled to summary judgment on the medical screening claim when he did not exhibit obvious signs of a serious medical condition. The expert witness testimony established, at most, negligent medical malpractice in failing to prescribe medication after several high blood pressure readings, but that was insufficient for a constitutional claim. Fourte v. Faulkner County, Arkansas, #13-2241, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 5451 (8th Cir.).
An Illinois prisoner ruptured the pectoralis tendon in his left shoulder while lifting weights. He did receive some medical attention, but not the prompt surgery needed to provide the most effective recovery. He developed a serious and permanent impairment, since too much time passed for the surgery to do any good. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants. His difficulties were not the result of any one person's deliberate indifference, but rather of a medical care system that "diffused" responsibility for his care so that no single person was responsible for seeing that he received prompt attention, and none could be held liable for deliberate indifference. State law medical malpractice claims against a number of private defendants were also rejected. Shields v. IL Dept of Corrs., #13-1143, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 4833 (7th Cir.).
prisoner at a federal facility contracted Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus
aureus, (MRSA), a staph infection resistant to certain antibiotics, there and
was hospitalized for over 40 days. He suffered permanent damage to his heart
and lungs. He sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act, asserting that the
prison's negligence caused his injuries. After a bench trial, the court held
that he had not proven that he had contracted the infection from contact with a
fellow employee in the prison laundry or from sloppy procedures in handling
infected prison laundry. The federal appeals court upheld this ruling as to
those two theories or liability, but found that the trial court should have
considered a broader theory contained in the plaintiff's complaint--that the
prison was negligent in failing to adhere to its MRSA-containment policies.
Buechel v. United States, #13-2278, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 4260 (7th Cir.).
While the trial court held that the plaintiff prisoner had voluntarily, and with informed consent, signed a form refusing to have a consultation with a retinal specialist, the appeals court reversed summary judgment for the defendants. It ruled that there were genuine issues of material fact as to the validity as well as the scope of the refusal form. Further proceedings were ordered as to whether any of the individual defendants acted with deliberate indifference on failing to provide him with medical treatment for his retinopathy. Kuhne v. FL Dept. of Corrections, #12-13387, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 2460, 24 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 1013 (11th Cir.).
A prisoner started experiencing blackouts, weakness and difficulty walking. Despite his written medical requests, he asserts, he was not properly examined for six months. Before he was eventually diagnosed with pernicious anemia, the defendants allegedly failed to use medication to slow the disease. He was paralyzed from the waist down and his condition continued to deteriorate. He complained that he was denied assignment to the Transitional Care Unit, and that he was placed in administrative segregation without a wheelchair or handicap access, forcing him to crawl and to eat meals on the floor. He was also denied someone to push his wheelchair, a handicapped-accessible cell, medically prescribed physical therapy, preventative treatment, examination by an outside specialist, wheelchair accessories, and exemption from activities requiring exposure to cold. He claimed that lack of accommodations caused him to miss meals, fall several times in his cell, be placed on strip-cell status, and be unable to move around his cell without hitting the toilet or walls.
Individual capacity disability discrimination claims against two prison officials were dismissed because they could not be sued in their individual capacities under either the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act. Claims against doctors and a correctional medical service, as they related to medical treatment, could not form the basis of disability discrimination claims under either statute. Claims for injunctive relief, however, could continue, as could damage claims against the state and the correctional department, as some of the alleged conduct could have violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Dinkins v. Correctional Medical Services, #12-2127, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 3454 (8th Cir.).
Under a Texas state statute, inmates who receive medical care in the prison system are required to pay a $100 annual fee. The lawsuit filed challenging this did not support an Eighth Amendment claim as there was no allegation that the plaintiff had been denied medical care or forced to choose between medical care and other bare necessities. The court also rejected due process claims based on minor discrepancies between the notice posted to prisoners and the language of the statute. Taking the required funds from the plaintiff's inmate account was not unreasonable and was justified by the goal of controlling the prison budget, so no Fourth Amendment claim was viable. Morris v. Livingston, #12-50848, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 557 (5th Cir.).
A 64-year-old born male transsexual prisoner was entitled to taxpayer-funded sex change operation, a federal appeals court has held, upholding a trial court order. Refusing to provide the procedure would violate the Eighth Amendment. The request for sex reassignment surgery was based on a serious medical need, and the defendant correctional department refused to meet that need for reasons amounting to a pretext that were not supported by any legitimate penological interests. Kosilek v. Spencer, #12-2194, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 951 (1st Cir.).
The family of a female arrestee who died while held in a cell in a police station without needed medical attention for over 24 hours was awarded $1 million in damages by a jury. According to the plaintiffs, the woman's lawyer and several family members repeatedly let officers know that she was seriously ill, and she herself informed them of this also. She was obese, diabetic, and had asthma. The jury found that a police practice of holding detainees in cells in police stations without medical attention for up to two days was unconstitutional. Ortiz v. the City of Chicago, #04-C-7423, U.S. Dist. Ct. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 4, 2013).
An inmate with a medical record of hypertension, Parkinson's disease, delusions, and bipolar disease failed to show that his alleged injuries could have been prevented if the director of the medical department for the state Department of Corrections had implemented a policy of allowing for the administration of three pill calls a day. Claims against a prison doctor should not have been rejected as the prisoner was not given a notice and opportunity to show good cause or excusable neglect for having failed to achieve timely service on the doctor. Crowley v. Bannister, #12-15804, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 22087 (9th Cir.).
A prisoner's claim that a nurse practitioner and correctional counselor were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by failing to see to it that he receive his hypertension medication for a three week period. The appeals court criticized the failure by the plaintiff's lawyer and the trial court to use any medical literature or other scientific resources to more quickly determine that such a brief failure to take hypertension medication would not result in serious consequences. Noting that this "plainly meritless suit was filed … more than four years ago. …," the court said that "A stronger judicial hand on the tiller could have saved a good deal of time, effort, and paper."Jackson v. Pollion, #12-2682, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 21983 (7th Cir.).
After a woman's son died at a county jail from multiple drug intoxication, she sued two correctional officers for failing to prevent the death. One officer was entitled to qualified immunity as he did not have any subjective knowledge of the fact that the prisoner needed medical attention, and therefore could not have acted with deliberate indifference. A second officer, however, under the alleged circumstances he confronted, should have realized that a constitutional violation would occur if he deliberately ignored the need for medical attention, so he was not entitled to qualified immunity. Thompson v. King, #12-3450, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 19363 (8th Cir.).
A prisoner's lawsuit seeking injunctive relief for alleged deliberate indifference to his personal serious medical needs (specifically treatment for a shoulder injury from prior gunshot wounds and an old sports knee injury) was not barred by the fact that there was a pending class action concerning injunctive relief on medical care in California prisons. The class action sought only systemic reform and a consent decree in that case required the implementation of certain conditions as well as the reduction of the statewide prison population, and did not cover claims concerning individualized medical care. While further proceedings were ordered, the claim might be moot, in light of the fact that the prisoner had been transferred to a new facility. Pride v. Correa, #10-56036, 719 F.3d 1130 (9th Cir. 2013).
A paraplegic prisoner confined to a wheelchair sued, asserting claims for 14 alleged incidents of excessive force against him, denial of needed medical treatment, and the confiscation of his wheelchair, which was then replaced with one that lacked needed leg rests. He claimed that, with the supplied wheelchair, he was unable to shower or brush his teeth and sometimes was left lying in his own excrement for day. A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of most of these claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies by filing and pursuing grievances, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The trial judge was entitled to make a factual determination without the participation of a jury that the plaintiff was aware of the prison's grievance procedure and was able to access it. The appeals court found, however, that the prisoner did adequately exhaust administrative remedies as to two specific incidents. While he did not appeal his grievances concerning those two incidents, no appeal was available because no actual decision on the grievances concerning those incidents was received. Small v. Whittick, #11-2378, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 17739 (3rd Cir.).
A prisoner filed a lawsuit against a health care service and five medical professionals claiming that they were deliberately indifferent to his chronic serious medical conditions of diabetes and Hepatitis C, and that this had caused the need for partial amputation of his feet and visual impairment. He argued that this deliberate indifference was ongoing, subjecting him to a risk of coma, death, or further amputations. While he had filed three previous lawsuits dismissed as frivolous, he was not precluded from proceeding as a pauper on the current lawsuit under the "three strikes" rule of the Prison Litigation Reform Act because his claims of an ongoing risk of additional harm fell within the "imminent danger" exception to that rule. Vandiver v. Prison Health Servs., Inc. #11-1959, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 17028, 2013 Fed App. 234P (6th Cir.).
A former detainee sued a county after its jail allegedly failed to provide him with his prescribed and necessary anti-seizure medication when he was incarcerated there. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the county since the plaintiff presented absolutely no evidence that county policymaking officials would have been informed of the denial of his medication on the morning in question and made a deliberate choice to either ignore it or tacitly authorize the denial in the next few hours. There also was no evidence of a widespread persistent continuing pattern of unconstitutional misconduct by the county's employees. Johnson, Jr. v.
Both medical professionals and other defendants were entitled to summeay judgment on a sexually violent civil detainee's claim that they acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by requiring that he wear leg irons every time he was transported out of the facility, when his legs were swollen and possibly cancerous. There was no medical evidence, other than the detainee's own personal opinion, that there was a medical need to exempt him from the routine use of metal leg shackles. The non-medical defendants were reasonable in relying on the medical professionals' opinion that there was no reason not to use the shackles on the detainee. The detainee showed that his legs became swollen when he walked four blocks, but failed to show evidence of any other resulting injury. McGee v. Adams, #11-2666, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 16039 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that the failure to provide him with prescription eye drops for his glaucoma violated his Eighth Amendment rights as well as constituting negligence under state law. He failed to show that the delays in supplying him with the eye drops was due to deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, and the trial court did not err in declining to retain jurisdiction over the state law negligence claim. Byrd v. Shannon, #11-1744, 709 F.3d 211 (3rd Cir. 2013).
A prison rejected the "incessant" requests by a prisoner suffering from scoliosis for a back brace, orthopedic shoes, a medical mattress and a lower bunk. A federal appeals court ound that there was "overwhelming" evidence that the plaintiff had no medical need for any of the requested items, with the exception maybe of a lower bunk. Based on the prisoner's claim that he had suffered injuries while trying to climb into a higher bunk after he was refused a request to sleep in a health care unit, the court ordered further proceedings on that claim alone. Withers v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., #10-3012, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 4002 (7th Cir.).
A pretrial detainee claimed that his conditions of confinement at a county jail were unconstitutional, and that the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs for an injury to his leg. The conditions complained of included poor sanitation and hygiene alongside lack of heat and bedding, blocked ventilation, overcrowding, and inadequate recreation. These conditions, he argued, together with a failure to provide detainees with a way to clean themselves with running water or cleaning supplies, stated a claim for relief. He said that three doctors told him that his leg infection was the result of the unsanitary conditions. His claim for medical indifference was rejected, since he received ongoing observation, medication, and medical attention, but the federal appeals court ordered further proceedings on his unconstitutional conditions of confinement claim. Budd v. Motley, #11-3425, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 6557 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that a persistent pain in his shoulder came from an injury which an MRI would detect, pointing the way to a successful treatment. He claimed that the refusal to do an MRI constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. His treating physician, however, believed that the pain came from arthritis and that an MRI would not help any in diagnosis and treatment. A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that there had been no deliberate indifference, since the prisoner had been frequiently examined, x-rays had been taken, pain killers had been prescribed, and he had been assigned to a lower bunk to accommodate his condition. There was no objective deliberate indifference, so the plaintiff's claim that the doctor had subjective antipathy towards him was irrelevant. Ray v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., #12-1774. (7th Cir.).
A lawsuit claimed that a prisoner suffered serious permanent injuries leading to brain damage because he was improperly denied prescribed epilepsy medication. A jury awarded him $12 million in damages, consisting of $11 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages. He had a seizure when he failed to get his medication for three days despite requesting it, and then suffered a head injury in his cell. He is currently unable to walk or take care of himself as a result of his injuries, and suffers from partial blindness. Fox v. Barnes, #1:09-cv-05453 , U.S. Dist. Ct. (N.D. Ill., Jan 18, 2013).
The Supreme Court of Hawaii rejected a request that prison authorities be ordered to approve a prisoner's requests for dental treatment, a root canal operation, teeth cleaning, repair of a cavity, and medical treatment for cancer and a concussion. The prisoner failed to show that the defendants were failing to respond to his requests, and there was evidence that he was provided with both medical and dental treatment, and advised of his option to seek outside care for services the state did not cover. Additionally, the prisoner was offered services for the relief of pain. Tierney v. Sakai, #12-0000831, 2013 Haw. Lexis 36.
An inmate suffering from gender identity disorder (GID) claimed that prison officials' refusal to authorize sex reassignment surgery for her violated the Eighth Amendment, particularly on the basis of their knowledge of prior attempts at self-mutilation. The treatment provided, which included hormone therapy, psychological counseling, and allowing her to live and dress as a woman, she claimed, had not alleviated her constant mental anguish that caused her attempts to castrate herself. The federal appeals court overturned a dismissal of the lawsuit for failure to state a claim, since the claim asserted was plausible on its facts. The complaint adequately stated a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. De'Lonta v. Johnson, #11-7482. 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 2005 (4th Cir.).
A trial court dismissed a prisoner's lawsuit for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs as untimely because there was evidence that he had been aware of the misdiagnosis of his condition more than two years before suing. A federal appeals court ruled the prisoner's claim that he wwas physically incapacitated for a time period that prevented him from filing suit within the two year statute of limitations was at a minimum plausible, so that the trial court should not have rejected it at any early stage in the lawsuit. Richards v. Mitcheff, #11-3227, 696 F.3d 635 (7th Cir. 2012).
Does a doctor who treats prisoners have a legal duty to warn corrections officers that an inmate has a communicable disease? One female correctional officer assigned to strip search female prisoners before and after they received visitors claimed that she contracted a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection because approximately twelve of the prisoners were infected. She sued the private company that provided medical services to the prisoners, claiming that its staff members knew which prisoners were infected and should have informed her so that she could take precautions. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that the defendant was not liable to the officer, finding that the trial court had properly declined to impose new affirmative duties to a third party on medical personnel in their professional relationship to prisoners. Seebold v. Prison Health Services, #9-MAP-2011,.2012 Pa. Lexis 3011.
A doctor had no liability for the death of a pretrial detainee at the county jail from a massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage when he had no knowledge of the detainee's medical problems before he died. A nurse had moved the detainee to medical solitary after he vomited blood, but believed that his condition could be handled by the use of the standing medication orders without hospitalizing him. Since there was nothing in the record to indicate past incidents in which detainees were harmed by improper nursing assessments or treatment based on the jail's standing orders, there was no proof of deliberate indifference by the county. Brown v. Bolin, #11-10511, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 25433 (5th Cir.).
A man arrested and allegedly detained in a county jail for nine days without formal charges claimed that he was improperly denied access to Oxycontin for his pain caused by his Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome. That medication had been prescribed by his regular doctor. Jail medical personnel substituted other pain medication that was non-narcotic. The detainee failed to show that this was a substantial violation from accepted professional medical standards or that jail nurses acted with deliberate indifference in following a jail doctor's instructions. A due process claim for his detention failed as he was brought before a court within 72 hours of his arrest, held without bail pursuant to a court order, and was released when the prosecutor failed to file formal charges within the time allowed by the court. Holloway v. Delaware County Sheriff, #12-2592, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 23823 ((7th Cir.).
A jury awarded a prisoner's estate $1.734 million after he died from allegedly inadequately treated penile cancer. An intermediate California appeals court reversed that decision, finding that the state was immune from liability under state law, since the allegations amounted to medical malpractice rather than failure to summon needed medical assistance. The prisoner was assessed by a doctor and nurse, diagnosed as having cancer, and referred for further treatment including a biopsy and medication. Their failure to provide further treatment, to monitor his progress, or to follow up on his prognosis, all involved the reasonableness of the medical treatment provided, for which the state was immune. Castaneda v. Dept. of Corr. & Rehab., #B229246, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1488, 144 Cal. Rptr. 3d 641, 2012 Cal. App. Lexis 839.
A prisoner argued that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs because they failed to comply with his medical chrono (a collection of informal notes taken by prison officials documenting medical orders) by not housing him in a ground floor cell, and by failing to provide him with an interpreter at his medical appointments. The trial court dismissed his complaint with prejudice. A federal appeals court vacated that dismissal, finding that the trial court acted erroneously by declining to consider arguments by the plaintiff which he raised for the first time in response to objecting to the magistrate's findings and recommendations. The plaintiff's objections directed the court's attention to fact explaining that he might have exhausted his administrative remedies, as well as the facts that he was disabled, had limited English skills, and was illiterate. Failure to consider these things was an abuse of discretion. Akhtar v. Mesa, #11-16629, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 22701 (9th Cir.).
A prisoner's lawsuit asserted that he was suffering excruciating pain because he was not being provided with effective medical treatment for his hemorrhoids, which had grown to the size of golf balls. He sought an injunction against the alleged inadequate medical care. While trial judges assigned to such prisoner cases are supposed to screen them "as soon as practicable" after they were docketed, to weed out frivolous or malicious lawsuits and let the rest move forward, in this instance, the complaint had not been screened, even though ten months had elapsed. This was too long and federal judges "must not leave litigants to bear pain indefinitely." Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., #12-1806, 689 F.3d 680 (7th Cir. 2012).
A prisoner appealed from the dismissal of his claims against a doctor on a federal civil rights claim. While the prisoner did not received required notices spelling out what he had to do to oppose her motion for summary judgment, this was harmless since it was clear that there were no facts that would allow the inmate to prevail. The doctor, at the time she treated the prisoner, was working as an independent contractor and not as an employee of the prison or the hospital. She was not a state actor and could not be liable for a federal civil rights claim. Emergency medical care is not a traditionally and exclusively government function. Stratton v. Buck, #10-35656, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 19660 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that a delay in providing him with surgery to correct his painful hernia until after it grew to "grapefruit" size constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. A jury returned a verdict for the defendants. The trial court gave the jury erroneous instructions saying that they had to independently find that cruel and unusual punishment had occurred in addition to finding deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The plaintiff only needed to show deliberate indifference to a serious medical need to prove the Eighth Amendment violation needed for liability. The jury instructions were also confusing in suggesting that damages were an element of liability. A new trial was required. Cotts v. Osafo, #10-3687, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 16936 (7th Cir.).
A correctional officer applied a "sleeper hold" to a pre-trial detainee, restrained in handcuffs and shackles, who continued to resist. The officer allegedly rendered the detainee unconscious using the hold and failed to tell a nurse at the jail that he was "gurgling," and then lying silent and motionless, and needed medical attention. The officer was convicted of depriving the detainee of his rights and of obstructing a federal investigation into the detainee's subsequent death by falsifying documents. The evidence was sufficient to prove that the officer used force to put the detainee into a position requiring medical attention, and then acted with deliberate indifference towards his serious medical needs. United States v. Gray, #11-3143, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 18528, 2012 Fed App. 0297P (6th Cir.).
A federal trial judge ruled that a transsexual prisoner serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for murdering his wife (after she expressed anger that he was wearing her clothes) was entitled to sex reassignment surgery at government expense. His doctors had indicated that sex reassignment surgery to make him female would be the only form of treatment adequate to treat his severe gender disorder. While incarcerated, he has twice attempted to kill himself and once tried to castrate himself. The judge found that purported security concerns expressed by the defendant officials were "a pretext to mask the real reason for the decision to deny him sex reassignment surgery - a fear of controversy, criticism, ridicule, and scorn." Denial of such surgery would violate the Eighth Amendment, the judge stated in a lengthy opinion. It is believed to be the first court decision in the U.S. ordering such surgery for a prisoner. Kosilek v. Spencer, #00-12455, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 124758 (D. Mass.).
The widow of a pretrial detainee at a county jail claimed that his death was due to the company with the contract for medical services there weaning him off alprazolam which he took for anxiety, in favor of other medication in its standard formulary. A federal appeals court held that the county might be liable for restricting physician access to him after he clearly was in distress, having drug withdrawal symptoms, having a seizure, and having his face turn blue. A site director nurse at the jail might also be liable for allegedly ignoring his medical needs, and moving him to an isolated padded cell, where he died. King v. Kramer, #11-2204, 680 F.3d 1013 (7th Cir. 2012).
Three nurses who allegedly received but ignored medical requests concerning a prisoner from corrections officers and other inmates could be liable for his death from TB. They allegedly stated that the request for treatment had to be from the prisoner himself, but did nothing else until he had to be treated by a doctor on an emergency basis when he was "near death." Two other nurses, one whose only contact with the prisoner was at intake, and the other who misread his TB test, could not be held liable, nor could facility administrators or the county. McCaster v. Clausen, #11-2612, 684 F.3d 740 (8th Cir. 2012).
The due process rights of a pretrial detainee were not denied when he was booked into a jail after business hours on Friday when it was too late for his request for prescription drugs for his back pain to be reviewed until Monday. He suffered a seizure shortly thereafter, but the delay in reviewing his medication request did not violate his constitutional rights, since the drugs at issue were not "life-sustaining." Bruederle v. Louisville Metro Government, #11-5637, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 15180, 2012 Fed. App. 225P (6th Cir.).
A prisoner suing pro se, claiming inadequate medical care, was entitled to be given a written notice as to what was required to defeat motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. Those notices must be served on him at the same time as the motions, in order to allow him "fair, timely and adequate notice" of what he is required to do to respond to those motions to preserve his claims. Notices served on him before such motions are filed do not sufficiently serve that purpose. Woods v. Carey, #09–15548, 684 F.3d 934 (9th Cir.).
A surgeon's misdiagnosis that a prisoner had "no definite hernia" was merely negligence, and insufficient to support a constitutional claim. The prisoner stated a valid claim for deliberate indifference, however, against another doctor who confirmed that the prisoner had a hernia requiring surgery, but failed to properly request a referral for the surgery in a timely fashion and, without explanation, canceled a second referral request, resulting in a seven-month delay in treatment. Wilhelm v. Rotman, #11-16335, 680 F.3d 1113 (9th Cir. 2012).
When a prisoner was examined by a prison doctor and a nurse, complaining of a swollen eye and a headache, they recommended, respectively, a warm compress and the taking of Tylenol. After his release, the prisoner discovered that the swollen eye was because of a rare form of bone cancer. The misdiagnosis by the medical personnel could not support a federal civil rights claim. The doctor only had one brief contact with the prisoner, and there nurse did refer him to an optometrist. "(N)either negligent medical care, nor the delay in providing medical care, can rise to the level of a constitutional violation absent specific allegations of sufficiently harmful acts or omissions reflecting deliberate indifference." Reilly v. Vadlamudi, #11-1252, 680 F.3d 617 (6th Cir. 2012).
A prisoner not involved in a fight between two other inmates claimed he struck in the arm by a shotgun pellet fired by a guard was a nearby catwalk. He allegedly had to wait four days for medical attention, suffering significant pain in the interim. Right after the incident, a medical aide allegedly assured him that she would go and get medication and medical supplies for him, but did not return with it. He asserted a valid claim for excessive use of force, as there was sufficient evidence to support an inference that an officer acted maliciously in using deadly force against prisoners not involved in the fight. The delay in treatment supported a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Claims against one officer concerning medical care were properly dismissed, as he summoned medical assistance as soon as he became aware of the prisoner's injury. The prisoner also stated a valid First Amendment claim, based on his assertion that he was transferred to another facility in retaliation for threatening to bring a grievance over the incident. Gomez v. Randle, #11-2962, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 9656 (7th Cir.).
A 69-year-old prisoner on death row claimed that prison doctors and the warden acted with deliberate indifference towards his need for hip replacement surgery. The delay in approving such surgery on both hips after the need for it was diagnosed by consulting orthopedic surgeons could constitute a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The delay could be found to have caused excruciating pain, rendering the prisoner barely able to walk. He claimed that the warden instructed medical personnel to not "knock yourself out" when death row inmates get "deathly ill." Snow v. McDaniel, #10-16951, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 10646 (9th Cir.).
A prisoner serving a one year sentence was denied a course of treatment for Hepatitis C because his sentence was not long enough to provide for proper evaluation and treatment. When he was convicted again and returned to prison, he was denied treatment again based on his past drug abuse under a requirement that he successfully complete a substance abuse program first. His assertion that the true reason he was denied treatment was financial stated a possible Eighth Amendment claim. He could also proceed with his disability discrimination claim on the basis that his drug addiction could be regarded as a disability. The trial court's conclusion that a defendant doctor was entitled to qualified immunity was improperly conclusory. Hilton v. Wright, #10–135, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 5012 (2nd Cir.).
A female prisoner suffering from cervical cancer had her ovary and lymph nodes removed during a radical hysterectomy, allegedly without her consent. A federal appeals court rejected her civil rights claim, however, finding no evidence of deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs. Her contention that the removals of the ovary and lymph nodes were not necessary because subsequent examination revealed that they were not cancerous was, at most, medical negligence or a mere disagreement with the medical treatment given, which was insufficient for a federal civil rights claim. Sama v. Hannigan, #10-40835, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 2107 (5th Cir.).
A death row prisoner claimed that the prison's medical director was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need for eye surgery. Overturning summary judgment for the defendant doctor, a federal appeals court held that there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether he ignored the prisoner's condition of pterygia, a thin film that covers the eye. While that condition is often confined to the white part of the eye, in this case it extended over the corneas, making his uncorrected vision 20/80 as a result, and causing persistent itching and irritation. There was a record showing that a number of doctors recommended surgery, but that their advice was not followed, and the prisoner's eyesight then further deteriorated. Ortiz v. Webster, #10-2012, 655 F.3d 731 (7th Cir. 2011).
When he was attacked by another prisoner, a pretrial detainee suffered painful injuries to his head and eyes. Despite requesting medical attention, he allegedly received none for five days, and instead was "locked down" for 72 hours following the attack, despite the fact that officers allegedly knew of his obvious injuries, as evidenced by blood, dizziness and vomiting and his complaints of extreme pain. Overturning the dismissal of the lawsuit for failure to state a claim, the appeals court ruled that "even a few days' delay in addressing a severely painful but readily treatable condition suffices to state a claim of deliberate indifference." Smith v. Knox County Jail, #10-1113, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 1238 (7th Cir. 2012).
A prisoner claimed that he had been improperly denied access to his medically-prescribed therapeutic diet, and that this violated due process and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The diet was prescribed after a doctor concluded that his triglyceride levels would benefit from a therapeutic diet low in saturated fats. The prisoner's lawsuit lacked merit, as the interruptions in providing the special diet were prompted by allegations that the prisoner was violating mess hall rules, throwing away the special food, and routinely skipping his specialized meals. When it became clear that some of these violations were not proven and that others were the result of a misunderstanding, the special diet was restored. Collazo v. Pagano, #09-4650, 656 F.3d 131 (2nd Cir. 2011).
An inmate at a privately run federal prison filed a civil rights lawsuit against employees there for alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in connection with treatment of injuries suffered in a fall. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, in these circumstances, California state law provides adequate alternative damage remedies for negligence or medical malpractice so that there is no need to imply a federal constitutional civil rights cause of action against the private employees. These state law remedies provide both adequate deterrence of similar future conduct and compensation for any damages suffered. Minneci v. Pollard, #10-1104, 2012 U.S. Lexis 573.
An inmate properly alleged an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against prison doctors for refusing to authorize surgery for his painful hernia. The court also gave him leave to amend his complaint to claim a violation of equal protection based on different treatment of other prisoners with hernias. He claimed that budget constraints, rather than medical judgment, was the real reason his surgery authorization was refused. Gonzalez v. Feinerman, #11–1804, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 23927 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner who suffered broken bones in his wrist failed to show deliberate indifference in connection with the medical treatment that was provided, including application of a cast and provision of pain medication. The fact that he would have preferred a different and stronger pain medication as well as a "nerve conduction study" showed only a difference of opinion, which is not enough for a constitutional violation. Hill v. Curcione, #10-1320, 657 F.3d 116 (2nd Cir. 2011).
Prisoners stuffed a toilet, causing flooding, as well as breaking light, because they were angry over being denied time in the jail yard. A jail administrator allegedly then pushed one of these prisoners who refused to "catch the wall" when ordered to do so. The prisoner filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for excessive use of force. A federal appeals court upheld the trial judge's ruling for the defendant, finding that it was reasonable for him to use some amount of force against the prisoner under these circumstances for his own safety. The medical records did not support the prisoner's claimed version of the events, as they were not consistent with the defendant having beaten him with a flashlight. Story v. Norwood, #10-3178, 659 F.3d 680 (8th Cir. 2011).
A prisoner claimed that guards beat him with excessive force after he pulled at his restraints and attempted to grab as food cart. He further claimed that he was denied adequate medical attention after the incident. The trial court erroneously granted summary judgment to the guards on the excessive force claim, as there was an unresolved factual dispute as to whether the prisoner ceased resisting after he was taken to the floor, and whether the beating continued after his resistance ceased. Claims concerning his medical care lacked merit, however, as the record showed that the prisoner received "extensive" treatment for his toe and neck injuries. Alspaugh v. McConnell, #08-2330, 643 F.3d 162 (6th Cir. 2011), rehearing denied, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 14675 (6th Cir.).
A prisoner suffered from a serious condition of rheumatoid arthritis and had previously taken the medication Enbrel that successfully controlled it. When he arrived at a prison, it was determined that the medication was not on the facility's approved formulary. Medical staff members could be held liable for not either seeking approval to obtain the medication or else looking into what alternative treatments would be effective in controlling his condition. Arnett v. Webster, #09-3280, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 18812 (7th Cir.).
Because a county jail did not have the resources to adequately handle pregnancy-related medical emergencies, a pregnant minor stated a claim for deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs by alleging that personnel there failed to rush her to a hospital when she began having labor pains, and that she was not seen by a doctor until seven hours later. She was subsequently taken to a hospital, but then returned to the jail, where her baby was born, suffering various birth defects including severe mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Havard v. Wayne County, #09-1235, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 17404 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
A contractor that provided health care services at a county jail was entitled to summary judgment in a detainee's lawsuit for alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Nine different medical practitioners conducted evaluations of the detainee a total of 16 times over a nine day period before deciding to send him to have a scan done that ultimately showed that he required neurological surgery. This only constituted a single incident, however, and was insufficient to show a policy or custom of deliberate indifference. Craig v. Floyd County, #10-13225, 643 F.3d 1306 (11th Cir. 2011).
An arrestee died of a heart arrhythmia, and there was sufficient evidence that lockup personnel failed to adequately respond to her complaints of abdominal pain to support a jury verdict for her estate. The jury awarded $5 million in compensatory damages and $4,000 in punitive damages. The defendants were entitled to a new hearing on the issue of the proper damages to be awarded, however, since the trial court erred in excluding evidence that the prisoner was a drug addict with a prior arrest record, for the purpose of refuting testimony from her son that she was a good role model. Cobige v. City of Chicago, #10-3728, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 14253 (7th Cir.).
An obese diabetic woman allegedly asked for her medications while in a police lockup, but these requests were denied. She subsequently died in her cell, and a federal appeals court ruled that a number of guards might be held liable for her death. The fact that arrestees are kept in police lockups for a fairly short period of time, the court commented, "is not a license for lockup keepers to deny all arrestees all medical care simply because they will probably be transferred within 48 hours." Access to the drugs was allegedly denied pursuant to a Chicago Police Department (CPD) policy that prohibits arrestees from taking medications while in lockup unless they are taken to a hospital. The appeals court reversed summary judgment for the defendants on a claim for denial of adequate medical care. Ortiz v. City of Chicago, #10-1775, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 17759 (7th Cir.)
An HIV-positive prisoner who allegedly did not receive his medication during a 167-day period of incarceration at a county jail stated a viable claim for liability against a jail employee who allegedly stated that "we don't give away" HIV medications "here at this jail." There was also a genuine issue of fact as to whether a physician's assistant acted with deliberate indifference to the prisoner's medical needs. Leavitt v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., #10-1432, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 13269 (1st Cir.).
A Wisconsin state statute that flatly prohibits providing hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery to transsexual prisoners regardless of their medical needs is in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The asserted interest in maintaining prison security did not justify denying hormone therapy on the rationale that developing female secondary sexual attributes, such as breasts, would subject transsexual inmates to an increased risk of sexual assault. There was ample evidence that such prisoners are targets for sexual assault even without hormone therapy. "Refusing to provide effective treatment for a serious medical condition serves no valid penological purpose and amounts to torture." Fields v. Smith, #10-2339, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 16152 (7th Cir.).
An immigration detainee claimed that medical personnel failed to give him pain medication that he was prescribed after hand surgery, inhibiting his rehabilitation and causing permanent injury to his hand. Rejecting this claim, the appeals court noted that the medication had to be taken with food, and that the detainee failed to benefit from the medical treatment provided because he refused to eat the food he was dissatisfied with. His reason for doing so was that he wanted halal meals containing meat, for religious reasons, but he was provided with vegetarian meals that did not violate his right to religious freedom. Any denial of pain medication was based on his refusal to eat. Adekoya v. Chertoff, #11-1990, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 12685 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.). Editor's Note: As an immigration detainee, the plaintiff was entitled to the same protections as a pretrial detainee, those provided by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In this case, the court found that the medical care provided did not constitute punishment that violated due process.
A federal prisoner had a number of serious medical conditions, including a history of epilepsy, non-insulin dependent diabetes, disc herniation surgery, a history of head trauma with loss of consciousness causing seizures, and cardiac catheterization, as well as allergies to a number of antibiotics. He claimed that medical personnel at a facility violated his rights by placing him on a different pain medication than he had previously been prescribed by his private physicians and neurosurgeons without consulting them. The appeals court found that this did not amount to deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Albert v. Yost, #11-1453, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 12401 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner failed to show that medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference in failing to diagnose and treat his Fuchs' dystrophy, a corneal disease, since the record showed that they repeatedly examined him (no less than seven times in a nine month period), and recommended piggyback lenses and artificial tears in response to his reports of eye pain. Zuege v. Knoch, #10-3373, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 10221 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
New York City has reached a $2 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging that an intoxicated postal worker, detained after a dispute in which he was barred from his apartment, died in custody from the untreated effect of severe alcohol withdrawal. The decedent had reportedly told jail medical personnel that he had been drinking two or three pints of rum a day, and he appeared agitated and disoriented. The defendants subsequently allegedly failed to follow a written protocol on treatment of severe alcohol withdrawal, which includes hospitalization. Instead, he was kept in the jail's general population, and died approximately 28 hours after his arrival there. Livermore v. City of New York, $1:08-CV-04442, (S.D.N.Y. May 23, 2011).
A prisoner failed to show that his occasional exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in an outdoor recreational yard as a result of guards smoking rose to the level required to impose liability. This requires: "(1) exposure to unreasonably high levels of ETS contrary to contemporary standards of decency; and (2) deliberate indifference by the authorities to the exposure to ETS." Turner v. Leggett, #10-4654, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 7095 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
While there was evidence that the plaintiff prisoner had asthma, the record did not support his argument that his level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in Michigan state prisons amounted to a serious threat to his health in violation of the Eighth Amendment, as opposed to "mere discomfort." His asthma was "relatively minor," and could be managed through the use of an inhaler and other medication. There also was insufficient evidence to support his claim that he was transferred to another facility, with allegedly worse ETS, in retaliation for complaining about ETS. Jones v. Caruso, #10-1515, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 8729; (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
A paraplegic prisoner serving a 180-day sentence in a county jail was subject to bed sores and had a condition of edema requiring foot elevation, as well as having severe spasticity requiring elevation of his upper body. The jail's director was properly held liable for $214,000 in compensatory and $250,000 in punitive damages. The facts showed that the director falsely told a judge that the jail was able to handle the prisoner's medical care, and failed to check to see that the prisoner was receiving accommodations ordered by his doctors. Schaub v. Von Wald, #10-1280, 638 F.3d 905 (8th Cir. 2011).
A Massachusetts pre-trial detainee was addicted to heroin when first confined, and was forced to abstain from its use. Under the direction of medical personnel, he was given medication to ease the "agony of withdrawal." A federal appeals court held that no reasonable fact finder could find that a doctor had acted with deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs, as the treatment protocol followed had been applied to thousands of prisoners undergoing drug withdrawal, and the prisoner's condition was carefully and frequently monitored. Ramos v. Patnaude, #09-2179, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 10356 (1st Cir.).
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the order of a special three-judge court ordering that the California state prison system reduce its population from 156,000 prisoners, nearly double capacity, by approximately 46,000 prisoners, or 137.5% of design capacity within two years. Current overcrowding was found to have resulted in inadequate medical care and mental health treatment. The Court found that the injunctive order complied with the stringent requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and that the court below properly gave "substantial weight" to any potential adverse impact on public safety from the order. Brown v. Plata, #09–1233, 2011 U.S. Lexis 4012.
A prisoner convicted of child rape, kidnapping, and robbery finished their sentence and was then civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person. The prisoner, who is anatomically male but suffers from gender identity disorder changed their name in 1996 from David to Sandy and sought treatment including the administration of female hormones and access to female clothing. These requests were rejected as "bizarre at best and psychotic at worst." Ultimately one dose of female hormones was administered in 2009, but then further treatment ceased. A federal appeals court upheld a finding of deliberate indifference "or an unreasonable professional judgment exercised--even though it does not rest on any established sinister motive or 'purpose' to do harm." It also upheld an injunctive order requiring hormone therapy, noting that it had been fifteen years since the prisoner had requested such treatment and ten years since medical professionals had recommended that it be provided. Batista v. Clarke, #10-1965, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 10308 (1st Cir.).
A juvenile detainee arrested in Oklahoma complained of a headache and dizziness and was told to go to sleep. When the problem persisted, he was given Tylenol. His headaches and nausea continued, he fell down, and he was ultimately found non-responsive in his cell. He had suffered a traumatic brain injury which left him non-verbal and non-ambulatory and he also requires a ventilator to breathe and intravenous feeding. Claims of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need survived summary judgment, as a jury could reasonably find that a correctional officer improperly delayed calling 911 and having the detainee taken to a hospital. Colbert ex rel. T.D.S. v. Bd. of County Comm'rs, #10-6145, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 3877 (10th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that medical personnel exhibited deliberate indifference to his knee injury by failing to prescribe surgery instead of physical therapy, and by failing to more quickly arrange for a follow-up with an orthopedist. The federal appeals court, however, found that the knee injury was not serious enough that the alleged actions, even if true, amounted to deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. No medical records demonstrated a need for surgery, and the inmate appeared to respond well to the physical therapy provided. Goris v. Breslin, #10-0491, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 24462 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
A detainee in a county jail failed to show that anything about his medical treatment there for diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as coronary artery disease, had caused him to suffer a stroke. Harold v. County of Orange, #G043532, 2011 Cal. App. Unpub. Lexis 2468 (Unpub. 4th Dist.).
When an inmate failed to seek to obtain his medical records until just before the deadline to designate an expert medical witness for his medical malpractice claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act, his failure to designate an expert justified staying discovery and then granting summary judgment to the defendant. Fujita v. United States, #10-10258, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 4218 (5th Cir.).
A prisoner's claim that a prison staff member denied him medical treatment for an injury to his hand that had already been prescribed was sufficient to state a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Criollo v. Milton, #10-40346, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 4207 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A Tennessee prisoner adequately stated claims against two defendants for allegedly providing him with inadequate treatment for tuberculosis. He claimed that he was given the seizure medication intended for another patient, and that he was allegedly sent to the medical unit without an escort after it was determined that he took the wrong medication, as a result of which he fell down an escalator from being dizzy, suffering injuries. The claims that survived included one that a defendant abandoned him after his fall, providing no further medical care for his injuries, and that the prison medical director allegedly failed to adequately supervise the treatment provided to him. Barnett v. Luttrell, #08-6432, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 4873 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
Despite a prisoner's claim that he could not obtain the legal materials he needed to assert his claims about a beating by a corrections officer and inadequate medical care for resulting injury, the record showed that he was granted several extensions of time, but failed to communicate with the court until the month after he obtained the materials in question. Under these circumstances, the dismissal of his lawsuit for failure to obtain service on defendant corrections officers was upheld. McGrew v. McQueen, #09-30937, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 4852 (5th Cir.).
Trial court did not act improperly in dismissing prisoner's lawsuit claiming that prison officials failed to process his grievances and were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, as well as failing to protect him against assault by other prisoners. The prisoner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies by filing a timely grievance regarding his medical care, and failed to present any evidence that guards were aware of any specific threats to him by other prisoners. His First Amendment claim concerning the defendants' forcible termination of his hunger strike was properly rejected since he had no First Amendment right to refuse medical treatment intended to save his life. Owens v. Hinsley, #09-3618, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 5360 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that he was denied medical treatment for his diabetes and Hepatitis C in retaliation for engaging in protected First Amendment activity of speaking out about prison health needs and seeking access to the courts. His complaint was dismissed under the "three strikes" provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Reversing, a federal appeals court held that his claim fell within an "imminent danger" exception to the three strikes rule, since he claimed that he was still receiving improper care for retaliatory reasons. Vandiver v. Vasbinder, #08-2602, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 6325 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
A prisoner's claim that he was improperly disciplined for defiance in retaliation for refusing to consent to an invasive medical procedure should not have been dismissed. The trial court improperly applied a subjective legal standard to the issue of whether the prisoner suffered adversity from the alleged retaliatory act. The disciplinary action resulted in his loss of 180 days of good time credit and confinement in isolation for ten days. The sanctions imposed were more than minimal, as the trial court seemed to regard them, and it was not required that the plaintiff show that the sanctions imposed actually deterred him from exercising his constitutional right to refuse medical treatment. Hanna v. Maxwell, #10-30053, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 4335 (5th Cir.).
The evidence presented in a prisoner's lawsuit showed that the prison medical staff was attentive to his fractured finger and that he received ongoing and frequent treatment. It did not reflect any evidence of deliberate indifference to his need for treatment. Clemons v. King, #10-60345, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 21580 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner suffering from ulcerative colitis and gastro esophageal reflux disease claimed that two prison doctors provided him with inadequate care. A federal appeals court ruled that the prisoner adequately stated a deliberate indifference claim against one doctor for substituting the drug Prilosec for the drug Prevacid when the prisoner's medical records indicated that he could not tolerate Prilosec. The fact that Prilosec, and not Prevacid, was available in the prison's pharmacy was not an adequate reason for prescribing a harmful drug. A claim about the postponement of a colonoscopy was rejected because it related to a medical judgment about the optimal timing of the procedure, rather than deliberate indifference to the prisoner's need for treatment, and the prisoner did not show that the delay caused him any harm. Gallo v. Feinerman, #09-3575, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 22932 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
A prisoner who is an insulin dependent diabetic claimed that a correctional officer denied him access to medical attention by turning him back when he sought to go to the prison's medication line to obtain a medication called Glipizide. He had been experiencing a loss of feeling in his arms, numbness in his fingertips, and feelings of nausea and lightheadedness. The officer made him return to his cell block to obtain a pass despite the prisoner's statement that he needed medication. He was able to get the medicine later that day. While the officer may have known of the prisoner's diabetes and need for medication, there was no evidence that he knew the prisoner faced a serious risk of harm from a delay in obtaining medication. He did not indicate any desire to deny him treatment, only asking him to follow the pass procedure. The prisoner failed to show any harm caused by the delay. Perkins v. Schwappach, #10-2487, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 22949 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that personnel at a county jail were deliberately indifferent to his chronic sinusitis. A federal appeals court ruled that the plaintiff's claims really amounted merely to disagreement about the proper treatment to be provided. He was seen by a dentist and an oral surgeon, but the oral surgeon concluded that he did not have a fistula and that his sinus problem was not related to his tooth pain, and referred him an ear, nose, and throat doctor for evaluation. The failure to provide him with an oral surgeon earlier did not show deliberate indifference. The prisoner was seen by the jail's medical staff 25 times in a six month period, and was later referred eight times to at least four different specialists, as well as given antibiotics and pain killers for his symptoms. Mills v. Luplow, #10-584, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 18766 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
A prison medical director was properly held liable for $20,000 in compensatory and $20,000 in punitive damages to the estate of an inmate who died of allegedly untreated Hepatitis C. Summary judgment was properly entered on the claims of three other plaintiffs, as those prisoners could not show that they suffered specific harm from a treatment protocol for hepatitis C to prisoners who could complete a two-year course of treatment while still incarcerated. The deceased prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights had been violated, since his death from liver cirrhosis resulted, and the treatment protocol did not take his individual condition into account. A shorter than 48 week treatment would have been appropriate for his condition. Roe v. Elyea, #09-1723, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 1781 (7th Cir.). Editor's note: The $20,000 in punitive damages was reduced, by the trial court, from the jury's $2 million punitive damages award.
The trial court acted erroneously in granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment in a Federal Tort Claims Act lawsuit over the prison medical staff's failure to discontinue the plaintiff prisoner's use of aspirin at least five days before surgery based on the plaintiff's failure to submit an expert's report. The court ruled that it was "obvious" that the staff should have told the prisoner that aspirin is a blood thinner and that failure to stop taking it before surgery could lead to serious internal bleeding. An expert's report was not needed, especially as there was a surgeon's medical report indicating that the failure to discontinue the use of aspirin had caused post-surgery complications. Gipson v. U.S., #09-2756, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 1573 (7th Cir.).
A Wisconsin inmate claimed that prison medical personnel and administrators acted with deliberate indifference to his allegedly untreated nose condition and unhealed cuts, sores, and bruises. Upholding the dismissal of the lawsuit, the appeals court found no indication that the defendants were aware of, yet disregarded, a serious medical condition. The prisoner's complaint itself indicated that medical personnel spent a good deal of time giving him medical treatment on multiple occasions, although they concluded, after diagnosing his nose and skin conditions, that they "merited limited medical treatment." Any delay in treating the "minor maladies" that the plaintiff claimed resulted from the medical staff's choice to treat other maladies first. "This conclusion is sound because the medical personnel had no reason to believe that anything serious would arise from temporarily delaying treatment of a congested nose and skin condition." Slater v. Lemens, #10-1409, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23307 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
An officer used force in a good-faith attempt to restore discipline, rather than sadistically and maliciously in responding to an inmate who used profanity and provoked a verbal altercation. The two men bumped chests, and the officer bent the prisoner over a table and punched him in the nose when he continued to resist as other inmates started to circle around. The officer required the assistance of a co-worker to subdue the prisoner. The officer was aware of the prisoner's nosebleed, but did not believe that it was a serious medical condition requiring immediate treatment. McClyde v. Jackson, #10-20139, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 26076 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A pretrial detainee in a county jail contracted Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (“MRSA”), a staph infection resistant to usual penicillin-type antibiotics. A jury awarded him damages. Upholding this result and a finding of county liability, a federal appeals court found that there was evidence that the county knew of the presence of a staph infection in the jail, including an infection rate as high as 20%, yet failed to adopt known measures that would have combated it, such as installing hand washing and disinfecting stations and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and continued to house detainees in conditions leading to infection. Duvall v. Dallas Cty., #09-10660, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 660 (5th Cir.).
Claims against a physician's assistant for deliberate indifference to a prisoner's serious medical needs were properly rejected, as the prisoner's assertion that the defendant misdiagnosed her condition, failing to determine that her knee injury from a fall was serious, involving fractures, and failing to order x-rays merely stated a possible ordinary medical malpractice (negligence) claim, which was insufficient for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Grose v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., #09-2168, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23907 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
A federal prisoner sentenced to death for killing an officer, had a bullet lodged in his hip from gunfire during his arrest. He sued prison personnel for failing to remove the bullet, which he claimed causes him dermatitis (rashes). Medical personnel, however, examined him and found that the removal of the bullet was not medically indicated and its presence did not cause any pain or restrict any movement. He was provided with treatment for his dermatitis numerous times, refuting any claim of deliberate indifference. Any negligence in failing to remove the bullet was insufficient for a federal civil rights claim. Barrett v. Marberry, #10-1959, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 24570 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
A prisoner sued a prison doctor, a physician's assistant, and a private company involved in providing inmate health care, claiming that they provided inadequate care for an "inflamed and ruptured disc" in his back that resulted in numbness in his legs and toes. He claimed that the doctor "avoided" him for four months, and then provided him with ineffective pain medication, and that the physician's assistant, during three or four sick calls, wrongly concluded that there was nothing wrong with his back. Claims against the private company were properly dismissed, as the prisoner did not assert that it had any policy, practice, or custom that led to his alleged injury or any direct involvement in the alleged misconduct. The prisoner failed to support his claim of deliberate indifference against the prison doctor, as there was no support for his claim that the doctor was avoiding him, and he was treated by the doctor after he threw out his back. There was also no evidence that the doctor purposefully prescribed ineffective pain medication. The failure of the physician's assistance to find anything wrong with the plaintiff's back was, at most, negligence, which is insufficient for a federal civil rights claim. Weigher v. Prison Health Services, #10-3089, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 24129 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A New York prisoner claimed that he was provided with inadequate medical care from 1988 t0 2008. He argued that medical reports he obtained in 2008 showed that he suffered from a chronic urinary infection that was not properly diagnosed or treated until then. He based this, however, solely on his own analysis of those records. A federal appeals court found that, as the prisoner was not a doctor, this was insufficient to establish a claim for deliberate indifference to an alleged serious medical need. Trained medical personnel, relying on the same records and reports, concluded that the prisoner had been suffering from no such infection, and when later reports did, in fact, indicate an infection, they provided antibiotic treatment. Further, any prior failure to diagnose an infection, assuming there was one, would have constituted, at most, a negligent misdiagnosis, rather than the deliberate indifference required for a federal civil rights case. Whitfield v. O'Connell, #10-1398, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23968 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
An arrestee claimed that a booking officer was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by failing to get him medical attention for injuries allegedly suffered from a police beating during his arrest. Upholding summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity for the officer, a federal appeals court noted that the arrestee did not request medical attention, and that it was not objectively apparent that he had a serious medical need. Youmans v. Gagnon, #09-15113, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23534 (11th Cir.).
An inmate allegedly started losing significant weight and experiencing abdominal pain. Ultimately, a large cancerous mass was found inside him, and he died. A lawsuit by his estate claimed that his requests for medical help were, at times, ignored, and that some prison personnel thought he was faking his illness and commented that prisoners were "not supposed" to "feel good." Claims against correctional officers were rejected, as the evidence did not establish the culpability of any specific officer. There was, however, sufficient evidence to raise a genuine question as to whether two nurses knew of the prisoner's medical needs yet ignored the risk to his health. A doctor's actions did not amount to "grossly inadequate care," and there was no indication that the county had a custom of deliberate indifference to inmate medical needs. Jones v. Muskegon County, #09-2125, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23034 (6th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that prison employees denied him access to prescribed crutches after his heel surgery, and forced him to perform tasks, such as cleaning his cell, despite his status of recuperating from surgery. The record, however, showed that the prisoner was allowed to use the crutches even after the date when he was told by medical personnel that he should start to discontinue using them. He was only denied them after prison personnel received information from his orthopedist's office about his weight-bearing status. The prisoner also failed to show that cleaning his cell either caused him further injury or worsened his existing injury. Young v. Nichols, #09-15790, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 20619 (Unpub.11th Cir.).
A Pennsylvania prisoner claimed that conditions at the facility, including inadequate ventilation in his cell, exposure to extreme heat and cold, rodent infestation, and overcrowding (allegedly increasing the risk of infectious diseases) amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants. A federal appeals court ruled that the prisoner's transfer to another facility rendered most of his arguments on appeal moot, such as his request for injunctive relief, as he had not shown that he was likely to be again subjected to the same alleged conditions. What was not moot was his claim for money damages, based solely on an alleged risk of future harm as a result of exposure to coal smoke in the prison yard. The appeals court upheld the rejection of this claim, as the prisoner had presented no medical or scientific evidence that he faces an actual risk of future harm. Griffin v. Beard, #09-4404, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23659 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A former pretrial detainee claimed that she was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement at a county detention facility. Specifically, she claimed that she was forced to take medication without food, which resulted in stomach problems and rendered the medication ineffective. Such a claim, the appeals court ruled, required expert testimony as the seriousness of the possible injury or illness would not be apparent. "Whether a medication is ineffective if it is given without food is not readily apparent to a lay person." Since the plaintiff offered no such expert testimony, summary judgment for the defendants was properly entered on this claim. The plaintiff also challenged her confinement, at times, in "the green room," which had green tile on three of the walls and a fourth wall made of glass, lacked any furnishings or stationary objects, including a traditional toilet, but did have an eight inch drain in the middle of the floor covered by a grate. The room was used to observe "people coming down from drugs, violent people or people on suicide watch." The plaintiff had allegedly engaged in self-destructive behavior. The appeals court acknowledged that "the absence of a traditional toilet may deprive an inmate of access to the usual sanitation measures afforded other inmates who are not at risk of hurting themselves." Two other cells adjacent to the green room, however, were equipped with traditional toilet facilities, and inmates confined in the green room are given access to these traditional toilet facilities upon request. Additionally, in the event an inmate utilizes the drain to relieve himself/herself, prison staff members were required to clean the room as soon as it is safe to do so. Patterson v. County of Washington, #08-3649, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 19496 (Unpub.3rd Cir.).
A woman detained at a county jail following a domestic disturbance became involved in an altercation with a female deputy. After other officers aided this deputy in restraining the detainee and she remained restrained on the floor, the deputy allegedly grabbed her head and slammed it to the floor seven to eight times, causing cuts and bruises on her face and leaving a pool of blood on the floor. Upholding a denial of summary judgment for the deputy on an excessive force claim, a federal appeals court ruled that this conduct, if true, was force obviously beyond what the law would allow. Summary judgment was granted, however, on a claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs arising from the incident. Pourmoghani-Esfahani v. Gee, #10-10020, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23205 (11th Cir.).
The alleged misdiagnosis of a prisoner's foot and stomach pain by prison medical personnel, and their alleged failure to warn him of the potential side effects of pain medication was, at most, negligence, and could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Burgess v. Mar, #09-17070, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 18862 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
A Wisconsin prisoner claimed that a doctor acted with deliberate indifference by failing to see him for almost four weeks after he complained of problems arising from reconstructive surgery he had on his ankle two years earlier. He claimed that the screws in the ankle were loose and that he could barely step on the ankle, and that he was experiencing pain. A nurse noted that he was walking with a limp. The court found that the doctor had no reason to believe that the prisoner was not receiving medication for the pain, and the records showed that, once the doctor saw the prisoner and took an x-ray, no further procedures were indicated.While the doctor prescribed some pain medication, the record also reflected that the prisoner himself had not been refilling a prescription he already had for a another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. No reasonable jury could find that the doctor acted with deliberate indifference, and the delay really only amounted to nine days after the doctor became aware of the situation. The delay was not unreasonably long, given that it related to surgery that took place two years earlier. Schaller v. Heinzl, #10-1141, 2010 U.S. App. Leis 18674 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that prison employees were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs because they refused to provide him with a new pair of high-top work boots for a period of approximately seven months. While the prisoner had a medical pass to have the boots replaced, his request was denied under a prison policy that boots be issued only to field workers, and not to prisoners assigned to work in the kitchen. Given the prisoner's assignment to a kitchen job, the appeals court ruled, the denial of the boots was not an action that was in reckless disregard of his health or could be termed wanton under the Eighth Amendment. His lawsuit was, therefore, properly dismissed. Ganther v. Dalton, #09-41220, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 19898 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A pretrial detainee failed to show that his supposedly adverse reaction to HDQ Neutral, a cleaning product used at the county jail, involved a serious medical need for purposes of trying to establish that the defendants acted with deliberate indifference in violation of his constitutional rights. The prisoner, who was taking medication for asthma, alleged that exposure to the cleaning product caused him to "cough up blood." The record indicated that a reasonable jury could find that the prisoner did not show that a physician or other medical personnel had diagnosed him with a medical condition that required treatment while he was detained. An examination of the prisoner revealed only some nasal drainage, and otherwise found him in normal condition, with an instruction that he should move away from where the cleaning products were being used. While one doctor later stated an opinion that chemicals used at the jail caused medical problems for the prisoner, a competing expert rejected the diagnosis of asthma, and found no evidence of pulmonary fibrosis in a CT scan. The jury thus reasonably determined that the prisoner failed to establish a serious medical need while incarcerated. Christian v. Wagner, #09-2417, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 21609(8th Cir.).
Two elderly Arkansas prisoners claimed that correctional employees and employees of a company providing medical services to inmates were deliberately indifferent to their serious medical needs. The first prisoner, in his early eighties, asserted that he had complained for years of stomach and back pain, but did not receive adequate treatment. The second prisoner, who is 66 and suffers from poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes, claimed that a lapse in treatment following surgery for a broken ankle caused or exacerbated the effects of a condition known as "Charcot foot," which may make it difficult to walk. The appeals court held that these were assertions of serious medical conditions, and that if an administrator knew that these needs were not being adequately addressed, but was deliberately indifferent, he could be held personally liable. He could not avoid such liability by merely passing along complaints to a grievance procedure, as alleged, and he was not entitled to qualified immunity. The court also denied qualified immunity on claims that officials oversaw or designed an inadequate grievance system that resulted in denials of adequate medical treatment. Langford v. Norris, #09-1862, 614 F.3d 445 (8th Cir. 2010).
The mere fact that a prisoner disagreed with prison doctors regarding whether he should be provided with the medication Ritalin to treat his Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD") condition, did not amount to deliberate indifference, and it was undisputed that doctors prescribed a different medication for treatment. Brady v. Fishback, #09-15609, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 18034 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
The estate of a man who died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage while in a county jail as a pretrial detainee claimed that the sheriff failed to adequately train and supervise medical staff at the jail and maintained a policy of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. The sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity, as the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence of deliberate indifference or objective unreasonableness. "A 'pattern' of verbal nurse intimidation and harassment cannot alone place a supervisor on notice that inmates are receiving medical care so deficient as to violate the Constitution." Brown v. Callahan, #09-10843, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 21442 (5th Cir.).
An arrestee seated in the booking room of a jail was subjected to a short burst of pepper spray, and subsequently placed in the back of a patrol car for approximately an hour. He claimed that he was never allowed to decontaminate, and that his repeated complaints of breathing problems and repeated requests for medical attention after he was removed from the car were ignored. In an excessive force lawsuit, he claimed that he developed Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS) from the lengthy pepper spray exposure. A federal appeals court held that the plaintiff had adequately established that an officer was aware of his serious need for medical attention, but ignored it, which stated a claim for violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights. Nasseri v. City of Athens, #09-11473, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 7297 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
While a prisoner claimed that a prison doctor had determined that he suffered nerve damage to his wrists because of officers' delay in getting him medical attention following an incident in which overly tight restraints were placed on him, he could not establish his claim simply by his own unsupported affidavit, and without any medical records or other evidence showing this. The prisoner's appeal of summary judgment for the defendants was frivolous. Wallin v. Dycus, #09-1407, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 11263 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A jury rejected a prisoner's claim that a jail sergeant and a doctor were deliberately indifferent and ignored his need for Crohn's disease treatment and replacement eyeglasses. Upholding this result, the appeals court rejected arguments that the trial court erred in failing to provide him with an appointed lawyer for his lawsuit, since the prisoner was literate and capable of asserting his own claims. The trial judge also did not err in allowing the defense to use evidence of the plaintiff's criminal convictions for the limited purpose of challenging the truthfulness of his testimony. Romanelli v. Suliene, #08-1762, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 17016 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner failed to present sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of fact as to whether the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs based on the treatment and medications provided for his headaches. A mere difference of opinion as to the appropriate course of treatment for a medical problem cannot constitute deliberate indifference. The trial court, however, did improperly dismiss claims against one defendant who allegedly got him taken off of Valium by lying to the prisoner's medical provider about him being a benzodiazepines seeker in retaliation for the plaintiff exercising his First Amendment rights. Angelone v. Furst, #09-35437, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 15168 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
A prisoner's neck was broken after he fell from his bunk, and he stated that he was in extreme pain and had no feeling in his shoulder below his neck. A doctor, however, told him that she could find nothing wrong with his neck and discharged him. Other doctors diagnosed the broken neck six days later. The prisoner claimed that the first doctor refused to give him pain medication and that the doctor and a nurse also ignored a guard's calls made after he started to choke on his own vomit. He also claimed that the doctor said that she would find out what was causing him to vomit if he wasn't an inmate. A federal appeals court found that these allegations, if true, sufficiently stated a claim for deliberate indifference. Claims against an x-ray technician who allegedly misread the prisoner's x-ray constituted, at most negligence and medical malpractice, and were insufficient for a federal civil rights claim. Loosier v. Unknown Doctor, #09-40743, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 11040 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner's right to adequate medical treatment was not violated by the denial of the specific low-dosage maintenance treatment for his hepatitis C condition that he requested. This treatment was "unproven in long term studies," and the prisoner's treating and consulting doctors agreed that the treatment had no known benefits. The prisoner did receive other, medically accepted treatments. Wooley v. New York State Department of Correctional Services, #129, 2010 N.Y. Lexis 1347.
A prisoner suffering from chronic myelogenous leukemia failed to show that his medical treatment was inadequate, since he received extensive care, and a mere disagreement about the form of his medication did not show deliberate indifference. Also, the inmate was moved to a new cell after he complained of second hand smoke. Glazewski v. Corzine, #10-1371, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 13510 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A federal prisoner filed a Texas state law medical malpractice claim against a radiologist who interpreted the MRI of his injured right biceps muscle and the hospital where the MRI was done. The radiologist first reported that the MRI showed no demonstrable injuries, but two months later, reexamined the test results, and found a partial and almost total rupture of the biceps muscle. The trial magistrate found that the prisoner was not entitled to a court appointed expert to help prove his claim. A federal appeals court found that the prisoner failed to preserve for appeal his objection to the denial of his motion for an appointed expert, and that summary judgment was appropriate on his medical malpractice claims, which could not be established without expert testimony. Patel v. Baluyot, #09-40272, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 13442 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A federal investigation into conditions at Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois allegedly found widespread unconstitutional conditions resulting in unnecessary inmate deaths and amputations, inadequate medical care, and routine prisoner beatings. The federal government settled a lawsuit with the county in an effort to remedy these problems. The agreement calls for the hiring of 600 additional jail guards, the hiring of four new outside jail monitors, and improvements in jail medical and mental health facilities. It also provides for stepped-up inspections for contraband and more video surveillance of inmate housing. U.S.A. v. Cook County, Illinois, #10-C-2946 (U.S. Dist Ct., N.D. Ill., May 13, 2010). Click here to read the Complaint in the case. Click here to read the press release announcing the settlement agreement.
A prisoner suffered a head injury when a showerhead broke. He claimed that a maintenance worker, a nurse, and a number of supervisory personnel, violated his Eighth Amendment rights. The prisoner failed to show how the maintenance worker acted with deliberate indifference towards the risk that he might be injured by the showerhead. The nurse cleaned and dressed his wound, provided him with pain medication, and encouraged him to rest, which did not amount to deliberate indifference to his medical needs, Finally, the supervisory personnel were not shown to have been personally involved in anything that could result in their liability for the prisoner's injury. Sanaah v. Howell, #10-1000,2010 U.S. App. Lexis 13038 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A prisoner sued a private care center, its director, and its medical personnel for deliberate indifference and negligence. The federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice, as prior Fourth Circuit precedent declined to extend Bivens civil rights causes of action to private persons and entities whose only relationship to the federal government was by contract, particularly when adequate state law remedies exist for the alleged harm suffered. Despite the prisoner's argument that his claim was more a matter of violation of civil rights than of state law medical malpractice, a medical malpractice claim was an adequate state law remedy. Eddington v. Wyatt; #8:09-cv-02669, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 1950 (D.S.C.).
While detained by immigration authorities, a prisoner claimed that he "persistently" sought treatment for a bleeding, suppurating lesion. While a Public Health Service (PHS) physician's assistant and three outside specialists repeatedly advised that he urgently needed a biopsy, a PHS physician and a commissioned PHS officer allegedly denied that request. After the prisoner's release from custody, he had tests that confirmed the presence of metastatic cancer. He filed a lawsuit asserting both medical negligence claims against the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 1346, 2671-2680, and constitutional claims against the individual defendants under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Officers, #301, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The plaintiff subsequently died, and the lawsuit was continued by his estate. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 233(a), the Federal Tort Claims Act is the exclusive remedy for any claims against any PHS employees or officers for damages for personal injury, including death, arising out of the performance of medical functions while acting within the scope of employment. As a result, the constitutional claims under Bivens were barred. Hui v. Castaneda, #08-1529, 130 S. Ct. 1845 (2010).
A prisoner claimed that he was not afforded proper medical treatment after undergoing testicular surgery. A doctor and assistant, however, provided affidavits and the prisoner's medical records showing that he received treatment and care for his ongoing testicular problems. Additionally, while the prisoner argued that he should have been given crutches or a wheelchair after the surgery, the doctor stated that neither was medically required. Further, there were records showing that he did, indeed, receive crutches after a hematoma was removed, and that he received pain medication and other care after both the testicular surgery and the removal of the hematoma. There was no showing of deliberate indifference. Watts v. Herbik, #09-4144, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2707 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
While a prisoner may not have received attention for his burns as quickly as he wished, or even as promptly as would be ideal, there was no deliberate indifference in treating his injuries. Indeed, every time he sought medical attention, it was provided either immediately or within a few hours. Additionally, when the prison staff believed that an outside evaluation of his burns was needed, he was taken to a hospital. The court also held that the Bureau of Prison's Inmate Accident Compensation procedures set forth in 28 C.F.R. § 301.101 et seq. was the plaintiff's exclusive remedy against the government, so that the court lacked jurisdiction to address his Federal Tort Claims Act claim. Walker v. Reese, #08-60994, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2409 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner failed to show that prison nurses acted with deliberate indifference by allegedly denying him pain medications and anticoagulant injections, particularly as they had no authority to prescribe drugs or commence a different course of treatment. Claims against a nurse manager were also properly dismissed since she never saw the plaintiff and took no actions relating to his treatment. Thayer v. Adams, #08-20817, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2392 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner who complained of back pain was seen by prison medical staff several times, diagnosed as suffering from degenerative disc disease, and provided with a wheelchair, medications, an early meal pass and a "lay idle" pass. He also underwent surgery, which was recommended by an orthopedic specialist, but continued to have problems with incontinence and numbness in his extremities after the surgery. His lawsuit claimed that these difficulties were caused by a delay in approving the surgery. The defendant doctor, however, was shown to have responded reasonably to the inmate's back pain complaints, and could not be found to have acted with deliberate indifference. White v. Buser, #09-3322, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 6823 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
An inmate failed to show that the defendant sheriff had personally been involved in or had personal knowledge of his allegedly inadequate medical care, so he could not be held liable in his individual capacity. On claims against the sheriff in his official capacity, the prisoner did not claim that an alleged delay in providing him with medication had caused him any injury. Braga v. Hodgson, #08-2331, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 9899 (1st Cir.).
A prison commissioner could not be held liable for alleged inadequate medical care provided to a prisoner, in the absence of any showing that he was personally responsible for the policies of private medical services contractors that supposedly led to a delay in needed knee surgery. Johnson v. Stempler, #08-3434, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 6635 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner was allegedly forced to shower in a dirty shower area without proper footwear, and three days later became very sick with flu-like symptoms and a swollen leg. While a correctional officer saw this and allegedly said, "that looks really bad," the prisoner was not taken to the medical department until three days later. A federal appeals court ruled that the trial court improperly granted the defendant officer's untimely oral motion for summary judgment, after jury selection, and on the eve of trial, in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b), and denied the plaintiff inmate an adequate opportunity to respond to the motion. Drippe v. Tobelinski, #08-4616, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 9990 (3rd Cir.).
A federal prisoner was injured in an accident, slipping on a cart left in a doorway. He was referred to an orthopedic clinic outside the prison. Prior to being transported there, a prison employee allegedly required him to put on a jumpsuit, despite his protests that putting his arms through the sleeves would cause him severe pain. Two employees also allegedly forced him to wear a "black box" mechanical restraint device despite his complaints about the resulting pain. He also claimed that a doctor's direction that his left elbow be put into a posterior splint for two weeks was not followed at the prison because of limitations in staffing and facilities. He was allegedly unable to feed or bathe himself for several weeks, and prison employees failed to make alternative arrangements for him. He filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the private company that ran the prison under a contract with the federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as a number of their employees, claiming violation of his constitutional rights. Overturning dismissal of the lawsuit, a federal appeals court ruled that the company's employees acted under color of federal law for purposes of a civil rights lawsuit. Pollard v. GEO Group, Inc., #07-16112, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 11496 (9th Cir.).
Upholding a trial court's appointment of a receiver in a class action lawsuit claiming widespread deficiencies in prison medical care, in violation of the Eighth Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal appeals court ruled that the Prison Litigation Reform Act did not eliminate the trial court's jurisdiction to appoint a receiver in prison conditions litigation, and that, in this case, the trial court properly found that the appointment of such a receiver was the "least intrusive means" of remedying the problem. Plata v. Schwarzenegger, #09-15864, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 8969 (9th Cir.).
A jail received a pretrial detainee who was known to be diabetic and a schizophrenic. After his arrival, he ate little, felt ill, had high blood sugar, had rapid breathing, was unsteady on his feet, and had a fever. He was transferred to a hospital after thirteen days, and doctors there found that he had pneumonia and improperly functioning kidneys. Five days later, he died. In a lawsuit by his estate against a hospital, jail officers, licensed practical nurses, and a nurse practitioner, the defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity, as there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether they were deliberately indifferent towards the detainee's health. A reasonable jury could find that the jail officers should have realized that he needed immediate medical care, and that medical personnel gave him "blatantly inappropriate" treatment. Estate of Gee v. Johnson, #09-1895, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 3115 (Unpub. 7th Cir.),
A prisoner's purported "new" evidence concerning the alleged deliberate indifference of medical staff and prison administrators to his need for surgery for his hernia, far from bolstering his claim, indicated that he was, in fact, provided with the surgery once his hernia became difficult to reduce. There was no evidence that his condition was ignored or that doctors waited an unreasonably long time to opt to approve the surgery. Chadwick v. Walker, #09-3175, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 3111 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
A Pennsylvania prisoner serving a life sentence began a hunger strike. Prison officials sought and obtained a court order mandating that he be involuntarily examined and subjected to invasive diagnostic tests, as well as given medical treatment including nutrition and hydration to preserve his life and health. Because the correctional officials failed, however, to present evidence that the prisoner's life was in imminent danger, the court upheld the portions of the order concerning diagnostic tests and examination, but vacated portions of the order concerning forced nutrition and hydration. Hill v. Dept. of Corrections, #1331 C.D. 2009, 2010 Pa. Commw. Lexis 181.
A pretrial detainee's claims concerning his allegedly inadequate medical treatment were properly rejected when he failed to show a link between any actions of the defendants and the alleged deficiencies in his treatment, instead merely arguing that the defendants should be held liable because the defendants' jobs made them responsible for seeing that detainees have adequate medical care. Thomas v. Guffey, #09-2133, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 4401 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A New York prisoner contended that his confinement under a tuberculosis hold policy based on his refusal to submit to TB testing violated his right to religious freedom and that he was entitled to a religious exemption from the policy. The court found that it had not been clearly established that the policy was not reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest in preventing the spread of disease or that it was not the least restrictive means of furthering that interest. Defendant employees were therefore entitled to qualified immunity. The court also found no violation of the prisoner's Eighth Amendment or due process rights in placing him in TB hold confinement. Redd v. Wright, #06-4315, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 4898 (2nd Cir.).
Rejecting claims that two deputies at a county jail were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of a pregnant detainee who had used crack cocaine daily, the federal appeals court noted that the deputies knew that the detainee had been seen by a nurse at the jail who determined that her medical need was "not an emergency." The detainee later suffered a miscarriage, but the deputies were entitled to rely on the nurse's medical expertise in failing to take additional measures. The plaintiff failed to show that the deputies disregarded the risk to the health of her fetus with conduct that was more than gross negligence. Townsend v. Jefferson Cty., #08-15583, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 6500 (11th Cir.).
A trial court ruled that a reasonable jury might be able to find that a sergeant had knowingly disregarded a light duty restriction on an inmate in ordering him to unload a truck despite his possible carpal tunnel syndrome. Despite this, the defendant sergeant was entitled to summary judgment because of the lack of evidence that unloading the truck actually caused the inmate harm or future aggravation of his condition. The inmate, to prevail, needed medical evidence concerning what the impact of lifting over twenty pounds was, and his own unqualified opinion, and the mere statement that his hands were more painful after doing the lifting was insufficient. Hoeft v. Harrop, #09-3488, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 4627 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
A federal prisoner claimed that medical tests showed that his liver was being damaged by Hepatitis C, and that a prison clinical director recommended medication treatment but that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director improperly refused to approve such treatment, acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. A federal appeals court ruled that these allegations, if true, stated a claim against the Director. As to claims that the clinical director failed to take needed steps to prevent the delay and denial of treatment, the inmate was entitled to a chance to more specifically state what he was asserting the clinical director should have done. Arocho v. Nafziger, #09-1095, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 4200 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A female prisoner in California resided in a community-based correctional facility, along with her infant daughter. She filed a lawsuit against the state, the private company operating the facility, and various employees of the other defendants for physical injuries her daughter allegedly suffered and her own emotional distress from the defendants' alleged failure to provide medical treatment for the child's serious respiratory infection. The state and state employees were entitled to immunity from liability for negligence and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress concerning the prisoner under a state statute. Her daughter, however, was not a prisoner, so no such immunity was available on claims against the state and state employees concerning her injuries. The private company and its employees were not entitled to governmental immunity. Lawson v. Sup. Ct., #D055396, 2010 Cal. App. Lexis 14 (Cal. App.).
A prisoner who hurt his back while incarcerated claimed that an 18-month delay in ordering surgery constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. A federal appeals court disagreed, noting that the defendants actively pursued an "involved" course of treatment that included pain medication, various tests, and, ultimately, the provided surgery. Pursuing less invasive treatments at first, as well as trying to transfer the prisoner to a better equipped facility were not indications of deliberate indifference. Moore v. Guzman, #08-16420, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 1370 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
While taking a shower at a county detention center approximately four and a half hours after his arrest, a 16-year-old male collapsed into unconsciousness. He was immediately given medical attention, and taken to a hospital, but died ten days later from the impact of acute cocaine intoxication. Rejecting claims of deliberate indifference, the court found no evidence that either the arresting or processing officers had any reason to be aware of the decedent's need for medical attention prior to his collapse. Brown v. Middleton, #08-1937, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 931 (Unpub. 4th Cir.).
There was insufficient evidence on which to base a claim that a doctor had provided a prisoner with inadequate medical care. The doctor did see and treat the prisoner after he suffered a fall and complained about back pain. The failure, at that time, to order an MRI test did not rise to the level of deliberate indifference. While the prisoner claimed that the doctor improperly cancelled his physical therapy appointments after only one visit, records showed that it was the prisoner's own refusal to attend three other appointments that led to the therapy sessions being cancelled. As for an alleged 10-month delay in undergoing a liver biopsy, a medical assistant, who believed that the prisoner did not meet established criteria for the procedure, did not act with deliberate indifference. This action was also based, in part, by conflicting opinions from consulting physicians as to what the proper course of treatment was. The court also rejected a retaliation claim, as there was no connection shown between the prisoner filing a grievance and the delay in ordering the biopsy. Victor v. Milicevic, #08-1772, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 990 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
Further proceedings were required to determine whether a nurse acted with deliberate indifference in allegedly refusing to see the plaintiff prisoner, despite being aware of her symptoms that were consistent with serious heart problems. The trial court also erred in refusing to consider the plaintiff's offered expert witness testimony regarding the relationship between her vomiting and her heart condition. Gayton v. McCoy, #08-2187, 593 F.3d 610(7th Cir. 2010).
After a prisoner suffered from diarrhea and vomiting, correctional officers purportedly decided that she was undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal. A clinician and nurse, however, decided that she was suffering medical distress and should be transferred to the medical unit for further evaluation. She later died while on a stretcher in the medical unit's hallway. The inmate's estate could proceed with deliberate indifference claims against the clinician, as the failure to take additional steps to aid her might constitute inadequate medical care. State law medical malpractice claims, however, were properly dismissed since a state medical malpractice tribunal ruled that there was no malpractice, and the plaintiff failed to post a bond as required by Massachusetts law to challenge that finding. Brace v. Massachusetts, #08-CV-30184, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 116068 (D. Mass.).
The existence of many filed inmate grievances over allegedly inadequate medical care at a federal prison was an adequate basis for supervisory liability claims by a prisoner there against a former warden, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) director, and a regional BOP director. These grievances, assumed to be true for purposes of a motion to dismiss, could potentially show that these defendants were on notice of a rampant problem at the prison concerning prisoner medical care, yet failed to take necessary corrective action. The plaintiff prisoner, who fell and badly injured his finger while mopping a floor, claimed that he was given inadequate medical care for his injuries. Scott v. Vasquez, #CV 208-145, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 110718 (S.D. Ga.).
A prisoner adequately alleged facts from which an inference of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs would be made. He asserted that, despite his complaints of continuing severe pain to two nurses, they provided him with no examination or treatment and merely put him on the sick call list for the next day, and that one nurse forced him to crawl to a wheelchair after he screamed in pain for longer than three hours. He further claimed that after the removal of his appendix, when he started bleeding from his penis, a doctor told an assistant to place him in a room for the night, and that correctional personnel instructed him to dispose of the blood he kept gushing, in order to hide his condition. Given these assertions, the appeals court overturned the dismissal of the prisoner's lawsuit. Pearson v. Prison Health Service, #09-2766, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 22760 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner was found guilty of self-mutilation, fraud, and bribery in a disciplinary hearing, based on evidence that he and another prisoner had staged their fight. He then filed a lawsuit against a number of correctional officers, asserting that they failed to protect him from assault, provided him with inadequate medical attention for his injuries, and created an atmosphere where prisoners could be deprived of due process. Since the prisoner had staged a "phony" fight, his failure to protect claim lacked merit, and success on that claim would imply the invalidity of his disciplinary conviction, which had not been set aside. He also failed to show that he really needed any medical treatment, as he did not suffer serious injuries. His other claims were also without merit. Jackson v. Mizzel, #09-30667, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 1258 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner transported by van to a hospital for the removal of his appendix claimed that medical personnel at a correctional facility were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs the previous day, when he began to experience abdominal pain and nausea. The claim was rejected. When he first complained, he was allowed to visit the medical unit, interviewed by a nurse, and a supervising physician was consulted by phone, following which he was given over-the-counter medication. The prisoner failed to name the nurse or nurses who he claimed subjected him to mistreatment or to present evidence that they deviated from an applicable standard of care in his situation. Grassi v. Corrections Corporation of America, #09-1042, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 26563 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A prisoner failed to establish that the refusal to provide him with a hearing aid to relieve his tinnitus constituted deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. He received "numerous treatments" for ear infections in his left ear, and an audiological exam showed that his hearing was functional in both ears despite his condition of tinnitus, so that he was not eligible to receive a hearing aid. A medical practice manager could not himself diagnose the prisoner's medical needs, and fulfilled his duties, in light of the test results, by reviewing the medical records and explaining to the inmate how policies applied to him based on those records. Cooper v. Johnson, #09-40223, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 26139 (Unpub.5th Cir.).
A prisoner failed to show deliberate indifference or even negligence or malpractice by doctors in treating his "jock itch." He received treatment for his complaints, and the fact that he disagreed with the course of treatment and claimed that it was not effective did not establish a violation of his rights. Simon v. Augustine, #06-CV-6496, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 101609 (W.D.N.Y.).
A prisoner asserted that another inmate shoved him in the face during basketball games, punched him in the face, fracturing his jaw, in the dining hall, and falsely accused him of being a child molester. Rejecting his claims of failure to protect and inadequate medical care, the appeals court found that there was no evidence that corrections officers or a nurse knew of and disregarded an excessive risk to his safety. Any fear of harm from the other inmate was not strong enough to prevent the plaintiff from voluntarily playing in basketball games where the other inmate was present. As for a defendant mental health counselor, there was no evidence that the plaintiff had ever complained to him concerning any threats. As for the medical care claims, the prisoner both failed to establish deliberate indifference to a serious medical need and failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies prior to filing suit, as required by 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(a). Davis v. Williams, #09-2602, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 26637 (Unpub.3rd Cir.).
A prisoner failed to show that jailers violated his rights by not protecting him from attacks by other inmates, since they acted on his requests for cell transfers based on his fears of threats to his safety. Inadequate medical care claims were also rejected, since evidence showed that jail medical staff responded "diligently" to all of his "myriad" medical complaints. Krause v. Leonard, #09-40273, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 24387 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A pretrial detainee arrived at a county jail and died less than a week later from pneumococcal meningitis. In a federal civil rights lawsuit, his mother claimed that deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs caused his death. A verdict of $4.3 million was upheld on appeal as it applied to the county and its officers. Even after the detainee was found having convulsions on the floor of his cell, he allegedly did not receive immediate medical attention, and this was allegedly after he had been vomiting for days without medical care, and was unable to walk on his own. The court did find, however, that there was insufficient evidence to hold the county sheriff liable. The jury found that three individual correctional officers acted with deliberate disregard towards the detainee's medical needs, but no connection was shown to the sheriff's policies and practices, including his alleged understaffing of the jail. The county was still held liable, based on evidence sufficient to show that it "had a widespread policy of disregarding detainees’ medical requests." Thomas v. Cook County Sheriff's Dep't, #08-2232, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 26086 (7th Cir).
An inmate fell and was injured while trying to climb into his top bunk. He sued, blaming his injuries on a doctor, a nurse, and various prison officials for assigning him to a top bunk. The appeals court upheld a ruling that the prisoner had failed to show that he had a serious medical need for a lower bank. The doctor had found that the prisoner had no difficulty standing or walking, despite a history of injury and surgery which occurred twenty years before. Based on this, he did not meet the prison's criteria for a lower bunk assignment. The real cause of his injury was the collapse of the chair on which he was standing, resulting in an accidental fall. Summary judgment for the defendants was upheld. Robbins v. Black, #08-6207, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 24244 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
An alleged five-year delay in identifying a prisoner's cancer was not the result of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, but simply based on an incorrect diagnosis by prison medical personnel. This error was insufficient to support a constitutional claim. The court also rejected claims based on an alleged subsequent delay of several months in providing treatment, or alleged inadequate dental care. The prisoner, at most, showed negligence, not a violation of civil rights. Fenlon v. Quarterman, #08-40653, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 23614 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
After a prisoner injured his left knee when he fell while getting out of a shower, he was offered crutches and ibuprofen by a doctor, but refused them. After a follow-up appointment, the doctor ordered x-rays and a knee brace. He suffered additional knee injuries, and was prescribed crutches, as well as being told that surgery would not solve his knee problems. The prisoner failed to show inadequate medical care, since he saw medical personnel when he requested, and was provided with treatment for his knee problems. Additionally, his lawsuit named as defendants a medical director and a number of prison officials who had nothing to do personally with his medical treatment. Fails v. DeShields, #09-10404, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 23277 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
After a detainee testified against a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT), a white prison gang, he was allegedly attacked by another ABT member when he was placed in the general jail population as a pretrial detainee. After the attack, he was put into administrative segregation for his safety. In his lawsuit against jail officials over the attack, the detainee failed to show that the defendants knew of a substantial risk that he would be attacked by ABT members, so he could not show that they acted with deliberate indifference to his safety. He did, however, state a valid claim for deliberate indifference to his medical needs after the attack, asserting that the defendants knew he suffered from persistent pain, but delayed getting him under a doctor's care for a significant period of time. His placement in administrative segregation was not a violation of his rights, but done for his safety, and his placement in solitary confinement did not violate his due process rights. Perez v. Anderson, #08-10952, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 23818 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
An African-American motorist stopped for DUI was taken to a city jail based on a claim that there was a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest. He claimed that, at the jail, officers physically attacked him, causing him a spinal cord injury, and then dragged him into a cell where he was left until a civilian jail employee complained about his condition. A federal appeals court upheld the denial of summary judgment to the defendant officers on claims of race discrimination, excessive force, and delayed medical treatment, finding that a reasonable jury could conclude that the reason for the excessive use of force and delayed medical treatment was race. Harris v. City of Circleville, #08-3252, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 21641 (6th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that he suffered injury from excessive exposure to second hand tobacco smoke, including nausea, chest pains, difficulty breathing, headaches, vomiting, and inability to eat, as well as a mild stroke or heart attack, blurred vision in his left eye, impaired ability to walk, numbness of his left side, and extreme back pain. He claimed to have been housed with prisoners who smoked in his cell, and that 35 inmates who smoked were housed in the area of his cell. He further asserted that existing no smoking rules were not enforced. The trial court found a genuine issue of fact as to whether the warden and an assistant supervisor responded in an adequate way to the plaintiff's verbal and written pleas that they enforce existing smoking prohibitions. These defendants' motions for summary judgment were denied on claims related to smoking, but granted on claims concerning alleged inadequate medical care, since the prisoner could not show that they were personally involved in any decisions concerning his medical care. Adams v. Banks, #5:08cv154, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 90189 (S.D. Miss.).
Prison medical personnel did not act with deliberate indifference in delaying ordering Amitriptyline pain medication until first verifying his condition of peripheral neuropathy in his lower extremities and the prescription with his neurologist. There was also no evidence that doctors were aware of any harm caused by a delay in an eye appointment. A prison grievance officer was entitled to rely on the opinions of medical personnel in responding to the prisoner's grievance regarding his medical treatment. Williams v. Guzman, #08-2167, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 21913 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
Evidence presented could support the finding that a supervisor learned that a detainee, who subsequently suffered a fatal heart attack, was complaining of chest pains. While it may have initially been reasonable to discount this, given a jail employee's statement that the detainee's pain was on the wrong side of his chest for a heart attack, it soon became obvious that the detainee needed immediate medical attention. The supervisor received notification that he was pale, clutching his chest, and that other prisoners were saying that he was having a heart attack. The supervisor, in moving him to an observation cell, took a proper first step, but then allegedly failed to try to communicate with him after the move, merely looking at him from time to time through her window to see if he was still alive. She was not entitled to qualified immunity in a lawsuit claiming deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Weatherford v. Taylor, #09-7018, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 21812 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A prisoner who suffered from an enlarged prostate condition and chronic blood clotting in his leg failed to show that a prison doctor acted with deliberate indifference. The doctor prescribed medication and monitoring, ordered a consultation with a urologist, ordered a biopsy, and ultimately had him taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with renal failure and sepsis. Ultimately, he underwent prostate reduction surgery. The evidence showed an exercise of medical judgment in treating and monitoring the prisoner. Any evidence showing a difference in medical opinion from another doctor or potential errors in medical judgment might indicate, at worst, gross negligence, which was insufficient for a constitutional claim of deliberate indifference. Fischer v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, #08-16134, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 21079 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
A detainee's temporary segregation in a medical unit was intended as part of the treatment of his eye infection, and to prevent the spreading of the infection, rather than as punishment. There was no evidence of any link between the prisoner filing grievances about the purported delay in treatment for his eye infection and any alleged adverse action taken against him by correctional employees, such as use of abusive language, threats, or physical abuse. Bendy v. Ocean County Jail, #07-1421, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 16259 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
In an inmate's lawsuit over alleged inadequate medical treatment for his chronic ear problems, the court found that earplugs were prescribed by a doctor, and that there was no evidence that the confiscation of the earplugs was carried out for any legitimate medical or security reasons. The inmate suffered adverse consequences as a result. Claims as to the first confiscation of the earplugs were dismissed because of his failure to file a grievance concerning it, but the plaintiff could go forward with his claims concerning a subsequent confiscation, Jackson v. Carroll, #03-1031, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 68390 (D. Del.).
An inmate suffering from hepatitis claimed that he did not receive a needed liver biopsy or treatment for hepatitis C with either interferon or ribavirin. The court found that no medical providers believed that either a liver biopsy or treatment with interferon or ribavirin was necessary, that the inmate's liver function was within normal limits, and that summary judgment should be awarded to the defendants. Palmer v. Carroll, #06-576, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 69292 (D. Del.).
A Wisconsin prisoner who began spitting up blood and experiencing abdominal pain claimed that he suffered severe pain from an improperly inserted IV line and the failure of ambulance personnel and hospital personnel to adequately respond to his complaints. A federal appeals court noted that federal civil rights liability may be imposed on private parties when they contract with government to provide medical services to inmates. The court ordered that discovery be conducted to discover the names of the personnel the inmate claimed acted with deliberate indifference towards his serious medical needs. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Service, #06-4260, 577 F.3d 816 (7th Cir. 2009).
A prisoner who suffered from a blood clot in his left eye failed to assert a viable disability discrimination claim since the record showed that he was provided with meaningful access to prison programs and facilities. The prisoner also failed to show that the manager of a prison housing unit acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Indeed, there was no admissible evidence even showing that the defendant was aware of his blood clot. Mason v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., #.07-2814, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 6068 (8th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed to have suffered injuries from falling on a broken grate cover while working in a prison kitchen. He claimed that prison officials wrongfully refused to fix the grate cover, refused to bring his meals to his cells to accommodate him after he was injured, and interfered with his right of access to the courts when they refused to prepare a written report concerning the incident. He also claimed that his medication was improperly delayed. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants, finding that the claim about the grate was a claim for negligence that could not support a federal civil rights claim, that the refusal to bring the prisoner's meals to his cell was consistent with his doctor's recommendations, that he failed to show how the absence of a written incident report prevented him from litigating over what happened, and that any claim concerning his medical treated merely showed disagreement over the proper course of treatment to be followed, rather than showing deliberate indifference. Gause v. Diguglielmo, #09-1454, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 15743 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
The "continuing violation" doctrine applies to Eighth Amendment claims of medical indifference brought under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 when a prisoner shows an ongoing policy of deliberate indifference to his or her serious medical needs and "some acts in furtherance of the policy within the relevant statute of limitations period." Further proceedings were required to consider whether that doctrine also applied to the prisoner's federal disability discrimination claims. The case involves a prisoner suffering from right arm paralysis and limited use of his left arm. He claimed that, despite recommendations from a number of doctors, he was not provided with assistance with "activities of daily living, transferred to specialized infirmary housing, or provided with needed treatments." Shomo v. City of New York, #07-1208, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 18001 (2nd Cir.).
While a prisoner claimed that the defendant officers denied him medical treatment while he was in segregation, there was no evidence showing that the officers were even assigned to the segregation unit during the time period in question, so that they were entitled to summary judgment. Further, a jury verdict in favor of the officers on an excessive force claim meant that there had been no attack on him, so that there could not have been a denial of medical care on the basis that the prisoner claimed. Teague v. Mayo, #07-1155, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 1544 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that he had been subjected to deliberate indifference because he did not receive surgical treatment for a knee injury; there was no evidence that any medical personnel recommended surgery, and the prisoner did receive treatment, including physical therapy and a knee brace. The treatment provided was "frequent," and included an MRI, and an assessment of his problems by a team of doctors, including an orthopedic specialist. There was no proof of deliberate indifference. Serrano v. Folino, #08-2107, U.S. App. Lexis 16655 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Because of disputed facts concerning whether a lieutenant provided the plaintiff inmate with prescribed pain medication, the prisoner could proceed with his civil rights claim against him. He could also proceed on his claims against a prison nurse, based on his allegation that his daily requests for medical attention for pain and swelling in his foot went unheeded. Chapman v. Johnson, #08-60475, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 17427 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner failed to show that charging him $10 for medical services and medications constituted cruel and unusual punishment, since he did not alleged that he was denied medical treatment because of lack of ability to pay. The prison's policies did not limit the providing of such services to those able to pay. Cannon v. Mason, #08-7117, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 17655 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A prisoner failed to show that charging him $10 for medical services and medications constituted cruel and unusual punishment, since he did not alleged that he was denied medical treatment because of lack of ability to pay. The prison's policies did not limit the providing of such services to those able to pay. Cannon v. Mason, #08-7117, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 17655 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
When an inmate failed to inform prison employees that his cellmate had allegedly made threats against him, they could not be held liable for failure to prevent the ensuing attack. The prisoner also failed to show deliberate indifference to his resulting injuries, when he was provided with cool compresses and pain medication, as well as seen by a nurses three hours after the assault, and by a doctor who provided additional treatment the following morning. Whaley v. Erickson, #08-1628, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 16589 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
A federal appeals court upheld a jury's verdict for defendant prison physicians and a prison health provider on Eighth Amendment claims arising from a prisoner's treatment for the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), but ordered clarification on why the trial court had dismissed the prisoner's state medical negligence claim, which required a lower standard of proof than his federal constitutional claim. Doe v. N.J. Dept. of Corrections, #07-3189, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 15130 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner contended that prison doctors misdiagnosed a thyroid mass and improperly provided overly-invasive treatment (surgery) for what turned out to be a non-malignant, benign cyst. The doctors were properly granted summary judgment on an Eighth Amendment claim, as they were not shown to have acted with a "culpable state of mind" amounting to deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs,. even if the misdiagnosis was allegedly medical malpractice. Parker v. Gosmanova, #08-6273, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 14870 (10th Cir.).
After a prisoner died of cryptococcal meningitis, an autopsy showed that he suffered from an undiagnosed case of HIV/AIDS that rendered him susceptible to the disease that killed him. Summary judgment was upheld for defendant state correctional officials who were not shown to have had any reason to know or believe that the prison medical staff was not adequately treating the prisoner. Discovery in the case was properly limited to non-privileged documents concerning the allocation of resources, medical costs, and documents mentioning the deceased prisoner. The plaintiff's request for 26,000 documents that the Delaware Department of Corrections had furnished to the U.S. Department of Justice during a federal investigation of state prison conditions was overbroad. Estate of Chance v. First Correctional Medical, Inc., #08-4220, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 13417 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
While the plaintiff prisoner established that he objectively had serious medical needs, he failed to show that the defendants acted subjectively with deliberate indifference when they purportedly delayed in diagnosing and treating his injured knee, treated him as mentally unstable, and failed to provide proper medication for high blood pressure. He failed to show more than mere negligence, which is inadequate to establish federal civil rights violations. Barnes v. Martin County Sheriff's Dept., #08-10785, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 12042 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
A prisoner's testimony appeared to indicate that his allegations that prison personnel deliberately denied treatment for his back condition actually amounted to a mere disagreement over the proper treatment under the circumstances. Rather than being deliberately indifferent towards the prisoner's pain, the defendants, at worst, were rude and "overly suspicious" as to whether the prisoner was overstating the pain he felt and engaging in drug-seeking behavior. If so, this did not rise to the level of a violation of constitutional rights. There was treatment provided, and there was a medical basis for its direction. Spruill v. Gillis, #07-3286, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 12941 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner who suffered from hepatitis, herpes virus, and genital warts failed to show that prison non-medical personnel, such as a warden and members of a prison board had any actual knowledge or even a reason to believe that he was being mistreated. The prisoner also failed to show that three named doctors were personally involved in the mistreatment he claimed occurred. Additionally, claims based on incidents occurring longer than two years before were time barred, and the prisoner was not entitled to the extension of the applicable statute of limitations either on the basis that he was incarcerated, or that certain personnel supposedly refused to give their names. Despite this, the prisoner knew of the alleged misconduct at the time he said it occurred, and could have sued at the time. Smith v. Lycoming County, #07-3634, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 12972 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner merely disagreed with prison personnel concerning the proper course of treatment for a back injury he suffered when a prison table collapsed, and did not show that anyone acted with deliberate indifference towards his serious medical needs. Non-medical personnel, the court also noted, could not be held liable simply on the basis of their role as supervisors. Claims of negligence the prisoner asserted against prison maintenance supervisors were not sufficient to constitute a violation of constitutional rights. Innis v. Wilson, #08-4909, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 12424 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
While a prisoner claimed that he was provided with inadequate treatment for his diagnosed chronic pain syndrome, correctional officials stated that he misrepresented that he was HIV positive and had an ulcer. His medical records also showed drug-seeking behavior and indicated that he had received medical treatment, including referral to specialists and medication, and that the prisoner himself requested being put on full activity status. Evidence contained in a videotape showed that he was "embellishing" his pain and malingering. Additionally, considering that tests showed that the prisoner was not HIV-positive, no jury could reasonably find that doctors acted with deliberate indifference in canceling HIV-related medications and accommodations. Fitzgerald v. Greer, #08-2627, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 9904 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
In a federal prisoner's medical malpractice lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, a doctor's letter submitted did not meet the court's order that the prisoner submit a certificate of medical merit to comply with Pennsylvania law. The doctor's letter concerning the prisoner's heart condition did not state that the treatment provided fell outside the scope of acceptable professional standards and caused harm, and only stated that the case merited taking a "closer" look. The lawsuit was dismissed. Booker v. U.S.A., #1:CV-07-1960, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 27152 (M.D. Pa.).
Overturning summary judgment for federal prison officials in a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, a federal appeals court noted that a severe asthma attack can be life-threatening like a heart attack, so that further proceedings were required on the prisoner's claim that officials were negligent when he had an asthma attack. There were genuine issues of fact as to whether the asthma attack was severe enough to show physical injuries as required by 28 U.S.C.S. § 1346(b)(2) and 42 U.S.C.S. § 1997e(e) for recovery for negligently caused emotional injuries. Perez v. U.S.A., #08-2807, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 11071 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Proof that an inmate had a "raspy" voice was insufficient to show that he had a disability for purposes of a disability discrimination claim. While his "raspy" voice could impact the volume of his speech, there was no indication that he was unable to articulate his words, to communicate with others, or to make himself understood. The court also rejected his claim that prison employees were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. The defendants attempted to accommodate his need to avoid environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and the prisoner failed to show any intentional refusal to address the issue. Pritchett v. Ellers, #08-1669, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 9381 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
While the alleged denial of medical treatment for gas did not involve a serious medical condition, a prisoner's argument that lack of treatment for dry skin and eczema resulted in skin that cracked and bled did show possible deliberate indifference to a serious problem. The trial court improperly analyzed a claim concerning the unauthorized charging of co-payments for medications under the Eighth Amendment instead of the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause, requiring further proceedings. McKeithan v. Beard, #08-1746, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 7308 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A prisoner's allegation that correctional officials knowingly refused to provide treatment or to investigate his request for treatment, specifically ophthalmic evaluation and cataract surgery, failed to establish a claim for disability discrimination. His argument that an allegedly resulting disability was the loss of vision in his right eye did not show that the defendants denied him care on the basis of a disability. The prisoner also failed to show that the defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, or that they acted merely in order to save the cost of treatment, as opposed to acting on a medical finding concerning the stability of his eye condition. Stevenson v. Pramstaller, #07-cv-14040, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 25495 (E.D. Mich.).
Prisoner's complaint concerning the confiscation of his electric razor failed to establish a violation of due process, his right to privacy, the Fourth Amendment, or deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. He failed to allege any facts about the supposed seriousness of his skin condition or why an electric razor was medically needed in light of that condition. There were adequate post-deprivation remedies for the loss of property under prison grievance and internal review procedures. Barr v. Knauer, #08-3660, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 7766 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Prisoner's claim that he was, at one time, left sitting in his own waste, while "offensive," did not, by itself, show deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Additionally, although a sergeant did not observe any visible injury on the prisoner, he still honored the prisoner's request to call the infirmary, which told the sergeant that the prisoner should submit a sick call slip in order to be seen. The prisoner failed to show that he suffered from a serious medical condition at the time. Clark v. Md. Dept. of Public Safety and Correctional Services, #08-7918, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 5224 (Unpub. 4th Cir.).
Board of county commissioners was not liable for the death of a prisoner from a heart attack after his complaints of left arm numbness and chest pains were regarded as false and his request for medical attention was allegedly ignored. Neither the board nor any of the individual commissioners were personally involved in this treatment of the prisoner, and there was no evidence that they had any responsibility for hiring or supervising jail employees or running the jail. Federal claims against the sheriff could proceed. Estate of Weatherford v. Muskogee County, #CIV-08-088, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 9886 (E.D. Ok.).
Prisoner, in making a "bare allegation" that a medical services company's custom or policy resulted in progressive detachment of his retina, degeneration, and irreparable damage to his vision, failed to properly establish a federal civil rights claim against the company. There was also no showing that a defendant correctional official had been aware that the prisoner had a serious medical need. The prisoner had a right, however, to file an amended complaint naming other defendants, and could do so without the court's permission so long as the complaint had not yet been answered. Broyles v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., #08-1638, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 5494 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
Prison medical personnel did not act with deliberate indifference to an inmate's back injury. They saw him immediately after his fall, and saw him subsequently when he complained of continuing pain, providing medication. Their failure to see him later, during the next six months, was due to the inmate's own failure to attend required sick calls, which was also the basis for the denial of his request for a new mattress, which only a doctor at sick call could order. Lowe v. Kaplan, No. 08-1622, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2672 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
Any delay in treatment of a sty under a prisoner's left eye did not rise to the level of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. There was no evidence that medical personnel knew that the inmate's condition posed a substantial risk to his health. The prisoner claimed that the delay caused the sty to grow, blurring his vision, and requiring multiple surgeries. Slater v. Greenwood, No. 08-3042, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2223 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
The failure on a non-medical staff member to take action concerning a prisoner's pre-existing eye condition (a pinhole in the retina of his left eye) did not amount to deliberate indifference but the plaintiff prisoner was entitled to carry out further discovery concerning whether the head of the prison medical unit had knowledge of his complaints but failed to take necessary action. Burks v. Raemish, No. 07-3041, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2640 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
Prison nurse was not entitled to qualified immunity in prisoner's lawsuit alleging deliberate indifference to his suffering from heat exhaustion. After she told him to drink fluids, lie down, and rest, his condition allegedly became worse, and he became quadriplegic. If the facts were as the prisoner claimed, including that the nurse delayed examining the prisoner for hours after being informed of his condition, it could be concluded that she knew that serious health risks accompanied excessive heat, dehydration, and heat stroke, but acted with deliberate indifference. Dominguez v. Correctional Med. Servs., No. 08-1212, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2895 (6th Cir.).
Inmate failed to establish a claim for inadequate medical treatment, as he was examined by a number of mental health providers while incarcerated, as well as being provided with treatment for a number of physical ailments. His medical needs were not "serious," he suffered no long-term effects from any delay in treatment, and he never complained about his treatment while at the prison. Tsakonas v. Cicchi, No. 07-4115, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 1856 (3rd Cir.).
A prisoner with diabetic osteomyelitis could proceed with his claim that a physician's assistant had violated his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to take appropriate action in response to obvious signs of infection in his right foot that was methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, requiring surgery. The defendant allegedly merely told him to soak his foot. Recovery of punitive damages, however, was barred under the Prison Litigation Reform Act pursuant to 18 U.S.C.S. § 3626(a)(1)(A), (g)(7). Mitchell v. McDonell, Case No. 3:06-180, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 106148 (W.D. Pa.).
Prisoner with cystic fibrosis was entitled to injunctive relief requiring him to be fully evaluated at a medical center accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He claimed that prison officials and employees acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by confiscating a "flutter valve" device which he needed to use every day to clear his airways (contending that it could be used as a weapon), and that a doctor improperly substituted generic enzymes for brand-name pancreatic enzymes. The prisoner presented a doctor's testimony that his current treatment departed from acceptable medical practices. Farnam v. Walker, No.08-CV-3001, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2781 (C.D. Ill.).
While the prisoner believed that a different course of treatment would have been preferable for his foot injuries and for the urinary problems he developed after surgery on his foot, he failed to present evidence that the defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, and the medical records presented refuted any such claim. Latham v. U.S., No. 07-4135, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 836 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Even though the treatment provided to a female inmate concluded with her death, there was no indication of deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs. She was seen in the infirmary numerous times, provided with various prescription medications, and examined by medical professionals, as well as being given a special diet, being excused from working, and told to stay in bed. While it may have constituted poor medical judgment not to have conducted additional medical tests on her, there was no evidence that there was a known excessive risk to her health that was ignored. Bennett v. State of Louisiana, No. 07-31189, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 853 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
The possibility of claims for medical negligence under 42 U.S.C. Sec 233(a) of the Federal Tort Claims Act does not bar the pursuing of federal civil rights claims for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners, so that such a claim against employees and officers of the Public Health Service arising out of the death of a prisoner from allegedly repeatedly untreated penile cancer should not be dismissed. Castaneda v. Henneford, No. 08-55684, 546 F.3d 682 (9th. Cir. 2008).
No evidence showed that deputies at a county courthouse knew that a detainee had a heart condition or faced a substantial risk of having a heart attack, so they were not liable under the Eighth Amendment for allegedly depriving him of his heart medication. The fact that they took nitroglycerin tablets from him when he was detained did not show that they had knowledge of his condition, since there was no evidence that they read the medicine label at that time. Shenk v. Cattaraugus County, No. 07-4814, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 167 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
Prisoner could pursue a claim for inadequate medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment as a habeas corpus claim that she was in custody in violation of the U.S. Constitution, and was not limited to filing her claim as a federal civil rights lawsuit. Ilina v. Zickefoose, Civil No. 3:07cv1490, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 105357 (D. Conn.).
Further proceedings were ordered on a prisoner's claim that a county jail's policy denying the use of crutches in certain areas of the jail violated his rights after he was transferred to the facility with a broken ankle. The trial judge properly found that the plaintiff would not be a proper representative of other injured inmates for purposes of a class action, since he was no longer confined at the jail, and it was speculative to think that he would both be returned to the jail and again be in need of the use of crutches at that time. Arreola v. Godinez, No. 07-1700, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 21502 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner's appeal of summary judgment against his claims for inadequate medical treatment was rejected when he failed to object to a magistrate's recommendations and findings. This amounted to waiving his right to appeal either factual or legal rulings of the trial court. Duffield v. Jackson, No. 08-6002, 545 F.3d 1234 (10th Cir. 2008).
A Texas prisoner claimed that he had pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), a medical condition on the basis of which he was issued a clipper shave pass (CSP) which constituted permission not to shave and to maintain a 1/4" beard. He further claimed that prison employees improperly threatened him with disciplinary action for failing to shave, imposed discipline on him on that basis, and declined to renew his CSP in retaliation for his complaints. These claims were all rejected, as the record indicated that the discipline was imposed for failing to maintain a 1/4" beard, not for failure to be clean-shaven. He also failed to show that his medical condition was serious and posed a risk of substantial harm, or that he was subjected to retaliation. James v. Ramirez, No. 07-50674, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 83 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prison official could not be found to have acted with deliberate indifference to a prisoner's medical needs concerning a stair restriction when his actions were completely in compliance with the medical restriction imposed. If the prisoner was not satisfied with the restriction imposed, he should have asked medical personnel to restate it in a manner that would make it clear that he should not be made to climb the stairs to a dining hall on the second floor. Worrell v. Bruce, No. 08-3049, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 22202 (10th Cir.).
A prisoner who alleged that prison medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference to his hip and lower back pain and to an ear problem failed to timely object to a magistrate judge's report recommending the rejection of his claims, properly resulting in the dismissal of some claims and summary judgment for the defendants on others. Duffield v. Jackson, No. 08-6002, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 23553 (10th Cir.).
An undisputed affidavit by the medical director of the facility at which the plaintiff inmate was confined indicated that his medical treatment had met acceptable standards, despite his argument that employees ignored him when he complained of chest pain. The prisoner failed to submit an affidavit of his own or any response to the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Price v. Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction, Case No. 2007-06543, 2008 Ohio Misc. Lexis 248 (Oh. Ct. of Claims).
Prisoner's allegation that guards, for two weeks, without any explanation, rejected his requests for "basic" cleaning supplies, despite cell conditions that included human waste, filth, and a heavy infestation of roaches, stated a viable Eighth Amendment claim, as did his contention that he was not provided with more than a thin blanket when his unheated cell was exposed to "frigid" air in November. A claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, however, was not viable, since the symptoms he described amounted to a "common cold," which did not indicate a serious medical need. Wheeler v. Walker, No. 08-1898, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 25434 (Unpub. 7th Cir.),
Inmate on dialysis could pursue claim for deliberate indifference against prison dialysis provider, based on two incidents in which he was told that a gauge on the dialysis machine was not working properly and had not been fixed, resulting in him becoming ill after his treatments. Four correctional administrators named as defendants, however, were not shown to have been personally involved in these incidents, and could not be held liable purely on the basis of vicarious liability. Adkins v. Walker, No. 08 C 0815, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 85087 (N.D. Ill.).
County jail personnel did promptly consider an inmate's request for medical treatment for a mental health problem, but delayed in providing it, since it did not constitute an emergency. No evidence was presented, however, to indicate that the defendants acted with deliberate indifference, or that the treatment provided was inadequate, despite a delay in providing a mental health related medication. Swift v. Tweddell, 05-CV-6233L, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 82986 (W.D.N.Y.).
Evidence showed that the treatment that a prisoner received for his hereditary skin condition and a staph infection, contrary to his complaints, were adequate and were not grossly incompetent. The fact that the prisoner, himself, would have preferred a different course of treatment did not alter the result. Sheffield v. Edwards, Civil Action No. 9:07-3550, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 78645 (D.S.C.).
State prison officials sued in their individual capacities were entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. The prisoner also failed to show that three defendants did anything other than deny a grievance, which did not suffice to show personal participation in the alleged violation of his rights. Supervisory officials could not be held liable for problems with the inmate's medical treatment solely on the basis of knowledge of his medical grievances and history. Preble v. Milyard, Civil Action No. 07-cv-01361, 2008 U.S. District Lexis 81316 (D. Colo.).
A federal prisoner's claim, arising from his alleged exposure to tuberculosis following the failure to follow Bureau of Prisons policies, accrued, for purposes of the statute of limitations, at least by September 23, 2002, when he was first informed of his exposure. When he first filed his lawsuit, only 14 days remained on the two-year statute of limitations under Texas law. After the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies, as required, the statute of limitations was tolled (extended) while the prisoner pursued such remedies. His refiling of the lawsuit was time barred, however, when he failed to re-file it until five months had elapsed after he finished exhausting available administrative remedies. Starks v. Hollier, No. 07-41085, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 21111 (5th Cir.).
A detainee diagnosed after being released from jail as having suffered a stroke failed to show that jail personnel had acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. He himself did not dispute that his symptoms appeared to be consistent with mere intoxication. Under these circumstances, jail personnel were not shown to have known that he was in need of serious medical care. Further, he failed to show that any alleged denial of care was caused by a county policy. Hines v. Henson, No. 07-40987, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19430 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
Prisoner allegedly denied non-mandatory medicine for arthritis during a jail lockdown failed to show that individual defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, so that individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. Claims against state agencies were barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity. Mayes v. Issac, No. 07-51013, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 20555 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
Trial judge properly denied a motion to dismiss by officers and employees of the Public Health Service in a civil rights lawsuit for alleged repeated failures to treat a prisoner's penile cancer, which was claimed to have caused his death. The Federal Tort Claims Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 233(a) does not substitute for federal civil rights claims, and, accordingly, the court rejected the argument that the defendants were entitled to absolute immunity on the claims asserted. Castaneda v. Henneford, No. 08-55684, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 20812 (9th Cir.).
The alleged failure of a nurse to file an appeal on a prisoner's behalf after he was denied knee surgery did not amount to deliberate indifference. It was, at most, negligence, when the prisoner failed to show that she knew of and disregarded a serious threat to his safety or health. Further, her purported statement that the paperwork concerning this just "slipped" through the cracks, even if true, only showed negligence at most. The court found that the nurse was entitled to qualified immunity on a Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claim, in the absence of any evidence that other similarly situated persons were treated in a different manner. Sparks v. Rittenhouse, No. 07-1180, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19947 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
The chief physician and chief medical officer at a prisoner were not shown to have acted with deliberate indifference to a prisoner's leg pain. The prisoner was seen and treated numerous times, and the defendants did refer him to a specialist and place his name on a referral list to be sent to a clinic. Even if it was true that the prisoner was not seen by the specialist over a course of several years, the defendants were not responsible for the delay, and had not hindered the prisoner from seeing the specialist, according to a magistrate's findings. Johnson v. Cox, No. CIV S-06-2856, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 70321 (E.D. Cal.).
While a prisoner had received a recommendation for consideration for a low-altitude housing assignment, his doctor had not indicated in any way that such an assignment was medically necessary. Further, there was no showing of deliberate indifference to his complaints about exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, since the defendants did investigate his complaints and try to provide an accommodation. The court found, however, that these same allegations may have been enough for negligence claims against the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act, but that further proceedings were required to determine whether negligence was shown by the facts. The prisoner's claims concerning the denial of exercise was rejected, since he refused opportunities to exercise that he was offered. Ajaj v. U.S.A., No. 07-1073, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19786 (10th Cir.).
Prisoner failed to show that he provided a doctor with notice that he was complaining of a broken toe with his sick call requests or grievances as of April of 2005, and first complained of a broken toe during a June 23, 2005 examination. At the time of the examination, further, the doctor saw no swelling, deformity, redness, warmth, or tenderness and there appeared to be a full range of motion, no mass felt, and no pain. Additionally, even with this lack of symptoms, he ordered an x-ray of the toe, and therefore did not act with deliberate indifference. Claims against a correctional officer for allegedly failing to provide adequately wide boots showed, at most, negligence in measuring the prisoner's feet, rather than deliberate indifference. Roberson v. Patel, No. 07-11264, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19250 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
Prisoner classified by Social Security as suffering from mental disorders failed to show that alleged delays in medical care for a leg injury was disability discrimination by correctional authorities. The Texas correctional authority was not responsible for his medical care, as independent contractors provided it. The prisoner also failed to show that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice failed to adequately maintain a basketball court where he may have suffered his leg injury, for the purpose of discriminating against disabled inmates, or that he was retaliated against by forcing him to use traffic paths that were difficult to use with crutches. Norman v. Tex. Dept. of Criminal Justice, No. 07-41090, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19914 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner suffering from asthma complained, at a jail, about difficulty with breathing, and asked to be sent to a hospital. He was examined by nurses, and by the time his request for hospitalization was granted, he had suffered a severe asthma attack and died. Correctional officers were entitled to qualified immunity in a lawsuit contending that they violated his Eighth Amendment rights since they reasonably relied on the nurse's medical treatment of the prisoner, once they obtained such treatment for him. The qualified immunity defense, however, did not apply to nurses employed by a private medical provider. Harrison v. Ash, No. 07-2077, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18503 (6th Cir.).
Sheriff, through his employees at a correctional center, did not act with deliberate indifference in abruptly discontinuing a detainee's pain medication and allegedly failing to properly treat her withdrawal, causing her to attempt suicide. The detainee did not show any signs of her difficulties, and she never told jail employees that she was suffering from withdrawal or report the use of medications linked to complications such as seizures or psychosis. Corley v. Prator, No. 07-31002, 2008 U.S. 18498 (5th Cir.).
A doctor's failure to indicate on a consultation form that an examined prisoner should receive a neurological consultation was, at most, negligence, and was insufficient to support a claim for constitutionally inadequate medical treatment. Another doctor's denial, repeatedly, of an orthopedic consultation and the "minimal" treatment of the problem provided by prison medical staff members could be viewed as "so cursory" as to amount to no treatment at all, and could be the basis of a constitutional claim. Parzyck v. Prison Health Services, Inc., No. 07-14715, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18051 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
Prisoner who claimed that he was denied proper medical care of stomach, back, and mental health problems was, in fact, seen by a physician, a mental health doctor, and nurses, and provided with both medication and treatment. Further, he failed to show that he suffered from serious medical needs that required prompt attention, or that he had let particular correctional personnel know about alleged serious medical needs. The prisoner was, however, given time to file a supplement to his complaint in an effort to attempt to state a constitutional claim. Dougherty v. Kansas, No. 08-3066, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 60381 (D. Kan.).
The prisoner only showed that he disagreed with the medical decision by doctors that he should not be provided with anti-viral therapy for his Hepatitis C, which was insufficient to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. One doctor's affidavit indicated that, because the prisoner had three prior episodes of inflicting injury on himself while on interferon, which could be interpreted as suicide attempts, that the prisoner was ineligible for antiviral treatment. The prisoner also failed to show that he suffered liver damage from alleged exposure to "toxic" paint. Edmonds v. Rees, No. 3:06-CV-P301, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 61839 (W.D. Ky.).
A prisoner's records did not show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs when a doctor "aggressively" treated him and made repeated requests for appropriate neurological tests. The physician who allegedly decided to postpone a follow-up based his decision on a favorable medical report, and approved the follow-up exam when new medical findings were reported. The delay was, at most, negligence, and could not support a constitutional claim. Mabry v. Antonini, No. 07-2122, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 17278 (6th Cir.).
A prisoner who was denied refills of his prescription medication presented a triable issue of whether there was deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Padilla v. Crawford, No. 06-16017, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16714 (9th Cir.).
A recovering alcoholic who also suffers from epilepsy was arrested on a probation violation and taken to a county jail on a Sunday morning. She had a seizure that afternoon, falling from the top bunk of a bed in her cell, and suffered significant injuries to her right hip and right clavicle. In a federal civil rights lawsuit, a jury found that none of the jail officials were deliberately indifferent to the detainee's serious medical needs, but also found that a county policy regarding weekend medical care constituted deliberate indifference and caused her injuries, awarding her $214,000 in damages. On the Sunday in question, neither of two nurses assigned to the jail was on the premises, and a form requesting medication for the detainee was merely placed in an inbox for the nurses. A federal appeals court has upheld the jury's award, and the denial by the trial court of motions to set it aside. Ford v. County of Grand Traverse, No. 07-1062, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16487 (6th Cir.).
Inmate who claimed that treatment provided by a prison doctor for his injured ankle was inadequate was not entitled to a new trial after the jury returned a verdict for the doctor. A jury member's prior experience with an ankle injury did not result in improper prejudice to the inmate's case, based on the trial judge's post-verdict questioning of that juror. Arreola v. Choudry, No. 07-2696, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 14895 (7th Cir.).
Inmate failed to show that two prison doctors acted with deliberate indifference in failing to diagnose his bladder cancer during sixteen months of treatment for gross hematuria. The plaintiff failed to present any evidence that either of the doctors knew of and disregarded a risk of cancer, even if they were aware that it was a possibility based on the plaintiff passing blood in his urine. Duckworth v. Ahmad, No. 07-3618, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 14893 (7th Cir.).
A doctor who discontinued specific medications after an inmate complained about what he believed were the medications' side effects did not act with deliberate indifference to the inmate's serious medical needs. When the drugs were no longer administered, the side effects stopped, and the prisoner's mere "speculation" that the side effects may have been caused by something other than the drugs could not be used to show such deliberate indifference. Mayes v. Talbot, No. 08-1059, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16083 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
Prisoner who claimed that a physician's assistant refused to provide him with prescribed antibiotics after colorectal surgery was sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to find that there was deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Summary judgment for prison medical personnel was vacated, with the case remanded for trial. Gil v. Reed, No. 06-1414, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15827 (7th Cir.).
Prisoner failed to show that prison medical personnel were deliberately indifferent in prescribing hernia surgery on an "elective" basis only, rather than as an emergency, resulting in a delay, and in failing to give him a hernia belt that he allegedly needed. The evidence showed that the defendants engaged in "extensive" efforts to diagnose, monitor, and control his hernia problem, and therefore did not violate his Eighth Amendment rights. The inmate was allegedly provided with a back brace rather than a hernia belt, but failed to complain about the purported inadequacy of the back brace until six months after it was given to him. Webb v. Hamidullah, No. 06-7381, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15048 (Unpub. 4th Cir.).
Prisoner failed to show that prison personnel were deliberately indifferent to his need for treatment for tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis C, and sleep apnea. Additionally the administrator of the prison medical department, who was not a doctor, could not be held to be deliberately indifferent when she allegedly failed to directly respond to the plaintiff's medical complaints, when she knew that he was being treated by the prison doctor. Lee v. Cerullo, No. 08-2227, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 14827 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A pregnant prisoner brought to a hospital for labor, was kept shackled to the bed at all times, except when medical personnel requested that the shackles be removed. A federal appeals court ruled that the policy of shackling inmates while they received medical treatment did not constitute deliberate indifference to their medical needs, and the shackling policy was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. Nelson v. Correctional Medical Services, No. 07-2481, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15270 (8th Cir.).
Prison psychiatrist was not entitled to qualified immunity in a suicidal prisoner's lawsuit claiming that she acted with deliberate indifference to his serious injuries. Her action in ordering his transport 150 miles away for medical treatment while he was in a comatose condition hours after a suicide attempt, instead of attempting to provide immediate medical care, could be found to be conduct which would result in a "significant delay" or even complete denial of medical care. The exceptional circumstances of the prisoner's comatose condition, the court found, "obviously" required immediate medical care, so that the trial court did not err in finding that she was liable for the prisoner's injuries. The trial court awarded the prisoner $103,800 in compensatory damages, as well as attorneys' fees. Bias v. Woods, No. 05-10890, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16299 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
Prisoner stated a claim for deliberate indifference against prison's medical office for allegedly denying him surgery for a pre-incarceration elbow deformity injury suffered in a car crash. The prisoner argued that his arm was shrinking because of the deformity, and that the mere providing of pain medication was essentially the same as no treatment at all, because he needed extensive surgery and rehabilitation. Claims against an administrator, however, were rejected, because he properly relied on the medical office's determination that no surgery was needed. Acosta v. Watts, No. 07-15088, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13073 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
Prisoner failed to sufficiently show that medical personnel in misdiagnosing his psoriasis as spider bites, and therefore mistreating it with steroid creams acted with deliberate indifference. Even if his psoriasis constituted a serious medical condition, claims concerning misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment amounted to no more than medical negligence, at most, and were inadequate to establish a violation of constitutional rights. Matthews v. Palte, No. 07-13285, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13227 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
Prisoner's civil rights claims concerning an alleged delay in surgery for a cut close to his eye were time barred under a two-year Pennsylvania statute of limitations, and a state law medical negligence claim also could not be pursued because the prisoner failed to comply with a requirement that he file a medical certificate of merit concerning that claim. Lopez v. Brady, Civil No. 4:CV-07-1126, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 43797 (M.D. Pa.).
Jail personnel did not act with deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of a prisoner who died in custody after being treated for a number of physical and mental ailments. While the decedent's family claimed that the jail failed to provide timely treatment for his injuries, withheld needed medicines, and improperly injected anti-psychotic drugs, as well as failing to prevent an assault on him, the court found that the jail acted properly in providing a licensed doctor, qualified nurses, and a social worker, and that these personnel attempted to provide reasonable treatment based on their evaluations. No real evidence was provided concerning how the injections showed deliberate indifference. The prisoner died from occlusive artery disease, and there was no evidence that the defendants knew of or should have known of a risk of that disease. Boyett v. County of Washington, No. 06-4315, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13010 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
A warden and prison administrator could not be held liable for the alleged improper denial of recommended eye surgery, because they relied on the director of a prison medical clinic to make that determination. The appeals court ruled, however, that summary judgment for the medical director was improper since many doctors had recommended surgery for the visually significant growths that the prisoner had on his eyes, and the medical records did not support the director's argument that he denied surgery because the condition did not interfere with the prisoner's vision. Further proceedings were therefore ordered on the claim against the director. Ortiz v. Bezy, No. 07-3807, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 12885 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
Even assuming that a prisoner's alleged knee pain constituted a serious medical need, he failed to show that prison personnel had deliberately denied him treatment with the intent to cause him harm, or that he had actually suffered resulting harm. He essentially merely disagreed with the treatment provided, which was inadequate for a civil rights claim. Shope v. Tex. Dept. of Criminal Justice, No. 07-10714, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13022 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
A prisoner's mere disagreement with the decision of prison medical staff to pursue a non-surgical course of treatment for his toe injury was insufficient to show a violation of his constitutional rights. Davila-Bajana v. Sherman, No. 07-4650, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 10847 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Prisoner could not pursue his lawsuit over an alleged wrongful failure to authorize back surgery for him when he had previously already pursued that claim in two prior lawsuits, and courts had reached the merits of his claim, ruling against him. Claims against a prison health services nursing coordinator failed because she was not personally involved in his medical treatment. Perez v. Zunker, No. 07-3202, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 11438 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
Prisoner failed to present expert medical testimony or any other evidence to support his claim that he either suffered multiple strokes or that such strokes occurred as a result of a doctor's alleged action in injecting him with an "enhancement" fluid which was not approved for human testing. He also failed to show that the doctor had the subjective intention to cause him unneeded pain. The court also found that the serum in question was not experimental, and that it had been approved for human use. Stewart v. Wilkinson, No. 2:03-cv-0687, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 35715 (S.D. Ohio).
A prisoner's claim that his fractured arm was improperly set amounted to, at most, a claim for medical malpractice or negligence, and was insufficient to state a claim for violation of his constitutional rights. Baez v. Kahanowicz, No. 07-1118, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 10629 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
When prison doctors believed that an inmate's pre-incarceration levels of medication were harming him, they did not violate his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to continue to prescribe a high-dose narcotic pain medication which had been provided to him before his incarceration to treat an "intractable-pain disorder" he suffered from as the result of a crushed forearm. The doctors performed various tests and tried a number of methods and medications to address his pain, and did not act with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The fact that the prisoner disagreed with their conclusions and treatment decisions was insufficient for a federal civil rights claim. Steele v. Weber, No. 07-1257, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 10869 (8th Cir.).
Prisoner failed to show that the former administrator of the prison in which he was incarcerated acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in the absence of any proof that the defendant had reason to belief that medical providers available at the facility were not providing him with treatment. Garcia v. Achebe, No. 07-4087, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 7103 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Even if a prisoner's death was the result of a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection caused by a wound from a spider bite on his thigh, the plaintiff failed to provide proof that this infection and his death was caused by any breach of the standard of care for such infections. Additionally, at the time of the incident, the condition of community-acquired MRSA was not "widely acknowledged" in the medical field. Zemmelman v. Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction, No. 2005-05680, 2008 Ohio Misc. Lexis 59 (Ohio Ct. of Claims).
Removal of a prisoner from his misconduct hearing by correctional officers and prison nurses did not violate his First Amendment rights. His statement at the proceeding that the hearing officer was a "foul and corrupted bitch" was not protected by the First Amendment and constituted "insolence" in violation of prison regulations, questioning the hearing officer's authority and the proceeding's integrity. The court also found that the amount of force used was minimal and reasonable under the circumstances. The prisoner also failed to show deliberate indifference to his medical needs for his minor cuts and lacerations. Lockett v. Suardini, No. 06-2392, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 10359 (6th Cir.).
A prisoner's claim that jail employees and officials acted with deliberate indifference to his need for medical care for sores on the back of his thighs, which turned out to be a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, accrued no later than the date he was taken to a hospital emergency room after allegedly seeking medical treatment for a week, since he was provided with medical care for his condition after that date. Certain claims were therefore time barred. The prisoner also failed to show that the defendants were deliberately indifferent once they became aware of his serious medical needs. Davis v. Bartholomew County Jail, No. 1:07-cv-639, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 18500 (S.D. Ind.).
No reasonable jury could find that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to a prisoner's serious medical needs, resulting in her death. When transferred to the facility in question, she had rapid breathing and was uncooperative, but this was insufficient to indicate the presence of a serious medical condition requiring immediate care. Additionally, the prisoner did not request medical assistance, and was found dead in her cell the next day. The cause of death was a pulmonary edema. Jones v. Minnesota Dep't of Corr., No. 06-3900, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 325 (8th Cir.).
Prisoner's claim that his hand, broken during a fight in jail, was placed in a cast without first being set, that he did not see a bone specialist within 48 hours, and that one doctor did not comply with follow-up procedures showed, at most negligence, which was insufficient for a federal constitutional claim. Further, correctional officials could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of medical personnel. Case v. Riley, No. 07-11489, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6434 (11th Cir.).
Mother of deceased inmate failed to show that deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs caused his death when she submitted no evidence or affidavits to oppose the defendants' expert's affidavit stating that the prisoner received reasonable medical treatment in response to his complaints, and consistent with his medical history. Johnson v. McDonough, No. 07-13623, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6122 (11th Cir.).
Diabetic prisoner failed to show that correctional authorities violated his rights by failing to give him a "diabetic diet." His primary physician stated that he had first placed the prisoner on a "therapeutic diet" with a calorie-controlled menu, and had later switched him to a carbohydrate-controlled diet, and that these diets were sufficient to improve the prisoner's condition. The prisoner's claims amount to, at most, his disagreement with the treatment provided, and did not show deliberate indifference to his diabetes. Anderson v. Burge, No. 06-CV-6227, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 24517 (W.D.N.Y.).
Prisoner presented some evidence that he was denied medical care for nine hours after an injury, was not given prescription drugs for needed treatment, and that he was prevented from showing up for follow-up surgery intended to restore vision to his left eye. He also claims that he sent notice to the sheriff regarding these medical needs, but that no remedial actions were taken. If the prisoner's claims were true, the sheriff's inaction was objectively unreasonable. Baker v. Bowles, No. 07-10833, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6707 (5th Cir.).
Prisoner with AIDS adequately alleged that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by delaying him from seeing a doctor for months, not permitting him to take his AIDS medications because of his housing assignment, and failing to provide him with medical attention on an occasion that he passed blood, as well as denying him adequate food, which affected his health. The prisoner failed, however, to establish a viable claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, since the mere fact that he had AIDS was inadequate standing alone, to show that he had a disability. Carter v. Taylor, Civ. No. 06-561, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 25158 (D. Del.).
A Pennsylvania inmate claimed that his Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection was developed while he was working in a prison's laundry, and he sued for allegedly unconstitutional working conditions. An expert witness offered by the prisoner who was an environmental scientist and not a medical doctor could not testify on the cause and nature of the prisoner's skin rashes, or that he suffered from a MRSA infection, and further proceedings would determine whether he could testify on the conditions present in the prison's laundry. While the prisoner's medical records could be used to establish that he had a MRSA infection, expert witness medical testimony was needed to establish that this condition was caused by prison laundry working conditions. Wolfgang v. Smithers, Civil No. 4:CV-03-167, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 28597 (M.D. Pa.).
A prisoner seeking to pursue a medical malpractice claim concerning the treatment he received for a sinus infection was required to present expert witness testimony as to the applicable professional standard of care, and the defendants were properly granted summary judgment on the basis of his failure to do so. Additionally, the trial judge did not abuse its discretion in refusing to appoint an expert witness for the prisoner. The lawsuit was filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Hannah v. US, No. 06-11091, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 7265 (5th Cir. 2008).
Even if a hole in the prisoner's skull constituted a serious medical need, the prisoner, in his lawsuit claiming deliberate indifference in failing to surgically install a protective metal plate to cover it, did not show either that he had suffered any harm from the failure to do so, or that he had been deliberately denied treatment with the intent to harm him. Further, his own documents showed that he was seen "repeatedly" by doctors, including specialists, who had not found that it was necessary to install his requested skull plate. He also failed to show that the conditions of his confinement were such that correctional officials were deliberately indifferent to a need to protect him against the possibility than unidentified violent prisoners would later injury him because of the unprotected hole in his head. Walls v. Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, No. 07-20094, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6103 (5th Cir.).
Pretrial detainee failed to show that jail personnel acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by failing to provide him with adequate pain medication for a period of time after his finger was broken. The injury to his finger occurred when he caught his hand in a van door while being transported to the courthouse from the jail. The plaintiff failed to point to any swelling, bleeding, discoloration, or visible broken bones that would have put jail personnel on notice that he obviously needed immediate medical attention. Barron v. Macy, No. 07-3276, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 5208 (10th Cir.).
Federal prisoner without any kidneys, and who had received hemodialysis for more than 14 years, was not entitled to an order requiring that he be provided with a kidney transplant. The most that the court could do was order officials to review the prisoner's request, and they had, in fact, already recommended him as a candidate for such a transplant, so that his request was moot. Sanchez v. Sabol, No. 07-40090, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 18525 (D. Mass.).
Prisoner failed to show that medical treatment for the boils on his arm and chest was constitutionally inadequate. Specifically, he failed to show that daily treatment of his boils was an objectively serious medical need or that he was subjected to an escalating or acute condition that medical personnel ignored. Jackson v. Douglas, No. 07-1808, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 5940 (8th Cir.).
Prisoner's claims against the Indiana Department of Corrections and its facilities for alleged inadequate medical care for failing to treat a painful injury were barred by the state's Eleventh Amendment immunity. The plaintiff failed to show that the Department's Commissioner had any personal involvement in health care decisions concerning him, requiring the dismissal of claims against the Commissioner. The court also dismissed claims against a private medical services provider whose employees provided medical care at the facility where the plaintiff was incarcerated, since he did not claim that its officials made any decisions concerning his alleged inadequate care or that the inadequate care resulted from its policies. The prisoner could not pursue his claims against the provider's doctors until he had identified them. The court also rejected the plaintiff's equal protection claim since he did not allege that he suffered treatment different from that provided to any other similarly situated individuals. Voss v. Ind. Depart. of Corrections, No. 3:07-CV-449, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8771 (N.D. IN.).
Prisoner's claim that correctional employees improperly delayed transferring him for surgery after his gallstones condition was diagnosed was sufficient for him to pursue a lawsuit against the District of Columbia and its employees. Claims against a private prison contractor and its employees, however, were dismissed on the basis of the dismissal of a prior lawsuit against them. Brown v. D.C., No. 05-5320, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 2254 (D.C. Cir.).
While a prisoner claimed that his appendicitis had been misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection, he did not allege that medical personnel intentionally provided him with incorrect and inadequate treatment. His claims, therefore, amounted to negligence, which was insufficient for a federal civil rights claim. Garrett v. University of Texas Medical Branch, No. 07-40421, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 741 (5th Cir.).
A prisoner knew of his alleged injuries from inadequate medical treatment when it occurred in 1994 and 1995, and even filed a state court medical malpractice lawsuit in 1996 based on the same conduct that was the basis for his federal civil rights lawsuit. The current lawsuit, filed in 2007, was therefore time barred under a two-year Pennsylvania statute of limitations, and there was no evidence to support the "tolling" (extension) of the statute of limitations. Fullman v. Pa. Dept. of Corrections, No. 07-3967, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 3401 (3rd Cir.).
Prisoner failed to show that correctional officials acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by withholding a pair of mail ordered sneakers from him, which he wanted to use to treat his foot pain. The prisoner did not claim that they prevented him from obtaining different sneakers, which complied with their security concerns. Flemings v. Ryan, No. 06-56630, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29055 (9th Cir.).
A prisoner's lawsuit concerning allegedly inadequate medical care provided to him for an injury he suffered during a slip and fall on an ice-covered sidewalk boiled down to a disagreement with the level of care he received, which did not amount to an Eighth Amendment violation. Martinez v. Dretke, No. 07-10434, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1467 (5th Cir.).
Detainee did not show that he was provided with constitutionally inadequate medical care for his seizure disorder, his anxiety and depression, or his infected tooth. Medical personnel gave him a prescription for the seizure medication he preferred to take, and gave him a choice between having his family obtain that medication for him, or else having the facility provide him with an different seizure drug which the facility would pay for. The medical personnel also provided him with two medications for his anxiety and depression, and provided him with the opportunity to attend therapy sessions. Antibiotics were also provided to the detainee, as well as pain medication, during a two-month period he waited to have his infected tooth extracted. Blanchard v. White County Detention Center Staff, No. 07-12313, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1612 (11th Cir.).
An inmate suffering from an eye problem, a cataract, was monitored by doctors, and received eye surgery when it was decided that it was medically necessary. There was no showing that a three-month wait for an eye doctor appointment resulted in any permanent damage or additional harm. The inmate's claims against the Governor of Hawaii were also rejected, and could not be based merely on the fact that she was the governor. Samonte v. Bauman, No. 06-16697, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1559 (9th Cir.).
Detained alien did not show that federal officials were personally involved in the alleged deliberate indifference to his medical needs while he was in a county jail. Further, his claims against county jail personnel for alleged inadequate medical care amount, at most, to medical malpractice, which was insufficient to state a claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment. The detainee also failed to show that any alleged delay in providing him with treatment caused him any harm. Harvey v. Chertoff, No. 07-2206, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 2096 (3rd Cir.).
Missouri Department of Corrections' policy of not providing transportation for inmates' elective, non-therapeutic abortion is unreasonable under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court also rules, however, that elective non-therapeutic abortions are not a serious medical need, and that a prison's refusal to provide such an abortion is not deliberate indifference for purposes of an Eighth Amendment claim. Roe v. Crawford, No. 06-3108 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1185 (8th Cir. 2008).
Claim that the lack of a county correctional policy concerning drug overdoses caused a detainee's death in custody from a drug overdose was properly rejected. The evidence showed, in fact, that the facility's staff violated a written policy in responding to the detainee's medical complaints by failing to call for emergency medical care after he was found to have a heart rate above 100 as well as chest pain. Additionally, the detainee's estate failed to offer any evidence of how alleged inadequate medical training rendered staff members unable to adequately respond to the situation. Powers v. County of Lorain, Ohio, No. 06-4515, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1129 (6th Cir.).
Pregnant female detainee presented sufficient medical evidence to show that she had a serious medical problem of prolonged amniotic leakage. which could lead to an infection and the death of her fetus. A jail facility commander was not entitled to qualified immunity, based on his alleged knowledge of this problem and his alleged deliberate decision to disbelieve all inmate complaints about medical care. The sheriff, however, was not shown to have had actual knowledge that jail policies were being implemented in a way that arguably ignored legitimate medical needs, and was therefore entitled to summary judgment. Goebert v. Lee County, No. 06-10606, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29513 (11th Cir.).
Medical records did not show that an inmate received deliberate indifference to his medical needs. While it took a number of months to properly diagnose his problem, during that time period prison medical personnel conducted numerous tests in an attempt to make a diagnosis. Once the problem was diagnosed, the prisoner received crutches and a leg cast, which was appropriate treatment. The prisoner suffered no substantial harm from the delay in the diagnosis and treatment. Ramirez v. Stacks, No. 06-41447, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29611 (5th Cir.).
While the prisoner presented evidence that her mental and physical condition deteriorated during the time period at issue, she did not present sufficient evidence to establish a factual issue as to whether there was a policy or custom of denying needed tests and treatment to inmates with her symptoms, or of making medical decisions based solely on financial concerns. A company that provided prison medical services was therefore entitled to summary judgment in the lawsuit. Southworth v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, No. 06-3735, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29795 (8th Cir.).
A prisoner who was suffering kidney failure failed to show that medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference in placing an arteriovenous graft in his arm and failing to subsequently remove it. While the graft, as it turned out, was not needed, the prisoner's mere difference of opinion concerning the medical treatment provided did not demonstrate deliberate indifference, and he also failed to show that he had a serious medical need to have the graft removed. Grimsley v. Hammack, No. 06-12143, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 27522 (11th Cir.).
Medical records did not show that an inmate received deliberate indifference to his medical needs. While it took a number of months to properly diagnose his problem, during that time period prison medical personnel conducted numerous tests in an attempt to make a diagnosis. Once the problem was diagnosed, the prisoner received crutches and a leg cast, which was appropriate treatment. The prisoner suffered no substantial harm from the delay in the diagnosis and treatment. Ramirez v. Stacks, No. 06-41447, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29611 (5th Cir.).
Prisoner's claim that prison employees refused to give him a single dose of his high blood pressure medication did not show a violation of his rights. The prisoner did not show that the defendants knew that he would allegedly require hospitalization as a result of their actions. The prison's policy requiring that a prisoner stand to receive their medication and have their cell lights on, and their identification available was not unreasonable. Moreland v. Roscko, No. 05-10508, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 26445 (5th Cir.).
While prison medical clinic employees were wrong in concluding that an inmate was not having a heart attack, they did engage in efforts to determine whether he was, including performing an enzyme test, placing him on a cardiac monitor, and providing him with oxygen, an analgesic, and an aspirin, as well as trying to keep him calm. Additionally, when his symptoms did not improve, he was sent to a hospital in an ambulance. Given these facts, the inmate failed to show deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, even though the facts may have shown medical malpractice or negligence. Taylor v. CMCF 720 Clinic, No. 06-60397, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 26781 (5th Cir.).
When the prisoner's medical records showed that he had been examined by a number of doctors, including specialists, and received various medications for his complaints, as well as undergoing various tests, including MRIs, x-rays, and hearing tests, his claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs was not supported by the facts, despite his subjective believe that his medical care was not adequate. Pettus v. Wright, No. 04-CV-6203, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 73713 (W.D.N.Y.).
The fact that a prisoner suffered a slight stroke after a jail superintendent and a jail physician decided not to take her to an outside doctor for treatment for her high blood pressure did not constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, but instead only showed, at most, either negligence or a mere disagreement over the services provided. Knight v. Barlow, 1:07cv384, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 73586 (E.D. Va.).
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply to the federal government, so that a prisoner could not pursue an ADA disability discrimination claim against the federal Bureau of Prisons for the alleged wrongful refusal to classify him as medically unable to work. The prisoner's claim concerning alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs showed, at most, a disagreement with the medical treatment provided or an incorrect diagnosis of his condition by prisoner personnel, both of which would be inadequate to demonstrate a violation of his constitutional rights. The prisoner allegedly suffered from an inner ear disorder (Meniere's disease), and had also requested to be seen by an orthopedic specialist for problems with his neck, back, left hip, knee and ankle. .Marlin v. Alexandre, No. 06-30838, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 26534 (5th Cir.).
Relatives of prisoner who died from a drug overdose failed to provide any evidence to support their argument that the drugs had been administered to him by other inmates forcing him to take them, or that his death resulted from prison officials failure to provide adequate personnel to supervise inmates to avoid such incidents. The plaintiffs could proceed, however, on their claim that certain defendants acted with deliberate indifference by eliminating in-house emergency medical facilities despite the common occurrence of drug overdoses among the inmate population. Rivera-Quinones v. Rivera-Gonzalez, Civil No. 03-2326, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 81258 (D. Puerto Rico).
A prisoner claimed that he was denied two injections prescribed for treatment of syphilis. In the trial court, the case was dismissed based on the representation by correctional officials that the prisoner had only filed one grievance concerning medical treatment, but which did not raise the question of the injections. On appeal, the state located prison records showing that the prisoner had, in fact, filed another grievance concerning the failure to give him the injections, but argued that the prisoner did not complete the administrative process for that grievance. The appeals court ruled that the defendants were barred from asserting failure to exhaust available administrative remedies on that claim, since the late disclosure of the grievance on the injections did not allow the trial court to adequately address that issue. Cunningham v. Dept. of Correctional Services, No. 05-5072, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 26608 (2nd Cir.).
Prisoner who claimed that he was exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in violation of his constitutional rights failed to allege facts sufficient to create a triable issue as to whether the levels of ETS were unreasonable, or whether the defendants knowingly disregarded the risk of harm to him from the exposure. Beasley v. Arizona Dept. of Corrections, No. 05-17079, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 27771 (9th Cir.).
A Georgia prisoner failed to present sufficient evidence from which a jury could find that he was deliberately exposed to an unreasonable level of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). He also failed to refute the diagnosis, by a prison doctor, that he did not suffer from a serious respiratory or cardiovascular medical problem that would result in him being at particular risk from ETS. Giddens v. Calhoun State Prison, No. 07-11988, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 25248 (11th Cir.).
An Illinois prisoner failed to show that his rights were violated in connection with his exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. The prisoner suffered from asthma, which allegedly worsened during his incarceration. In granting summary judgment to prison officials, the court found that the prisoner had been granted access to doctors, an asthma clinic, and his prescribed medications, and that he was moved to a non-smoking cell when he requested it, and to the medical wing when his prison doctor recommended it. Under these circumstances, prison officials did not act with deliberate indifference. Even if an Eighth Amendment violation were to be found, the defendant officials would be entitled to qualified immunity because they would not have known, at the time, that they were violating his rights. Lee v. Young, No. 02-cv-281, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 74259 (S.D. Ill.).
Prison employees without medical training, who relied on advice from medical personnel in transferring a prisoner with hepatitis C to a unit where he allegedly could not receive prompt medical attention, did not act with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Glover v. Haferman, No. 07-1674, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 25610 (7th Cir.).
Prisoner failed to show that his exposure to black mold at a correctional facility caused any particular harm or symptoms, and merely expressed unsupported predictions of future medical problems. The evidence showed that correctional officials, on learning of the black mold, took immediate remedial actions to make sure that prisoners were not exposed to it, so the plaintiff failed to show deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Additionally, the prisoner did receive medical care for headaches, the only symptom he complained of. McIntyre v. Phillips, Case No. 1:07-CV-527, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 75353 (W.D. Mich.).
Prison did not ignore an inmate's medical problems, but rather engaged in evaluation of his complaints both in a prison infirmary and subsequently in a hospital. A wrist fracture which was not initially diagnosed was not obvious, so that the delay in diagnosing it, while it might have been negligent, was not a violation of the prisoner's constitutional rights. The court also found that the evidence showed that the force used against the prisoner during a forced cell-entry was objectively reasonable. Arceneaux v. Leger, No. 06-30918, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 24393 (5th Cir.).
While a prison nurse may have acted negligently in applying bleach to a prisoner's bee sting, allegedly causing him a second-degree burn, the prisoner failed to show any facts which would have established that she acted with deliberate indifference to a known danger of serious harm in allegedly applying undiluted bleach to his skin. Johnson v. Seckler, No. 07-40027, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 24149 (5th Cir.).
Prisoner had a right not to be subjected to unwanted medical treatment, except in certain instances when such treatment is necessary to secure the "health and safety of the affected individual, other inmates, and prison personnel." His medical request form asking that he be examined by the medical staff did not dispose of the issue as to whether subsequent medical treatment was imposed upon him without his consent, or whether that treatment was medically necessary in a manner justifying imposition without consent. Simms v. Bair, No. 07-6403, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 23680 (4th Cir.).
In prisoner's lawsuit over the alleged refusal of a prison clinical director to give him a narcotic medicine prescribed by a neurologist, there was evidence which indicated that the neurologist in fact changed his recommendation after learning of the prisoner's past prescription narcotics addiction. Additionally, there was no indication that the defendant director improperly delayed treatment of the prisoner for non-medical reasons. Whooten v. Bussanich, No. 07-1441, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 21856 (3rd Cir.).
While a prisoner's Hepatitis C was a serious medical need, since it could result in liver disease and death, the plaintiff had failed to show that the federal government acted with deliberate indifference to his need for treatment. The prisoner's condition was monitored by routine blood tests, and he was also provided with an ultrasound, which showed that his liver was normal. The prison officials did not act improperly in requiring that the inmate, who had a long history of mental illness, be cleared by the prison's psychology services department before being placed on a list for a liver biopsy. All that the prisoner succeeded in showing was his disagreement with the course of treatment provided, which did not show a violation of his rights. Coleman-Bey v. U.S.A., No. 06-1855, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66645 (D.D.C.).
Prisoner who suffered a stroke adequately stated claims for possible deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Among other things, he claimed that he was placed in a special housing unit without a needed wheelchair or walking aid, that his blood pressure was not consistently monitored, and that he was denied access to materials necessary for his physical therapy. Estrada v. Reed, No. 07-C-442, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 68769 (W.D. Wis.).
While the record showed that a prisoner who suffered a back injury while performing a prison job was provided with treatment for his injury at that facility, the trial court failed to address the prisoner's claims that he was subjected to either denial or delay of medical treatments and appointments, in violation of recommendations by certain medical specialists, requiring further proceedings. Cooleen v. Lamanna, No. 05-4751, 2007 U.S. App. 22204 (3rd Cir.).
In a lawsuit over the death of a detainee at a county jail from a methamphetamine overdose, there was sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could possibly find that both a deputy sheriff and a jailer knew that the detainee had swallowed drugs during his arrest, but deliberately disregarded his resulting medical needs. There was no evidence, however, that other jail employees had any such knowledge, or that any additional training would have made a difference in how the detainee was treated. Hall v. County of Nemaha, Neb., No. 4:06CV3069, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66002 (D. Neb.).
Prison personnel could not be held liable for inmate's death from a malignant growth in her neck, since there was no showing that they deliberately disregarded a known risk to her health. The employees relied upon diagnoses provided by medical professionals which did not inform them of the danger the prisoner faced from the swelling on her neck, and the employees followed proper procedures by alerting medical personnel about the swelling and then treating the prisoner's swelling as they were directed. Forton v. Ogemaw County, No. 06-1753, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 20145 (6th Cir.).
When a prisoner received both medical treatment and pain medication for his condition while incarcerated, he failed to show that medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference to his claim that he had a nerve entrapment and hernia that required surgery. Baez v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, No. 06-30112, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 20048 (5th Cir.).
Prisoner received "substantial" medical treatment for his sinus and ear problems while incarcerated, including x-rays, antibiotics, and treatment by a specialist, and failed to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Any argument that the treatment he received was ineffective was, at most, a medical malpractice claim, and did not establish any violation of his constitutional rights. Fox v. Fischer, No. 05-4440, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 17316 (2nd Cir.).
Appeals court rejects prisoner's argument that independent contractors, such as a medical center and doctors providing medical services to federal prisoners were agents of the government. The waiver of sovereign immunity contained in the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. Secs. 2671-2680 does not apply to negligent acts of independent contractors. Additionally, even if the Chief Health Programmer at a facility was found to be a federal employee, a doctor's alleged negligent action of tearing the prisoner's stitches while conducting an examination of his eye was a "subsequent cause," so that any negligence by the Programmer was not the cause of the prisoner's injuries. The prisoner's claims were therefore properly dismissed. Lopez-Heredia v. University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital, No. 05-11365, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 16102 (5th Cir.).
An obese inmate with high blood pressure failed to show any medical evidence demonstrating that any purported delay in responding to his claim of chest pains caused him any harm. Williams v. Liefer, No. 06-3493 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 15948 (7th Cir.).
When a prisoner had begun receiving the treatment he wanted for his hepatitis C, his request for injunctive relief was moot. The appeals court also upheld the trial courts' rejection of other claims by the prisoner concerning the alleged denial and delay of medical treatment for his hepatitis C and a hernia. Neely v. Ortiz, No. 06-1314, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 14692 (10th Cir.).
Prisoner who was treated for a spider bite on his leg with a heat pack, who allegedly suffered a severe burn when a nurse failed to check on him after applying the heat pack failed to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. He also failed to adequately show that a second nurse delayed treatment for the burn for two hours in retaliation for his having complained to prison officials about her alleged refusal to treat him. Jones v. University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital, No. 06-11128, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 13984 (5th Cir.).
In a lawsuit over the death of an allegedly mentally ill pretrial detainee while in custody in a county jail, the plaintiff failed to show that the decedent had been discriminated against because of his alleged disability of mental illness or that there had been deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. There was also no proof of an official policy or custom of depriving mentally ill detainees of needed medical treatment. The cause of the detainee's death was a previously undiagnosed physical ailment of "peritonitis due to a perforated ulcer," and the prisoner's mental illness may have rendered meaningful communication with the medical personnel who treated him "almost impossible." In the absence of accurate information from the patient, the medical personnel were denied information that might have aided in their ability to timely diagnose the perforated ulcer. Winters v. Arkansas Dep't of Health & Human Servs., No. 06-2787 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 15486. (8th Cir.).
A prisoner's failure to hire an expert witness to show that his medical needs, arising from his heart condition, were "serious" did not require summary judgment for the defendants in a lawsuit for alleged deliberate indifference to his condition and delay in providing him with medication. The court ruled that a lay person would know that medical needs in connection with such a heart condition were serious. Bosco v. C.F.G. Health Systems, NO. 04-CV-3517, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 44314 (D.N.J.).
Prison officials were not shown to have acted with deliberate indifference in denying a prisoner's request for a replacement prosthetic leg, based on his claim that it fit poorly and caused him pain. The prisoner was offered alternatives of using crutches, a cane, or a wheelchair instead of getting a replacement prosthetic leg, and his mere disagreement with his treating doctors about these alternatives for his serious medical condition, an amputated leg, was insufficient to show deliberate indifference. Gillen v. D'Amico, No. 06-15733, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 13846 (9th Cir.).
A doctor's actions in failing to provide a prisoner with a walking stick, cane, or knee brace for a period of time, if true, was, at most, a difference of opinion or negligence (medical malpractice), and was insufficient to state a claim for violation of the prisoner's constitutional rights. The prisoner also failed to show that he suffered injuries because he was placed on the second floor of a building, or assigned to a hoe squad work detail, which he claimed violated his medical restrictions. The prisoner was denied the right to proceed with his appeal as a pauper, and his appeal was dismissed. The dismissal constituted a "third strike" against the prisoner, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1915(g), including the trial court's dismissal of the immediate lawsuit, and an appeals court's dismissal of a prior civil rights case by the prisoner as frivolous. Johnson v. Talley, No. 05-50947, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 13879 (5th Cir.).
Prisoner who received treatment more than 30 times between January 2003 and March 2004 for his ear infections, including receiving antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, and ear drops, and was sent to a specialist approximately five months after the ear infections began did not show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, despite the fact that he subsequently suffered a significant hearing loss. Additionally, because the warden was not a doctor, his alleged failure to respond to the prisoner's medical complaints while he was already being treated by medical staff members was not deliberate indifference. Gusman v. Bureau of Prisons, No. 06-2022, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 11571 (3rd Cir.).
Prisoner did not show that a knee injury he suffered was sufficiently serious so that a 30-minute delay, as opposed to denial, of treatment for it constituted deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The prisoner's injury was a "chronic knee condition," present for years, for which it was not "obvious" that it required a doctor's attention. There was also no evidence that the delay caused him any damage. Hood v. Krajnik, No. 05-10254, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 23342 (E.D. Mich.).
Even if all of a prisoner's complaints concerning his medical and dental treatment were true, that merely established that there was a difference of opinion concerning the appropriate medical treatment for his problems, or that certain defendants were negligent, rather than a violation of his constitutional rights. The prisoner himself agreed that the defendants provided him with the treatment they deemed appropriate. Beauclair v. Graves, No. 06-3265, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 12149 (10th Cir.).
Former federal prisoner failed to show that a negligent response to his medical condition caused him to suffer a brain hemorrhage leaving him severely and permanently disabled. In upholding the verdict of a bench trial finding the U.S. government not liable for his injuries under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1346(b)(1), a federal appeals court ruled that an expert witness who seems to deny possession a relevant expertise does not have to automatically and by reason of that statement alone, be barred from testifying, and that experts are not always required to render a written report as a precondition to being permitted to testify. The court found that the clinical director at the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Prisons' Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was properly allowed to testify that, in his opinion, a prison medical team at all times acted professionally and competently in the treatment of the prisoner, despite the fact that he failed to prepare an expert report prior to taking the stand, and at his deposition seemed to deny having a relevant expertise. The appeals court noted that it is the trial court's job to decide whether an individual is sufficiently qualified to testify as an expert, by virtue of training and experience, and based on the facts and circumstances of each case, so that the witnesses' own statement concerning whether he is an expert is not dispositive. The witness could, therefore, be properly allowed to testify as an expert in health care in federal prisons, "his modesty notwithstanding." Additionally, while Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B) states that disclosure of expert witnesses who are "retained or specially employed" to provide expert testimony in a case shall (except as "otherwise stipulated or directed by the court") be accompanied by a "written report prepared and signed by the witness," the witness in this case was not "retained or specially employed" to provide his testimony, but was, instead a person employed by the federal prisons and not a person who regularly gives expert testimony," so that the report requirement did not apply. Watson v. US, No. 05-6262 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 10526 (10th Cir.).
In a lawsuit arising out of the death of a county inmate who hung himself, the plaintiff failed to show that the actions of county employees violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq., since there was no showing that the decedent had been denied access to programs or services because of a disability. Claims for alleged medical malpractice under state law, and that the county had policies, practices, and procedures depriving the decedent of his Eighth Amendment rights, however, were viable on the basis of disputed facts concerning his treatment. Herman v. County of York, No. 1:05-CV-2501, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 28824 (M.D. Pa.).
Prisoner did not show that deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs was present when his medication for his diabetes was temporarily confiscated, as he did not claim that it endangered his life. Booth v. King, No. 06-1552, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 8327 (3rd Cir.).
Sheriff was not liable for the death of a detainee from complications of open-heart surgery when there was evidence that the decedent had refused treatment, and even the plaintiff admitted that the sheriff lacked personal knowledge of the decedent's medical condition. The plaintiff also failed to show a policy or custom causing deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, or any history of past widespread abuse that would have made the sheriff aware of alleged inadequacy in the medical care being provided at the county jail. Weaver v. Mobile County, No. 06-14237, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 9102 (11th Cir.).
Florida State Department of Corrections was entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity against prisoner's claim that he was provided with inadequate medical care and treatment. Claims against a doctor failed to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, as even the inmate admitted that he was provided with a special relief cream for his arthritis when he complained of pain, along with anti-inflammatory medication and an order barring him from standing for longer than ten minutes. He also did not even claim that these specific treatments failed to help him, and only complained that he was denied special boots, which he claimed were needed for his arthritis. Leonard v. Dept. of Corrections, State of Florida, No. 06-11223, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 9691 (11th Cir.).
The mere fact that expert witnesses for the plaintiff disagreed with the type of antibiotic chosen to treat an inmate who subsequently died was insufficient to show deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Ruiz-Rosa v. Rullan, No. 06-1761, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 9294 (1st Cir.).
When it was undisputed that an inmate with a record of leg and foot injuries, including an amputated toe, was provided with treatment for the length differential of his legs, and a doctor's affidavit stated that the shoes he received were adequate for his condition, the mere fact that the inmate requested different, soft shoes did not show deliberate indifference by medical personnel. Turner v. Solorzano, No. 06-15737, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 9537 (11th Cir.).
Prisoners allowed to proceed with class action lawsuit claiming that male prisoners at county jail were screened for sexually transmitted diseases without their consent. The jail's admissions process for pretrial detainees allegedly had included a urethral swabbing inside a detainee's penis to collect samples to test for such sexually transmitted diseases as gonorrhea and chlamydia. The trial judge declined to enter summary judgment either for or against the defendant correctional officials. Jackson v. Sheriff of Cook County, et al., No. 06 C 493, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 21141 (N.D. Ill.).
Louisiana prisoner failed to show that two emergency medical technicians ignored his medical complaints, refused to treat him, or purposefully provided him with improper treatment. Claims against correctional officials and employees in their official capacities were claims against the state, which were barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Calloway v. Cowan, No. 05-30446, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 6433 (5th Cir.).
In a lawsuit over treatment of a detainee who suffered both a seizure and a disabling brain aneurysm within 72 hours of being placed in a jail, following his complaint of a four-day headache, there was sufficient evidence from which a jury could conclude that an emergency medical technician acted with deliberate indifference by allegedly ignoring a doctor's order that he be contacted if the headache worsened, when the EMT allegedly knew that the prisoner had a family history of cerebral aneurysm. Webb v. Douglas County, No. 05-35481, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 5963 (9th Cir.).
Inmate's knee injury, a torn meniscus, did not constitute a "serious medical need" for purposes of the Eighth Amendment. Additionally, the prisoner was provided with both surgery and treatment for pain. The mere fact that he might have preferred the surgery to be performed earlier, or that the treatment be "more aggressive" did not show a violation of his constitutional rights. Johnson v. Wright, No. 05-CV-6313, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 17915 (W.D.N.Y.).
In a medical malpractice case brought against the federal Bureau of Prisons applying Virginia law through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2671 et seq., a prisoner could not show negligence in the failure to diagnose and treat his neurological impairment in the absence of expert witness testimony. Further, under Virginia law, the prisoner had to provide a certificate of merit for his lawsuit prior to filing it, except if his claim fell within an exception for "rare instances" where the alleged medical negligence was within the "common knowledge and experience" of non-experts, which was not the case here. Summary judgment was therefore granted for the government. Parker v. U.S., No. 1:06cv774, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 12760 (E.D. Va.).
Mother of Louisiana inmate who died from complications of HIV failed to show that prison medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference to a known excessive risk that he would die from such complications. Defendants were therefore entitled to summary judgment in federal civil rights lawsuit. Lee v. Stalder, No. 06-30444, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 5732 (5th Cir.).
Prisoner who reported brief periods of vision loss failed to show that prison doctor acted with deliberate indifference. The record showed that the prisoner was examined promptly after complaining about the problem, and that the prisoner's mere difference of opinion concerning what treatment he should have received was insufficient to establish a constitutional violation. The doctor's actions, if wrongful at all, were at most negligence, and did not violate the Eighth Amendment. Williams v. Ayers, No. 04-15576, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 805 (9th Cir.). [N/R]
A delay in treatment of an ear infection over a weekend when sick call was not available was not shown to have resulted in any actual hearing loss, and did not constitute an unconstitutional act of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Freeman v. Frimpong, No. 3:04cv1546, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 10475 (M.D. Pa.). [N/R]
Federal trial court acted erroneously in dismissing a prisoner's claim that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated when he allegedly did not receive any medication for hepatitis C, resulting in the development of cirrhosis of the liver. The prisoner claimed that he was first denied treatment because of a policy to only provide treatment to prisoners already incarcerated for twelve months, and subsequently based on a policy of providing treatment only if a prisoner would not be discharged within 12 months. Trigo v. Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, No. 06-20131, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 3576 (5th Cir.). [N/R]
Prisoner with lupus sufficiently alleged personal involvement of correctional facility superintendent in alleged failure to provide him with prescribed medications for his condition, based on the filing of several grievances which gave the superintendent notice of the problem, and the alleged failure of the superintendent to take action to remedy it. Claims against the superintendent in his official capacity, however, were barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity, as he was a state official. Saxon v. Attica Medical Department, No. 05-CV-6336, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 1243 (W.D.N.Y.). [N/R]
A doctor's failure to prescribe the same treatment, orthopedic shoes, recommended by another doctor at another correctional facility, did not show deliberate indifference to a prisoner's foot deformity. Additionally, there was no showing that the prisoner's foot condition subsequently worsened. Bismark v. Fisher, No. 05-10013, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 536 (11th Cir.). [N/R]
Prisoner stated possibly viable claims for deliberate indifference to his serious need for medical attention for his back injury against the sheriff, a doctor, and a nurse. He alleged that he had communicated with the sheriff via letter to complain about the doctor and nurse denying him necessary medical attention for his injury, and that the sheriff knew of their actions, but failed to do anything to remedy the continued denial of assistance. Woods v. Miller, No. 05-16748, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 1595 (11th Cir.). [N/R]
Refusal of prison and its medical personnel to provide inmate with a wheelchair after he suffered an injury did not violate his Eighth Amendment rights. Medical personnel were concerned that the use of a wheelchair would actually have harmed and weakened him under the circumstances, resulting in muscle atrophy causing his legs and back to deteriorate, and they supplied him instead with crutches to use. Callahan v. Poppell, No. 06-6090, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 31762 (10th Cir.). [N/R]
Inmate stated a viable claim for inadequate medical treatment based on alleged delay in provided prescribed special footwear, causing him to suffer further injury. Bugh v. Grafton Correctional Institution, No. 06AP-454, 2006 Ohio App. Lexis 6466 (10th Dist.). [N/R]
Federal trial court erroneously rejected prisoner's claims concerning the denial of the use of his hearing aids while incarcerated in a special housing unit without considering whether such a deprivation, by itself, was cruel and unusual punishment. The prisoner argued that he could not fully "function" without the hearing aids. Wheeler v. Butler, No. 04-1834, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 31026 (2nd Cir.). [N/R]
Medical personnel who provided a "great" amount of treatment to a prisoner after he suffered an injury from a fall in the prison kitchen did not act with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, and the evidence did not support his argument that he had been refused needed surgery. Quinn v. Palakovich, No. 06-2182, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 27606 (3rd Cir.). [N/R]
Two instances in which prisoner was assigned to a top bunk, despite having a medical authorization for placement in a lower bunk were insufficient to show a violation of constitutional rights. Williams v. County of Los Angeles, No. 05-55691, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 28085 (9th Cir.). [N/R]
Prison doctor who allegedly failed to diagnose and treat inmate's "scabies" could not be liable for "deliberate indifference" when he conducted several skin biopsies which failed to reveal that the inmate had "scabies." Deliberate indifference would only be present had the doctor known or believed that the prisoner had the disorder and he deliberately refused to treat it, which was not the case. Dusenbery v. U.S., No. 06-2021, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 31242 (3rd Cir.). [N/R]
Court could not order defendants in inmate's federal civil rights lawsuit over alleged inadequate medical treatment to pay for a medical examination of the prisoner in order to provide him with an expert medical witness to testify against them, as he requested. The prisoner could, however, obtain a medical examination if he could pay for such an expert. Cabrera v. Clarke, No. 4:05cv3121, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66761 (D. Neb.). [N/R]
Prisoner's lawsuit claiming that doctor acted with deliberate indifference to his diabetes and resulting foot problems, misdiagnosing it as gout, and resulting in its amputation, was adequate to state a claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment. Dismissal of prior lawsuit involving the same claims did not bar the present lawsuit, since the first complaint was dismissed "without prejudice." Smith v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, No. 06-1191, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 27951 (8th Cir.). [N/R]
Prisoner showed that there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether a prison vocation nurse acted with deliberate indifference to his medical conditions. He claimed that she knew that he needed to go to the hospital, that he had complaints of swelling and pain in his testicle, and that a doctor had instructed her to call if his condition did not improve, but that she failed to provide any treatment. Ware v. Zeller, No. 04-20539, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 28180 (5th Cir.). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that a correctional employee denied him follow-up care after surgery, and also denied him a prescribed medication, which put him at risk of death was sufficient to assert a constitutional claim for inadequate medical treatment. Copenhaver v. Hammer, No. 1:05-CV-675, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66970 (W.D. Mich.). [N/R]
Prisoner who received nine eye examinations during an eight-month period after he suffered an eye injury during a handball game failed to show that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs. All the prisoner's claims showed was that he was in disagreement with the or treatment offered by optometrists and an ophthalmologist, which is insufficient for an Eighth Amendment claim. The prisoner's lawsuit was properly dismissed as frivolous. Thomas v. Brockbank, No. 05-3480, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 25547 (10th Cir.). [N/R]
Despite the fact that he had many more than three prior "strikes" against him, i.e., lawsuits dismissed as frivolous or for failure to state a claim, a prisoner was entitled to pursue as a pauper his lawsuit claiming that he had been denied proper treatment for both Hepatitis C and prostate cancer, since these claims constituted an allegation of imminent danger constituting an exception to the "three strikes" rule of 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1915(g). Ibrahim v. District of Columbia, No. 05-5370, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 26676 (D.C. Cir.). [N/R]
Federal appeals court could not presume that a prisoner faced a threat of imminent death or serious physical injury merely because he claimed that he had been denied his heart medication, when he failed to describe either the medical condition resulting in the prescription or that he suffered a physical injury after he did not receive the medication. As a result, the court upheld the trial judge's decision denying the prisoner, who had previously had "three strikes," permission to proceed as a pauper in his federal civil rights lawsuit. Skillern v. Deputy Warden Paul, No. 06-11440, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 24841 (11th Cir.). [N/R]
Delay in providing prisoner with initially prescribed orthopedic footwear for painful foot condition was not deliberate indifference when there were disputes about the ultimate source of the prisoner's pain, and the proper treatment to be utilized. The fact that it was ultimately determined that the footwear was appropriate did not alter the result. Feeney v. Corr. Med. Servs., No. 05-2224, 464 F.3d 158 (1st Cir. 2006). [2006 JB Dec]
Pre-trial detainee failed to show that county sheriff's policies were inadequate to protect him and others at county detention facility against the risk of TB infection. Federal appeals court finds that deliberate indifference is the appropriate standard for claims of inadequate medical care for both pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners. Butler v. Fletcher, No. 05-3480, 465 F.3d 340 (8th Cir. 2006). [2006 JB Dec]
Prisoner ultimately determined to be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome failed to show that prison medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference in failing to carry out a particular medical test. There was evidence showing that the test the prisoner thought should have been performed was not justified by the symptoms he exhibited at the time, and the prisoner was provided with treatment for the symptoms he did exhibit. Brown v. Hendershot, No.3:CV-04-1769, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66933 (M.D. Pa.). [N/R]
Cancellation of scheduled liver biopsy after medical personnel disagreed about its necessity for the treatment of a liver condition did not show a violation of the prisoner's right to adequate medical treatment, and was not based on cost, as the plaintiff prisoner claimed. Hemingway v. Falor, No. 05-4680, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 24464 (3rd Cir.). [N/R]
Delay in hip replacement surgery for inmate suffering from a degenerative hip condition did not constitute deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs when the prisoner himself demanded that the surgery be performed at a particular hospital, which would have only been possible after his transfer to another facility, and, during the ensuing delay, another surgeon recommended against the surgery because of possible complications. Additionally, the evidence showed that any other delay in the procedure was, at most negligence, and not deliberate indifference. Williams v. Wright, No. 05-0257, 162 Fed. Appx. 69 (2nd Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Psychiatrist did not violate prisoner's rights by reporting that he was a "fairly poor" candidate for treatment of his Hepatitis C with Interferon when the prisoner merely stated his disagreement with that conclusion, and did not present any evidence that the psychiatrist chose a "medically unacceptable" course of treatment for his condition in deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Fleming v. LeFevere, No. 03-06199, 423 F. Supp. 2d 1064 (C.D. Cal. 2006). [N/R]
The possibility that different procedures for addressing emergency medical procedures at a county jail might have resulted in a better response to the plaintiff prisoner's emergency did not suffice to show that the county sheriff provided inadequate training for jail personnel. Additionally, the procedures he did establish relied primarily on medical expertise that a contractual medical service company provided. Williams v. Limestone, No. 06-10957, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 24738 (11th Cir.). [N/R]
Prison doctor was entitled to qualified immunity on prisoner's claim that he provided inadequate care for his injured leg, based on the record of repeated examinations, wound cleaning, changing of dressings, and medications over a period of several months. Possible negligence during a one-week lapse in antibiotic treatment was insufficient to show deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Gobert v. Caldwell, No. 05-30820, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 22216 (5th Cir.). [2006 JB Nov]
Prison nurse was not entitled to qualified immunity on prisoner's claim that she essentially offered him no treatment and returned him to his cell when he reported severe chest pain, despite his history of serious heart problems, including a prior heart attack. Easter v. Powell, No. 04-11332, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 25025 (5th Cir.). [2006 JB Nov]
Prison officials did not act with deliberate indifference to inmate's need for treatment of his Hepatitis C condition when they provided for ongoing monitoring, and when they took steps to guarantee further treatment through the established administrative process when his high enzyme levels warranted further tests and a liver biopsy. The court finds that the prisoner's own reluctance to participate in a drug treatment program may have been "partially responsible" for delays in his treatment for Hepatitis C. Thomas v. Bruce, No. 04-3274, 428 F. Supp. 2d 1161 (D. Kan. 2006). [N/R]
Prisoner was required, under New York state law, to submit notarized affidavits verifying his medical malpractice claims against prison staff for alleged failure to have his injured hand X-rayed on a timely basis. His failure to do so deprived the New York Court of Claims of jurisdiction over his lawsuit. Spirles v. State, 814 N.Y.S.2d 327 (A.D. 3rd Dept. 2006). [N/R]
Minnesota prisoner, in his lawsuit against correctional doctor and other medical personnel, alleging medical malpractice, failed to comply with state law requirements of an affidavit from an appropriate medical expert, and the prisoner did not show any valid excuse for the failure to satisfy this requirement. Both this and statute of limitations issues supported the dismissal of all claims against the doctor, and of some claims against the other defendants. Mercer v. Andersen, No. A05-1103, 715 N.W.2d 114 (Minn. App. 2006). [N/R]
Failure to present expert testimony to support claim that deliberate indifference to prisoner's need for medical treatment for a rare autoimmune disease caused his death was "fatal," as a matter of law, to that claim. Alberson v. Norris, No. 06-1534, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 20784 (8th Cir.). [2006 JP Oct]
Evidence presented would not be sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to concluded that jail personnel were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of a prisoner who died as the result of an acute asthma attack. Pietrafeso v. Lawrence County, No. 05-1038, 05-1096, 452 F.3d 978, rehearing and rehearing en banc denied, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 17225 (8th Cir. 2006). [2006 JP Oct]
The fact that a prisoner's injured knee allegedly continued to swell and cause him pain did not show that prison medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference to his needs. The records showed that a medical test, an MRI, showed that his knee was within "normal range," and the inmate received treatment, including medication and injections, as well as a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Brandner v. First Correctional Medical, No. 05-3920, 167 Fed. Appx. 328 (3rd Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Former prisoner's claim that she received inadequate medical care while in custody at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas was properly dismissed, since she had no private right of action, as she sought, for alleged violation of the U.N. Convention Against Torture or under any federal law relating to the U.S. government's obligations under that Convention. Renkel v. U.S., No. 05-3420, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 19604 (6th Cir.). [N/R]
Officers at jail were not entitled to qualified immunity in lawsuit brought concerning death of prisoner with a heart condition when they allegedly knew of his serious medical condition, were aware of his complaints of difficulty breathing and chest pain, but failed to take steps to provide immediate medical assistance. Gordon v. Frank, No. 05-3981, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 18299 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Sep]
Prison nurse did not act with deliberate indifference in making a prisoner take psychotropic medications actually prescribed for another prisoner, since that was at most a negligent mistake, but a jury could find that she acted with deliberate indifference in leaving him in his cell without immediate medical attention for three hours after she realized her mistake. Spann v. Roper, No. 05-2721, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 17480 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Sep]
Sheriff and arresting officer were not liable for death of detainee who died from self-mutilation in county jail after an arrest for intoxicated driving. Jailers were also entitled to qualified immunity for their decision to admit the detainee to the jail rather than sending him to a hospital, as he appeared calm and they did not know the amount of drugs he had ingested or that he had a need for immediate medical treatment. They were not entitled, however, to qualified immunity on the claim that they failed to adequately monitor him following his intake. Grayson v. Ross, No. 04-3577, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 18061 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Sep]
A prisoner suffering from a hernia stated a viable federal civil rights claim against a private company providing medical services at the prison by alleging that it was the company's policy to classify any and all umbilical hernias as elective surgery, which it routinely denied to prisoners, in deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Williams v. Prison Health Services, Inc., No. 05-2400, 167 Fed. Appx. 555 (7th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that she reported symptoms of stroke to medical personnel, including severe head pain, slurred words, and inability to grasp with her right hand, but was told that her only problem was that she was overweight and directed to return to her work assignment, would, if true, satisfy both objective and subjective components of a claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Pimentel v. Deboo, No. 3:04CV821, 411 F. Supp. 2d 118 (D. Conn. 2006). [N/R]
Federal prisoner's claim that, after he injured his shoulder, he was not referred to a specialist or given prescription pain medication were insufficient to state a federal civil rights claim for inadequate medical care, and amounted, at most, to negligence in diagnosing his condition or a disagreement over the proper treatment for his condition. Sereika v. Patel, No. 04 Civ. 8854, 411 F. Supp. 2d 397 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). [N/R]
State Commissioner of Department of Corrections was not deliberately indifferent to prison inmate's serious medical needs and was not liable for his death from a brain infection. The Commissioner had not personally been involved in the decisions concerning the inmate's care, and the doctor's conduct, at most, constituted negligent medical malpractice, not a violation of constitutional rights. King v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., No. 2030903, 919 So. 2d 1186 (Ala. Civ. App. 2005). [N/R]
Prison officials and employees were not deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of a prisoner with an amputated leg, when the record showed that each of the defendants responded to his grievances and suggested or approved of a remedy. The fact that certain requested accommodations, such as a concrete bench or railing, were not provided for him before he was transferred to another facility was "unfortunate," but did not show the kind of "criminal recklessness" or "gross negligence" required to meet the standard of "deliberate indifference" for a federal civil rights claim. Johnson v. Snyder, No. 04-3620, 444 F.3d 579 (7th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Estate of jail inmate who died from untreated methadone withdrawal on the sixth day of a ten day sentence for a traffic offense presented sufficient evidence from which a jury could find that the county had a widespread custom or practice of failing to provide timely methadone treatment to prisoners. Davis v. Carter, No. 05-1695, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 16183 (7th Cir.). [2006 JB Aug]
An alleged one-month delay in x-raying a prisoner's hand after a nurse tentatively diagnosed him as having a fractured finger was not shown to be anything more than negligence, which was insufficient for a federal constitutional claim. Additionally, federal appeals court finds, no reasonably jury could find that correctional employees used excessive force against the inmate during the incident that led to his injuries, when he continued to assault the officers even after he was restrained, and was subsequently criminally convicted for his actions. Johnson v. Hamilton, No. 05-1453, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 16767 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Aug]
Former prisoner suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease presented sufficient evidence to create genuine issues as to whether prison officials engaged in disability discrimination against him by failing to adequately accommodate his needs. Claimed problems with his medical treatment, however, did not rise to the level of disability discrimination. Kiman v. New Hampshire Dep't of Corr., No. 05-1998, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 16189 (1st Cir.). [2006 JB Aug]
Correctional officials did not violate prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights by stopping his treatment for Hepatitis C when they found that he no longer tested positive for the virus. Scheckells v. Goord, No. 04 Civ. 7776, 423 F. Supp. 2d 342 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). [N/R]
Prison administrators were not shown to have known of prisoner's requests for medical treatment for back pain prior to his initial doctor's appointment, so they could not be said to have acted with deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Mayo v. Snyder, No. 05-1775, 166 Fed. Appx. 845 (7th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Prison nurses' alleged failure to use gloves when giving an inmate medications was insufficient to establish a claim for cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff prisoner also failed to show that prison medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference in denying him a wheelchair, given evidence that the inmate "exaggerated" his purported inability to walk, and the absence of specific records identifying a reason for his supposed difficulty doing so. Todd v. Walters, No. 05-1020, 166 Fed. Appx. 590 (3rd Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Even if the treatment provided for a prisoner's Hepatitis C and other complaints were arguably inadequate, they were not so seriously inadequate as to be shocking to the conscience so as to constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Evidence showed that the denial of medication for the Hepatitis C was based on a determination that such treatment would be adversely impacted by the plaintiff's prior drug use. Macleod v. Kern, No. CIV. A.03-11483, 424 F. Supp. 2d 260 (D. Mass. 2006). [N/R]
Even if prescription medication prisoner was given for his asthma caused gastrointestinal bleeding, there was insufficient evidence that prison doctors knew that use of the medicine created an unacceptable risk of such injuries but ignored that risk. Holman v. Horn, No. 05-3824, 170 Fed. Appx. 1 (7th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
An alleged four-month delay in performing surgery for the repair of a prisoner's broken arm was not deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, even when it allegedly resulted in the need to re-break the arm and free a compressed nerve. A doctor exercised medical judgment in deciding that a cast would promote the proper healing of the arm, and the injury to the nerve was not an "inevitable" result of this decision. Haley v. Feinerman, No. 04-3823, 168 Fed. Appx. 113 (7th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
The waiver of sovereign immunity by Pennsylvania under state law for dangerous conditions on governmental property did not apply to a Pennsylvania prisoner's lawsuit against the state in federal court asserting a state law negligence claim for injuries he allegedly suffered when his Achilles tendon was torn by a pipe protruding from his cell floor. The statute containing the waiver itself said that it did not waive the state's Eleventh Amendment immunity, preventing it from being sued for damages in federal court. Prisoner also failed to show that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs following his injuries, as required for a federal civil rights claim. Brooks v. Beard, No. 05-3196, 167 Fed. Appx. 923 (3rd Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that officials violated his due process rights by requiring him to agree to take anti-psychotic medications specified by a program coordinator of a sex offender treatment program as a condition of parole was not frivolous, and should not have been dismissed on that basis. The prisoner stated a possible claim for infringement on his liberty interest in avoiding the unwanted administration of anti-psychotic medications. Bundy v. Stommel, No. 05-1099, 168 Fed. Appx. 870 (10th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
FONT COLOR="#000000"> Update: federal appeals court, in light of recent Supreme Court decision allowing states and state agencies to be sued for damages for disability discrimination also violating constitutional rights, orders further proceedings on paraplegic inmate's disability discrimination damage claims. Miller v. King, No. 02-13348, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 12109 (11th Cir.). [2006 JB Jul]
Federal appeals court allows class action challenging conditions of confinement for civilly committed "Sexually Violent Predators" in California to proceed on most claims, including claims involving procedural and substantive due process, privacy, excessive force, access to courts, unlawful retaliation for grievances or lawsuits, and forced medication in non-emergency situations. Hydrick v. Hunter, No. 03-56712, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 13497 (9th Cir.). [2006 JB Jul]
Female prisoner's claim that delayed labor, caused by improper medical care, caused the stillbirth of her viable fetus was sufficient to constitute a "physical injury" to her satisfying the physical injury requirement of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(e). That statutory provision, barring the pursuit of a federal civil rights claim for mental distress unaccompanied by physical injury, did not bar the prisoner's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims in these circumstances. Clifton v. Eubank, No. 00-CV-2555, 418 F. Supp. 2d 1243 (D. Colo. 2006). [N/R]
Under Kentucky state law, a county jail, rather than the state, had the financial responsibility of providing indigent prisoners with psychotropic medications. Osborne v. Commonwealth, No. 2004-SC-000566, 185 S.W.2d 645 (Ky. 2006). [N/R]
If, as prisoner alleged, a nurse supervisor instructed other prison nurses not to provide him with his prescribed pain medication following a tooth extraction because of his attempted escape effort, this could constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Cook v. Pueppke, No. 1:05CV0105, 421 F. Supp. 2d 1201 (E.D. Mo. 2006). [N/R]
Evidence was sufficient to show that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference in denying prisoner needed medical treatment for a degenerative back condition. Faraday v. Commissioner of Correction, No. 26340, 894 A.2d 1048 (Conn. App. 2006). [N/R]
Prisoner did not show deliberate indifference to his knee injury by prison medical personnel, and his complaint amounted to nothing more than mere disagreement with the particular treatment medical personnel decided to provide, which is insufficient for a constitutional claim. Burgos v. Alves, No. 04-CV-65131, 418 F. Supp. 2d 263 (W.D.N.Y. 2006). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that a delay in providing him with surgery a medical specialist recommended for his shoulder injury caused him extreme pain, loss of grip, and a loss of feeling was sufficient, if true, to constitute a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment. Sparks v. Rittenhouse, No. 04-1086, 164 Fed. Appx. 712 (10th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Federal pre-trial detainee's lawsuit, claiming inadequate medical treatment resulting in various injuries at several county jails and federal prisons, was properly dismissed, both for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies, and because the facts alleged, if true, constituted only negligence, which is insufficient to state a claim for violation of federal civil rights. Acosta v. U.S. Marshals Serv., No. 05-1733, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 9882 (1st Cir. April 19, 2006) [2006 JB Jun]
Doctor's alleged failure to provide adequate treatment for detainee's heart condition, resulting in permanent heart damage, may have been medical malpractice, but there was no evidence that he knew about and failed to treat that heart condition or "consciously disregarded" his medical needs, barring a claim for violation of constitutional rights. Self v. Crum, No. 04-1037, 439 F.3d 1227 (10th Cir. 2006) [2006 JB Jun]
Federal appeals court reverses trial court's dismissal of prisoner's claim that his rights were violated when he did not receive prescribed blood pressure monitoring or his high blood pressure medication for a nine-day period. Munn v. Toney, No. 05-1320, 433 F.3d 1087 (8th Cir. 2006) [2006 JB Jun]
Prisoner's personal belief that his penile pain could be relieved by circumcision was insufficient, under the Eighth Amendment, to require the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to make arrangements to have the procedure performed for free. Adsit v. Kaplan, No. 05-C-579-C, 410 F. Supp. 2d 776 (W.D. Wis. 2006). [N/R]
County detention facility did not act with deliberate indifference to detainee's medical problems. While the medical care provided for his complaint of a broken ankle was not always what he desired, he was examined when admitted to the facility, given pain killers, and medically examined on eleven subsequent occasions, with the staff responding to his medical needs each time. Redd v. Conway, No. 05-12337, 160 Fed. Appx. 858 (11th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner raised possibly viable claims as to whether correctional officers acted with deliberate indifference, after he had surgery, to his need for pain medications and pillows for his injured hand. Additionally, there was a factual issue as to whether the total exclusion of physical therapy equipment prescribed for the prisoner was actually justified by legitimate security concerns, barring summary judgment for correctional defendants. Prewitt v. Roos, No. 03-35874, 160 Fed. Appx. 609 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that doctors at three different prisons, without evaluating his complaints of severe pain in his shoulder and back, both of which had been operated on, failed to consider another doctor's suggestion that he undergo spinal fusion surgery, and instead merely provided pain medication, could, if true, constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition. Medrano v. Smith, No. 05-1092, 161 Fed. Appx. 596 (7th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Requirement, under Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(a), that a prisoner exhaust available administrative remedies prior to filing a federal civil rights lawsuit applies to prisoners held in a privately-run state prison. Federal appeals court upholds dismissal, without prejudice, of a prisoner's claim that he had been denied needed medical treatment, based on his failure to complete all of a privately-run prison's four-step grievance procedure. Bias v. Cornell Corrections, Inc., No. 04-6353, 159 Fed. Appx. 868 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
If jailers significantly delayed summoning an ambulance for prisoner exhibiting "obvious" symptoms of heart attack, who had previously told them he was a heart patient, they violated his clearly established constitutional rights. Plemmons v. Roberts, No. 05-3110, 439 F.3d 818 (8th Cir. 2006). [2006 JB May]
Prison medical personnel who denied prisoner suffering from arthritis soft-soled shoes for his aching feet and delayed renewal of his prescribed pain medication did not violate his rights. Evidence showed, at most, a difference of opinion concerning the proper treatment, and not deliberate indifference. Norfleet v. Gehrke, No. 05-1237, 439 F.3d 392 (7th Cir. 2006). [2006 JB May]
Federal appeals court finds a triable issue of fact on whether a county had inadequate policies regarding the training of jail medical personnel as to how to respond to the fall of a medically unstable prisoner, a prisoner's refusal of needed medical treatment, or the need to conduct a prompt assessment on whether such a prisoner should be transferred to another facility with more medical resources. Civil rights claim against county reinstated in lawsuit over death of 71-year-old prisoner from cardiac arrest. Long v. County of Los Angeles, No. 04-55463, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 7552 (9th Cir.). [2006 JB May]
Prisoner failed to show either that correctional officers caused his injuries from assault by another prisoner by failing to adequately protect him or were deliberately indifferent to his injuries following the assault. Pinkston v. Madry, No. 03-2973 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 6108 (7th Cir.). [2006 JB May]
State prison officials did not violate diabetic prisoner's rights by requiring a prison to serve a "heart healthy" diet to all inmates. The prisoner did not show that the diet was medically improper for a diabetic or that the diet was the cause of diabetic complications he allegedly suffered. Baird v. Alameida, No. CV 02-06887, 407 F. Supp. 2d 1134 (C.D. Cal. 2005). [N/R]
Failure by jail nurse to be "more persistent" when pretrial detainee did not respond when she called his name twice to receive his seizure medication, and alleged failure to do anything else to make sure that he received his medicine did not show that she acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. It was, at most, negligence, which could not be the basis for a federal civil rights claim over his subsequent death from a seizure. County of El Paso v. Dorado, No. 08-03-00421-CV, 180 S.W.3d 854 (Tex. App. El Paso 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner with an allergy to elastic who suffered a "minimal" skin irritation from contact with elastic contained in his underwear did not show that prison officials and medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Evidence showed that he was provided medical attention and treatment, and the mere fact that he disagreed with the treatment provided did not alter the attempt to provide for his needs. Martin v. Donaghue, No. 3:06CV007, 407 F. Supp. 2d 984 (N.D. Ind. 2006). [N/R]
Diabetic prisoner failed to show that prison doctors were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs when there was evidence that they had prescribed insulin for him, adjusted his insulin levels, and provided him with necessary instruments to perform self-monitoring of his blood sugar levels. Boomer v. Deperio, No. 03-CV-6348, 405 F. Supp. 2d 259 (W.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
Jail prisoner who fell from a top bunk and injured himself after a possible seizure presented a genuine issue of fact as to whether jail employees were deliberately indifferent in failing to properly administer his prescribed anti-seizure medication and to accommodate his illness by assigning him to a bottom bunk. Phillips v. Jasper, No. 04-2524, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 3442 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Apr]
Sheriff was not liable for death of jail detainee who had a heart attack. Medical intake forms did not reveal any prior heart problems, and there was no evidence that the sheriff was personally aware of any serious medical needs of the detainee, disregarded them, or inadequately trained or supervised his employees in a manner which caused the detainee's death. Vaughn v. Greene County, No. 04-3916, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 3801 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Apr]
Prisoner presented sufficient evidence from which a jury could find that a prison doctor and a warden were deliberately indifferent to his need to have his fractured right thumb placed in a permanent cast by an orthopedic specialist, as instructed by a hospital emergency room doctor. Jett v. Penner, No. 04-15882, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 5891 (9th Cir.). [2006 JB Apr]
Prisoner stated a viable 8th Amendment claim by alleging that a prison doctor gave him an "unapproved" drug with potentially serious side effects, which caused him to vomit whenever he ate. The prisoner also allegedly suffered from priapism as a result, a persistent painful erection of the penis without sexual desire or arousal. Adams v. Durai, #05-2175, 153 Fed. Appx. 972 (7th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner's estate, by asserting that prison medical personnel were deliberately indifferent for months to his medical condition, including persistent sinus problems, while his weight dropped from 190 to 138 lbs. stated a claim for violation of his 8th Amendment rights and could be the basis of liability for his subsequent death from an intracerebral abscess caused by bacterial sinusitis. Billops v. Sandoval, No. Civ.A. H-05-0530, 401 S. Supp. 2d 766 (S.D. Tex. 2005). [N/R]
Claim that county jail provided inadequate medical care to pre-trial detainee who subsequently died of meningitis was sufficient to support a lawsuit for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. His estate had standing to sue on behalf of his surviving next of kin, including his spouse, and an affidavit by a medical professional as to the merits of the case, required under Illinois law in medical malpractice cases, was not required in the estate's federal civil rights lawsuit. Thomas v. Cook County Sheriff, No. 04C3563, 401 F. Supp. 2d 867 (N.D. Ill. 2005). [N/R]
Warden was not entitled to summary judgment on prisoner's claim that he violated his right to religious freedom by prohibiting him from wearing religious garments as an Orthodox Jew while being transported outside the facility for eye surgery. Factual issues existed as to whether the warden's action was reasonable in light of security requirements. There were also factual issues as to whether the prisoner suffered damages because of the resulting delay in the eye surgery. Boles v. Neet, No. CIV03CV00557, 402 F. Supp. 2d 1237 (D. Colo. 2005). [N/R]
Diabetic prisoner's foot injuries, burns from participating in Native American religious sweat lodge purification ceremony, only worsened and necessitated amputation after he refused to comply with medical personnel and undertook to provide his own care. He failed to present sufficient evidence, therefore, to support a claim for violation of his constitutional right to adequate medical treatment. Gibson v. Weber, No. 05-1888 433 F.3d 642 (8th Cir. 2006) [2006 JB Mar]
Doctors' decision to provide only non-surgical treatment for prisoner's inguinal hernia was not deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Trial judge's decision not to provide plaintiff prisoner with an appointed lawyer was not an abuse of discretion. Johnson v. Doughty, No. 04-11392006 U.S. App. Lexis 1060 (7th Cir.). [2006 JB Mar]
Schizophrenic prisoner who murdered Jeffrey Dahmer and two other persons failed to show that prison officials at Supermax facility knew that the heat in his cell, the constant illumination there, and the denial of his request for audiotapes to "still the voices" in his head were making his mental illness worse. Scarver v. Litscher, No. 05-2999, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1135 (7th Cir.). [2006 JB Mar]
Individual employees of privately run prison were not subject to a federal civil rights Bivens lawsuit for allegedly providing inadequate medical care to a diabetic federal prisoner. Holly v. Scott, No. 05-6287, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 685 (4th Cir.).[2006 JB Mar]
Prison's denial of inmate's request for access to weight training facilities did not violate his Eighth Amendment rights in the absence of any showing that the official making the denial knew that such weight training was allegedly necessary to treat the prisoner's femoral neuropathy and other leg ailments. Reimann v. Frank, No. 05-C-501, 397 F. Supp. 2d 1059 (W.D. Wis. 2005). [N/R]
Sheriff was not personally liable for alleged denial of medications and medical treatment to jail detainee when there was no evidence that the sheriff knew either about the detainee's need for prescribed medicine or medical treatment, and no evidence which showed that the alleged deprivations occurred because of any policy or procedure established by the sheriff. Tatum v. Simpson, No. CIV A05CV00669, 399 F. Supp. 2d 1159 (D. Colo. 2005). [N/R]
In a medical malpractice lawsuit brought against prison medical personnel under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. Secs. 1346(b), 2671-80, a prisoner failed to prove that they were negligent when they failed to diagnose and treat his deep vein thrombosis. The prisoner complained of one of the symptoms of suchan illness--shortness of breath--only once before an attack resulted in him being hospitalized, so that there was no violation of applicable medical standards. Goines v. Pugh, No. 04-1394, 152 Fed. Appx. 750 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Despite a detainee's alleged intoxication, jail personnel's failure to either transfer him to the hospital or at least contact an on-call nurse was unreasonable for purposes of a Fourteenth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs when the detainee insisted that he was suffering from a serious medical condition and needed assistance. His estate could proceed with its claim against individual personnel for the detainee's death from an allegedly untreated heart attack, but there was not proof of an official policy or custom causing the deprivation which could support liability on the part of the city or county. Hollenbaugh v. Maurer, No. 5:05-CV-207, 397 F. Supp. 2d 894 (N.D. Ohio 2005). [N/R]
Utah prisoner's lawsuit claiming that prison officials failed to provide surgery for problems with his testicles was improperly dismissed, as the facts he alleged, if true, could support an inference of deliberate indifference to a serious medical problem. Martinez v. Garden, No. 05-4019, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 27179 (10th Cir.). [2006 JB Feb]
Diabetic prisoners who allegedly suffered amputations because of failure to receive adequate medical care for their illness were barred from pursuing federal civil rights claims when they failed to use a prison's formal grievance procedure to complain about their treatment. Their contention that medical personnel had encouraged them to instead pursue any complaints directly with them was no excuse when no one prevented them from using the grievance procedure. Gibson v. Weber, No. 04-3932, 431 F.3d 339 (8th Cir. 2005). [2006 JB Feb]
Correctional officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on claim that they continued to use force against detainee after they had subdued him, resulting in his death from positional asphyxia. They were also not entitled to qualified immunity on the claim that they waited fourteen minutes after he became unconscious and stopped breathing, to summon medical assistance. Bozeman v. Orum, No. 04-11073, 422 F.3d 1265 (11th Cir. 2005). [2006 JB Feb]
Jail staff members did not act with deliberate indifference to the medical needs of a pretrial detainee who died while suffering from acute drug withdrawal with excessive vomiting. Detainee was provided with immediate medical attention when his symptoms occurred. Sylvester v. City of Newark, No. 03-4872, 120 Fed. Appx. 419 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Detention officers' alleged actions of ignoring prisoner's requests for medical care for two full days after he experienced pain, vomiting, and nausea would be adequate to state an Eighth Amendment claim for liability for prisoner's subsequent ruptured appendix. Boyd v. Robeson County, No. COA03-1222, 621 S.E.2d 1 (N.C. App. 2005). [N/R]
Estate of pretrial detainee who died from heart attack while incarcerated failed to show that city failed to provide him with adequate medical care. Record showed that detainee was taken to the hospital after he complained of chest pains. Estate of Harbin v. City of Detroit, No. 03-2486, 147 Fed. Appx. 566 (6th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Inmate's disagreement with the reasonableness of a physician-assistant's diagnosis and treatment of him prior to his suffering a stroke was insufficient to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Prisoner could, however, pursue claims against facility nurse who allegedly denied him medical treatment altogether, based on disputed material issues of fact as to her state of mind at the time. Marcotte v. Monroe Corrections Complex, No. C04-1925, 394 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (W.D. Wash. 2005). [N/R]
Mere delay in vaccinating inmate suffering from Hepatitis C with Hepatitis A and B vaccines was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment. Inmate did not get Hepatitis A or B before he was vaccinated, and his alleged "worry" and "distress" from the fear that he would was insufficient for a constitutional violation. Wood v. Idaho Department of Corrections, No. CV04-99 391 F. Supp. 2d 852 (D. Idaho 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner who claimed that his treatment for symptoms of a heart attack was delayed failed to show that the delay had any detrimental effect on him, and therefore could not pursue a federal civil rights claim against prison officials and employees. Laughlin v. Schriro, No. 04-2101, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 26648 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Jan]
Prison medical director was entitled to dismissal of inmate's federal civil rights lawsuit concerning treatment for old bullet wounds which resulted in four bullets lodged in his body, based on prisoner's failure to exhaust administrative remedies before pursuing litigation. Burrell v. Powers, No. 04-3745, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 26902 (7th Cir.). [2006 JB Jan]
Texas prison system did not violate transsexual prisoner's constitutional right to adequate medical treatment by denying a request for hormone therapy. Praylor v. Tx. Dep't of Criminal Justice, No. 04-50854, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 25043 (5th Cir.). [2006 JB Jan]
Prisoner on furlough from county jail was still in the county's custody, so that the county was liable for his reasonable medical expenses if he was indigent. North Brevard County Hospital District v. Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, #5D04-2178, 899 So. 2d 1200 (Fla. App. 5th Dist. 2005). [N/R]
Complaint about medical care that amounted only to a disagreement about the manner of treatment received was insufficient to state a constitutional claim for deliberate indifference against a prison doctor. Shell v. Brzezniak, No. 00-CV-61521, 365 F. Supp. 2d 362 (W.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner who allegedly told medical staff at prison that he could not work because of a prior gunshot injury failed to show that they responded with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Prison medical staff used a medical team to evaluate the prisoner, and conducted a physical examination, and once he complained of a spasm, they provided prompt attention, including pain medications and adjustment of his work status. Randle v. Webster, No. 04-2239, 124 Fed. Appx. 439 (7th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Expert witness testimony that a federal prison staff had deviated from the accepted standards of medical care and that this deviation had caused a prisoner's death was necessary in order to hold the U.S. government liable for the death of a prisoner from a respiratory illness. In the absence of such evidence, the trial court properly dismissed a medical malpractice lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1346(b). Davis v. U.S., No. 04-5782, 143 Fed. Appx. 371 (2nd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
In lawsuit claiming that county failed to provide adequate medical care to mentally ill prisoners, a report by a consulting expert retained by the county to evaluate health services and programs at the county's jails was not protected from discovery under the work products doctrine protecting materials prepared in anticipation of litigation. The expert was not asked to investigate any particular claims but rather to help the county develop long range planning and analysis of its health care needs. There was no evidence that the county's outside litigation attorney was involved in or directed the preparation of the report. Mims v. Dallas County, No. 3-04-CV-2754, 230 F.R.D. 479 (N.D. Tex. 2005). [N/R]
Nurse who allegedly failed to perform any evaluation at all of prisoner who came to infirmary reporting severe chest pains could be liable for violation of the constitutional right to adequate medical treatment, based on subsequent finding that prisoner suffered a heart attack. Mata v. Saiz, No. 03-1247, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 22746 (10th Cir.). [2005 JB Dec]
Prisoner's mere disagreement with doctors who decided that he was not a viable candidate for a liver transplant or surgery on his umbilical hernia was insufficient to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Prisoner was also barred from pursuing deliberate indifference claims against prison officials who were not personally involved in making decisions concerning his medical treatment. Horton v. Ward, No. 03-6306, 123 Fed. Appx. 368 (10th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Dec]
Doctor's alleged inadequate treatment of diabetic prisoner's fractured hip, if true, only amounted, at most, to negligence, and was insufficient to show either disability discrimination or a federal civil rights violation. Medical treatment decisions, a federal appeals court states, do not ordinarily fall within the scope of federal disability discrimination statutes. Fitzgerald v. Corrections Corporation of America, No. 03-5029, 403 F.2d 1134 (10th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Dec]
Detainee suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, acute psychosis, impulse-control disorder, and "polysubstance abuse" could not assert disability discrimination claims since his impairments, because they could be corrected "or mitigated" by medication, did not constitute disabilities. Jail personnel did not use excessive force in using pepper spray to subdue him when he actively resisted his transfer to a hospital for treatment, and did not violate his right to receive adequate medical attention. Atwell v. Hart County, Kentucky, No. 03-6421, 122 Fed. Appx. 215 (6th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Dec]
Jail detainee was excused from having to exhaust jail grievance procedures before suing for alleged denial of medical care and treatment for her broken arm, when she presented evidence that the jail had a "flat rule" that complaints concerning medical treatment were "not grievable." Rancher v. Franklin County, Ky., No. 04-5220, 122 Fed. Appx. 240 (6th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Dec]
Pretrial detainee's placement in a jail cell with another prisoner known to be infected with Hepatitis C was insufficient to constitute deliberate indifference to the detainee's health, as Hepatitis C is not spread through airborne transmission or casual contact. It is, instead, spread only through an exchange of bodily fluids, and the infected cellmate had no history or violent or risky behavior which would increase the likelihood of that happening. McMahan v. Wilder, No. 04-7115, 131 Fed. Appx. 125 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Diabetic prisoner's assertion that prison medical personnel only allowed him to test his own blood glucose level once a month did not establish deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. A mere disagreement with medical personnel as to the proper treatment for his condition could not be the basis for a constitutional claim. Coleman v. Beard, No. 04-4250, 131 Fed. Appx. 10 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
U. S. Supreme Court vacated a temporary stay order issued by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that prevented a Missouri prison inmate from obtaining an abortion. The Missouri prisoner, who was pregnant when incarcerated on a parole violation, had obtained an order from a federal trial court requiring the state to provide access to an abortion by providing transportation to a clinic 80 miles away, despite a Department of Corrections policy under which such transportation is not provided for abortions that the Department does not deem "medically necessary." The prisoner reportedly planned to pay for the abortion herself. The Supreme Court action, which was a brief two-sentence order, with no dissents, had the effect of reinstating the trial court's order. Crawford v. Roe, No. 05A333, 2005 U.S. Lexis 7841, 74 U.S.L.W. 3270. [N/R]
Pennsylvania prisoner's claim that prison doctor was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, including back pain and partial loss of sensation in his toes and lower legs, was frivolous. The record showed that the prisoner was evaluated by various medical personnel, received several prescription medications, and underwent an electrocardiograph examination (EKG). The failure to refer the prisoner to a specialist or a local hospital did not show deliberate indifference. The doctor's alleged failure to inform the prisoner of the possible side effects of the medication was, at most, negligence, and could not be the basis for a federal civil rights claim. Jetter v. Beard, No. 04-1976, 130 Fed. Appx. 523 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Detainee's allegations that her appendicitis remained essentially untreated for five days, until it ruptured and became gangrenous adequately stated a claim for violation of her Eighth Amendment rights. Detention officers, if her version of the events were true, ignored her requests for medical assistance for two of those days despite symptoms of severe pain, vomiting, and nausea. Boyd v. Robeson County, No. COA03-1222, 615 S.E.2d 296 (N.C. App. 2005). [2005 JB Nov]
Prisoner with prior leg injury from pre-incarceration motorcycle accident did not show that prison staff acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs during his twelve hour placement in a "strip cage," when whatever discomfort or injuries he allegedly suffered while there were evidently not significant enough for him to even mention to medical staff on the day of his release from the cage or two days later. Jarriett v. Wilson, No. 03-4196, 414 F.3d 634 (6th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Nov]
While prisoner's partial paralysis following a stroke might have justified his failure to file a grievance concerning his medical treatment within fourteen days as required by prison rules, he failed to explain why he waited almost two years before filing a grievance. His federal civil rights lawsuit, therefore, was properly dismissed for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies. Williams v. Comstock, 04-6453, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 21086 (2nd Cir.). [2005 JB Nov].
A jail nurse who allegedly took a prisoner's blood without his consent was entitled to absolute immunity in the prisoner's federal civil rights lawsuit when she took the blood under a facially valid warrant authorizing her actions and seeking evidence for purposes of use in his criminal prosecution. Boatner v. Hinds, No. 05-1320, 137 Fed. Appx. 499 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner was not entitled to reconsideration of a trial court's denial of his motion to set aside his prior settlement agreement in a federal civil rights lawsuit concerning the alleged inadequacy of his medical care, one of the terms of which required him to release his claims then pending in another federal civil rights lawsuit. The trial court's order dismissing the settled case without prejudice subject to dismissal with prejudice when the parties filed an stipulation to that effect was a final order for purposes of appeal, even though the stipulation was never filed. As the settlement occurred in 2003, and he first filed his motion to set it aside in March of 2003, his motion for reconsideration of the denial of the motion, filed in June 2004, was untimely and could only be considered if filed within ten business days. Holly v. Patrianakos, No. 04-3031, 137 Fed. Appx. 883 (7th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Investigations by the Washington state Department of Corrections into alleged medical misconduct by prison medical staff were not carried out for purposes of "law enforcement" and therefore were not exempt from disclosure to the press and public as law enforcement investigative records under the state's public disclosure act. Prison Legal News, Inc. v. Department of Corrections, No. 74890-0, 115 P.3d 316 (Wash. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that his rights were violated when prison officials had him undergo a 2-hour transport to another prison's medical facility, rather than being taken to a local hospital for treatment was a lawsuit about prison conditions subject to the exhaustion of remedies requirement of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e. In this case the prisoner failed to file a grievance concerning the incident and that failure was not excused by his claim that his blood sugar level was "out of control" at the time of the incident. McCray v. First State Medical System, No. CIV. 04-173, 379 F. Supp. 2d 635 (D. Del. 2005). [N/R]
Prison officials did not act with deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs when they allegedly were negligent in failing to determine that his medical condition warranted surgery, when his condition was repeatedly treated. Negligence alone cannot be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Trujillo v. Hobbs, #03-50885, 137 Fed. Appx. 663 (5th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
A one-day delay in providing pain medication to an inmate injured in an attack by another prisoner was not sufficient to show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The prisoner, who received treatment by the prison doctor, and was subsequently referred to an optometrist, ophthalmologist, neurologist, and ear, nose and throat specialist, also could not show that his subsequent medical care for his injuries was inadequate. The record showed that he received surgery on his nose, pain medicine, x-rays, and a CT scan over a 3-year period of time following the incident. His mere difference of opinion concerning the proper treatment of his injuries did not show that the treatment provided was inadequate. The prisoner also failed to show that prison officials violated his rights by failing to protect him from the attack by another prisoner, which occurred during a sex offender treatment program's group meeting, since that attack was not foreseeable. Van Court v. Lehman, #04-35815, 137 Fed. Appx. 948 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prison nurse did not act with deliberate indifference in failing to provide attention to prisoner sooner for his chest pains, and who may have been experiencing a heart attack, when the evidence was undisputed that she was working on another patient at the time he arrived, and he was able to walk into the infirmary without assistance and to speak without apparent difficulty. Turner v. Goord, No. 03CV64011, 376 F. Supp. 2d 321 (W.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner who suffered a miscarriage at a county detention facility while waiting for a transfer to a state prison adequately alleged deliberate indifference to her condition to make summary judgment for the defendants inappropriate. Pool v. Sebastian County, No. 04-2799, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 17489 (8th Cir.). [2005 JB Oct]
A mere disagreement between prison medical personnel and a prisoner concerning the treatment for his seizures did not show deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The prisoner also failed to show that officers used excessive force in employing shackles to restrain him during his transport from the prison to the hospital and during his hospital stay. Taggart v. MacDonald, No. 04-35493, 131 Fed. Appx. 544, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 8858 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner with a gastrointestinal problem which substantially limited his eating was entitled to pursue both his Eighth Amendment and disability discrimination claims based on the failure of a prison classification committee to recommend his transfer to another facility with an acute care hospital despite orders from his doctor that he required such care. Appeals court also finds that there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether the prison failed to adequately accommodate the prisoner's eating disability, barring summary judgment on claims for money damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq. Scott v. Garcia, No. CIV. 00-1849, 370 F. Supp. 2d 1056 (S.D. Cal. 2005). [N/R]
California health care manager was not entitled to qualified immunity in lawsuit by prisoner with Hepatitis C claiming that a one year delay in providing a liver biopsy after it was approved constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. If the facts were as the prisoner claimed, this action would violate clearly established law. Tatum v. Winslow, #04-15557, 122 Fed. Appx. 309 (9th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Sep]
Cost alone, federal trial court holds, could not be a basis for denying a California prisoner evaluation for a possible liver transplant when state medical programs did provide such care for non-incarcerated indigent citizens. Rosado v. Alameida, No. 03CV1110, 349 F. Supp. 2d 1340 (S.D. Cal. 2004). [2005 JB Sep]
Doctor's alleged failure to follow an orthopedist's recommendation that a prisoner be referred to a physical therapist in order to prevent his osteoporosis from progressing could only have, at most, amounted to negligence, and could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Faison v. Rosado, No. 04-14315, 129 Fed. Appx. 490 (11th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
The mere claim that the prisoner suffered "excruciating pain" from an ankle injury was not sufficient to show deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, when the record showed that the injury was not one requiring immediate medical attention, and that he was treated for foot and ankle problems at least once a week for a month before and after the alleged injury, and provided with housing and work restrictions accommodating his condition. Day v. Massingill, No. 04-40500, 129 Fed. Apx. 124 (5th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that there was a four-day delay in providing him with treatment for an injury after he fell in a jail's shower, at most, showed negligence, and not a basis for a federal constitutional claim. Any negligence claims were barred by sovereign immunity under South Dakota state law. Dowty v. Tarrell, No. CIV.04-5028, 368 F. Supp. 2d 1024 (D.S.D. 2005). [N/R]
Prison officials did not show deliberate indifference to prisoner's health based on a one and one-half day delay between his first complaining of "flue-like" symptoms and his diagnosis of and treatment for pneumonia. Wynn v. Mundo, No. 1:04CV365, 367 F. Supp. 2d 832 (M.D.N.C. 2005). [N/R]
Thirteen-day alleged delay in providing inmate with aspirin for his headache, standing alone, did not constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need sufficient for a federal civil rights claim. Negron v. Gillespie, No. 03CA1977, 111 P.3d 556 (Colo. App. 2005). [N/R]
New York correctional officials who denied prisoner medication for his Hepatitis C unanimously recommended by his treating physicians because of policy denying such treatment to prisoners who showed signs of substance abuse in the past two years could reasonably be found by a jury to have acted with deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Johnson v. Wright, No. 04-3234, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 12428 (2nd Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Aug]
Federal appeals court reinstates prisoner's claim that prison employees acted with deliberate indifference to his vomiting and severe heartburn for several years, resulting in his condition becoming worse until he was diagnosed with an esophageal ulcer. Greeno v. Daley, No. 01-4119, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 13125 (7th Cir.). [2005 JB Aug]
Prisoner diagnosed with Hepatitis C adequately stated a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment by alleging that he was not provided with treatment or a liver biopsy after a lab report showed abnormally high liver enzyme levels which might indicate the need for a biopsy. Thomas v. Bruce, No. 04-3368, 125 Fed. Appx. 964 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
New Mexico prisoner who was pursuing federal civil rights lawsuit over alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs was not required to comply with the provisions of the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act, which does not govern claims not based on acts of malpractice. Cordray v. County of Lincoln, No. CIV03-0627, 320 F. Supp. 2d 1171 (D.N.M. 2004). [N/R]
Two officers were not entitled to summary judgment on claim of deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of insulin-dependent diabetic prisoner when they allegedly had knowledge of her condition. Prisoner failed to show, however, that the city had a custom of denying medical treatment to pre-arraignment detainees. Garretson v. City of Madison Heights, No. 04-1046 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 7164 (6th Cir.). [2005 JB Jul]
County, correctional officers, and on-call physician were not deliberately indifferent to serious medical needs of detainee who died of a brain tumor. Miller v Calhoun County, No. 03-2434, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 9716 (6th Cir.). [2005 JB Jul]
Jury was properly instructed that county could not be held liable for alleged injuries prisoner suffered from not receiving prescription medicine unless he could show that the county had a wide-spread policy or custom of failing to pre-approve detainees' prescriptions for administration before they reported for incarceration at the jail. Calhoun v. Ramsey, No. 03-3036, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 8694 (7th Cir.). [2005 JB Jul]
Prisoner did not state a claim against superintendent of county jail for inadequate medical care when there were no facts showing that he was in any way involved in a correctional officer's alleged refusal to call a doctor after the prisoner complained of stomach pain, which turned out to be a condition subsequently requiring surgery for the removal of part of his intestines and colon. Hudson v. Clark, No. 04-CV-0010, 319 F. Supp. 2d 347 (W.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
Prison doctor's care and treatment of a prisoner suffering from a hernia condition was not deliberately indifferent, despite the fact that he did not follow an outside doctor's prior prescription, but instead provided alternative pain medication. Guiddy v. Terhune, No. 02-2254, 90 Fed. Appx. 592 (3rd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
A non-attorney administrator of the estate of a inmate who died from cancer while incarcerated could not pursue a pro se wrongful death and federal civil rights claim against correctional medical personnel when his action constituted the unauthorized practice of law under Arkansas statutes. The court noted that the administrator was not the only beneficiary or creditor of the estate, and his pursuit of the claim therefore constituted the practice of law in the course of representing the interest of others. Jones v. Corr. Med. Serv., No. 04-1985, 401 F.3d 950 (8th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that prison medical personnel failed to diagnose and treat his broken leg and failed to provide him with medication prescribed at hospital demonstrated, at most, claims for negligent medical treatment or a disagreement with the course of treatment received, and was inadequate to show a constitutional claim for which deliberate indifference to a serious medical need is required. Turk v. Thomas, No. 04-20181, 121 Fed. Appx. 24 (5th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Prisoner failed to show deliberate indifference by prison medical personnel to either his initial shoulder injury from slipping and falling or his subsequent reinjury. The prisoner himself did not allege that his exhibited symptoms were serious enough to demonstrate a need for hospitalization, and some treatment was provided for the first injury, and the prisoner failed to show that the doctor was aware of his re-injury or requests to see the doctor. Barron v. Pohlman, M.D., #04-1212, 122 Fed. Appx. 416 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Dead prisoner's estate was entitled to file a late notice of claim of a medical malpractice claim against the county when there was evidence from the inmate's treating physician that the cancer which caused her death rendered her "debilitated" and unable to attend to her needs, confining her to her bed and wheelchair. Olsen v. County of Nassau, 789 N.Y.S.2d 264 (A.D. 2nd Dept. 2005). [N/R]
Federal prisoner could not pursue a civil rights claim for inadequate medical care under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) against a private hospital or a nurse there because the defendants were not federal entities. Claims under Bivens require that the defendant act under color of federal authority. Holz v. Terre Haute Regional Hospital, No. 03-4279, 123 Fed. Appx. 712 (7th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Jewish prisoner failed to allege any specific facts to demonstrate that the alleged denial of adequate medical care to him for his asthma, migraine headaches and sleep apnea was based on anti-Semitic motives. Additionally, his equal protection claim was at odds with his use of the alleged mistreatment of other prisoners to show deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Federal trial court grants dismissal of all claims in the lawsuit. Davis v. County of Nassau, No. 03-CV-4148, 355 F. Supp. 2d 668 (E.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
Prison guard was not entitled to summary judgment when he failed to deny that he knew of prisoner's medical problems but failed to take action to obtain medical care for him. Alsina-Ortiz v. Laboy, No. 03-2611, 400 F.3d 77 (1st Cir. 2005). [2005 JB May]
Federal statute and regulations on privacy of medical records -- requirements and exemptions from certain requirements for correctional facilities. [2005 JB May]
Correctional officials acted properly in imposing discipline on prisoner who refused to obey order to take TB test on religious grounds. Detecting latent TB to prevent its spread was a legitimate penological interest and the discipline imposed was reasonably related to serving that interest. Cannon v. Mote, No. 4-04-0222, 2005 Ill. App. Lexis 212 (Ill. App. 4th Dist. 2005). [2005 JB May]
County sheriff could not be held personally liable for alleged deliberate indifference to denial of medical care to pre-trial detainee for lithium poisoning when there was no evidence that he was personally involved in the denial or that he did anything in his supervisory capacity that resulted in or caused the denial. Quint v. Cox, No. 03-3227, 348 F. Supp. 2d 1243 (D. Kan. 2004). [N/R]
Maine prisoner was not required to show compliance with a state Health Security Act, 24 M.R.S.A. Secs. 2853, 2903, requiring that claims of medical malpractice be submitted to a pre-litigation medical screening panel prior to being filed with a court when he was not asserting any state law malpractice claim, but only a federal civil rights claim for alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs under the Eighth Amendment. Faulkingham v. Penobscot County Jail, No. CIV. 04-48, 350 F. Supp. 2d 285 (D. Me. 2004). [N/R]
A prison doctor's decision to have a pre-trial detainee taper off from the use of one prescription drug (Xanax) and start to take another (Imipramine) instead was not deliberate indifference to the detainee's serious medical needs. The risk of serious side effects from doing this was "statistically slight," and the doctor was not on duty on the night that the detainee experienced withdrawal symptoms prior to having a seizure and falling while in the pill call line, suffering resulting head injuries. Burdette v. Butte County, No. 03-15840, 121 Fed. Appx. 701 (9th Cir. 2005).[N/R]
Detainee adequately alleged facts from which a reasonable jury could decide that a doctor employed by a private company providing medical services at a county jail was deliberately indifferent to his need for medical treatment for his allegedly severed tendons on his right hand. Johnson v. Karnes, No. 03-4200, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 3278 (6th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Apr]
North Dakota prisoner did not show that he had a serious medical need which had been deliberately ignored when physical examinations and tests had resulted in a conclusion contrary to his "self-diagnosis" that he was suffering from terminal cancer. Purported "diagnosis" by another doctor who had not examined the plaintiff prisoner, but made his conclusion based on information obtained from the prisoner's sister, was insufficient to create a genuine issue as to the existence of cancer. Kunze v. Diehl, No. A1-04-005, 345 F. Supp. 2d 1031 (D.N.D. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner failed to show that correctional employees were deliberately indifferent to his need for surgery for his back condition, which he claimed should have occurred sooner than it did. The evidence showed that medical personnel saw him frequently, and repeatedly prescribed pain medications until the surgery was scheduled. Additionally, the prison limited his work assignments to those complying with the physical limitations indicated by his doctors. There was also no proof that prison employees retaliated against him for seeking medical care, as the evidence showed that he had indeed violated the prison disciplinary rules as he was accused of doing. Witmer v. Powell, No. 04-7064, 114 Fed. Appx. 372 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Correctional officer who confiscated diabetic prisoner's oral medication pills shortly after he received an insulin shot, and who stated his belief that the prisoner did not then need them, did not act with deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs. Booth v. King, No. 03-CV-802, 346 F. Supp. 2d 751 (E.D. Pa. 2004). [N/R]
New Jersey correctional officials could not implement new regulations eliminating the requirement of the presence of an emergency cart with medical equipment and supplies at the scene of executions--for the purpose of reviving the inmate in the event of last minute stays--without providing an explanation of its reasoning. Defendant officials were required to present "strong" medical evidence that the effects of the lethal injections used were irreversible. Officials would also be required to show how new restrictions on media access to and filming of executions were justified by legitimate penological, safety, and security concerns. In Re. Readoption of N.J.A.C. 10A:23, 842 A.2d 207 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2004). [N/R]
A prisoner failed to show any custom or practice for which a private contract health care provider could be held liable under federal civil rights law for alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. It was insufficient to merely allege various individual actions by the provider's employees, such as failing to provide him with a back brace, when there was no showing that any policy or custom of the provider led to these alleged deprivations. Dashley v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., No. 2:04CV00014, 345 F. Supp. 2d 1018 (E.D. Mo. 2004). [N/R]
U.S. soldier's claim that his Eighth Amendment rights to adequate medical treatment were violated while he was confined at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (USDB) were barred by the doctrine stated in Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135 (1950), barring claims by members of the military against the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act "where the injuries arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service." Tootle v. USDB Commandant, No. 04-3018, 390 F.3d 1280 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Pretrial detainee who claimed that delay in transporting him to a hospital caused him to become a paraplegic failed to show that an alleged county policy of understaffing the sheriff's office and jail resulted in his injuries. McDowell v. Brown, No. 04-10272, 392 F.3d 1283 (11th Cir. 2004). [2005 JB Mar]
In a lawsuit brought by a hospital against a Wisconsin county to recover the cost of medical care provided to an indigent inmate brought there by the sheriff, the county was not responsible for the inmate's medical expenses after a trial court dismissed the charges against him three days after he was admitted to the hospital. Once the charges were dismissed, and a parole hold was canceled, he was no longer in custody for purposes of a statute requiring the county to pay such costs for persons held under state criminal law. Meriter Hosp. Inc. v. Dane County, No. 02-2837, 689 N.W.2d 627 (Wis. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner's lawsuit that medical personnel improperly removed his kidney and part of his bladder without a definitive diagnosis of cancer did not adequately show deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, but instead essentially only alleged negligence, or medical malpractice, which is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Martino v. Miller, No. 04-CV-03138, 341 F. Supp. 2d 256 (W.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
Denial of prisoner's repeated requests for appointed counsel in his federal civil rights lawsuit claiming he was denied adequate medical care and housing was not an abuse of the trial court's discretion. The trial court found that the prisoner himself appeared to have a "good knowledge" of the applicable court rules and had shown, through his filed motions and responses, that he had the capacity to represent himself in the case, in which the issues were not so complex nor were the merits so strong as to justify the appointment of a lawyer. Thornhill v. Cox, No. 03-3680, 113 Fed. Appx. 179 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner who alleged he was denied medical treatment for two days in county jail while suffering from appendicitis adequately asserted a claim for violation of his constitutional rights even absent a showing that the delay resulted in a specific detriment to his ultimate treatment. Blackmore v. Kalamazoo County, No. 03-2222, 390 F.3d 890 (6th Cir. 2004) [2005 JB Feb]
Federal appeals court reinstates lawsuit in which prisoner claimed jail personnel were deliberately indifferent to his suffering the effects of his withdrawal from methadone. Foelker v. Outagamie County, No. 04-1430, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 255 (7th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Feb]
Factual issue as to whether prison medical personnel acted with deliberate indifference in delaying the dispensing of prescribed antibiotic medication to a prisoner, thereby causing him "hours of needless suffering" without any reason for doing so precluded summary judgment for the defendants. A factual issue was also presented on whether a doctor was deliberately indifferent in prescribing a medication that a specialist had warned against on three occasions, causing severe constipation for more than a week following the prisoner's rectal prolapse surgery. Gil v. Reed, No. 02-1823, 381 F.3d 649 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
A genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether a prison doctor was deliberately indifferent to a prisoner's serious medical needs in delaying a recommendation to transfer him to another prison where he could obtain physical therapy for his arthritis. Trial court improperly granted summary judgment to defendant doctor. Jordan v. Smith, No. 02-16152, 90 Fed. Appx. 228 (9th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Pretrial detainee failed to show that jail personnel were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by allegedly denying him prescribed medication and causing him to miss chemotherapy appointments while he was confined. A hospital confirmed that there was no medication prescribed for him at the time of his detention and that he was no longer scheduled for chemotherapy treatment. Additionally, the detainee declined to provide consent for jail personnel to enter his home to pick up any prescribed medications allegedly located there. Scott v. Archey, No. 03-1837, 99 Fed. Appx. 62 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Federal prisoner's claims concerning alleged inadequate medical care provided after he experienced a head injury following a fall, which subsequently resulted in seizures and strokes really only amounted to a disagreement with medical personnel as to the proper course of treatment to be followed, and was insufficient to state a claim for violation of his constitutional rights, which requires a showing of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Smith v. Tharp, No. 03-1293, 97 Fed. Appx. 815 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Inmate who claimed that medical personnel were deliberately indifferent to a wrist condition he described as paralytic and his self-diagnosis of carpel tunnel syndrome could not be awarded damages when medical records contained no indication of any diagnosed wrist condition and a doctor's diagnosis showed that the inmate's complaints of pain were the result of "psychosomatic delusion." Green v. Senkowski, No. 03-0250, 100 Fed. Appx. 45 (2nd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner was entitled to discovery of personnel files and related records of five defendant prison employees he claimed had been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, along with other documents concerning their training and job performance. Any intrusion into their privacy could be addressed by an appropriate protective order by the court. Smith v. Goord, No. Civ.A. 9:03-CV-294, 222 F.R.D. 238 (N.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner's complaint adequately alleged deliberate indifference to his condition of Hepatitis C in asserting that he was denied treatment because of a possibility that he might be paroled in less than 12 months, which did not come to pass. Defendants failed to meet their burden, in a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, asserting qualified immunity, that there was no way that the prisoner could prove his case. McKenna v. Wright, No. 04-0492, 386 F.3d 432 (2nd Cir. 2004). [2005 JB Jan]
Claim against a private corporation for alleged inadequate medical care resulting in female prisoner's death from acute renal failure did not have to satisfy a "heightened pleading standard" providing detailed facts, since corporation was the "functional equivalent" of a municipality and could not assert a qualified immunity defense. Swann v. Southern Health Partners, Inc., No. 03-14387, 388 F.3d 834 (11th Cir. 2004). [2005 JB Jan]
Prisoner failed to show that correctional employees were deliberately indifferent to his serious need for treatment for his HIV/AIDS condition and Hodgkin's disease as he did not demonstrate that any alleged lapses in his treatment resulted in any injuries. Jackson v. Fauver, No. CIV.98-2890 WGB, 334 F. Supp. 2d 697 (D.N.J. 2004). [N/R]
Under California statutory law, both the State and the Department of Corrections were immune from liability on a prisoner's claims arising out of alleged medical malpractice and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Prisoner was also required, under both federal and state law, to exhaust available administrative remedies before pursuing his claims in court, and failed to do so. Wright v. State of Cal., No. C044302, 19 Cal. Rptr. 3d 92 (Cal. App. 3d Dist. 2004). [N/R]
A prisoner who suffered a loss of sight in one eye knew of the delay in his medical treatment when three months intervened between hospital visits for his eye injury after a fistfight. Accordingly, the statute of limitations began to run after the second hospital visit. While the prisoner sued the county sheriff within the one-year statute of limitations period, he failed to add a doctor as a defendant until more than a year had passed, so that his claim against the doctor and his insurer was barred. McCafferty v. Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, No. 04-CA-205, 880 So.2d 84 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner's past "flooding" of court with frivolous complaints and his current "outrageous" allegations that there was a "vast conspiracy" among defendant correctional employees to "kill him" supported a trial court's decision not to grant his request for injunctive relief and a finding that he did not show a "probability of success" on the merits of his claims about alleged inadequate medical care. Federal appeals court urges the trial court "not to entertain any further complaints" by the prisoner which would require allowing him to proceed as a pauper at either the trial court or appeals court level. "The only complaint that the district court must seriously entertain and review is one of imminent danger of serious physical injury," the appeals court stated, citing 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1915(g). Pellegrino v. Janklow, No. 03-3565, 107 Fed. Appx. 704 (8th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Estate of pretrial detainee who died after an asthma attack stated a viable claim for deliberate indifference to the detainee's serious medical needs, based on allegations that he had experienced a prior asthma attack requiring medical attention and that deputies were aware of his condition and were told that he was experiencing another attack, but failed to take necessary action. Cooper v. Office of the Sheriff of Will County, No. 03C5064, 333 F. Supp. 2d 728 (N.D. Ill. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that medical personnel threatened to withhold medical treatment for his back condition if he did not drop his prior complaint about their conduct was sufficient to state a claim for cruel and unusual punishment regardless of whether his spinal condition worsened as a result. The alleged conduct served no legitimate penological purpose and resulted in pain and suffering. Wesley v. Davis, No. CV 01-4310-WJR(RCX), 333 F. Supp. 2d 888 (C.D. Cal. 2004). [N/R]
Daughter of prisoner who died in county jail, allegedly because of the failure to provide medical care for an unspecified illness, could pursue claim against county commission for alleged breach of its duty to provide adequate funding for medical treatment of jail prisoners, including funds for medicine. Shaw v. Coosa County Commission, No. 03-F-1034-N, 330 F. Supp. 2d 1285 (M.D. Ala. 2004). [N/R]
Warden was not entitled to summary judgment in lawsuit alleging that he was deliberately indifferent to paraplegic prisoner's medical needs and "inhumane housing conditions," or on disability discrimination claims seeking injunctive relief. Disability discrimination claims seeking money damages rejected. Miller v. King, No. 02-13348, 384 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2004) [2004 JB Dec]
Even if prison law librarian failed to timely complete prisoner's request for copies of certain documents, this did not show an unconstitutional denial of his right of access to the courts, when the documents in question would not have changed a federal magistrate's conclusion that certain defendants in the prisoner's civil rights lawsuit should be dismissed for lack of personal involvement in the incidents at issue, and that the history of his treatment for respiratory problems, including a mix-up in his prescriptions, showed nothing more than negligence at most, and was inadequate to show a constitutional violation. Rumsey v. Michigan Department of Corrections, No. 03-CV-72221-DT, 327 F. Supp. 2d 767 (E.D. Mich. 2004). [N/R]
Surviving family of federal prisoner who died from cancer while incarcerated did not have standing under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2671 et seq., to pursue claims for emotional distress they allegedly suffered from his death. Gonzalez-Jiminez De Ruiz v. U.S., #03-10274, 378 F.3d 1229 (11th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner, who received favorable rulings in his prison grievances concerning alleged inadequate medical treatment, and specifically, special orthopedic footwear provided to him after foot surgery, sufficiently exhausted his available administrative remedies when the favorable rulings allegedly failed to result in any relief. Appeals court states that a prisoner who does not receive promised relief under such circumstances is not required, under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e, to file yet another grievance concerning that. Abney v. McGinnis, #02-0241, 380 F.3d 663 (2nd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner who complained of chest pains and was later diagnosed as suffering from a hiatal hernia or gastroesophageal reflux disease and high blood pressure did not show that county jail officers acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by immediately treating him with over-the-counter antacids. There was no evidence that the prisoner suffered any lasting physical injury, and he was later given prescription heartburn medication. Stedman v. Dunn, #03-3261, 98 Fed. Appx. 769 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Estate of jail prisoner who contracted bacterial meningitis and died from it while incarcerated could pursue claim that conditions in the facility, including overcrowding, poor ventilation, and structural defects caused or contributed to the prisoner's death in violation of the Eighth Amendment. There were factual issues concerning whether the defendants failed to maintain sanitary conditions in the jail and whether jail medical personnel were deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's resulting medical condition. Brown v. Mitchell, No. CIV.A. 3:03CV820, 327 F. Supp. 2d 615 (E.D.Va. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner failed to show that pharmacy, in allegedly filling his prescription with the wrong medication, was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs or conspired to interfere with his civil rights. The prisoner also failed to provide any evidence that the mistake was based on a racial motivation. Davila v. Secure Pharmacy Plus, No. 3:02CV652, 329 F. Supp. 2d 311 (D. Conn. 2004). [N/R]
Doctor's failure to treat prisoner's Hepatitis C virus with interferon was, at most, negligence, and did not constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Bender v. Regier, No. 03-3529, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 20608 (8th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Nov]
A policy of requiring incoming jail inmates to use a delousing shampoo did not violate their right to refuse unwanted medical treatment. Russell v. Richards, No. 03-3600, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 19388 (7th Cir.). [2004 JB Nov]
In a lawsuit claiming that a prisoner died as a result of prison officials' failure to diagnose and treat his medical condition of a hernia of the small and large bowel, the prisoner's injury was not the death but rather the worsening of his condition. Therefore, since notice of the claim was not provided to the District of Columbia until six months and one day after the date that his conditioned worsened, it did not comply with a statute requiring notice within six months, so that the lawsuit was properly dismissed. Brown v. District of Columbia, No. 02-CV-756, 853 A.2d 733 (D.C. 2004). [N/R]
Failure to provide prisoner with a seatbelt while transporting him, while handcuffed, in bus, did not violate his constitutional rights. Additionally, claims that he was injured through negligent or reckless operation of the bus by the driver could not be pursued as federal civil rights claims. Prisoner could proceed, however, on his claims that prison medical personnel were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs caused by his injuries in the accident. Carrasquillo v. City of New York, 324 F. Supp. 2d 428 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
Illinois statute which allowed the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication to a pretrial detainee was not unconstitutional, but in the case of the individual plaintiff detainee, the trial court improperly granted the state's request to medicate him. In Re Mark W., No. 05-02-0461, 811 N.E.2d 767 (Ill. App. 5th Dist. 2004). [2004 JB Oct]
Medical treatment of federal prisoner for chronic hepatitis C complied with Bureau of Prison regulations, and the prison warden was entitled to summary judgment on prisoner's claim that he was denied proper medical care. Kane v. Winn, 319 F. Supp. 2d 162 (D. Mass. 2004). [N/R]
The statement, in a notice of intent to file a claim against the state for the wrongful death of an inmate, that the prisoner died due to negligence in the medical care provided for his "condition of congestive heart" was adequate to present a claim. Rodriguez v. State of New York, 779 N.Y.S.2d 552 (A.D. 2d Dept. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner's assertion that prison officials, in the course of testing his blood glucose level, "jabbed" a device "deep within the flesh" of his finger, causing "profuse bleeding" and "serious nerve damage," subsequently failing to provide adequate medical care for the resulting injuries was sufficient to state a claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment. Morgan v. Duran, No. 03-17134, 102 Fed. Appx. 587 (9th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Federal appeals court rejects challenges to consent decree requiring improvements to Puerto Rican prison conditions, including claim that the court's order violated the requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Court declines to order termination of consent decree requiring privatization of inmate health care, pointing to continuing serious problems. Feliciano v. Rullan, No. 04-1300, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 16258 (1st Cir.). [2004 JB Sep]
Florida Department of Health illegally repealed provisions of the state administrative code governing health and safety conditions in state correctional facilities by failing to comply with rule-making requirement that it identify the statute implemented by the repeal. Court also rejects Department's argument that state statutes imposed a duty on it to regulate conditions only in mental institutions, finding that it also has a duty to regulate prison conditions. Osterback v. Agwunobi, No. 1D03-1589, 873 So. 2d 437 (Fla. App. 1st Dist., 2004). [N/R]
A correctional facility in Connecticut is not an "other facility" which is subject to the requirements of a "patient's bill of rights" under state law, C.G.S.A. Sec. 17a-540(a). Accordingly, the rights given to patients under that statute to assist with the planning for their discharge from a hospital for psychiatric disorders do not apply when the patient being discharged is a convicted felon and is subject to a further period of incarceration. The estate of an inmate who died in a correctional facility could not, therefore, rely on alleged violations of the patient's bill of rights in seeking damages from the facility and its employees for failure to provide adequate and proper medical care, mediation, and supervision of the prisoner. Wiseman v. Armstrong, No. 16988, 850 A.2d 114 (Conn. 2004). [N/R]
Prison officials were not deliberately indifferent to insulin dependent prisoner's need for a proper diet in prescribing a "self-monitored" diabetic diet in which the prisoner was responsible for choosing the proper food, and he was given counseling and education on how to do so. Additionally, substitutes for certain foods for diabetic inmates were made available. Court also rules that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12132, and Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 794, and their prohibition on "disability discrimination" did not give the inmate a general federal cause of action for challenging the medical care provided for his insulin dependent diabetes. These statutes provide a basis for challenging discriminatory treatment or denial of benefits on the basis of a disability, and do not provide a basis for challenging the medical treatment of underlying disabilities. Carrion v. Wilkinson, 309 F. Supp. 2d 1007 (N.D. Ohio 2004). [N/R]
Alleged failure of city to alleviate overcrowding in jail, resulting in unsanitary conditions, could possibly be a basis for liability for prisoner's death from bacterial meningitis. Doctor's failure to treat prisoner for this condition, however, did not show deliberate indifference, when he testing the prisoner for meningitis and concluded that he did not have that condition. Brown v. Mitchell, 308 F. Supp. 2d 682 (E.D. Va. 2004). [N/R]
Prison doctor's decision to discontinue prior course of treatment of prisoner for gastrointestinal problems and to prescribe allegedly "less effective" medications was insufficient to show deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Doctor's removal of prisoner from "chronic care" list, even though it resulted in prisoner having to make a $3 co-payment each time he requested medical care, was not a violation of his rights when it did not result in any denial of medical care because of the fee. White v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., No. 03-2097, 94 Fed. Appx. 262 (6th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Failure of prison medical employees to surgically repair prisoner's bilateral inguinal hernia was not deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition when prison physician examined prisoner thirteen times over an eighteen months, wrote "numerous" prescriptions, and ordered several tests. Lawrence v. Virginia Dept. of Corrections, 308 F. Supp. 2d 709 (E.D. Va. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that doctor and physician's assistant repeatedly refused to examine him for complaints of back pain and injuries from fall was sufficient to state a claim for deliberate indifference. Plaintiff adequately exhausted available administrative remedies despite his failure to ask for money damages in filed grievances, when grievance procedure did not require him to ask for any specific remedy at all. Spruill v. Gillis, #02-2659, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 12027 (3rd Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Jul]
Evidence did not show that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to detainee's need for medical treatment for his psoriasis when he was seen by prison doctors on seven separate occasions during his five months at the facility, and seen by nurses at least fifteen times, as well as being transported to off-site specialists, including his own rheumatologist and dermatologist on over twenty occasions. Many of the prisoner's specific complaints "relate to the quality of care he received rather than to the lack of care," which did not show deliberate indifference by the officials. Kramer v. Gwinnett County, Georgia, 306 F. Supp. 2d 1219 (N.D. Ga. 2004). [N/R]
Prison officials' alleged refusal to treat inmate's hepatitis B and C by medicating him with interferon did not constitute deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and was not disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq. Evidence was insufficient to show that the plaintiff's hepatitis was severe enough to require such "extraordinary" treatment under generally accepted medical standards, and prisoner failed to show that he was denied the requested treatment solely because of his disability of mental illness. Davidson v. Texas Dept. of Crim. Justice, #03-41185, 91 Fed. Appx. 963 (5th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
U.S. government could not be held liable under Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. Secs. 1346, 2671 et seq., for alleged negligent care provided to a federal prisoner by a doctor who was an independent contractor rather than an employee. Statute does not authorize lawsuits against the government for the actions of independent contractors. Jones v. U.S., 305 F. Supp. 2d 1200 (D. Kan. 2004). [N/R]
Prison policy of requiring inmate to get a court order to obtain an elective abortion did not violate her constitutional rights. Victoria W. v. Larpenter, No. 02-30598, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 8602 (5th Cir.). [2004 JB Jun]
Far from showing that court ordered privatization of inmate medical care in Puerto Rico should be ended, correctional official's own evidence showed that consent decree relief was still necessary to remedy ongoing problems. Feliciano v. Serra, 300 F.Supp.2d 321 (D. Puerto Rico 2004). [2004 JB Jun]
Prisoner's lawsuit concerning complaints about his medical treatment, when most of the complained of treatment took place after he filed his administrative grievance, was properly dismissed in its entirety for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies. Ross v. County of Bernalillo, No. 02-2337, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 8362 (10th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Jun]
Jail nurse who took incoming prisoner's medical history was not liable for any damage allegedly resulting from 51-day delay in eye examination and resumption of medication which worsened his glaucoma when she had no further contact with him after intake process. Prisoner also failed to show that sheriff had any knowledge about his condition or was personally involved, in anyway, in the 51-day delay in scheduling his eye examination. Richardson v. Nassau County, 277 F. Supp. 2d 106 (E.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
Hemophiliac detainee was not entitled, in his lawsuit against county sheriff and jailer for allegedly failing to provide him with timely medical care for a nosebleed, to an extension of time to designate his expert witness. Trial court therefore properly excluded the testimony of the plaintiff's expert, and granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment. Summey v. Barker, No. 632A02, 586 S.E.2d 247 (N.C. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim of a "great deal" of suffering as a result of a tooth extraction which did not "go well" was insufficient to support a lawsuit for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Prisoner's claim, at most, amounted to possible negligence or medical malpractice, which is insufficient for a constitutional claim. Majors v. Ridley-Turner, 277 F. Supp. 2d 916 (N.D. Ind. 2003). [N/R]
Even if prisoner received inadequate medical care after secretly ingesting cocaine upon his arrest, resulting in his death in custody, county was not liable to his estate in the absence of any evidence that an official policy of providing inadequate care was the cause of his injuries. Graham v. County of Washtenaw, No. 02-1614, 358 F.3d 377 (6th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB May]
Federal trial court approves settlement between the parties in class action lawsuit by diabetic inmates claiming denial of adequate medical care. Settlement was fair in guaranteeing certain types of treatment to prisoners and providing for the monitoring of the treatment. Gaddis v. Campbell, 301 F. Supp. 2d 1310 (M.D. Ala. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner's assertion that prison medical staff did not inform him of nor treat him for tuberculosis and denied him follow-up treatment after foot surgery was sufficient to state a claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Allah v. Artuz, #01-0067, 86 Fed. Appx. 455 (2nd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner suffering from diabetes did not show an excessive risk of harm to his health from the inclusion of pork in his prescribed diabetic diet. Doctor only included a reference to a pork-free diet because prisoner requested it and there was no evidence that the inclusion of pork threatened the prisoner's health or that the calories provided were inadequate. Hall-Bey v. Cohn, #02-3731, 86 Fed. Appx. 200 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Statements by state prison psychologist to mentally ill prisoner who made suicidal threats that no one would care if he died did not constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, when psychologist also recommended that the prisoner remain under observation, and the prisoner had access to other psychologists at the prison, as well as to a psychiatrist to whom he had been referred. Means v. Cullen, 297 F. Supp. 1148 (W.D. Wis. 2003). [N/R]
Release of state inmate's medical records to Attorney General after inmate asserted a medical malpractice claim against the state for alleged administration of incorrect medication by prison staff was not authorized under New York state law, so inmate was entitled to an award of $500 in damages. Davidson v. State of N.Y., 771 N.Y.S.2d 197 (A.D. 3d Dist. 2004). [N/R]
Prisoner was not entitled to damages for use of back restraints after his disciplinary conviction. He failed to show that their use was an "atypical and significant hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life," and rash which he allegedly suffered from the use of the restrains was not "serious harm" as required to support a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Tasby v. Cain, #03-30334, 86 Fed. Appx. 745 (5th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Under New Jersey state law, state and county correctional facility could be held vicariously liable for alleged medical malpractice by private contractors that provided medical care to now deceased inmate, since their duty to provide adequate health care to the prisoner could not be delegated. Prisoner allegedly died because he was either denied or given inadequate dosages of prednisone medication for "Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria with hemolytic episode" (PNH), a condition for which the only potential cure is a bone marrow transplant. Scott-Neal v. N.J. State Dept. of Corrections, 841 A.2d 957 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2004). [N/R]
Private psychiatric hospital and not-for-profit company which owned it were not immune under Tennessee law for potential liability for county jail inmate's suicide on the basis of their employee's alleged action in telling county jail that suicide protocol precautions were not necessary for this prisoner. Employee also qualified as a "state employee" because of his service in screening prisoners to determine if hospitalization was appropriate, and as a state employee, he was entitled to statutory immunity, but this did not alter the result as to the hospital or its owner. Shelburne v. Frontier Health, 126 S.W.3d 838 (Tenn. 2003). [N/R]
Correctional officers who allegedly knew that detainee was diabetic and who failed to provide him with food or insulin despite his complaints could be liable for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Federal appeals court orders further proceedings on medical care issue and claim that officers used excessive force in response to prisoner's request for food or medicine. Lolli v. County of Orange, #02-56309, 351 F.3d 410 (9th Cir. 2003). [2004 JB Apr]
Prisoner stated a claim for deliberate indifference to his safety, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, by alleging that correctional officers transporting him refused to fasten his seatbelt while he was unable to do so because of shackles. Prisoner could pursue claims both for injuries in subsequent vehicle accident and for alleged inadequate medical care following accident. Brown v. Missouri Department of Corrections, #03-2193, 353 F.3d 1038 (8th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Apr]
Prisoner's notice of his intent to file a claim against the state concerning injuries inflicted on him during his removal from his cell by correctional officers was inadequate when it failed to specify the nature of his medical negligence claim. Motion to dismiss claim upheld. Cendales v. State, 770 N.Y.S.2d 174 (A.D. Dept. 3 2003). [N/R]
Sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity on claims that pre-trial detainee who suffered head injuries was improperly denied medical attention. There was no showing that sheriff inadequately supervised his subordinates, and there was no claim that there were any prior incidents in which jail employees failed to give needed medical care to detainees. Layman v. Alexander, 294 F. Supp. 2d 784 (W.D.N.C. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner showed that he exhausted his available administrative remedies on his claim that inadequate medical care was provided for his Crohn's disease and diabetes when prison officials failed to respond to his filed grievance during the subsequent four-year time period. Woulard v. Food Service, 294 F. Supp. 2d 596 (D. Del. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner's claims against 26 correctional employees and officials for alleged denial of adequate medical care and unconstitutional conditions of confinement dismissed based on his failure to exhaust available administrative remedies. McCoy v. Goord, 255 F. Supp. 2d 233 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
Jail guards who referred detainee to a nurse one day after he complained about foot pain were not shown to have acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Reynolds v. Barnes, No. 03-1108, 84 Fed. Appx. 672 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that a prison doctor prescribed a different medication for treatment of his high blood pressure than the drug he requested was insufficient to state a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and only showed a "mere disagreement" over the best appropriate treatment. Jenkins v. Lee, No. 03-40573, 84 Fed. Appx. 469 (5th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Female prisoner's pregnancy was a serious medical condition, and genuine issues of material fact concerning whether nurses and guards knowingly disregarded risks to her when they failed to transport her to a hospital and placed her in segregated confinement precluded summary judgment in her federal civil rights lawsuit. Doe v. Gustavus, 294 F. Supp. 2d 1003 (E.D. Wis. 2003). [N/R]
Five-hour delay in transporting detainee to hospital after he repeatedly complained of chest pain did not render jailers liable for his death twelve hours after hospitalization, in the absence of any evidence that the defendants actually perceived or had knowledge of a "substantial risk" of serious harm. Joseph v. City of Detroit, 289 F. Supp. 2d 863 (E.D. Mich. 2003). [2004 JB Mar]
Even if jail medical personnel were deliberately indifferent to insulin-dependent diabetic's serious medical needs by giving him only one insulin shot over a 48 hour period--when he normally received up to four shots per day--the county sheriff's office could not be held liable in the absence of an official policy or custom causing the deprivation. Engelleiter v. Brevard County Sheriff's Department, 290 F. Supp. 2d 1300 (M.D. Fla. 2003). [2004 JB Mar]
Prisoner's claim that his constitutional rights to adequate conditions and medical care were being violated in a private prison in Ohio where he was incarcerated under a contract with the District of Columbia, and that D.C. officials knew or should have known of this, but failed to take corrective action was sufficient to state a federal civil rights claim against the District. Warren v. District of Columbia, No. 02-7120, 353 F.3d 36 (D.C. Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Mar]
Psychiatrist was entitled to summary judgment on prisoner's claim against him alleging unjustified forced administration of anti-psychotic drugs and excessive doses of one such drug, causing memory loss, headaches, twitching, and confusion. Prisoner failed to properly present expert testimony or other medical evidence sufficient to establish a claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, or that the psychiatrist had subjective knowledge that there was an excessive risk to the prisoner's health and that the psychiatrist then failed to act on the basis of that knowledge. Roberson v. Goodman, 293 F. Supp. 2d 1075 (D.N.D. 2003). [N/R]
Homosexual prisoner did not successfully show that prison guard was deliberately indifferent to his safety in placing him with a cellmate who subsequently raped him. The plaintiff's statement to the guard that he was "nervous" about being placed in a cell with another prisoner was insufficient to show that the guard in fact knew of the risk and ignored it. Alleged three-day delay in providing medical treatment following the rape did not show inadequate medical care, in the absence of any showing that the delay caused any harm. Harvey v. California, No. 02-16539, 82 Fed. Appx. 544 (9th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner suffering from gender identity disorder (GID) stated an Eighth Amendment claim for inadequate medical care based on allegation that prison officials refused to provide any evaluation of and treatment of this condition, and that state Correctional Department had a policy prohibiting any hormone or surgical treatment for inmates suffering from GID regardless of their medical condition. While the Eleventh Amendment barred claims against prison officials in their official capacities, the plaintiff prisoner stated a claim against the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections in his individual capacity. Barrett v. Coplan, 292 F. Supp. 2d 281 (D.N.H. 2003). [N/R]
Even if prisoner suffered a serious injury when allegedly defective cell doors closed on him, he could not pursue a constitutional claim for inadequate medical care against prison officials in the absence of facts that showed that they acted with deliberate indifference in denying him such care. Burks v. Nassau County Sheriff's Department, 288 F. Supp. 2d 298 (E.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that a prison official had canceled his prescribed medical treatment with a pain reliever, muscle relaxer and physical therapy on the ground that the prison could not afford the cost was sufficient to assert a claim for inadequate medical care. Wilson v. Vannatta, 291 F. Supp. 2d 811 (N.D. Ind. 2003). [N/R]
California Supreme Court rules that mentally ill inmates, placed in mental institutions after the conclusion of their sentences, may not be forced to take anti-psychotic drugs unless they are found to be an immediate danger to themselves or others or incompetent to refuse treatment. In re Qawi, No. S100099, 2004 Cal. LEXIS 1 7 Cal. Rptr. 3d 780, 81 P.3d 224. [2004 JB Feb]
Corrections employee and prison doctors were not entitled to qualified immunity brought by prisoner who suffered a fractured skull as a result of an attack by his co-defendant in a criminal trial. Prisoner claimed that no action was taken to transfer him or separate him from his attacker, despite knowledge of the hostility between them. Inadequate medical care claims also asserted, based on alleged transfer to facility not equipped to address prisoner's medical needs, and three-week delay of doctor at new facility in examining prisoner. Scicluna v. Wells, No. 02-2117, 345 F.3d 441 (6th Cir. 2003).[2004 JB Feb]
Prisoner whose medical condition (chronic hypertension, a serious kidney disorder, and an enlarged prostate) caused him to urinate as often as three to four times an hour, did not state a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs based on difficulties he allegedly experienced when forbidden by regulation to go to the bathroom during head count. Simpson v. Overton, #03-1151, 79 Fed. Appx. 117 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Correctional officers and prison nurses did not act with deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs by refusing for two days to provide him with prescribed pain pills because he was not wearing pants at the time that the medication was distributed. Court finds that the alleged "no pants, no service" policy did not demonstrate a disregard for the prisoner's health, and the defendants stated that they regarded the plaintiff's action of not wearing his pants as constituting a refusal of the medication. West v. Millen, #02-4055, 79 Fed. Appx. 190 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Correctional policy allegedly denying a prisoner medical treatment for Hepatitis C because he would not participate in a prison substance abuse program was cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Court finds that Hepatitis C is a serious medical condition, that physicians had prescribed treatment, and that the plaintiff prisoner had been free of drug or alcohol use for over two years. Domenech v. Goord, 766 N.Y.S.2d 287 (Sup. 2003). [N/R]
A genuine factual issue as to whether a prisoner exhausted his administrative remedies concerning his grievance over missing a night-time dosage of prescribed pain medication precluded summary judgment for state Department of Corrections Commissioner in prisoner's federal civil rights lawsuit. Richardson v. Goord, #02-289, 347 F.3d 431 (2nd Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Estate of woman who allegedly suffered a heart attack and died after being denied her daily dose of methadone for four days after she was jailed for driving without a valid license reaches $2.5 million settlement of federal civil rights lawsuit against Florida county. The defendant county had argued that the death arose from reasons unrelated to withdrawal from methadone. Estate of Johnson v. Orange County, No. 6:03-CV-655-ORL-18-KRS (M.D. Fla. Nov. 10 2003), reported in The National Law Journal, p. 26 (December 1, 2003). [N/R]
A mere difference of opinion as to what the appropriate treatment was for the plaintiff prisoner's back condition was insufficient to establish a claim for violation of his constitutional rights through deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Gray v. McCaughtry, No. 02-2436, 72 Fed. Appx. 434 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Trial court's denial of state officials' motion seeking to exclude female inmates from the class in a class action lawsuit brought by male state inmates alleging inadequate medical care in violation of disability discrimination statutes was not a grant of injunctive relief, and therefore was not subject to immediate appeal under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1292(a)(1). Plata v. Davis, #02-16161, 329 F.3d 1101 (9th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Award of $108,000 for deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious hand injury overturned by appeals court. Many factors, including prisoner's own failure to seek treatment when he was not incarcerated, contributed to severity of condition, and some facts which caused a delay in surgery or the allegedly inadequacy of post-surgical care were beyond the defendants' control. Hernandez v. Keane, #00-347, 341 F.3d 137 (2nd Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Dec]
Prisoner's claim that he did not receive the specific medication he wanted to relieve rashes and itching from his allergies did not establish deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs when he received "extensive" medical attention for his problems. Kretchnar v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 130 M.D. 2003, 831 A.2d 793 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner who suffered a wrist injury during a prisoner assault failed to establish that warden acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, based on the fact that surgery only took place nine days after the injury. The prisoner was seen by a number of doctors and there was no evidence that the warden ever intentionally withheld medical care, ignored the prisoner's complaints, or knew that the prisoner was in need of immediate surgery or that a delay was likely to lead to serious medical consequences. Shafer v. Carmona, #02-41175, 71 Fed. Appx. 350 (5th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoners asserting claims against county and sheriff for alleged systemic violations of their rights as persons with "serious mental health needs" were not required to exhaust available administrative remedies before filing suit when there was "no available administrative remedies" that the plaintiffs could have used for relief. Shook v. Bd. of County Commissioners of the County of El Paso, 216 F.R.D. 644 (D. Colo. 2003). [N/R]
Mother of prisoner suffering from hepatitis C and AIDS who died within a day of being transferred from jail medical facility to hospital failed to show that doctors at hospital acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Default judgments entered against two correctional employees based on claim that prisoner received no follow-up or special treatment for months after being diagnosed with hepatitis C and as being HIV positive. Rivera v. Alvarado, 240 F. Supp. 2d 136 (D. Puerto Rico, 2003). [2003 JB Nov]
U.S. government's alleged negligent failure to supervise experiments in which prisoner's testicles were exposed to high levels of radiation could not be the basis of liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act, since such failure fell within a "discretionary function" exception to the Act. Bibeau v. Pacific Northwest Research Foundation, Inc., No. 01-36147, 339 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Nov]
Inmate's placement on a diet of "nutri-loaf" as a punishment was not cruel and unusual, despite his repeated regurgitation of the food, and his ultimate vomiting of blood. Prison nurse only knew of two instances in four days in which inmate vomited and provided proper medical advice. No hearing was required prior to imposition of a temporary "nutri-loaf" diet, since it was not an "atypical and significant hardship" in relation to the "ordinary incidents of prison life." Gates v. Huibregtse, No. 02-2887, 69 Fed. Appx. 326 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Inmate's assertion that doctor was aware of his back and throat pain caused by acid reflux but failed to adequately treat it was sufficient to state a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Bond v. Aguinaldo, 265 F. Supp. 2d 926 (N.D. Ill. 2003). [N/R]
Prison doctor did not act with deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of a prisoner suffering from tuberculosis and anxiety symptoms. Doctor examined the prisoner four times in a two-month period, required laboratory tests to be performed, and prescribed medication, and determined that he did not observe symptoms serious enough to require transferring the prisoner to a medical facility. Butler v. Madison County Jail, 109 S.W.3d 360 (Tenn. App. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner's allegations that his leg infection and urinary tract infection worsened and became more serious as a result of inadequate medical treatment was sufficient to support a claim against prison officials for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, but trial court acted erroneously by declining to rule on the merits of prison officials' motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity, particularly when plaintiff did not file an affidavit in opposition or show why he needed further discovery to respond. Wallin v. Norman, #02-1634, 317 F.3d 558 (6th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Oct]
Prisoner could pursue claims against some nurses for alleged inadequate medical care and retaliation against him for filing of an earlier lawsuit, but not against one nurse against whom he had failed to exhaust available administrative remedies concerning retaliation claim. The prisoner's grievance only had to allege misconduct by the nurses and did not need to plead all the elements of a particular legal theory. Burton v. Jones, No. 01-1078, 321 F.3d 569 (6th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Oct]
Manufacturer of paper gown allegedly marketed for use with suicidal prisoners could be held liable when it failed to tear away when detainee hanged himself with it. Claims for products liability, negligence, and breach of warranty could proceed, along with due process claims against city for alleged reckless failure to provide proper medical care for suicidal prisoner. Court dismisses Eighth Amendment claim as inapplicable for the death of a pretrial detainee, as opposed to a convicted prisoner. Reed v. City of Chicago, No. 01C7865, 263 F. Supp. 2d 1123 (N.D. Ill. 2002). [2003 JB Oct]
State prison may not deny treatment of prisoner's alleged gender identity disorder solely on the basis that he only initially sought such treatment after his incarceration. Brooks v. Berg, No. 00-CV-1433, 2003 U.S. Dist Lexis 11911 (N.D.N.Y.). [2003 JB Oct]
Prisoner failed to show that prison officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by allegedly forcing him to do work which caused pain or aggravated a prior medical condition when there were no medical restrictions on the prisoner in effect when he transferred to the facility, and medical restrictions placed on the prisoner at his prior institution had expired and were two to four years old. Hogan v. Oklahoma Department of Corrections, No. 02-7091, 65 Fed. Appx. 662 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner failed to show that correctional officials were deliberately indifferent to medical needs including hypoglycemia, hypertension, dental complaints, and problems with his feet, back, legs, fingers, and wrists. The record contained "abundant evidence" that he received treatment for these medical needs since 1992, and, at most, that he disagreed with his health care providers and correctional officials as to the recommended treatment programs for these problems, which was insufficient to state a constitutional claim. Baker v. Simmons, #02-3260, 65 Fed. Appx. 231 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Medical staff at county detention facility did not show deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs by denying him access to post-cancer reconstructive surgery at Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. While the prisoner did inform them that he had surgery scheduled there, he did not sign the necessary release form to obtain his VA medical records to determine the need for the surgery and the nature of the problem, nor did he show that any substantial harm resulted from the delay in the surgery. Shepard v. Sullivan, No. 02-1198, 65 Fed. Appx. 677 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Louisiana appeals court upholds award of $85,000 to daughter of prisoner who died after being transported to the hospital. Sheriff's employee, during transport of prisoner, allegedly failed to follow doctor's instruction to give inmate oxygen, and did not attempt to clear his airway after the prisoner vomited during CPR. Johnson v. Foti, No. 2002-CA-1995, 844 So. 2d 1050 (La. App. 2003). [2003 JB Sep]
Prisoner injured from a slip and fall on a wet floor in county jail failed to show that correctional officers actually knew that there was water on the floor, or that the water had remained there for any substantial period of time, as required for him to recover damages for his resulting injuries. Heliodore v. State of New York, 759 N.Y.S.2d 554 (A.D. 3d Dept. 2003). [N/R]
Deputy's statement to prisoner, in front of other inmates, revealing his HIV status did not violate his constitutional rights. Federal trial court holds that there is no general fundamental constitutional right to privacy for personal medical information and that any judgment about whether such information should be protected must be left to legislative action. Sherman v. Jones, 258 Fed. Supp. 2d 440 (E.D. Va. 2003). [2003 JB Sep]
Prisoner suffering from gender identity disorder stated a claim for inadequate medical treatment based on alleged indifference to their need for protection against self-mutilation following the withdrawal of hormone therapy. De'Lonta v. Angelone, #01-8020, 330 F.3d 630 (4th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Sep]
Dispute over whether county violated the terms of a collective bargaining agreement by requiring correctional officers to dispense medication to prisoners was subject to arbitration under Illinois state law regardless of whether or not the disputed job assignments were legal under a state controlled substances law. Any exclusion from arbitration has to be expressly stated in a public employees' collective bargaining agreement under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, 5 ILCS 315/8. Rock Island County Sheriff Grchan v. AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Local 2025, #3-03-0052, 791 N.E.2d 57 (Ill. App. 3d Dist. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner's liver problems and alleged "bashful bladder syndrome" were not sufficiently serious to show that nurse was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by approving him for assignment to an "arduous" field work job. Pate v. Peel, 256 F. Supp. 2d 1326 (N.D. Fla. 2003). [N/R]
Federal court finds that New York prisoner was entitled to preliminary injunction against Department of Corrections policy of putting inmates who refused an annual mandatory tuberculosis test on religious grounds into tuberculin hold for one year. Selah v. Goord, 255 F. Supp. 2d 42 (N.D.N.Y. 2003). [2003 JB Aug]
Prisoner who filed state law medical malpractice claim against prison doctor who allegedly ordered him to return to heavy work despite a back injury was not entitled to appointed lawyer. If inmate's case had merit, court reasons, he should be able to find a lawyer to take it on a contingency fee agreement, despite his indigency. The mere fact that the claim was against an employee of a prison in which he was incarcerated was not an "exceptional circumstance" requiring the appointment of counsel. Gibson v. Tolbert, #02-0190, 102 S.W.2d 710 (Tex. 2003).[N/R]
Even if it were assumed that oral surgeon acted negligently in removing a piece of tissue from the plaintiff inmate's mouth while failing to extract his impacted wisdom teeth, it would merely be medical malpractice, which is not sufficient to state a federal civil rights claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Rivera v. Goord, 253 F. Supp. 22d 735 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
While requiring a convicted youth offender to perform military-style exercises at a one-day "boot camp" was not cruel and unusual punishment, the claim that camp officials waited almost two hours before summoning an ambulance for the minor, who was unconscious and vomiting while suffering heat stroke, if true, was sufficient to constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Austin v. Johnson, #02-41137, 328 F.3d 204 (5th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Aug]
Prisoner failed to show that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to his injured knee by failing to treat it for twenty months. Prison medical personnel examined knee and approved surgery, but the surgery was delayed by the timing of the prisoner's transfers and by scheduling problems with outside doctors. Forstner v. Daley, #02-1954, 62 Fed. Appx. 704 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Alleged action of prison nurse of applying the wrong eye drops to the inmate's eyes was not "deliberate indifference" to prisoner's serious medical needs, but at most, merely negligent or unprofessional conduct in failing to check the medication before administering it. Long v. Lafko, 254 F. Supp. 2d 444 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
Federal appeals court rules that prisoner could pursue his claim against the District of Columbia asserting that it had a policy or custom that caused him to suffer inadequate medical treatment once he was transferred to a Virginia state prison while serving a D.C. sentence. Prisoner should not, appeals court holds, be required to show that D.C. officials acted with subjective deliberate indifference in order to pursue his claim. Baker v. Dist. of Columbia, No. 01-5205, 326 F.3d 1302 (D.C. Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Jul]
No liability for federal prison officials for death of prisoner stabbed by another inmate following a fight over a chess game. Having one officer supervising 219 inmates with violent propensities during a facility-wide move did not, by itself, establish either a violation of civil rights or negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act, in the absence of any expert testimony or other evidence that this caused the assault. Officer did not act with deliberate indifference to assaulted prisoner's serious medical needs when he summoned help as soon as he learned of the stabbing. Robinson v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 244 F. Supp. 2d 57 (N.D.N.Y. 2003). [2003 JB Jul]
Because the plaintiff was a prisoner when he brought his lawsuit concerning an alleged assault by prison personnel and forced medication, his failure to exhaust available administrative remedies required dismissal of his lawsuit, despite the fact that he had subsequently been released from custody while his lawsuit was pending, federal appeals court rules. Cox v. Mayer, No. 02-5102, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 11554 (6th Cir.). [2003 JB Jul]
Trial court properly denied an injunction to a prisoner who claimed that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his need for treatment for hepatitis C by withholding the preferred "Rebetron" drug therapy. There was evidence that treating the prisoner with this medication would be "counter-productive" and even dangerous based on his history of substance abuse and failure to enroll in a substance abuse treatment program. Before the appeals court, the prisoner produced documents showing the earlier completion of such a program and evidence that other similar prisoners were given the requested treatment without being required to participate in substance abuse treatment, raising the possibility that he will, on remand, be able to establish deliberate indifference or improper selective enforcement of the treatment policy. Conti v. Goord, No. 02-0084, 59 Fed. Appx. 434 (2nd Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Federal civil rights claim over medical care could not be based on mere disagreement over the proper course of medical treatment, but prisoner could pursue his claim as to whether the "repeated, foreseeable, and lengthy delays he experienced in getting his substitute blankets upon transfer to higher-security units of the prison rises to the level of deliberate indifference." Linderman v. Vail, No. 01-35684, 59 Fed. Appx. 180 (9th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Estate of prisoner who died from a prescription drug overdose state a possible claim for negligence by alleging that prison personnel violated policies requiring controlled substance medication to be administered by licensed personnel, and by failing to complete a timely "unusual incident report" (UIR) concerning the prisoner's suicide attempt. Arias v. State of New York, Claim No. 97942, 755 N.Y.S.2d 223 (Ct. Cl. 2003). [N/R]
Trial court improperly granted summary judgment on prisoner's claim for "deliberate indifference" to his serious medical needs to a dentist who only provided him with dentures fifteen months after first prescribing them as medically necessary, and one month after prisoner filed suit. Farrow v. West, #01-13846, 320 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Jun]
Estate of detainee who died after he was removed from hospital following his arrest against medical advice stated a claim against county under Alabama law for allegedly failing to fund adequate medical care for prisoners in county jail and for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of civil rights. Pre-trial detainee was being treated for renal failure and pneumonia in hospital, and his condition worsened after his removal, leading to treating physician's recommendation that he be re-hospitalized, a request which the sheriff allegedly refused. Gaines v. Choctaw County Commission, 242 F. Supp. 2d 1153 (S.D. Ala. 2003). [N/R]
Inmate alleged sufficient facts to state a claim against prison superintendent and health services manager for acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs arising from spastic partial paralysis causing his foot to flex and his toes to curl into a claw and related chronic pain management issues. Defendants allegedly knew of inadequate care but did not take action to prevent further violations of prisoner's rights. Lavender v. Lampert, 242 F. Supp. 2d 821 (D. Ore. 2002). [N/R]
Diabetic prisoner did not have to present expert affidavit to pursue a New Jersey state law medical malpractice claim based on a stroke he suffered after prison medical authorities failed to provide him with insulin within twenty-one hours of his incarceration. No specialized knowledge was required for a jury to determine whether medical personnel acted negligently. Trial court also improperly granted summary judgment on prisoner's federal civil rights claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Natale v. Camden County Correctional Facility, No. 01-3449, 318 F.3d 575 (3rd Cir. 2003). [2003 JB May]
Forcible administration of anti-psychotic medication on twenty-two occasions did not violate the rights of paranoid schizophrenic prisoner when it was only done in emergency situations when he exhibited behavior that was dangerous to himself or others. Dancy v. Gee, No. 00-7482, 51 Fed. Appx. 906 (4th Cir. 2002). [2003 JB May]
California prisoner could pursue claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence against state and state employees for diagnosing him as having tuberculosis when he was actually suffering from lung cancer. State of California v. Superior Court (Bodde), 130 Cal. Rptr. 2d 94 (Cal. App. 5th Dist. 2003). [N/R]
Informal complaints that a prisoner made to the city's inspector general, such as leaving telephone messages concerning his alleged inadequate medical treatment, inadequate heat in the city correctional facility, etc., did not satisfy the legal requirement that he exhaust available administrative remedies before pursuing a federal civil rights lawsuit. To allow him to bypass formal administrative procedures "would obviate the purpose for which the procedures were enacted." Berry v. Kerik, 237 F. Supp. 2d 450 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). [N/R]
Prison officials did not violate prisoner's constitutional rights by requiring that he submit to a psychological evaluation before receiving medical treatment for hepatitis C, since there was evidence that the treatment could result in "severe psychological side effects" which might place prison staff members, other prisoners, and the inmate himself in danger. Accordingly, there was a legitimate penological interest in compelling the submission to evaluation which overrode the prisoner's right to privacy in his medical information. Iseley v. Dragovich, 236 F. Supp. 2d 472 (E.D. Pa. 2002). [N/R]
Jailer and sheriff were not negligent in addressing the needs of a hemophiliac detainee who experienced nose bleeds, since he was immediately taken to a hospital when his nose began to bleed rapidly. Prisoner's evidence also did not show negligence by medical providers. Summey v. Barker, No. COA02-13, 573 S.E.2d 534 (N.C. App. 2002). [N/R]
Providing inmate who tested positive for tuberculosis only a six months regimen of a preventative drug, rather than the allegedly preferred nine months, did not constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, but only showed a difference of opinion as to the proper treatment. Prisoner also failed to show that prison overcrowding caused him to contract the disease. Prison medical personnel did not show deliberate indifference by failing to respond to "rumors" of tuberculosis cases contained in prisoner grievances, in the absence of actual evidence of infection. Stewart v. Taft, 235 F. Supp. 2d 763 (N.D. Ohio 2002). [N/R]
Federal appeals court upholds verdict for prison officials in lawsuit by HIV-positive prisoner who missed his medication for two periods of time. For Eighth Amendment purposes, the jury was free to consider the absence of concrete serious injuries resulting from the lack of medication as a relevant factor in whether a constitutional violation occurred. Smith v. Carpenter, #01-0294, 316 F.3d 178 (2nd Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Apr]
Federal appeals court rules that prisoner pursuing claims against Louisiana correctional officials and employees for inadequacies in his medical treatment had to exhaust available administrative remedies, despite recent decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court finding the state's prison grievance system unconstitutional in part, since that system nevertheless remained in place. Ferrington v. Louisiana Dept. of Corrections, #02-30256, 315 F.3d 529 (5th Cir. 2002). [2003 JB Apr]
Delaware state prison officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from claims that inmate's Eighth Amendment rights were violated by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke that created current serious medical needs as well as posing an unreasonable risk of future harm. The right not to be exposed to such risks was "clearly established." Atkinson v. Taylor, #01-3565, 316 F.3d 2257 (3rd Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Apr]
County prison officials whose lawyer did not file a response to inmate's claims concerning alleged deprivation of his medication were entitled to set aside the default against them when the prisoner did not show that doing so would result in any prejudice, or that the lawyer's failure was willful or in bad faith. The lawyer did act to set aside the default within seven days and the defendant officials appeared to have asserted meritorious affirmative defenses. Jackson v. Delaware County, 211 F.R.D. 282 (E.D. Pa. 2002). [N/R]
Federal prisoner's civil rights claims concerning alleged confiscation of his wheelchair and destruction of his leg braces, along with discontinuation of his physical therapy following transfer to a new facility, were properly dismissed for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies. Prisoner submitted requests for administrative remedies to warden and then sent new requests to Regional Director instead of submitting appeals to the Regional Director, and no appeals were ever made to the Director of National Inmate Appeals. Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2401(b) claims not filed within 6 months of receiving notice of administrative agency denial were time barred. Smith v. U.S., #02-1172, 53 Fed. Appx. 514 (10th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Inmate who contracted hepatitis C in prison's segregation unit did not show that state prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. Their directive on addressing hepatitis C did not suggest denying treatment, and the plaintiff was, in fact, treated for the disease. Additionally, there was no evidence that those who wrote the directive were aware of the presence of the human waste in the unit from which the plaintiff claimed he had contracted the illness. Outlaw v. Ridley-Turner, #02-2545, 54 Fed. Appx. 229 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that he is currently being denied medical care for acid reflux and painful cysts on his vocal cords could pursue his lawsuit without prepaying a filing fee, despite having three previous lawsuits which were dismissed for failure to state a claim, under an "imminent danger" exception. State prison non-medical personnel, however, were not subject to liability for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs when they relied on the medical judgment of prison medical personnel in denying the prisoner's medical grievances. Bond v. Aguinaldo, 228 F. Supp. 2d 918 (N.D. Ill. 2002). [2003 JB Mar.]
Former director of Michigan Department of Corrections was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability for death of diabetic prisoner allegedly resulting from policy mandating only "minimal standards" of health care for prisoners with chronic illnesses and/or requiring prisoner to purchase his own insulin. Young Ex Rel. Estate of Young v. Martin, #02-1036, 51 Fed. Appx. 509 (6th Cir. 2002). [2003 JB Mar.]
Oklahoma jail reaches $385,000 settlement with prisoner who gave birth, in custody, to a premature child who died within hours. Lawsuit claimed that prisoner made repeated requests for medical attention which were ignored by the defendants A federal jury's verdict in favor of the defendants was overturned by the trial judge prior to the settlement. Smith v. Oklahoma County, No. 00-CV-512 (W.D. Okla. Dec. 11, 2002), reported in The National Law Journal, p. B2 (Jan. 27,2003). [N/R]
Prison doctor who allegedly told prisoner that nothing was wrong with his wrist was not liable for deliberate indifference to serious medical need for treatment for fracture when the inmate did receive "prompt and substantial" care in the two months following the accident in which the injury occurred, including two wrist splints, x-rays, a bandage to wrap his wrist, and a wrist brace, as well as nonprescription pain medication. Additionally, prisoner was eventually taken to an orthopedic specialist for further care. Prisoner did, however, assert a possible federal civil rights claim against prison nurse who, allegedly against doctor's orders, confiscated his wrist brace and did not replace or repair it. Andrews v. Hanks, #01-1454, 50 Fed. Appx. 766 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Director of prison's medical services who acted in an administrative role and was not directly responsible for examining or treating the inmate was entitled to qualified immunity for upholding prison doctor's determination that facility did not need to provide prisoner with a continuous positive air pressure machine (CPAP) to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Meloy v. Bachmeier, No. 01-3415, 302 F.3d 845 (8th Cir. 2002). [2003 JB Feb.]
A doctor's denial of a prisoner's request for orthopedic sneakers did not constitute a deprivation that was a condition of urgency that could produce degeneration or extreme pain, as required to support an Eighth Amendment claim, despite inmate's claim that state-issued sneakers caused him "unnecessary discomfort." The record showed that the prisoner had been issued a pair of orthopedic boots because of the synovial cysts he had on his feet. Rodriguez v. Ames, 324 F. Supp. 2d 555 (W.D.N.Y. 2002). [2003 JB Feb.]
Prisoner did not show that his medical care was inadequate when he received thirteen medical examinations in a one year period, an evaluation to determine whether he needed to be reclassified, and recommendations to treat his muscular back pain with non-prescription medication. A federal civil rights claim over medical care cannot be based simply on a difference of opinion about the treatment offered or even on conduct that might be negligent medical malpractice under state law. Jones v. Norris, #02-2470, 310 F.3d 610 (8th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner could not pursue federal civil rights claim against optometrist for failing to immediately treat a retinal tear following an injury to his eye when he could not show that the doctor was subjectively aware of his serious medical needs. Despite the seriousness of the subsequent permanently blurred vision and light sensitivity that the prisoner experienced, the doctor did not act with deliberate indifference since he saw no sign of retinal damage during his examination. Jones v. Van Fleit, #01-4303, 49 Fed. Appx. 626 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Pretrial detainee's heroin withdrawal represented a "serious medical need" for purposes of an Eighth Amendment claim and lawsuit by detainee's widow against county presented a genuine issue as to whether the county had a policy of refusing to provide appropriate medications to prisoners undergoing narcotics withdrawal. Gonzalez v. Cecil County, Maryland, 221 F. Supp. 2d 611 (D. Md. 2002).[N/R]
County sheriff and jailer were entitled to qualified immunity in civil rights lawsuit brought by inmate who claimed that his serious medical needs were ignored after he suffered a stroke while incarcerated. The plaintiff failed to show that the defendant officials knew about the prisoner's stroke symptoms or his alleged repeated requests for medical help, or that they had any subjective knowledge that the jail policy for responding to medical requests was inadequate in any way. Prison nurse, however, was not entitled to qualified immunity, as a reasonable nurse would have known that a failure to examine an inmate complaining of stroke symptoms was in violation of his constitutional rights. Tate v. Coffee County, Tennessee, No. 01-6304, 48 Fed. Appx. 176 (6th Cir. 2002).[N/R]
Diabetic prisoner could pursue his claim that failure to eat meals after administration of insulin injections could cause pain and stress to his body and brain to the point of unconsciousness and coma, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Federal appeals court also rules that prisoner's alleged failure to exhaust available administrative remedies is an "affirmative defense" which may be waived or forfeited by a defendant. McCargo v. Guelich, #99-3017, 47 Fed. Appx. 96 (3rd Cir. 2002). [2003 JB Jan]
Prisoner did not claim that the alleged ignoring of his requests for medical attention at county jail was caused by a county policy or custom, therefore he could not pursue a federal civil rights claim against the county. Watson v. Gill, No. 01-6249, 40 Fed. Appx. 88 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Doctor who made a correct diagnosis of prisoner's hand injury and doctor who prescribed oral antibiotics by telephone were not deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's medical needs but there were genuine material facts as to whether other medical personnel were deliberately indifferent to and left untreated prisoner's subsequent pain. Walker v. Benjamin, #00-2769, 293 F.3d 1030 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that county jailers and county medical personnel provided him with inadequate medical treatment for his hepatitis C was not rendered frivolous simply because of his inability to identify the defendants by name, but his complaint was still subject to dismissal without prejudice because of his failure to demonstrate that he had exhausted all available administrative remedies before filing suit. McCallum v. Gilless, #01-5897, 38 Fed. Appx. 213 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Doctor's detailed affidavit concerning the heat-related symptoms that a correctional officer who was supervising a hoe squad "should have" recognized in a prisoner who subsequently collapsed and died was not sufficient to establish that the officer was deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's medical needs. Twenty minute delay in getting inmate to the infirmary after his collapse at work was not unreasonable. Bridges v. Rhodes, #02-1629, 41 Fed. Appx. 902 (8th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Dec]
Doctor was not entitled to qualified immunity on prisoner's claim that he acted with deliberate indifference in recommending that prisoner purchase over-the-counter medications when he was aware that the prisoner lacked funds to do so. Keller v. Faecher, #01-57179, 44 Fed. Appx. 828 (9th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Dec]
Correctional facility's policy requiring pregnant prisoner to obtain a court order for and pay all costs of a non-therapeutic abortion, which allegedly prevented a prisoner from obtaining a timely abortion while incarcerated did not violate her Fourteenth Amendment rights. Federal court rules that the prisoner's demand for a non-therapeutic abortion for financial and emotional reasons was not a "serious medical need" for purposes of an Eighth Amendment claim. Victoria v. Larpenter, 205 F. Supp. 2d 580 (E.D. La. 2002). [2002 JB Nov]
North Dakota inmate's claim that he was denied treatment altogether for his hepatitis C, and that the correctional facility's medical director prevented him from seeing doctors because of his prior lawsuits against her adequately alleged a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Burke v. North Dakota Corrections and Rehabilit., No. 02-1922, 294 F.3d 1043 (8th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Nov]
Prisoner's kidney stones and stress disorder constituted serious medical needs, but prison doctors were not deliberately indifferent to those needs, since they treated the kidney stone condition with pain relievers and a medication to reduce calcium levels, as well as catheterization and diet management, and a psychiatrist encouraged the prisoner to get counseling for his stress. Thomas v. Webb, #01-6257, 39 Fed. Appx. 255 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner's alleged "flat feet" (or "fallen arches") did not constitute a serious medical condition sufficient to support a claim for deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Johnson v. Medford, 208 F. Supp. 2d 590 (W.D.N.C. 2002). [N/R]
County doctor's affidavit stating that all medical care provided to a prisoner who suffered a brain injury after an assault by another inmate was adequate was insufficient to support summary judgment for the county when the plaintiff 's claim involved the issue of whether county employees interfered with or delayed timely access of the prisoner to medical care. Rush v. Wilder, #S-00-929, 644 N.W.2d 151 (Neb. 2002). [2002 JB Oct]
Correctional officers' failure to dispense medication in response to prisoner's complaints about pain was not deliberate indifference to serious medical needs as officers were simply not permitted to dispense medication, and officers did alert medical staff. Turner v. Kight, 192 F. Supp. 2d 391 (D. Md. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner's allegation that he was misdiagnosed with tuberculosis and then forced to take a medication for its treatment which made him sick was insufficient to state a constitutional Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, since this, at most, indicated a possible claim for negligence or medical malpractice. Parks v. McCoy, #01-3630, 35 Fed. Appx. 239 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner failed to show that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his need for timely and adequate medical care for his knee either prior to surgery or during post-operative care, in the absence of showing that any alleged delay caused any further harm. Lindsay v. Terhune, #01-16813, 35 Fed. Appx. 677 (9th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Physician and nurses at county detention facility were not liable for detainee's death, allegedly from alcohol withdrawal. Physician, far from exhibiting deliberate indifference, had trained the nurses concerning how to treat alcohol withdrawal, and nurse did not believe that detainee was suffering from such withdrawal, since he exhibited no signs of it other than shaking. Smith v. Lejeune, 203 F. Supp. 2d 1260 (D. Wyo. 2002). [2002 JB Sep]
Prisoner who suffered a stroke after allegedly being deprived of his hypertension medication for a month could not recover for alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment rights in the absence of any expert medical testimony showing that the deprivation of the medication had anything to do with causing his stroke. Robinson v. Hager, #s. 01-2388, 01-3388, 292 F.3d 560 (8th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner could not recover damages for sheriff's alleged denial of medical care for a spider bite or sheriff's alleged negligence in failing to adequately fumigate the facility. The record showed that the prisoner filed numerous grievances during the period in question, including one filed two days after the alleged spider bite, but never mentioned the bite or the need for medical treatment for it. Hardy v. Foti, No. 2001-CA-1257, 812 So. 2d 792 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner was properly awarded $174,178 in damages for asserted delays in his treatment for glaucoma and skin cancer. Evidence showed that, despite his repeated grievances, treatment was delayed and required surgical removal of a lesion rather than cryosurgery and increased the future risk of skin cancer. Delay in treating glaucoma resulted in corneal swelling and might result in the loss of his eye. Caldwell v. District of Columbia, 201 F. Supp. 2d 27 (D.D.C. 2001). [N/R]
Prisoner adequately exhausted his available administrative remedies on his claim of deliberate indifference to his medical needs before filing his federal civil rights lawsuit when he received a favorable result on his grievance, even though he did not take his claim to the highest level possible. Prisoner was not required to appeal a favorable grievance decision, and a further appeal would not have given him any additional relief. Brady v. Attygala, 196 F. Supp. 2d 1016 (C.D. Cal. 2002). [2002 JB Aug]
Prisoner was required to pursue a grievance with the prison's chief medical officer before filing a federal civil rights lawsuit over the alleged denial of necessary medical treatment even if, as he claimed, it would have been futile to do so. The requirement of exhaustion of available administrative remedies in 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(a) does not contain a futility exception. Farrell v. Addison, #01-7094, 01-7127, 34 Fed. Appx. 650 (10th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Arkansas prisoner with asthma and "painful knot" in his side adequately stated claims for deliberate indifference to his medical problems by prison farm doctor and nurse, based on alleged denials of treatment, and stated claim against warden and state corrections director for "abdication of policy-making and oversight" responsibilities. Appeals court also finds prisoner adequately exhausted his available administrative remedies. Leach v. Norris, #01-3315, 34 Fed. Appx. 510 (8th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Aug]
Alleged failure of county correctional center nurse to dispense prisoner's medication for his HIV condition in a timely manner was not sufficiently serious to constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment even if it did cause aches, pains and joint problems. Resulting symptoms were not a condition of "urgency" or one which might produce "death, degeneration or extreme pain." Evans v. Bonner, 196 F. Supp. 2d 252 (E.D.N.Y. 2002). [2002 JB Aug]
Inmate's complaint about the denial of a chair for his cell in order to alleviate his back pain was insufficient to state a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, and merely pointed to a disagreement he had with medical personnel over the adequacy of his treatment. Hutton v. Wilkinson, #01-3667, 34 Fed. Appx. 463 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Paraplegic inmate was properly awarded $250,000 for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs which resulted in him developing severe ulcers on his lower back and buttocks from failure to follow medical orders concerning his care. County policies prevented jail medical personnel from providing adequate care. Lawson v. Dallas County, #00-11078, 286 F.3d 257 (5th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Jul]
Physicians and nurses involved in prisoner's care prior to his death from severe dehydration were not entitled to qualified immunity from liability when there were numerous disputed factual issues about what happened. Mabrey v. Farthing, 280 F.3d 400 (4th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Jun]
Prisoner did not adequately present a case that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to his lumbar spine arthritis. A mere showing that the prisoner was dissatisfied with the particular course or treatment, or even a showing of medical malpractice, is not the same as a showing of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Walker v. Zunker, #01-2895, 30 Federal Appendix 625 (7th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Jun]
Even if prison doctor acted properly in postponing surgery for a pretrial detainee due to his pending appearance in court on murder charges, he did not provide any reason for an alleged delay in obtaining approval for medically needed surgery once he had been sentenced. He therefore was not entitled to qualified immunity from the prisoner's Eighth Amendment claim. Baker v. Blanchette, 186 F. Supp. 2d 100 (D. Conn. 2001). [2002 JB Jun]
Jail's failure to send a deputy to accompany a detainee to two hospitals to which he was transported by private ambulance for possible drug overdose problems did not violate his constitutional rights, even if sheriff's department employees were motivated, in this action, by a desire to relieve the county of the burden of paying for the treatment. Detainee still remained in the "constructive" custody of the sheriff's department, and therefore was properly returned to the jail following treatment. Lutz v. Smith, 180 F. Supp. 2d 941 (N.D. Ohio 2001). [N/R]
Former Georgia inmate settles medical malpractice claim against Department of Corrections for $280,000 concerning delay while in custody of diagnosis and treatment of syndrome which, if not treated, can lead to irreversible nerve damage in the bladder and bowel regions. Jury awards $600,000 against private medical services corporation involved in providing of care, and appeals court upholds trial court decision not to deduct settlement with governmental entity from jury award since "any amount less than $600,000 would be clearly inadequate in light of the overwhelming evidence of the serious, permanent and debilitating injuries" defendants caused the plaintiff to suffer. Ara Health Services v. Stitt, 551 S.E.2d 793 (Ga. App. 2001). [N/R]
The failure of a physician's assistant to x-ray a prisoner's jaw, which would have revealed that it was broken, did not constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, but merely a disagreement between the prisoner and medical personnel as to what forms of diagnostic treatment to utilize. Lindsay v. Dunleavy, 177 F. Supp. 2d 398 (E.D. Pa. 2001). [2002 JB May]
Prison officials were granted permission to force feed an inmate who went on hunger strike for three weeks at the point where his hunger strike becomes threatening to his life. The prisoner stopped eating because he said he was upset about his daughter's death, and the court granted prison authorities the right to monitor his condition through blood tests and to feed him intravenously or through a feeding tube at the point that his life is in jeopardy. In Re Robert Weeks, Circuit Court, Livingston County, Ill., reported in The Chicago Tribune, p. 13 (Jan. 26, 2002). [N/R]
Seven-day delay between prison doctor's observation of a "positive skin change" on diabetic detainee's foot and subsequent treatment raised a genuine issue of whether there was deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs in case where subsequent infection resulted in two toe amputations and stump revision surgery. Spencer v. Sheahan, 138 F. Supp. 2d 837 (N.D. Ill. 2001). [N/R]
A cut to a prisoner's finger, even if the skin was "ripped" off, as the prisoner claimed, was not sufficiently serious to be the basis for a federal civil rights claim for denial of adequate medical care. Sonds v. St. Barnabas Correctional Health Services, 151 F. Supp. 2d 303 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). [N/R]
Connecticut state Department of Corrections was immune from a state prisoner's federal civil rights lawsuit for alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from deliberate indifference to his medical needs, but a state statute, C.G.S.A. Sec. 4-165, that provides personal immunity for state employees could not be used to shield them from claims for violation of federal law. Torrence v. Pelkey, 164 F. Supp. 2d 264 (D. Conn. 2001). [N/R]
A prisoner's claim that a medical technician at the prison gave him "inadequate" treatment was insufficient to state a claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment, which requires a showing of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, rather than simply "neglect" or "medical malpractice." Ford v. Page, 169 F. Supp. 2d 831 (N.D. Ill. 2001). [N/R]
Even if medical care is "ultimately" provided, deliberate indifference to a serious medical need may still be shown by a delay in the prisoner's treatment, even for a period of hours. A genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether a claim for such delay existed against a prison doctor, based on prisoner's suffering of severe pain in his leg for four days for medical problem that ultimately required surgery and a transmetatarsal amputation of his left leg. Seals v. Shah, 145 F. Supp. 2d 1378 (N.D. Ga. 2001). [N/R]
Prisoner could not demonstrate that prison doctor was "deliberately indifferent" to his serious medical needs when all he alleged amounted to inadvertent failure to provide medical care, or, at worst, negligence (ordinary medical malpractice). Additionally, prison doctor relied on specialist's recommendation in determining treatment for avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Palermo v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., 148 F. Supp. 2d 1340 (S.D. Fla. 2001). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that officials' use of tear gas to enforce lockdown was an excessive use of force was contradicted by videotape showing that prisoners, including the plaintiff, did not return into their cells when the order to do so was initially given. Prisoner's claim that he "begged" for medical attention but that prison employees would not help him was also contradicted by videotape which showed officers asking him whether he needed medical attention and him replying that he did not. Fairweather v. Giles Dalby Correctional Facility, 154 F. Supp. 2d 921 (N.D. Tex. 2001). [2002 JB Mar]
Private company and individual employee defendants who operated a correctional facility under a contract with the state were "state actors" for purposes of a federal civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. Palm v. Marr, 174 F. Supp. 2d 484 (N.D. Tex. 2001). [N/R]
Claim that prison doctors failed to provide prisoner with adequate treatment for his suffering from hemorrhoids between surgeries, during a two year period in which they performed three surgical operations stated a claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Jones v. Natesha, No. 00-C-4499, 151 F. Supp. 2d 938 (N.D. Ill. 2001). [N/R]
Prisoner was not entitled to damages in lawsuit alleging that county jail personnel performed catheterization to obtain a urine sample for medical purposes without his consent. Saulsberry v. Maricopa County, No. CIV 98-2035, 151 F. Supp. 2d 1109 (D. Ariz. 2001). [N/R]
Inmate's claim that he was deprived of his dentures and his prescribed heart medication were sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, even if there was an adequate state law remedy for the deprivation of his property. Wynn v. Southward, No. 00-2271, 251 F.3d 588 (7th Cir. 2001). [2002 JB Jan]
Prisoner's chronic back injury was sufficiently serious to support a claim for inadequate medical care, but he failed to show that prison officials were "deliberately indifferent" to his medical needs. Dobbin v. Artuz, 143 F. Supp. 2d 292 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). [N/R]
Prisoner seeking to show that his medical care was inadequate who wanted to introduce expert witness testimony had the burden of proving the qualifications, training and experience of the witnesses were sufficient to admit them as experts who could offer opinion testimony. Court would not, however, bar such witnesses without first hearing evidence on those qualifications. Hucker v. City of Beaumont, 147 F. Supp. 2d 565 (E.D. Tex. 2001). [N/R]
Prisoner could not pursue civil rights lawsuit over alleged inadequate medical treatment when he failed to ever submit a grievance under an available four stage prison administrative process. Massey v. Helman, #00-1478, 259 F.3d 641 (7th Cir. 2001). [2002 JB Jan]
Prisoner had to exhaust available administrative grievances before pursuing a federal civil rights lawsuit over prison nurse's alleged deliberate indifference to his medical needs. "Substantial" compliance with the exhaustion of remedies requirement was not enough. Wright v. Hollingsworth, No. 99-40063, 260 F.3d 357 (5th Cir. 2001). [N/R]
299:167 Jail officials were not liable for prisoner's death after his cancer reappeared and spread to his brain; far from deliberate indifference, they transported him to and from outside medical appointments and made sure that his medical records followed him when he was transferred to a state facility. Phillips v. Monroe County, 143 F. Supp. 2d 663 (N.D. Miss. 2001).
299:166 Prisoner suffering from lodged bullet and hernia was generally provided with adequate medical treatment and, indeed, refused several accommodations offered for his medical conditions; appeals court orders further proceedings, however, on whether officials conditioned a needed surgical procedure on his signing of a complete release of all future liability. Beck v. Skon, #00- 2027, 253 F.3d 330 (8th Cir. 2001).
299:163 Federal appeals court rules that HIV- positive prisoner had a federal constitutional right to privacy for his medical records and condition, but that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity for conduct that allegedly disclosed his conditions to others in 1995, since this right was not then clearly established. Doe v. Delie, #99-3019, 257 F.3d 309 (3d Cir. 2001).
298:151 Failure to honor pretrial detainee's request for a tuberculosis skin test did not amount to deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs; jail officials could properly limit such testing to prisoners with symptoms or who were known to have come into contact with an infected individual. Gibbs v. Grimmette, No. 98-60644, 254 F.3d 545 (5th Cir. 2001).
298:151 Private corporation providing medical care to detainees in county correctional facility was not to be treated as a "municipality" in detainee's federal civil rights lawsuit; plaintiff could seek punitive damages and need not show a policy or custom of the corporation caused the alleged deprivation to establish liability. Segler v. Clark County, 142 F. Supp. 2d 1264 (D. Nev. 2001).
298:147 Prisoner with impaired hearing could pursue injunctive remedies against state Department of Corrections under federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on claim that it should have provided a sign-language interpreter during disciplinary hearings and administration of medical care. Randolph v. Rodgers, No. 00-1897, 253 F.3d 342 (8th Cir. 2001).
298:147 "Continuing violation" of jail officials allegedly refusing to provide medical treatment for prisoner's hernia meant that statute of limitations did not start to run until the last day on which they refused to do so or the date that the inmate left jail; prisoner could claim damages back to the first day of such refusal. Heard v. Sheahan, No. 00-2908, 253 F.3d 316 (7th Cir. 2001).
297:135 Prisoner stated a claim against sheriff based on assertion that he was not given any medical care for over 30 minutes after his finger tip was severed when deputy shut a cell window door on it, and was not even given his prescription medication to take with him when released hours later. Ramsey v. Schauble, 141 F. Supp. 2d 584 (W.D.N.C. 2001).
294:86 Forcible administration of psychotropic medication was lawful when based on treating psychiatrist's opinion that the prisoner would pose a threat to himself or others without such medicine and a treatment review
committee agreed after hearing the prisoner describe the psychiatrist as the "anti-Christ." Fuller v. Dillon, No. 97- 4192, 236 F.3d 876 (7th Cir. 2001).
294:85 Asthmatic prisoner who received medication on 899 occasions during 119 days was not subjected to inadequate medical treatment; jail's policy of securing his asthma inhaler and providing it to him upon request, was not medically unreasonable. Garvin v. Armstrong, No. 00-1263, 236 F.3d 896 (7th Cir. 2001).
295:102 Detainee with complete kidney failure did not show that he suffered a detrimental effect from missing one scheduled dialysis treatment during his incarceration. Napier v. Madison County, Kentucky, No. 99-6067, 238 F.3d 739 (6th Cir. 2001).
296:119 Failure to provide insulin for a diabetic prisoners could be the basis for a deliberate indifference claim; civil rights lawsuit allowed to go forward. Flowers v. Bennett, 135 F. Supp. 2d 1150 (N.D. Ala. 2000).
295:109 Prisoners claiming that excessive exposure to second hand tobacco smoke constituted deliberate indifference to their existing medical conditions and disability discrimination have to provide individual proof; correctional officials who took some steps to restrict smoking were entitled to qualified immunity from damages for allegedly exposing prisoners to a risk of future harm. McIntyre v. Robinson, 126 F. Supp. 2d 394 (D. Md. 2000).
293:74 Paraplegic prisoner awarded $250,000 for inadequate medical treatment provided by county jail, which resulted in him needing three surgical procedures and suffering permanent scarring and disfigurement as well as "extreme pain and suffering." Lawson v. Dallas County, 112 F. Supp. 2d 616 (N.D. Tex. 2000).
293:74 Occasional lapse of deputies in administering medication for prisoner's ear infection, although allegedly leading to a permanent hearing loss, did not constitute deliberate indifference when they did provide medication 162 times over a 20 day period and lacked knowledge that an occasional "lapse" could have serious medical consequences. Zentmyer v. Kendall County, Illinois, No. 99-1163, 220 F.3d 805 (7th Cir. 2000).
292:61 Spanish-speaking inmate had no right to a "medically qualified" Spanish interpreter to communicate with medical personnel; no violation of his privacy right was caused by the use of an inmate interpreter. Cortes v. Johnson, 114 F. Supp. 2d 182 (W.D.N.Y. 2000).
292:58 Forced administration of antipsychotic medication to paranoid schizophrenic prisoner on 22 occasions without hearings did not violate his rights when this was done in emergency situations where his behavior posed an immediate threat to himself or others, and the decisions were based on "professional medical judgment." Dancy v. Simms, 116 F. Supp. 2d 652 (D. Md. 2000).
292:54 Federal appeals court orders "further consideration" when trial judge's opinion granting summary judgment on a wide variety of disability discrimination and other complaints by a wheelchair-bound prisoner was so "sparse" as to fail to really provide reasons for the decision. Beckford v. Portuondo, No. 00-0111, 234 F.3d 128 (2nd Cir. 2000).
292:51 Federal appeals court orders substitution of ACLU National Prison Project attorneys for appointed lawyer for class of HIV-positive inmates in Mississippi jails; order that previously provided that ACLU attorneys could not contact class members violated constitutional restrictions on free speech, association, and right to counsel. Gates v. Cook, #99-60609, 234 F.3d 221 (5th Cir. 2000).
291:38 Medical personnel's decision to furnish dialysis for prisoner suffering from kidney disease, rather than pursuing a kidney transplant for him, did not violate prisoner's rights, despite medical studies cited by prisoner indicating that transplant recipients had a better chance of survival. Barron v. Keohane, #99-2201, 216 F.3d 692 (8th Cir. 2000).
291:38 Former prisoner, who sued over delay in treatment of cheek abscess, was not a "prisoner" required to exhaust available administrative remedies before pursuing a federal civil rights lawsuit. Burton v. City of Philadelphia, 121 F. Supp. 2d 810 (E.D. Pa. 2000).
291:37 Delay in diagnosing the true nature and seriousness of a prisoner's injury may have been negligence, but it did not show deliberate indifference to his medical needs and therefore could not be the basis for a federal civil rights claim. Irby v. Frisnia, 119 F. Supp. 2d 130 (N.D.N.Y. 2000).
291:35 Prisoner with AIDS could not recover damages for allegedly inadequate medical treatment when he refused to take an HIV test to show that he needed requested drugs. Walker v. Peters, #97-1058, 233 F.3d 494 (7th Cir. 2000).
290:21 Correctional officials had a duty to provide continuing medical services for a prisoner being paroled, at least until the prisoner would be able to arrange for treatment on his own; allegation that he was wrongfully paroled without provision for such services when treating physician recommended follow-up surgery stated a claim for violation of constitutional rights. Lugo v. Senkowski, 114 F. Supp. 2d 111 (N.D.N.Y. 2000).
291:35 Prisoner with AIDS could not recover damages for allegedly inadequate medical treatment when he refused to take an HIV test to show that he needed requested drugs. Walker v. Peters, #97-1058, 233 F.3d 494 (7th Cir. 2000).
289:9 Prisoner's failure to name the warden or correctional commissioner in his administrative grievances concerning alleged denial of prescribed treatment for his hernia did not constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies so as to require dismissal of his subsequent federal civil rights lawsuit against them. Brown v. Sikes, No. 98- 08727, 212 F.3d 1205 (11th Cir. 2000).
289:6 Federal prisoner could not sue doctors employed by the Public Health Service for violation of his constitutional rights; a lawsuit against the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act was his exclusive remedy for any problems arising from his medical treatment by them. Seminario Navarrete v. Vanyur, 110 F. Supp. 2d 605 (N.D. Ohio 2000).
289:3 Claim that prison doctor changed the medication of a prisoner suffering from AIDS solely on the basis of cost, causing serious side effects and shortened life expectancy, was sufficient to state a claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Taylor v. Barnett, 105 F. Supp. 2d 483 (E.D.Va. 2000).
[N/R] Trial court's dismissal with prejudice of prisoner's state law medical negligence claim based on his failure to file an adequate physician's certificate of merit was an abuse of discretion. Sherrod v. Lingle, No. 99-3385, 223 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2000).
283:104 Doctor's actions in adjusting prisoner's anti-seizure medication, and referring prisoner to a neurologist when he complained of side effects, did not constitute "deliberate indifference," but was rather aimed at attempting to determine the proper dosage for treatment. Jolly v. Knudsen, #99-1928, 205 F.3d 1094 (8th Cir. 2000).
284:116 New Jersey Supreme Court rejects employer's argument that it could fire a prison nurse for circumventing the "chain of command" in complaining to her supervisor's supervisor of inmates being provided with medicine and medical services without being charged a legally required co-payment and being provided with medication under expired doctor's orders; further proceedings ordered on nurse's "whistleblowing" lawsuit. Fleming v. Correctional Healthcare Solutions, Inc., 164 N.J. 90, 751 A.2d 1035 (2000).
286:147 County sheriff was not entitled to qualified immunity from lawsuit by 52-year-old prisoner with AIDS challenging an alleged policy of shackling all hospitalized inmates hand and foot 24 hours a day despite also having an armed guard stationed at their hospital room; lawsuit stated claims for denial of access to the courts, denial of equal protection, and excessive bodily restraint of a pretrial detainee. May v. Sheahan, #99-3140, 226 F.3d 876 (7th Cir. 2000).
286:147 Alleged delay in providing Spanish-speaking prisoner with AIDS medication was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment when there was no claim that the failure to adequately advise him of prison medical policies was deliberate; prisoner had no clearly established right to Spanish-speaking medical personnel, so prison officials were not liable for an "invasion of privacy" allegedly resulting from inmate's need to use other prisoners as interpreters. Leon v. Johnson, 96 F. Supp. 2d 244 (W.D.N.Y. 2000).
287:166 Illinois jury awards $9.6 million in damages to estate of baby which died after her mother, a detainee at a county jail, went into labor at the detention facility; lawsuit claimed that jail and hospital provided inadequate medical care, believing prisoner's pains were related to drug withdrawal rather than the pregnancy. LaSalle Bank, Administrator, Estate of Hughes, v. County of Cook, No. 97L-12473, Cir. Ct. Cook County, IL., Oct. 19, 2000, reported in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, p. 3 (Oct. 20, 2000).
287:167 Maryland high court rules that prisoner did not have to exhaust available administrative remedies before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a prison's private contractor medical services provider; state statute requiring exhaustion of remedies only was intended to apply to claims against governmental entities. Adamson v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., No 78, Sep. Term, 1999, 753 A.2d 501 (Md. 2000).
279:41 Jury awards $2 million to prisoner blinded while operating trash compactor during prison work assignment; suit claimed a delay in medical treatment contributed to blindness. Williams v. Patel, No. 96-1369, U.S. Dist. Ct (C.D. Ill.), reported in The National Law Journal, p. A12 (Feb. 21, 2000). Subsequent decision denying new trial at: 104 F. Supp. 2d 984 (C.D. Ill. 2000).
281:68 Jail physician who had prescribed pain medicine for detainee with back pain did not act with deliberate indifference to detainee's serious medical needs; international human rights treaty requiring that prisoners be treated humanely did not give prisoner a right to any greater degree of medical care than otherwise already required under federal law. Ralk v. Lincoln County, Georgia, 81 F. Supp. 2d 1372 (S.D. Ga. 2000).
281:71 Texas prisoner pursuing only money damages for alleged failure to provide medical treatment for a ruptured eardrum did not need to exhaust administrative remedies when state administrative remedies did not allow for awards of money; appeals court panel urges full Fifth Circuit federal appeals court to reconsider this rule, however. Wright v. Hollingsworth, No. 99-40063,201 F.3d 663 (5th Cir. 2000).
282:86 Colorado Supreme Court vacates $180,000
judgment (reduced from $1.8 million jury award) against state based on alleged negligence in treating prisoner's infection that wound up leaving him partially paralyzed; prisoner did not comply with state statute requiring approval of a medical professional for medical malpractice claims; federal civil rights claims reinstated, however. Colorado, State of, v. Nieto, No. 97SC876, 993 P.2d 493 (Colo. 2000).
283:105 Prisoner's complaint that county jail did not have the number of paramedics that its own staffing policy called for did not establish a federal civil rights violation; prisoner's bare allegation of "delay" in medical tests and treatment did not make a federal claim when he failed to show any serious medical need requiring treatment. Lewis v. Sheahan, 35 F. Supp. 2d 633 (N.D. Ill. 1999).
[N/R] Prisoner failed to show that prison officials demonstrated deliberate indifference to her medical needs after alleged rape. Giron v. Corrections Corp. of America, No. 98-2231, 191 F.3d 1281 (10th Cir. 1999).
[N/R] Detainee with asthma failed to show that her medical needs were "serious" while in custody. Olabisiomotosho v. City of Houston, No. 98-20027, 185 F.3d 521 (5th Cir. 1999).
[N/R] Complaint failed to state claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs against officer when it did not allege that officer knew that inmate was suffering from a serious medical condition. Jones v. Simek, No. 98- 2243, 193 F.3d 485 (7th Cir. 1999).
[N/R] Prison physician who was allegedly fired for opposing the medical treatment of some prisoners did not have standing to assert prisoner's Eighth Amendment claims or their right to access to the courts, since these claims related exclusively to the rights of the prisoners. Massey v. Helman, #99-1459, 196 F.3d 727 (7th Cir. 1999).
286:153 Sheriff's alleged policy of releasing critically ill prisoners from custody in order to avoid expenses, even if true, did not actually contribute to prisoner's death, so that he could not be held liable for it. Chuffo v. Ramsey, 55 F. Supp. 2d 860 (N.D. Ill. 1999).
287:164 One-year statute of limitations for bringing a federal civil rights lawsuit in Louisiana was extended during the time the prisoner was pursuing his available administrative remedies, as he was legally required to do under the Prison Litigation Reform Act; plaintiff stated a claim for deliberate indifference to treatment of his broken jaw. Harris v. Hegmann, No. 98-30617, 198 F.3d 153 (5th Cir. 1999).
286:150 Failure to provide double amputee with a wheelchair during his incarceration in a county jail did not violate the Eighth Amendment since jail corridors were too narrow for wheelchair access and there were legitimate security concerns about the presence of a wheelchair in the general population; prisoner did, however, state possible claims for violation of the Eighth Amendment and disability discrimination statutes based on alleged "deliberate indifference" to his serious medical needs. Schmidt v. Odell, 64 F. Supp. 2d 1014 (D. Kan. 1999).
284:121 Denying female prisoner access to abortion services violated her rights and constituted deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of a pregnant prisoner. Doe v. Barron, 92 F. Supp. 2d 694 (S.D. Ohio 1999).
284:122 Federal appeals court orders further proceedings on claim that deputy sheriff and jail's contract doctor were deliberately indifferent to diabetic prisoner's need for treatment; claim against doctor asserted that doctor ignored adverse reactions to medication initially prescribed. Roberson v. Bradshaw, No. 98-2389, 198 F.3d 645 (8th Cir. 1999).
285:133 County jail nurse and doctor were not entitled to qualified immunity from claim by deceased prisoner's estate that they failed to respond to his consistent complaints over several months of increasingly severe stomach pain by recognizing the need for further diagnosis; prisoner died of cancer after early discharge from jail. McElligott v. Foley, No. 98-3451, 182 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 1999).
282:89 Correctional officers were not liable for failure to protect prisoner from being hit in the head by another inmate with a softball bat; there were no prior fights or threats between the two prisoners or anything else that would lead them to anticipate such an attack; no evidence showed deliberate indifference to subsequent medical needs and there was no liability for alleged decision to parole prisoner to avoid additional medical expenses. Randolph v. State of Maryland, 74 F. Supp. 2d 537 (D. Md. 1999).
283:100 Arizona statutory amendment eliminating tolling (extension) of statute of limitations for prisoner lawsuits did not apply retroactively to bar prisoner's lawsuit over his medical treatment when the tolling had already taken place before the law was changed, even when the prisoner did not actually file his lawsuit until after the change was effective. Tworivers v. Lewis, No. 97-15844, 174 F.3d 987 (9th Cir. 1999).
277:6 Sheriff and deputies were not liable for arrestee's bizarre action of blinding himself by plucking out his eyes; while prisoner's behavior was "increasingly erratic," there was nothing which informed the defendants that he had an intent to harm himself; defendants attempted to care for prisoner and did not act with deliberate indifference. Sibley v. LeMaire, #98-30301, 184 F.3d 481 (5th Cir. 1999).
279:41 Prison psychiatrists were not liable for prisoner's suicide by overdosing on prescribed medication he hoarded, despite their purported knowledge of his suicidal thoughts and medicine hoarding at another facility; psychiatrists did not know that "pill line" procedures were insufficient to prevent such hoarding. Williams v. Mehra, No. 97-1118, 186 F.3d 685 (6th Cir. 1999).
279:44 Correctional officers could be liable for assaults on male-to-female transsexual prisoner allegedly caused by the disclosure of prisoner's condition to other inmates; defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity on failure to protect claim, but one defendant did have qualified immunity on privacy/confidentiality of medical records claim. Powell v. Schriver, No. 97-2851, 175 F.3d 107 (2nd Cir. 1999).
» Article: "Managed health care in prisons as cruel and unusual punishment," 90 (1) J. of Crim. L. & Crim. 195-237, Northw. Univ. Sch. of Law (1999).
274:149 Correctional officer's failure to provide prisoner with a two-week supply of prescribed psychotropic medication while releasing him could constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs; prisoner could experience delay in being able to obtain medication on his own and therefore should be provided with enough to prevent problems. Wakefield v. Thompson, #96-16323, 177 F.3d 1160 (9th Cir. 1999).
» Editor's Note: In an unpublished order on the same date, the appeals court upheld the dismissal of the prisoner's claims against three other defendants, based on the plaintiff's failure to allege that they personally "knew of or participated" in denying the prisoner his medication supply. These defendants were the director of the state Department of Corrections, the ex-warden of the prison, and the staff psychiatrist who prescribed the medication. Wakefield v. Thompson, #96-16323, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 11089 (9th Cir.).
275:167 Co. jail's interest in preserving life, preventing suicide, and maintaining institutional security and discipline outweighed pretrial detainee's right to refuse kidney dialysis medical treatment without which he would die; Iowa Supreme Court rules that county sheriff was entitled to order compelling detainee to submit to the treatment. Polk Co. Sheriff v. Iowa Dist. Court for Polk Co., No. 99-219, 594 N.W.2d 421 (Iowa 1999).
272:116 Federal appeals court reinstates HIV- positive prisoner's lawsuit complaining of nine months of denial of outdoor exercise and prison's requirement that he wear a face mask whenever leaving his cell; such restrictions might constitute due process or Eighth Amendment violations; failure to provide him with particular medication he wanted, however, did not show deliberate indifference when he was receiving other treatment. Perkins v. Kansas Dept. of Corrections, #98-3005, 165 F.3d 803 (10th Cir. 1999).
269:71 Federal jury awards $1.75 million to mother of 15-year-old female juvenile detainee who died within a day of complaining of a headache; treatment of four doses of Tylenol alleged to be inadequate in light of medical examiner's opinion that girl exhibited "an obvious neurological crisis." Edwards v. Williams, U.S. Dist. Ct., No. 5:97-CV-720-2 (M.D. Ga. Feb. 9, 1999), reported in Fulton Co. Daily Record, Feb. 12, 1999.
270:86 Jury awards $5.4 million to schizophrenic veteran detained in solitary for 65 of 104 days he spent in county jail on charges that were later dropped; lawsuit asserted that conditions in solitary worsened his mental illness. Lawson v. Trowbridge, No. 96C 757 C (W.D. Wis. March 10, 1999), reported in The National Law Journal, p. B15 (April 19, 1999).
270:86 Prisoner's allegation that correctional officer deliberately refused to give him his pain medication prescribed by prison doctor to alleviate side effects of anti- cancer radiation treatment stated Eighth Amendment claim. Ralston v. McGovern, #97-2438, 167 F.3d 1160 (7th Cir. 1999).
265:8 Delay in treatment of prisoner's broken hand, resulting in surgery becoming "impractical," even if it would constitute medical malpractice, was insufficient to state a claim for a violation of constitutional rights when prison officials did not have "actual knowledge of the risk of harm" and then engage in "deliberate inaction." Bryan v. Endell, #97-1393, 141 F.3d 1290 (8th Cir. 1998).
266:22 Prisoner may have had a "serious medical need" to take his anti-seizure medication at the prescribed time, but prison officials did not act with "deliberate indifference" by delaying medication for two hours when there was no evidence they knew that delay could be harmful. Jolly v. Badgett, #97-1588, 144 F.3d 573 (8th Cir. 1998).
267:39 Prison doctors' failure to diagnose tumor which later caused prisoner to go blind was insufficient to assert a claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical condition. Johnson v. Quinones, 145 F.3d 164 (4th Cir. 1998).
268:51 Medical personnel did not engage in deliberate indifference to medical needs of HIV positive prisoner when they refused to provide him with a specific name-brand dietary supplement he preferred to the daily dietary supplement snack he was given. Polanco v. Dworzack, 25 F.Supp.2d 148 (W.D.N.Y. 1998).
268:53 Nursing director did not act with deliberate indifference to medical needs of prisoner who had suffered chest pains by requiring him to submit to various medical tests before determining whether to summon doctor. McNeil v. Redman, 21 F.Supp.2d 884 (C.D. Ill. 1998).
271:101 Prisoner was properly assessed some costs of medical treatment of other inmate and correctional officer required because of his misconduct; Pennsylvania statute, however, limited assessment of other inmate's medical expenses to two-thirds. Anderson v. Horn, 723 A.2d 254 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).
271:101 While prison doctor failed to diagnose injured prisoner's fractured hip, this did not constitute deliberate indifference, since he did not realize that an x-ray would have revealed this injury; county did not act improperly in hiring doctor merely because of prior medical malpractice claims. Bednar v. Co. of Schuylkill, 29 F.Supp.2d 250 (E.D. Pa. 1998).
271:102 Nondangerous pretrial detainee was entitled to a judicial hearing, rather than an administrative hearing, prior to forcible application of antipsychotic drugs to make him competent to stand trial. U.S. v. Brandon, #97- 3812, 156 F.3d 947 (6th Cir. 1998).
272:121 District of Columbia did not violate Spanish-speaking prisoners' rights by failing to provide official interpreters for all disciplinary, classification, housing, or other institutional hearings, or by failing to have bilingual medical personnel. Franklin v. District of Columbia, #97-7162, 163 F.3d 625 (D.C. Cir. 1998).
272:124 Federal Bureau of Prisons Medical Director not liable for alleged failure to provide treatment to transsexual prisoner; medical director's job did not require him to diagnose individual patients or prescribe treatment and he was entitled to qualified immunity for properly relying on local medical personnel to provide appropriate treatment. Farmer v. Moritsugu, #98-5087, 163 F.3d 610 (D.C. Cir. 1998).
273:135 Court rejects prisoner's assertion that annual TB testing, rather than testing every six months, constituted deliberate indifference to serious medical problems; prescribing of drug for active TB which had potential liver-damaging side effects was also not deliberate indifference, particularly when inmate was monitored for possible side effects of drug. Maldonado v. Terhune, 28 F.Supp.2d 284 (D.N.J. 1998).
273:140 Prison classification specialist and segregation unit supervisor without specific knowledge of prisoner's prior alleged suicide attempt were not liable for failure to prevent his successful suicide; prison clinical psychologist who failed to place prisoner on suicide watch, but instead referred him to psychiatrist for further evaluation did not act with deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Greffey v. State of Ala. Dept. of Corrections, 996 F.Supp. 1368 (S.D. Ala. 1998).
274:156 Mandatory administration of TB test did not violate prisoner's right to religious freedom, despite her claim that the Bible prohibited the "injection of artificial substances" into her body; prison's legitimate interest in controlling infectious disease justified forcible administration of test. Hasenmeier-McCarthy v. Rose, 986 F.Supp. 464 (S.D. Ohio 1998).
275:168 Prisoner's assertion that jail personnel denied him his epilepsy medication for eleven days, resulting in him having a seizure, despite knowing of his disease and his repeated requests for his medicine, stated a claim for unconstitutional deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Hudson v. McHugh, #97-1437, 148 F.3d 859 (7th Cir. 1998).
[N/R] Allegation that prison doctor mistook prisoner patient for another patient, resulting in prisoner undergoing unneeded treatment and not receiving treatment for her actual problems did not state a federal civil rights claim, but, at most, negligence. Franklin v. Zain, #97-2342, 152 F.3d 783 (8th Cir. 1998).
[N/R] It was not an abuse of discretion to refuse female prisoner's request to proceed under a pseudonym in her lawsuit alleging that she was denied funds for transportation and medical expenses for abortion services; prisoner's identity was already known to defendant, state corrections department, and correctional employees. M.M. v. Zavaras, #96-1507, 139 F.3d 798 (10th Cir. 1998).
[N/R] Prisoner adequately stated a federal constitutional claim against doctors who allegedly treated him with an experimental drug while he was unconscious following an accident; doctors would have violated due process if they acted for research purposes rather than for purposes of treating prisoner for his injuries. Johnson v. Meltzer, No. 95-56404, 134 F.3d 1393 (9th Cir. 1998).
263:171 Legitimate prison interest in preventing the spread of tuberculosis justified requirement that prisoner either submit to TB skin test, despite religious objection, or else be subjected to administrative segregation for a one year period. Africa v. Horn, 998 F.Supp. 557 (E.D. Pa. 1998).
263:167 Prisoner's rights were not violated by provision of prison-based dental care rather than hospital-based dental care; he did not show any irreparable harm from place of treatment, and refused to cooperate with tests which would have established whether or not he was allergic, as he claimed, to anesthesia used in prison dental practice. Darul-Islam v. DuBois, 997 F.Supp. 176 (D. Mass. 1998).
253:3 Correctional officer liable for $175,000 for shooting prisoner to break up altercation and prison doctor liable for $50,000 for medical malpractice for treatment of prisoner's wounds; fact that state of California would indemnify defendants for damages did not render lawsuit one against the state, so defendants were not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity in federal court. Ashker v. Calif. Depart. of Corrections, 112 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 1997).
253:7 Prison officials did not violate prisoner's rights by delay in supplying him with sunglasses for light sensitivity when there was medical testimony that this delay did not cause any further damage to prisoner's eye. Crowley v. Hedgepeth, 109 F.3d 500 (8th Cir. 1997).
253:7 Five dollar co-payment for medical visits did not violate prisoner rights; medical care was not denied or delayed based on the requirement and no fee was charged if prisoners did not have the funds for the co-payment or in instances of life- threatening or emergency situations. Gardner v. Wilson, 959 F.Supp. 1224 (C.D. Cal. 1997).
254:20 Nurse liable for $1,000 for delay in sending pregnant prisoner in labor to hospital; federal appeals court overturns $3,500 award of punitive damages, however, finding that conduct was not sufficiently egregious to justify punitive award. Coleman v. Rahija, 114 F.3d 778 (8th Cir. 1997).
257:70 Charging Florida pre-trial detainees for medical and dental treatment, as well as for meals, did not violate any rights under state statutes or the Florida state Constitution. Williams v. Ergle, 698 So.2d 1294 (Fla. App. 1997).
257:67 Jail inmate who received $5,000 damage award against sheriff for failure to provide medical attention, as well as injunctive relief against lack of fresh air in jail during hot weather, was prevailing party entitled to an award of attorneys' fees. Crusoe v. Nunley, 699 So.2d 941 (Miss. 1997).
257:72 Sheriff and county were not liable for cost of medical care of man taken into custody but taken to hospital because of injuries suffered prior to arrest, and then released at hospital for the receipt of medical treatment; West Virginia high court rules that there was no duty to pay for medical treatment of someone not in the custody of the sheriff. Hoover v. Blankenship, 487 S.E.2d 328 (W. Va. 1997).
258:86 Federal prison did not act negligently in failing to prevent prisoner's exposure to TB bacteria when precautions complied with Centers for Disease Control guidelines. McNeal v. United States, 979 F.Supp. 431 (N.D.W.Va. 1997).
259:101 Prison doctors' treatment of inmate's back pain and skin infection did not exhibit "deliberate indifference"; doctors attempted to provide treatment, but prisoner allegedly refused some offered treatment and declined to take certain medication. Logan v. Clarke, 119 F.3d 647 (8th Cir. 1997).
259:102 Private entity providing medical care to prisoners at county detention facility was performing "functions traditionally within the exclusive prerogative" of government; therefore, there could be no liability imposed against it in federal civil rights lawsuit in the absence of a showing that it had an official policy or custom resulting in a violation of a prisoner's rights. Buckner v. Toro, 116 F.3d 450 (8th Cir. 1997).
260:119 Prisoner suffering from urinary and bowel incontinence did not show that prison officials were "deliberately indifferent" to his condition when they refused to allow him to shower every day; prisoner was allowed to shower three times a week, which was more frequently than other prisoners, and evidence showed that limiting him to these many showers did not damage his health. De La Paz v. Peters, 959 F.Supp. 909 (N.D. Ill. 1997).
260:120 Utah federal court upholds policies on forcible administration of psychotropic drugs. Jurasek v. Payne, 959 F.Supp. 1441 (D. Utah 1997). » Editor's Note: Also see Martin v. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 691 A.2d 252 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1997) (forcible medication of involuntary psychiatric patient allowed only when medication prevented patient from being dangerous to himself or others in hospital) and Hightower v. Olmstead, 959 F.Supp. 1549 (D. Ga. 1996) (upholding Georgia state forcible medication policies for psychiatric patients).
261:137 Prisoner's federal lawsuit about alleged delay in cataract surgery on his eye dismissed when he could not show that he pursued all administrative appeals available to him in the California correctional system. Alexandroai v. Calif. Dept. of Corrections, 985 F.Supp. 968 (S.D. Cal. 1997).
262:149 Prison medical director's testimony that delay in giving prisoner his prescribed medication "may or may not" have caused his dizziness was insufficient basis to uphold award of damages for negligence to prisoner for injuries suffered when he fell on the ground in recreation yard. Duffen v. State, 665 N.Y.S.2d 978 (A.D. 1997).
262:150 Pretrial detainee's right to adequate medical treatment for kidney stone treatment was not violated by correctional facility's policy requiring that he be transported to hospital by sheriff's deputies rather than on-site correctional officers; he arrived at hospital within 45 minutes of complaining of pain, and no one delayed or denied him treatment or transport. Schreter v. Bednosky, 963 F.Supp. 216 (E.D.N.Y. 1997).
263:167 Ohio court awards $350,000 to estate and family members of asthmatic inmate who died of cardiac arrest while waiting five hours for transport to a hospital after prison doctor ordered that she be taken there because of asthma attack. Norris v. Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation & Correction, 695 N.E.2d 841 (Ohio Ct. Cl. 1997).
[N/R] Private doctors and mental health providers were not entitled to qualified immunity from lawsuit based on prisoner's suicide; they were acting as private parties motivated by desire for profit, rather than as governmental agents. McDuffie v. Hopper, 982 F.Supp. 817 (M.D. Ala. 1997).
[N/R] Multiple individual instances of isolated medical malpractice did not show deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners. Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234 (8th Cir. 1997).
[N/R] Prisoner failed to show that nurse actually had knowledge that he was inadequately supplied with adult undergarments for his incontinence and deliberately ignored that need; occasional delays in supply inmate with adult undergarments did not violate Eighth Amendment. Miller v. Mich. Dept. of Corrections Health Care Providers, 986 F.Supp. 1078 (W.D. Mich. 1997).
[N/R] Prisoner failed to show that prison doctor and superintendent were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs; superintendent was not involved in making medical treatment decisions and risk of stroke from inmate's symptoms would not have been obvious to physician. Keeper v. King, 130 F.3d 1309 (8th Cir. 1997).
[N/R] Involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs to insanity acquittee being treated in state hospital was properly based on a finding of dangerousness; Missouri state statutes regulating use of chemical restraints in state institutions did not create any liberty interests beyond those already available under federal law. Morgan v. Rabun, 128 F.3d 694 (8th Cir. 1997).
256:55 Prisoner's assertion that he complained of a toothache in April but that adequate treatment was not provided until December, resulting in infection and loss of the tooth, stated a federal civil rights claim against medical personnel and correctional officials who arguably knew of the problem but failed to act to provide treatment. Moore v. Jackson, 123 F.3d 1082 (8th Cir. 1997).
256:56 Federal appeals court upholds award of $9,500 to prisoner subjected to involuntary antipsychotic drug injections without procedural due process requirements of notice and hearing. Doby v. Hickerson, 120 F.3d 111 (8th Cir. 1997).
260:120 Utah federal court upholds policies on forcible administration of psychotropic drugs. Jurasek v. Payne, 959 F.Supp. 1441 (D. Utah 1997). » Editor's Note: Also see Martin v. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 691 A.2d 252 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1997) (forcible medication of involuntary psychiatric patient allowed only when medication prevented patient from being dangerous to himself or others in hospital) and Hightower v. Olmstead, 959 F.Supp. 1549 (D. Ga. 1996) (upholding Georgia state forcible medication policies for psychiatric patients).
[N/R] Involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs to insanity acquittee being treated in state hospital was properly based on a finding of dangerousness; Missouri state statutes regulating use of chemical restraints in state institutions did not create any liberty interests beyond those already available under federal law. Morgan v. Rabun, 128 F.3d 694 (8th Cir. 1997).
241:3 Americans With Disabilities Act did not provide a remedy for what amounted to an allegation of medical malpractice by a paraplegic prisoner; trial court improperly granted summary judgment to defendant prison officials on Eighth Amendment claim, however, when unrepresented inmate was not warned of consequences of failure to present evidence of his own in opposition to evidence officials presented in support of motion for summary judgment. Bryant v. Madigan, 84 F.3d 246 (7th Cir. 1996).
241:6 Correction Department policy requiring convicted offenders seeking over the counter medication to buy them at commissary was not cruel and unusual punishment, as long as medical personnel were still free to provide such medication in instances where required to treat "serious medical conditions." Hudgins v. DeBruyn, 922 F.Supp. 144 (S.D.Ind. 1996).
241:7 Prisoner who allegedly repeatedly asked for medical appointment because of penile discharge and pain but was not seen for nine months stated claim against doctor for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs; alleged failure to adequate diagnose and treat sexually transmitted disease after examination, however, was, at most, negligence, and did not state further federal claim, although it was a basis for medical malpractice claim under Texas state law. Jolly v. Klein, 923 F.Supp. 931 (S.D. Tex. 1996).
242:22 Inmate's civil rights lawsuit over officer's refusal to provide him with antacid tablets was properly dismissed; facts showed that he was not suffering from a "serious medical problem," but only indigestion. Jones v. Smith, 674 So.2d 151 (Fla. App. 1996).
242:22-23 Requiring convicted child molester to submit to psychological examination as part of prison's classification process did not violate prisoner's rights. Molesky v. Walter, 931 F.Supp. 1506 (E.D. Wash. 1996). 243:41 Prisoner diagnosed as potential suicide risk by medical personnel and prescribed psychotropic drugs stated a claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs by asserting that psychiatrist at facility he was transferred to discontinued his medication without evaluating him or reviewing medical records. Steel v. Shah, 87 F.3d 1266 (11th Cir. 1996).
244:52 Psychiatrist was entitled to qualified immunity for ordering single dose of anti-psychotic drug to prisoner suffering seizure when it was feared that prisoner would injure himself; no prior case law "clearly established" need to hold a prior hearing in such an emergency situation. Hogan v. Carter, 85 F.3d 1113 (4th Cir. 1996).
245:69 Trial judge improperly dismissed prisoner's lawsuit against officers for confiscating his prescribed eye-glasses, needed to correct severe double vision and loss of depth perception resulting from injury; prisoner had a "serious medical need" for the glasses, and there was insufficient evidence to dismiss his assertion that officers were subjectively aware of his medical condition. Koehl v. Dalsheim, 85 F.3d 86 (2nd Cir. 1996).
245:70 Fact that federal prisoner suffering from high blood pressure suffered a stroke when his prescribed medication was withheld for twelve hours was sufficient evidence to allow a jury to conclude that government breached a legal duty of care toward him; trial court improperly dismissed prisoner's lawsuit. Jones v. United States, 91 F.3d 623 (3rd Cir. 1996).
246:84 Prisoner's claim that jail improperly debited their inmate trust accounts for payment for medical services and prescription drugs, despite their indigency, did not state a constitutional due process claim when an adequate post- deprivation remedy existed under Texas state law to seek reimbursement of the funds. Myers v. Klevenhagen, 97 F.3d 91 (5th Cir. 1996).
246:86 Prison medical personnel's refusal to furnish prisoner with ankle injury with "high performance" footwear did not violate his constitutional rights; prisoner was furnished with comprehensive medical treatment and inmate's disagreement with treatment provided did not establish a constitutional claim. Alston v. Howard, 925 F.Supp. 1034 (S.D.N.Y. 1996). » Editor's Note: See also Williams v. Keane, 940 F.Supp. 566 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), in which the court held that the failure to provide an inmate with a specific type of shoe insert for treatment of his fallen arches did not constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.
246:92 Prisoners serving sentences for sexual offenses had no constitutional claim regarding denial of additional psychiatric or psychological treatment, besides group therapy sessions they were already given, in absence of medical evidence showing that they had a serious need for such treatment. Riddle v. Mondragon, 83 F.3d 1197 (10th Cir. 1996).
247:104 Prisoner who lost hearing in infected, bleeding ear after a three day delay in seeing physician was entitled to $303,500 in damages; failure of correctional personnel to follow state's own protocols for dealing with medical care of prisoners was a cause of the injury. Kagan v. State of New York, 646 N.Y.S.2d 336 (A.D. 1996).
247:104 Regulation that classified inmates with access to funds from outside family and friends as "non-indigent," and required them to pay fees for legal photocopying and medical co- payments, did not violate their equal protection or due process rights. Robinson v. Fauver, 932 F.Supp. 639 (D.N.J. 1996).
248:118 Jury instructions that a finding of medical malpractice precluded a finding of "deliberate indifference" for purposes of federal civil rights liability were incorrect; prisoner who did not get surgery until two years after doctor discovered broken pins in his hip granted new trial on claims against doctor. Hathaway v. Coughlin, 99 F.3d 550 (2nd Cir. 1996).
248:119 Doctor's removal of prisoner's toenail without anesthetic did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Snipes v. Detella, 95 F.3d 586 (7th Cir. 1996).
249:135 Correctional officer not liable for returning prisoner to confinement area, rather than taking him to doctor for further treatment after he was released from prison emergency room; officer had no reason to know that further treatment might be needed or that prisoner had suffered a stroke. Shiflet v. Cornell, 933 F.Supp. 1549 (M.D. Fla. 1996).
250:157 Correctional officials not liable for cellmate's alleged rape of prisoner; no deliberate indifference in placing two inmates in the same cell when officials had no reason to know of any substantial risk of such an assault; one hour delay in medical treatment following alleged attack was not an Eighth Amendment violation when injuries were minor and no harm resulted from delay. Langston v. Peters, 100 F.3d 1235 (7th Cir. 1996).
[N/R] Prison officials could not be held liable for deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs if they were not sufficiently informed of the circumstances as to require them to intervene. Vance v. Peters, 97 F.3d 987 (7th Cir. 1996).
235:110 Federal appeals court orders trial of prisoner's suit claiming that he and other prisoners were forced to clean up prison attic filled with loose asbestos insulation for forty-five hours without proper protective clothing/equipment; court rules that ordering prisoners to do so, given evidence of knowledge of presence of asbestos, could be "deliberate indifference" to prisoners' rights. Wallis v. Baldwin, 70 F.3d 1074 (9th Cir. 1995).
235:107 Massachusetts appeals court reinstates lawsuit by nonsmoking inmate with coronary and respiratory problems alleging that prison officials' repeated celling of him with smoking inmates constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical problems. Jackson v. Commissioner of Correction, 39 Mass. App. Ct. 566, 658 N.E.2d 981 (1995).
229:13 Prisoner whose right lung was removed because of cancer did not establish that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference by housing him with smokers. Goffman v. Gross, 59 F.3d 668 (7th Cir. 1995).
235:106 Keeping Illinois state prisoner in disciplinary segregation for 19 days longer than maximum punishment period allowed under state law did not constitute federal constitutional rights violation; forcing inmate to choose between medically requested lower bunk available in segregation unit or transfer out to protective custody unit where no such bunk was available was not cruel and unusual punishment. Williams v. Ramos, 71 F.3d 1246 (7th Cir. 1995).
37:139 Update: federal appeals court upholds preliminary injunction against continued medical keeplock of Rastafarian inmate who had religious objections to submitting to mandatory TB testing. Jolly v. Coughlin, 76 F.3d 468 (2nd Cir. 1996).
234:92 Rastafarian inmate who refused to submit to mandatory TB testing based on religious objection ordered released from medical keeplock; plaintiff showed likelihood of proving both that such continued confinement violated his rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and violated his 8th Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. Jolly v. Coughlin, 894 F.Supp. 734 (S.D.N.Y. 1995).
229:10 Federal court dismissed ex-prisoner's civil rights lawsuit over alleged inadequate medical care because he became a fugitive from justice, ceasing to report to his Parole Officer. Griffin v. City of N.Y. Correctional Com'r, 882 F.Supp. 295 (E.D.N.Y. 1995).
235:100 Prison employees were entitled to qualified immunity for inserting catheter into urinary tract of prisoner who said he was unable to produce urine sample after suspected of drug use. Sparks v. Stutler, 71 F.3d 259 (7th Cir. 1995).
239:163 Federal appeals court rules that Americans With Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act do not apply to prisoner employment situations. White v. State of Colorado, 82 F.3d 364 (10th Cir. 1996).
230:23 Prisoner's claim that being detained in a small shower stall during a cell shakedown aggravated his asthma did not present a federal constitutional claim when available medical evidence did not support this contention. Aswegan v. Henry, 49 F.3d 461 (8th Cir. 1995).
231:39 City, rather than county, was liable for costs of medical treatment to arrestees until they were placed in the physical or technical custody of the county sheriff. Chicago Osteopathic Medical Centers v. City of Chicago, 271 Ill. App. 3d 165, 648 N.E.2d 293, 207 Ill. Dec. 837, 1995 Ill App. Lexis 147 (1995).
231:39 Diabetic inmate who refused to eat or take insulin could lawfully be compelled to eat and take medication; inmate's refusal of medical treatment was "blackmail" aimed at prison officials in attempt to regain prior job and institutional placement and prison's interest in avoiding "devastating" future healthcare costs was substantial. Schuetzle, State Ex Rel., v. Vogel, 537 N.W.2d 358 (N.D. 1995).
231:40 Trial court erred in dismissing transsexual prisoner's suit complaining that he was receiving no medical treatment for his condition, even if he did not have absolute right to requested treatment of administration of estrogen hormone. Brown v. Zavaras, 63 F.3d 967 (10th Cir. 1995).
232:54 Prison doctors were entitled to raise qualified immunity defense even if they were employed by private employer who had contracted with state to provide medical services to prisoners; it was not clearly established that alleged repeated acts of medical malpractice constituted deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Williams v. O'Leary, 55 F.3d 320 (7th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith) Immunity].
232:55 Inmate's disagreement with medical treatment provided at prison, and belief that medication previously prescribed by a prior physician would be more appropriate did not show violation of Eighth Amendment; prison officials supplied medications recommended by doctor and approved of by psychiatrist. Vaughan v. Lacey, 49 F.3d 1344 (8th Cir. 1995).
233:70 Mere one-time failure to review medical records during treatment of prisoner did not constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical problems. Sanderfer v. Nichols, 62 F.3d 151 (6th Cir. 1995).
234:89 Alleged failure to send inmate to a medical specialist for two months after he was unable to swallow or keep solid food down, refusal to provide liquid diet, and refusal to make accommodations for his medical conditions stated claims against physicians' assistants and correctional officers for deliberate indifference; claims against warden and assistant warden, however, were properly dismissed. Rosenberg v. Crandell, 56 F.3d 35 (8th Cir. 1995).
235:102 Court rejects prisoner's claim that rescheduling his non-emergency routine care dental appointment for three weeks later violated his federal constitutional rights. Malsh v. Austin, 901 F.Supp. 757 (S.D.N.Y. 1995).
236:119 Forcible administration of psychotropic drugs to prisoner was justified, federal appeals court rules, when prior experience had shown that he became delusional and psychotic when medication was eliminated or reduced. Walton v. Norris, 59 F.3d 67 (8th Cir. 1995).
236:120 Prison medical personnel did not engage in "deliberate indifference" to a serious medical need in making determination that prisoner suffering from "acute gastrointestinal distress," later cured by over-the-counter medication, was not entitled to treatment for a "medical emergency" outside of normal clinic "sick call" hours. Vaughn v. Kerley, 897 F.Supp. 1413 (M.D.Fla. 1995).
237:136 Wisconsin Supreme court rules that county and sheriff discharged duty, under state law, to provide appropriate medical care and treatment to detainee by having him examined by nurse when he complained of possible appendix problem, despite fact that nurse recommended no immediate treatment at that time and that surgical removal of appendix became necessary a day later after detainee's release. Swatek v. Co. of Dane, 531 N.W.2d 45 (Wis. 1995).
238:157 Co. approves $2.5 million settlement to jail detainee who claimed he was "wrongly" released from jail after charges were dismissed, despite paranoid schizophrenic condition he claimed required further evaluation, and was struck by train three hours later; suit also asserted that detainee was not provided with required medication during confinement. Penuela v. Co. of Los Angeles, No. BC048487, Superior Ct., Los Angeles, Cal., reported in Los Ang. Daily Jour., p. 2 (May 15, 1996).
239:167 Detention facility's interest in protecting pre- trial detainee and providing him with adequate medical care outweighed his right to refuse administration of insulin that medical personnel prescribed to treat his diabetes; federal appeals court upholds forcible administration of insulin. Roper v. Grayson, 81 F.3d 124 (10th Cir. 1996).
[N/R] Medical evidence did not support prisoner's claim of inadequate medical care for injured hand; delays experienced in treatment at times were medically acceptable. Beyerbach v. Sears, 49 F.3d 1324 (8th Cir. 1995).
[N/R] Evidence was inadequate to establish deliberate indifference to inmate's serious medical needs; ankle condition inmate experienced was not serious. Banuelos v. McFarland, 41 F.3d 232 (9th Cir. 1995).
225:139 Federal appeals court rules that trial court did not have authority to order state prison officials to transport prisoner 200 miles away for medical examination needed as evidence in federal civil rights suit against county jail facility. Ivey v. Harney 47 F.3d 181 (7th Cir. 1995).
217:7 Louisiana appeals court overturns $100,000 award to family of arrestee who died in jail from overdose of "Ecstasy" drug; sheriff did not have a duty to provide medical treatment to every intoxicated person arrested. Brown v. Lee, 639 So.2d 897 (La. App. 1994).
217:8 Officers were not liable for ordering inmate with a double hernia to return to work scrubbing floors; they did not act with "deliberate indifference" to his serious medical needs when they did not know he had a hernia. Reeves v. Collins, 27 F.3d 174 (5th Cir. 1994).
220:52 Diabetic inmate's disagreement with insulin dosage prescribed and preference for a different diet did not show Eighth Amendment violation of his right to adequate medical treatment. Upp v. Shartrand, 861 F.Supp. 1022 (D. Kan. 1994).
221:70 Repeated acts of medical negligence, standing alone, do not constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of Eighth Amendment, but federal appeals court rules that "the pattern" of such acts may be used to prove that each act was committed with deliberate indifference. Brooks v. Celeste, 39 F.3d 125 (6th Cir. 1994).
222:88 Prison medical personnel were not deliberately indifferent in failing to take further steps to make sure that prisoner with brain seizure disorder took his prescribed medication; no liability for prisoner's fatal brain seizure when he failed to do so. Whitley v. Lewis, 844 F.Supp. 276 (E.D. Va. 1994).
223:100 Dietician's alleged failure to provide diabetic prisoner with medically recommended diet after prisoner complained stated claim for violation of prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights. Taylor v. Anderson, 868 F.Supp. 1024 (N.D. Ill. 1994).
223:105 Private doctor providing medical care to inmate at his own office off the prison grounds, without any contractual obligation to do so, acted under "color of state law" for purposes of a federal civil rights lawsuit against him for inadequate medical care; private company and its employees who provided medical care to prisoners under contract with state were not entitled to assert qualified immunity in civil rights lawsuit. Manis v. Corrections Corporation of America, 859 F.Supp. 302 (M.D. Tenn. 1994); Conner v. Donnelly, M.D., 42 F.3d 220 (4th Cir. 1994).
224:119 Housing prisoner with cellmate who tested positive on "ppd" skin test for exposure to tuberculosis, but who did not have active, infectious tuberculosis, did not violate his constitutional rights. Karlovetz v. Baker, 872 F.Supp. 465 (N.D. Ohio 1994).
224:120 Mistakenly re-testing prisoner for TB who had previously tested positive was, at most, negligence, rather than deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Holmes v. Fell, 856 F.Supp. 181 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).
225:131 Sheriff and sheriff's assistant were entitled to qualified immunity in suit alleging that they were deliberately indifferent to needs of obese disabled prisoner in 1988. Parsons v. Wright, 649 A.2d 1108 (Me. 1994).
225:133 Oregon prisoner awarded $5,000 in damages against prison medical officer for two year delay in providing surgery of a hernia suffered prior to incarceration; prison's duty to provide medical care extended to conditions which cause pain and anxiety even if no permanent physical harm was caused by delay in operation. Delker v. Maass, 843 F.Supp. 1390 (D. Or. 1994).
225:134 Co. could not be held vicariously liable for alleged negligence of sheriff in failing to provide medical treatment to jail inmate who died, Illinois Supreme Court rules. Moy v. Co. of Cook, 159 Ill. 2d 519, 640 N.E.2d 926 (1994).
226:152 Correctional officer liable for confiscating prisoner's epilepsy medicine and flushing it down the toilet; appeals court orders new trial on damages, however, after jury awards only $1 in nominal damages following erroneous admission of nurse's testimony that inmate sometimes did not pick up his medication; nurse's testimony was not based on personal knowledge. Kemp v. Balboa, 23 F.3d 211 (8th Cir. 1994).
226:153 Sheriff was not entitled to qualified immunity in prisoner's suit claiming that he delayed prisoner's diagnostic test and hand surgery for several weeks in order to seek transfer of prisoner from county jail to state system for the medical treatment. Harris v. Coweta Co., 21 F.3d 388 (11th Cir. 1994).
227:167 Brief delays in treating prisoner's broken finger and prisoner's disagreement with doctor's decision as to what kind of treatment to pursue did not support prisoner's claim that prison officials were "deliberately indifferent" towards his serious medical needs. Sherrer v. Stephens, 50 F.3d 496 (8th Cir. 1994).
227:167 Prison dentist's knowledge of prisoner's pain, combined with alleged three week delay in providing surgical treatment for impacted wisdom tooth, was sufficient basis to support prisoner's claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Boyd v. Knox, 47 F.3d 966 (8th Cir. 1995).
[N/R] Doctor's initial failure to diagnose inmate's broken bone constituted, at worst, negligent malpractice, and was not egregious enough to constitute Eighth Amendment violation. Willis v. Clemente, 882 F.Supp. 133 (S.D. Ind. 1994). [N/R] Delay between time inmate's drug overdose condition was recognized and time ambulance was called did not constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical condition; jail officials not liable for inmate's death. Ruark v. Drury, 21 F.3d 213 (8th Cir. 1994).
[N/R] Warden could not be held liable for alleged delay in inmate's access to medical care for his injuries when there was no evidence that the warden was responsible, in any way, for the delay. Williams v. Mueller, 13 F.3d 1214 (8th Cir. 1994).
[N/R] Handcuffing prisoner from behind violated Eighth Amendment when inmate told officers he suffered from a medical condition that precluded such restraint and officer intentionally inflicted pain on inmate for a significant period of time. Aldape v. Lambert, 34 F.3d 619 (8th Cir. 1994).
Prisoner's complaint that prison officials were "deliberately indifferent" to his leg cramps and swelling were "frivolous" when he was, in fact, given consistent medical care and simply disagreed with the medical staff concerning the proper course of treatment. Johnson v. Stephan, 6 F.3d 691 (10th Cir. 1993).
Prison officials were not "deliberately indifferent" to prisoner's kidney stone ailment when the only evidence of such ailment was his "self-diagnosis," which available medical tests did not confirm. Kayser v. Caspari, 16 F.3d 280 (8th Cir. 1994).
Deliberate refusal to provide feeding assistance to inmate with ALS who had trouble feeding himself would be an Eighth Amendment violation, as would failure to transfer him to another institution where such assistance was readily available. Santiago v. Leik, 508 N.W.2d 456 (Wis. App. 1993).
Sheriff was not entitled to summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity from prisoner's suit when there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he deliberately delayed prisoner's medical treatment for hand injury during his preconviction incarceration. Harris v. Coweta Co., 5 F.3d 507 (11th Cir. 1993).
Prisoner's suit alleging delay in his medical treatment was properly dismissed as frivolous when no deliberate indifference or resulting harm were claimed; claim that prisoner was justified in refusal to work because of physical condition was properly viewed as frivolous when this condition was adequately considered in assigning his work detail. Mendoza v. Lynaugh, 989 F.2d 191 (5th Cir. 1993).
Correctional officials were not deliberately indifferent to serious medical needs by failing to provide inmate with medical attention between time inmate was discharged from jail and his initial examination at prison. Scurry v. Fernandez, 841 F.Supp. 12 (D.D.C. 1993).
Judgment against state for damages caused by physician's alleged malpractice against prisoner during surgical procedure at correctional facility overturned; state should have been allowed to present evidence that nurses and physician's assistants customarily advised inmates that treating physicians were not state employees. Soltis v. State, 594 N.Y.S.2d 433 (A.D. 1993).
Evidence did not establish prison guard's deliberate indifference to inmate's serious medical needs when there was no evidence that guards were in a position to act meaningfully in regard to medical needs of inmate. Smith v. Barry, 985 F.2d 180 (4th Cir. 1993).
Evidence did not even approach a showing of deliberate indifference in provision of medical care; prisoner's "prodigious" use of medical facilities showed that he received a degree of medical treatment "which would be envied" by the majority of the non-incarcerated adult population of the country. Handy v. Price, 996 F.2d 1064 (10th Cir. 1993).
Jury question was presented as to whether prison guards had improperly denied prisoner injured during fight to go to infirmary to receive treatment; complaint should not have been dismissed. Pettengill v. Veasey, 983 F.2d 130 (8th Cir. 1993).
Dispensing medicine to inmate in state penal institution was an action for which state employee was exempt from liability under Oklahoma state law. Medina v. State, 871 P.2d 1379 (Okl. 1993).
A month long delay in refilling a pretrial detainee's prescription for an anti-depressant medication after he was transferred to a new facility did not show a violation of his constitutional right to adequate medical care, and was negligent, at most. Ervin v. Busby, 992 F.2d 147 (8th Cir. 1993).
Pretrial detainee's claim that jail personnel took away his crutches when he had a broken ankle, that he was placed in solitary confinement due to his medical condition, and that a request that he be transferred to the infirmary was denied did not state a claim for a violation of his constitutional right to adequate medical care. Davis v. Hall, 992 F.2d 151 (8th Cir. 1993).
Paraplegic jail inmate awarded $11,000 for alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Hicks v. Frey, 992 F.2d 1450 (6th Cir. 1993).
Prisoner's civil rights suit alleging that prison nurse refused to treat serious hand injury because it was suffered prior to his entry into prison was improperly dismissed; if true, allegation would state a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Watson v. Caton, 984 F.2d 537 (1st Cir. 1993).
Quadriplegic prisoner in California had a right to refuse to submit to feeding and medication, even if it meant his death; California Supreme Court rules that right to refuse treatment and food does not depend on prisoner's condition being terminal. Thor v. Superior Court (Andrew), 21 Cal.Rptr.2d 357, 855 P.2d 375 (Cal. 1993).
Detainee who lost an eye receives $273,000 settlement in suit alleging unreasonable use of aerosol spray and inadequate medical care while in custody. Goodman v. Montgomery Co., U.S. Dist. M.D. Ala., No. CV-92-H-1170-N (May 29, 1993), reported in 37 ATLA L. Rep. 56 (March 1994).
Current procedures in Illinois for forcing a prisoner to take anti-psychotic drugs upheld as constitutional; prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity for acting under prior rules. Sullivan v. Flannigan, 8 F.3d 591 (7th Cir. 1993).
Inmate's claim that he was not provided with medically prescribed eyeglasses stated a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Ennis v. Dasovick, 506 N.W.2d 386 (N.D. 1993).
Prisoner's lawsuit claiming that administration of additional tuberculosis vaccination caused him to break out in a rash was properly dismissed as frivolous; nurse's action was intended to help protect prisoner against disease, rather than being "deliberately indifferent" to serious medical needs. Brown v. Briscoe, 998 F.2d 201 (4th Cir. 1993).
Jail physician who made pretrial detainee take antipsychotic medication against his will was not liable; law giving detainee the right to refuse the administration of such medication was not "clearly established" in 1989. Leeks v. Cunningham, 997 F.2d 1330 (11th Cir. 1993).
Prison officials' refusal to provide eyeglasses to prisoner with 20/400 eyesight because he did not have funds to pay for the glasses constituted deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Benter v. Peck, 825 F.Supp. 1411 (S.D. Iowa 1993).
Alleged refusal to provide medical treatment to injured detainee held pursuant to a felony warrant from another state would constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs; jail officials were not entitled to qualified immunity. Foulks v. Cole Co., Missouri, 991 F.2d 454 (8th Cir. 1993).
Mandatory TB testing of inmates after state public health officials feared a public health emergency did not violate prisoners' rights not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment; alleged "unsanitary conditions" in which tests were administered did not show deliberate indifference to serious medical need. Langton v. Commissioner of Correction, 34 Mass. App. Ct. 564, 614 N.E.2d 1002 (1993).
Inmate rendered permanently impotent, allegedly by drug treatment for hypertension, could not collect damages for medical malpractice from state; inmate did not show lack of informed consent to drug treatment nor show that any delay in providing him with treatment caused his impotence. Marchione v. State, 598 N.Y.S.2d 592 (A.D. 1993).
Prisoner's complaint that he should have received different medication for his pain resulting from ankle injury, and treatment by a specialist, did not show deliberate indifference to serious medical needs when prisoner did receive an operation and pain medication. Ledoux v. Davies, 961 F.2d 1536 (10th Cir. 1992).
City liable for $150,000 for in-custody death of diabetic inmate arrested for public drunkenness. Fruge v. City of New Orleans, 613 So.2d 811 (La. App. 1993).
Virginia state involvement in the administration of local jails was so pervasive that prisoner's federal civil rights suit against jail for alleged inadequate medical treatment was barred by the Eleventh Amendment providing immunity from federal suit for states and state agencies. McCoy v. Chesapeake Correctional Center, 788 F.Supp. 890 (E.D. Va. 1992).
Prison medical director liable for $50,000 for failing to admit paralyzed prison inmate to the infirmary, the only place in the prison allowing access to wheelchairs. Weeks v. Chaboudy, 984 F.2d 185 (6th Cir. 1993).
Requirement that inmate report to medical unit within 30 minute period to receive anti-seizure medication was not deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Moyers v. Buescher, 806 F.Supp. 218 (E.D. Mo. 1992).
Insulin-dependent diabetic who had not taken his medication did not have a claim for deliberate indifference to his medical needs simply because he did not receive his medicine until the morning after he was booked into the jail; provision of some insulin the following morning, even if the wrong dosage, refuted a claim of deliberate indifference. Aaron v. Finkbinder, 793 F.Supp. 734 (E.D. Mich. 1992).
Officer's action of requiring prisoner with an ankle fracture to walk to the hospital was not deliberate indifference to serious medical needs; appeals court overturns $500 damage award to plaintiff inmate. Walker v. Butler, 967 F.2d 176 (5th Cir. 1992).
Requiring inmate with back injury to stand outside his cell during cell search, and withholding whirlpool treatments ordered by doctor was not a violation of inmate's constitutional rights. Johnson v. Vondera, 790 F.Supp. 898 (E.D. Mo. 1992).
Deputy warden and prison security director liable for $2,000 for deliberate indifference to 70-year-old prisoner's need to receive prescription medications. Aswegan v. Bruhl, 965 F.2d 676 (8th Cir. 1992).
Prisoner awarded $95,000 in compensatory damages and $900,000 in punitive damages against prison deputy superintendent who was deliberately indifferent to prisoner not receiving his preventative medicine after positive tuberculin skin test, increasing risk of active tuberculosis; appeals court overturns trial court's "remittitur" of punitive damages. Hill v. Marshall, 962 F.2d 1209 (6th Cir. 1992).
North Carolina Supreme Court holds that state's duty to provide medical care to inmates is nondelegable; Department of Corrections would be liable, under state Tort Claims Act, for any negligence by "independent contractor" physician hired by state to treat inmates. Medley v. N.C. Dept. of Correction, 412 S.E.2d 654 (N.C. 1992).
Federal prisoners don't need to exhaust Bureau of Prisons' grievance procedures before filing a civil rights action for money damages in court. McCarthy v. Madigan, 60 U.S. L.W. 4191 (March 4, 1992).
Misdiagnosis of prisoner with nose bleeds as having leukemia was not cruel and unusual punishment, even if negligent. Fenner v. Moran, 772 F.Supp. 59 (D.R.I. 1991).
Prison was liable for diabetic inmate's loss of his left leg resulting from inadequate medical treatment; award of $950,000 overturned as excessive because expert testifying on loss of future earnings wrongly assumed prison would be liable for loss of both legs. Dist. of Columbia v. Anderson, 597 A.2d 1295 (D.C. App. 1991).
Federal trial judge sets aside jury award of $10,000 in punitive damages and $0 in actual damages to prisoner allegedly denied medical care for gunshot wound while in custody, whose wound had completely healed. Meek v. Orton, 773 F.Supp. 172 (E.D. Mo. 1991).
Prison doctors did not violate inmate's constitutional rights by prescribing a drug for tuberculosis prevention without informing him of a possible negative impact on his eyesight; prison health care administrator was also not liable. McAleese v. Owens, 770 F.Supp. 225 (M.D. Pa. 1991).
Inmate who kidnapped, sexually abused, and murdered 13-yearold girl had no constitutional right to psychiatric treatment; failure to provide treatment specially geared to sexual offenders was not deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Bailey v. Gardebring, 940 F.2d 1150 (8th Cir. 1991).
Several day delay in treating inmate's infected toes, and nurse's refusal to wash inmate's dirty feet for him did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Andrews v. Glenn, 768 F.Supp. 668 (C.D. Ill. 1991).
Widow of inmate who died from blood clot while in restraints in jail psychiatric ward to receive lifetime pension worth $400,000 as settlement of lawsuit against county. Bruaw v. Los Angeles Co., U.S. Dist. Ct., L.A. Cal. reported in Los Angeles Times p. B1 (April 27, 1991).
Prison officials' response to tuberculosis outbreaks at facility showed deliberate indifference to inmates' serious medical needs; their actions to remedy the situation since the filing of the lawsuit justified a denial of injunctive relief, but plaintiff prisoners were still entitled to an award of $210,303 in attorneys' fees. DeGidio v. Pung, 920 F.2d 525 (8th Cir. 1990).
Prison officials' refusal to transfer inmate to asbestosfree environment after he requested that they do so could constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs; defendant officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from liability. Powell v. Lennon, 914 F.2d 1459 (11th Cir. 1990).
Family of DUI detainee who died in custody from seizure awarded $5.4 million for city's alleged negligence in handling his medical condition. Bouchard v. City of Houston, state district court, Houston, Texas, reported in Houston Chronicle, June 5, 1991.
Federal prison officials and employees entitled to qualified immunity for failing to facilitate female bank robber's desire to obtain an abortion. Gibson v. Matthews, 926 F.2d 532 (6th Cir. 1991).
Requiring inmate to wait in line in dining hall, rather than receiving meals in infirmary, eighteen months after hip surgery did not violate Eighth Amendment. Varnado v. Collins, 920 F.2d 320 (5th Cir. 1991).
Administrative delays in scheduling female detainee's abortion, resulting in birth of child, did not deprive her of her right to privacy or due process; delay was mere negligence at worst, insufficient to show a constitutional violation. Bryant v. Maffucci, 923 F.2d 979 (2nd Cir. 1991).
Inmate blinded in one eye by glaucoma awarded $225,000 for jail medical director's failure to provide him prescription eye drops. Smith v. Franklin, U.S. Dist. Ct., Atlanta, Gal., reported in the Atlanta Journal, Feb. 2, 1991.
Prison superintendent was not entitled to qualified immunity in inadequate medical care lawsuit by widow of inmate who died from severe asthma attack, although prison doctor was protected by qualified immunity. Howell v. Evans, 922 F.2d 712 (11th Cir. 1991).
Four-day delay in arranging for admission of prisoner with fractured jaw to outside hospital for surgery did not show deliberate indifference to inmate's serious medical needs. Mowrey v. Romero, 749 F.Supp. 1097 (M.D. Fla. 1990).
Former federal prisoner with diabetes awarded $500,000 for failure of prison medical staff to provide proper diagnosis and treatment of foot infection which led to below-the-knee amputation of his right leg. Williams v. U.S., 747 F.Supp. 967 (S.D.N.Y. 1990).
Court overturns award of $4,000 to inmate for emotional distress caused by incorrect diagnosis that he had syphilis; $2,000 awarded for unnecessary treatment and counseling. Thorpe v. State Dept. of Corrections, 575 A.2d 351 (N.H. 1990).
State liable for $100,000 for improper delay in diagnosing and treating prisoner for his knee injury for three and one-half years. Stanback v. State, 557 N.Y.S.2d 433 (A.D. 1990).
Prison ordered to provide female hormones to male prisoner who wishes to become a woman; psychological disorder was serious medical need. Phillips v. Michigan Department of Corrections, 731 F.Supp. 792 (W.D. Michigan 1990).
Allegation of repeated, long-term negligent treatment of medical condition might amount to deliberate indifference sufficient for civil rights claim. Kelley v. McGinnis, 899 F.2d 612 (7th Cir. 1990).
Maryland Co. was responsible for costs of furnishing medical care to indigents injured while resisting arrest. Harford Co. v. University of Maryland Medical Systems Corp., 569 A.2d 649 (Md. 1990).
Prisoner who died of asthma attack was not subject to deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Lopez Morales v. Otero de Ramos, 725 F.Supp. 106 (D. Puerto Rico 1989).
Prisoner evaluated by six doctors after prison assault did not suffer deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Taylor v. Turner, 884 F.2d 1088 (8th Cir. 1989).
Alleged failure to provide medical care to stabbed inmate for two hours after assault stated claim for "deliberate indifference" to medical needs. Reed v. Dunham, 893 F.2d 285 (10th Cir. 1990).
Non-smoking inmate's exposure to "passive" tobacco smoke did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Caldwell v. Quinlan, 729 F.Supp. 4 (D.D.C. 1990).
Convicted rapist/kidnapper, rendered paraplegic through shooting by his victim, awarded $10,000 in damages against sheriff for inadequate medical care in jail. Leach v. Shelby Co. Sheriff, 891 F.2d 1241 (6th Cir. 1989).
U.S. Supreme Court upholds forced treatment of mentally ill inmate with antipsychotic drugs without judicial hearing; state's provision for prison administrative hearing met due process requirements. Washington v. Harper, 110 S.Ct. 1028 (1990).
Prisoner who suffered permanent impairment of leg after xrays were not taken awarded $500,000 in damages. Mandel v. Doe, 888 F.2d 783 (11th Cir. 1989).
Inmate entitled to hearing on claim that inadequate ventilation and circulation of clean air was cruel and unusual punishment. Bedell v. Schiedler, 770 P.2d 909 (Or. 1989).
Prison officials not liable for mere negligence in denying female prisoner access to abortion facilities. Gibson v. Matthews, 715 F.Supp. 181 (E.D. Ky. 1989).
Federal appeals court holds that inmate had no eighth amendment right to be free of tobacco smoke exposure. Wilson v. Lynaugh, 878 F.2d 846 (5th Cir. 1989).
Prisoner was not entitled to be segregated from other prisoners who smoked; exposure to "secondhand smoke" did not violate Eighth Amendment. Gorman v. Moody, 710 F.Supp. 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1989).
Even if prison officials' response to tuberculosis epidemic was inadequate, their remedying situation barred injunctive relief. DeGidio v. Pung, 704 F.Supp. 922 (D. Minn. 1989).
Discontinuation of valium prescription for prisoner did not establish cruel and unusual punishment. Jones v. Ehlert, 704 F.Supp. 885 (E.D. Wis. 1989).
State vicariously liable for negligence of private physician who performed hernia operation on prisoner; doctor's status as employee or independent contractor irrelevant. Rivers v. State, 537 N.Y.S.2d 968 (Ct. Cl. 1989).
Prescribing penicillin and aspirin for inmate with allergy to both was not deliberate indifference to his medical needs. McCloud v. Delaney, 677 F.Supp. 230 (S.D.N.Y. 1988).
Regulations providing prison exception to psychotherapistpatient confidentiality was overboard. Matter of Rules Regarding Inmate/Therapist Confidentiality, 540 A.2d 212 (N.J. Super. A.D. 1988).
Inmate could not recover damages for mental anguish of exposure to tuberculosis absent proof he was TB negative prior to incarceration. Walker v. Foti, 530 So.2d 661 (La. App. 1988).
Prisoner's survivors could assert both federal civil rights claim and state law wrongful death claim as result of medical care provided. Miltier v. Beorn, 696 F.Supp. 1083 (E.D. Va. 1988).
Federal court holds that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke can be cruel and unusual punishment; inmate's suit states claim. Avery v. Powell, 695 F.Supp. 632 (D.N.H. 1988).
Forcible diphtheria inoculation of prisoner did not violate his rights; any privacy right outweighed by compelling interest in preventing spread of disease. Zaire v. Dalsheim, 698 F.Supp. 57 (S.D.N.Y. 1988)
City was responsible for medical expenses incurred after arrest but prior to arrestee being charged or placed in Sheriff's custody. Rockford Memorial Hosp. v. Schueler, 521 N.E.2d 251 (Ill. App. 1988).
Prisoner had liberty interest in refusing antipsychotic drug; prior hearing required before forcibly administering drug, but officials immune from liability. Harper v. State, 759 P.2d 358 (Wash. 1988).
Refusal to provide inmate with valium and talwin for chronic spinal condition was not "cruel and unusual punishment." Wolfel v. Ferguson, 689 F.Supp. 756 (S.D. Ohio 1987).
Court refuses to hear prisoner's plea for $600,000 for inability to have teeth cleaned by dental hygienist. Jackson v. Lane, 688 F.Supp. 1291 (N.D. Ill. 1988).
Initial denial of dentures, worn for cosmetic reasons, could not be basis for civil rights lawsuit. Jackson v. Wharton, 687 F.Supp. 595 (M.D. Ga. 1988).
Inmate's transsexualism is a serious medical need to which prison officials may not act with deliberate indifference. Whie v. Farrier, 849 F.2d 322 (8th Cir. 1988).
Sheriff negligent for failure to transport pregnant prisoner to hospital sooner; award of $150,000 for death of premature baby was excessive. Calloway v. City of New Orleans, 524 So.2d 182 (La. App. 1988).
Co. liable for medical treatment hospital provided to indigent intoxicated person in protective custody (though not charged with crime). Susan B. Allen Mem. Hosp. v. Cty. Com'rs., 753 P.2d 1302 (Kan. App. 1988).
Delay in dental appointments was not cruel and unusual punishment; defendants entitled to attorneys' fees for meritless claim. Vester v. Murray, 683 F.Supp. 140 (E.D. Va. 1988).
Toilet facilities, failure to provide physical therapy to paraplegic inmate violated the eighth amendment. La faut v. Smith, 834 F.2d 389 (4th Cir. 1987).
Federal appeals court holds unconstitutional county policy requiring court ordered releases for prisoner elective abortions; may have to provide funding. Monmouth Co. Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 834 F.2d 326 (3d Cir. 1987).
Inmates could sue over allegedly overcrowded and dirty conditions contributing to contracting tuberculosis. Gillespie v. Crawford, 833 F.2d 47 (5th Cir. 1987).
Inmate could bring civil rights suit over alleged failure to provide medical treatment for hemorrhoids. Henderson v. Harris, 672 F.Supp. 1054 (N.D. Ill. 1987).
Prisoner can file federal civil rights lawsuit over failure of prison to provide him a tobacco-smoke-free environment. Beeson v. Johnson, 668 F.Supp. 498 (E.D. N.C. 1987).
Federal appeals court reverses order permitting federal government to forcibly administer antipsychotic drugs to defendant found incompetent to stand trial. United States v. Charters, 829 F.2d 479 (4th Cir. 1987).
Confining inmate in cell without functioning toilet and hot water for 13 days could be cruel and unusual punishment. Howard v. Wheaton, 668 F.Supp. 1140 (N.D. Ill. 1987).
Prison could forcibly administer antipsychotic medication on trial basis to inmate suffering from mental disease. United States v. Bryant, 670 F.Supp. 840 (D. Minn. 1987).
Inmate sprayed with chemical agent was not subject to cruel and unusual punishment when action necessary to restore security. Blair-El v. Tinsman, 666 F.Supp. 1218 (S.D. Ill. 1987).
Damage award of $4,500 adequate for inmate's back pain, but court finds sheriff's liability contingent on knowledge of back condition. Thompkins v. Belt, 828 F.2d 298 (S.D. Ill. 1987).
Duty to provide medical care to pretrial detainee does not include duty to pay when prisoner is not indigent. Metropolitan Dade Co. v P.L. Dodge Foundations, Inc., 509 So.2d 1170 (Fla. App. 1987).
Prison's failure to comply with state sanitary regulations on barbering violated eighth amendment. Wilson v. State, 41 Cr. L. 2372 (Idaho Ct. App. 1987).
Plastic frame glasses properly issued inmate over metal frames. DeFlumer v. Dalsheim, 505 N.Y.S.2d 919 (A.D. 2 Dept. 1986).
Co. must pay for inmate abortions. Monmouth Co. Correct. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 643 F.Supp. 1217 (D.N.J. 1986).
Prison guards sued for denying medical treatment to inmate who died with steak bone piercing his esophagus. Sosebee v. Murphy, 797 F.2d 179 (4th Cir. 1986).
Prisoner with AIDS can be denied participation in the trailer visitaton program. Doe v Coughlin, 505 N.Y.S.2d 534 (Albany Co. 1986).
Suit asking that inmates be screened for AIDS dismissed. Feigley v. Jeffes, 510 A.2d 385 (Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 1986).
Nurse's telling inmate, "it's only gas move your ass," states section 1983 claim. Toombs v. Bell, 798 F.2d 297 (9th Cir. 1986).
Prison physician acts under color of law. Ort v. Pinchback, 786 F.2d 1105 (11th Cir. 1986).
Physician properly terminated for not giving good advice over telephone. Pan v. California State Personnel Bd., 225 Cal.Rptr. 682 (App. 1986).
City not liable for pregnant inmate's miscarriage. Vance v. Orleans Parish Crim. Sheriff's Dept., 483 So.2d 1178 (La. App. 1986).
Transsexual prisoner not entitled to hormone treatment. Lamb v. Maschner, 633 F.Supp. 351 (D. Kan. 1986).
Prisoner not entitled to breast-feed. Southerland v. Thigpen, 784 F.2d 713 (5th Cir. 1986).
Class action suit for inadequate dental care granted. Dean v. Coughlin, 107 F.R.D. 331 (S.D. N.Y. 1985).
Dissenting judge says nurse should have been terminated for negligence that threatened security. Dept. of Corrections v. Helton, 477 So.2d 14 (Fla. App. 1985).
Statutory right to refuse psychiatric medication. Keyhea v. Rushen. 223 Cal.Rptr. 746 (App. 1986).
Medical care during riots challenged. Rosen v. Commissioner of Correction for State of N.Y., 106 F.R.D. 253 (S.D. N.Y. 1985).
Claims regarding denial of proper diet and wheelchair provisions to proceed. Ronson v. Commissioner of Correction, 491 N.Y.S.2d 209 (A.D. 3 Dept. 1985).
No liability for alleged misdiagnosis. Johnson v. Treen, 759 F.2d 1236 (5th Cir. 1985).
Prison doctors were independent contractors, not state employees; no immunity for them. Kyriss v. State, 707 P.2d 5 (Mont. 1985).
Shackling inmate spread-eagle to keep him from injuring himself resulted in liability to warden. Ferola v. Moran, 622 F.Supp. 814 (D.C. R.I. 1985).
Having to work despite medical restrictions stated claim for constitutional violation. Toombs v. Hicks, 773 F.2d 995 (8th Cir. 1985).
Complaint dismissed as frivolous. Johnson v. Richards, 617 F.Supp. 113 (D.C. Okl. 1984).
Suit alleges poor treatment of pregnant women results in high mortality rate. Jones v. Glenn Dyer et al, San Francisco Recorder, 2/26/86.
Plaintiff states claim over doctor's informing him that county budget would not permit surgery. Jones v. Johnson, 781 F.2d 769 (9th Cir. 1986).
Inmates with AIDS can be segregated. Cordero v. Coughlin, 607 F.Supp. 9 (D.C. N.Y. 1984).
Prison officials are properly handling the disease of AIDS in prison. LaRocca v. Dalsheim, 467 N.Y.S.2d 302 (App. 1983).
Liability results for improper medical treatment of arrestee beaten by police. Rock v. McCoy, 663 F.2d 394 (10th Cir. 1985).
Claims official forced him to work beyond his physical capacity. Johnson v. Clinton, 763 F.2d 326 (8th Cir. 1985).
Inmate claims delay in knee surgery grounds for liability; three dollar fee for medical visit unsuccessfully challenged. Shapley v. Nevada Bd. of State Prison Com'rs., 766 F.2d 404 (9th Cir. 1985).
Practice of admitting unconscious intoxicated detainees resulted in six-figure judgment against county for death. Garcia v. Salt Lake Co., 768 F.2d 303 (10th Cir. 1985).
Officials not required to special order wide shoes. Williams v. Duckworth, 598 F.Supp. 9 (N.D. Ind. 1983).
Sheriff and physician sued for allegedly causing inmate to be legally blind. Weaver v. Jarvis, 611 F.Supp. 40 (N.D. Ga. 1985).
Over $2 million awarded for failure to provide medical care to person in custody with sickle cell anemia. Wright v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Ang. Daily Jour., 4/2/85.
Supervisors not immune for failure to ensure that proper medication is given. Bandfield v. Wood, 364 N. W. 2d 280 (Mich. 1985).
Defendants could be liable for not re-examining inmate with past eye problems. Aldridge v. Montgomery, 753 F.2d 970 (11th Cir. 1985).
Private doctor treating inmates not a state actor for Section 1983 liability as are prison doctors. Calvert v. Sharp, 748 F.2d 861 (4th Cir. 1984).
Low level doses of female hormones ordered for transsexual inmate. Supre v. Ricketts, 596 F.Supp. 1532 (D. Colo. 1984).
Forced injection of antipsychotic drug challenged. Bee v. Greaves, 744 F.2d 1387 (10th Cir. 1984).
Prison officials may impose discipline for inmate's refusal to answer psychologist's questions; inmate not required to answer questions about crime while appeal is pending. Taylor v. Best, 746 F.2d 220 (4th Cir 1984).
U.S. government liable for prisoner's death in hospital. Jackson v. United States, 750 F.2d 55 (8th Cir. 1984).
Unconstitutional to use jails for confining persons awaiting commitment proceedings. Lynch v. Baxley, 744 F.2d 1452 (11th Cir. 1984).
Inmate may be forced to take drugs for mental problems. Gilliam v. Martin, 589 F.Supp. 680 (W.D. Oka. 1984).
Co. liable for arrestee's drug overdose in drunk tank. Shepherd v. Dickson Co. Sheriff's Dept., U.S. District Court, (Charlotte, Tenn. 1984).
Sheriff liable for inmate not getting epileptic medication; sheriff liable for not forwarding records. Harris Co., Tex. v. Jenkins, 678 S.W.2d 639 (Tex. App. 1984).
Punitive purposes need not be alleged to recover for delayed medical treatment. Whisenant v. Yaum, 739 F.2d 160 (4th Cir. 1984).
No liability for failure to dispense medication. Marchant v. City of Little Rock, Ark., 741 F.2d 201 (8th Cir. 1984).
Immunity granted to state and state officials for alleged inadequate medical treatment to paraplegic. Lee v. McManus, 589 F.Supp. 633 (D. Kan. 1984).
Three patrolmen could be individually liable for $10 million for denying medical treatment to man who became quadriplegic while in custody. Harley v. Carman, 585 F.Supp. 1353 (N.D. Ohio 1984).
Inmate cannot challenge doctor's opinion. Riddick v. Bass, 585 F.Supp. 881 (E.D. Va. 1984).
State courts conflict on a prisoner's right to starve to death. In re Caulk, New Hampshire Supreme Court, No. 84-246, 7/23/84. 35 CrL 2352 8/22/84.
Pregnant inmate blames miscarriage on officials. Archer v. Dutcher, 733 F.2d 14 (2d Cir. 1984).
Sheriff could be liable for allegedly denying dental care to inmate. Fields v. Gander, 732 F.2d 1313 (8th Cir. 1984).
Inmate not entitled to complete examination after fall. Taylor v. Treen, 446 So.2d 906 (La. App. 1984).
Too late to name does as defendants in wrongful death suit against sheriff. Bruce v. Smith, 581 F.Supp. 902 (W.D. Va. 1984).
Inmate's wheelchair properly seized by officials. Lowrence v. Scully, 575 F.Supp. 39 (S.D. N.Y. 1983).
By contrast, a California court allows naming does as defendants beyond statute of limitations period. Olden v. Hatchell, 201 Cal.Rptr. 715 (Cal.App. 1984).
Existence of prior lawsuits not grounds to put director on notice of alleged inadequacies. Estate of Eklund v. Hardiman, 580 F.Supp. 410 (N.D. Ill. 1984).
Prison doctor cancels inmate's prescription for habit- forming drug. Burns v. Head Jailor of LaSalle Co. Jail, 576 F.Supp. 618 (N.D. Ill. 1984).
New York prison officials are properly handling the disease of AIDS in prison. LaRocca v. Dalsheim, 467 N.Y.S.2d 302 (App. 1983).
Officials provided reasonable medical attention to inmate's injury during recreation. Ellison v. Scheipe, 570 F Supp. 1361 (E.D. Pa. 1983).
Inmate's suit alleging he was disciplined for refusing medical operation to proceed to trial. Greer v. DeRobertis, 568 F.Supp. 1370 (N.D. Ill. 1983).
Jail physician and officials may be liable for forcibly injecting prescribed drug into allegedly schizophrenic plaintiff, who refused treatment for alleged religious reasons; city dismissed from suit since it was not given timely notice. Osgood v. Dist. of Col., 567 F.Supp. 1026 (D.D.C. 1983).
Inmate entitled to special diet for his Jewish religious beliefs. Prison officials unintentionally violated Bureau of prison regulations. Prushinowski v. Hambrick, 570 F.Supp. 863 (E.D. N.C. 1983).
Placing inmates found "unfit to stand trial" in most secure mental health facility is constitutional violation. Johnson v. Breilje, 701 F.2d 1201 (7th Cir. 1983).
Judgment against officials and United States for negligent medical care of inmate. Venus v. Goodman, 556 F.Supp. 514 (W.D. Wis. 1983).
Inmate's claim of inadequate medical treatment was frivolous. Excellent case discussion on court procedures and legal theories on frivolous complaints. Johnson v. Baskerville, 568 F.Supp. 853 (E.D. Va. 1983).
$250,000 awarded as a result of prison officials' improper response to inmate's "cardiac arrest". Bass v. Roe, U.S. Dist. Ct., #78 C 3965 (N.D. Ill. 1983).
Possible liability for inadequate medical care of inmate known to have sickle cell anemia. Barksdale v. King, 699 F.2d 744 (5th Cir. 1983).
No liability to officials for failing to give pretrial detainee prescribed medicine. Marchant v. City of Little Rock, Ark., 557 F.Supp. 475 (E.D. Ark. 1983).
Co. possibly liable for alcoholic prisoner's death. Solberg v. Co. of Yellowstone, 659 P.2d 290 (Mont. 1983).
Inmate's claim that he was denied adequate medical attention for a short time allowed to proceed. Byrd v. Wilson, 701 F.2d 592 (6th Cir. 1983).
Judgment entered against prison doctor for failure to answer complaint alleging deliberate indifference of medical treatment. Brinton v. Gaffney, 554 F.Supp. 388 (E.D. Pa. 1983).
If prisoner's heart attack did not result from prison work the survivors were not entitled to worker's compensation, but could sue for negligent medical care. Heumphreus v. State, 334 N.W.2d 757 (Ia. 1983).
Sheriff may be liable for inmate's death caused by improper medical treatment of alcoholic placed in cell. Morrison v. Washington Co., Ala., 700 F.2d 678 (11th Cir. 1983); reversing 521 F.Supp. 947 (S.D. Ala. 1981).
Co. medical personnel may be liable for juvenile's death while in county jail. Ochoa v. Sup. Ct. of Santa Clara Co., 191 Cal.Rptr. 907 (App. 1983).
Sheriff does not have to provide methadone treatment to pretrial detainee. Fredericks v. Huggins, 711 F.2d 31 (4th Cir. 1983).
No liability to sheriff for inmate death from asthmatic attack. Elsey v. Sheriff of E. Baton Rouge, 435 So.2d 1104 (La. App. 1983).
Correctional officials may be liable for forcible injection of drugs into inmate who refused medical treatment for religious reasons. Osgood v. District of Columbia, 567 F.Supp. 1026 (D.D.C. 1983).
Medical treatment of inmate injured during recreational period was proper. Ellison v. Scheipe, 570 F.Supp. 1361 (E.D. pa. 1983).
Court discusses state established procedures to combat AIDS at state prison facilities. LaRocca v Dalsheim, 467 N.Y.S.2d 302 (App. 1983).
Man detained in jail for breach of peace claims deputy sheriff violated his rights by refusing to permit telephone use and by denying him medical attention. Hearn v. Hudson, 549 F.Supp. 949 (W.D. Va. 1982).
Former inmate claims inadequate medical treatment and assault against various hospital and prison officials; New York Federal Court allows suit against correctional officials to proceed. Tomarkin v. Ward, 534 F.Supp. 1224 (S.D. N.Y. 1982).
West Virginia Supreme Court refuses to transfer inmates to state hospital who claimed they suffered from mental illness and addiction. Crews v. Bordenkirchner, 283 S.E.2d 925 (W. Va. 1981).
New York court rejects diabetic prisoner's claim of inadequate medical care. Carter v. Parsons, 526 F.Supp. 297 (N.D. N.Y. 1981).
District of Columbia court upholds transfer of inmate from mental hospital to prison; rules that inmate had not met burden of refuting the decision. In re Hurt, 437 A.2d 590 (D.D.C. 1981).
New York District Court dismisses suit by inmate against Department of Corrections claiming denial of medical treatment. Martin v. New York City Department of Corrections, 522 F.Supp. 169 (S.D. N.Y. 1981).
New York court rules that inmate's allegation of two-year delay in furnishing him with leg brace stated a valid claim. Young v. Harris, 509 F.Supp. 1111 (S.D. N.Y. 1981).
Prisoner wins rehearing on claim of medical neglect. Slay v. State of Alabama, 636 F.2d 1045 (5th Cir. 1981).
Involuntary transfer of an inmate to a mental facility can not be done without due process hearing. Vitek v. Jones, 445 U.S. 480, 100 S.Ct. 1254 (1980).
Fifth circuit rules in favor of mentally disturbed inmate in civil rights suit. Thompson v. Capps, 626 F.2d 389 (5th Cir. 1980).
District of Columbia court reaffirming order requiring jail to transfer mentally ill residents. Campbell v. McGruder, 416 F.Supp. 100 (D.D.C. 1980).
Maryland correctional facility agrees to provide deaf inmates with sign language interpreters. Pyles v. Kamka, 491 F.Supp. 204 (D. Md. 1980).
Louisiana court denies increase of $2,500 award to paralyzed inmate who received improper medical care while confined. Brown v. State, 392 So.2d 113 (la. App. 1980).
Pennsylvania court holds that negligence and malpractice are not sufficient for civil rights claim; inmate must prove deliberate indifference. Campbell v. Sacred Heart hospital, 496 F.Supp. 692 (E.D. Pa. 1980).
Evidence of concern by treating physician held sufficient to defeat claim of deliberate indifference, even where ordered treatment never took place. Hamilton v. Gaffney, 624 F.2d 1204 (3rd Cir. 1980).
$65,603.90 award to estate of deceased jail inmate reversed on procedural grounds; new trial ordered. Lang v. City of Des Moines, 294 N.W.2d 557 (Iowa 1980).
New Jersey appellate court permits late filing of notice to county of claim for improper medical care of prisoner. Dyer v. Newark, 416 A.2d 429 (N.J. Super. A.D. 1980).
Prisoner's claim of insufficient medical care cognizable if deliberate indifference can be shown. Broughton v. Cutter Laboratories, 622 F.2d 458 (9th Cir. 1980).
Missouri prisoners obtain relief from alleged sub-par medical treatment and hospital conditions. Burks v. Teasdale, 492 F.Supp. 650 (W.D. Mo. 1980).
Settlement of incompetent inmate's civil rights claim disallowed by Virginia Federal District Judge; $6,000 not enough for inmate's self- mutilation claim. Crawford v. Loving, 84 F.R.D. 80 (E.D. Va. 1979).
Third Circuit upholds lower court ruling that contact visitation and methadone maintenance program need not be instituted at Allegheny Co. Jail; remains on psychiatric care issue. Inmates of Allegheny Co. Jail v. Pierce, 612 F.2d 754 (3rd Cir. 1979).
Cancellation of canteen privileges for diabetic inmate found permissible. Jefferson v. Douglas, 493 F.Supp. 13 (W.D. Okla. 1979).
Court finds prisoner to have made out cause of action against prison physician who prescribed medication although warned of possible allergic reaction. Boyce v. Alizaduh, 595 F.2d 948 (4th Cir. 1979).
Removing cyst without anesthesia, even if intentional, is not cognizable claim under Civil Rights Act. Jordan v. Robinson, 464 F.Supp. 223 (W.D. Pa. 1979).
Maryland District court finds no violation of prisoner volunteers' constitutional rights during medical research tests conducted at prisons. Baily v. Lally, 481 F.Supp. 203 (D. Md. 1979).
Failure to give TB medicine to Arkansas inmate who is later found not to have TB is not cognizable under Civil Rights Act. Butler v. Best, 478 F.Supp. 377 (E.D. Ark. 1979).
Court holds that county jail inmates civil rights actions against state judge failed to state a claim under civil rights statute. Phillips v. Collins, 461 F.Supp. 317 (N.D. Ill. 1978).
Inmate entitled to adequate medical care. Deliberate indifference to inmate's serious illness or injury is cruel and unusual punishment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 1331, 97 S.Ct. 284 (1976).
» For earlier case discussions see: Haywood v. Ball, 586 F.2d 996 (4th Cir. 1978); Scittarellie v. Manson, 447 F.Supp. 279 (D. Conn. 1978); Parrilla v. Cuyler, 447 F.Supp. 363 (E.D. Pa. 1978); Shea v. City of Spokane, 578 P.2d 42 (Wash. 1978); McCormick v. City of Wildwood, 439 F.Supp. 769 (D.N.J. 1977); McCracken v. Jones, 562 F.2d 22 (10th Cir. 1977); Westlake v. Lucas, 537 F.2d 857 (6th Cir. 1976); Reeves v. City of Jackson, Mississippi, 532 F.2d 491 (5th Cir. 1976); Finney v. Hutto, 410 F.Supp. 251 (E.D. Ark. 1976); Rodriguez v. Jiminez, 409 F.Supp. 582 (D. Puerto Rico 1976); Tate v. Kassulke, 409 F.Supp. 651 (W.D. Ky. 1976); Russell v. Sheffer, 528 F.2d 318 (4th Cir. 1975); Shannon v. Lester, 519 F.2d 76 (6th Cir. 1975); Alberti v. Sheriff of Harris county, Texas, 406 F.Supp. 649 (S.D. Texas 1975); Goode v. Hartman, 388 F.Supp. 541 (E.D. Va. 1975); Dewell v. Lawson, 489 F.2d 877 (10th Cir. 1974); Cudnik v. Dreiger, 392 F.Supp. 305 (N.D. Ohio 1974); Ross v. Bounds, 373 F.Supp. 450 (E.D. N.C. 1974); Page v. Sharpe, 487 F.2d 567 (1st Cir. 1973); Collins v. Shoonfield, 344 F.Supp. 257 (D. Md. 1972); Bowring v. Godwin, 551 F.2d 44 (4th Cir. 1977); Matter of Burchett, 564 P.2d 87 (Ariz. App. 1977); Cochran v. Sielaff, 405 F.Supp. 1126 (S.D. Ill. 1976); Kahane v. Carlson, 527 F.2d 492 (2nd Cir. 1975); Lingo v. Boone, 402 F.Supp. 768 (N.D. Calif. 1975); United States v. Huss, 394 F.Supp. 752 (S.D. N.Y. 1975); Ross v. Blackledge, 477 F.2d 616 (4th Cir. 1973); Elam v. Henderson, 472 F.2d 582 (5th Cir. 1973); Startz v. Cullen, 468 F.2d 560 (2nd Cir 1972); Kauffman v Johnston, 454 F.2d 267 (3rd Cir. 1972).