The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS VANASKIE, Chief Judge
Hakeim Robinson filed this pro se civil rights action on
December 22, 2004, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He is currently
confined at the State Correctional Institution at Frackville
(SCI-Frackville), Pennsylvania. Named as Defendants are Robert
Shannon, Superintendent at SCI-Frackville, and the following
SCI-Frackville medical personnel: Barbara G. Malewski, Chief
Health Care Administrator; Dr. Scott Sterling, D.O.; and Joan
On February 3, 2005, an Order was issued directing service of
the complaint and denying a motion for the appointment of counsel
which had previously been filed by Plaintiff. (Dkt. Entry 8.)
Presently pending are motions to dismiss filed by Dr. Sterling
(Dkt. Entry 10) and Defendants Shannon, Malewski and Gibbons
(Dkt. Entry 26). Also pending is a second motion for appointment
of counsel (Dkt. Entry 16), and a motion to amend the complaint.
(Dkt. Entry 29.) For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motions for counsel
and to amend will be denied, and the motions to dismiss will be
In his complaint Robinson states that he injured his ankle at
SCI-Frackville in August of 2004. He went to the prison infirmary
and was told by Defendant Gibbons, a registered nurse, that his
ankle was sprained. Gibbons then provided Robinson with an ice
pack, Motrin and an ace bandage. Robinson claims that he was not
offered crutches or an x-ray to determine the extent of his
injuries, even though he had to hop "over 100 yards outside to
get to medical." (Dkt. Entry 1, Compl. at 3.)
On August 16, 2004, Robinson again signed up for sick call
because he noticed no difference in the pain or swelling of his
ankle. He requested crutches and that an x-ray be performed, but
only received a cane on that date. He claims that the cane was
useless. He acknowledges that an x-ray was performed four (4)
days later on August 20, 2004.
Several weeks later Robinson signed up for sick call because he
had not heard the results of the x-ray taken on August 20, 2004.
He was seen by Ms. Ellsworth, a physician's assistant, who did
not know what was wrong with his ankle. At that time Robinson
received a prescription for Motrin, which he had been previously
given for pain associated with the prior amputation of two toes
on his left foot.
The following week, a second x-ray of his ankle was taken. A
few weeks later, he again signed up for sick call to inquire as to the x-ray results.
Robinson alleges that he did not receive the correct diagnosis
of his ankle injury until he saw Dr. Sterling on October 18,
2004, who informed him that his ankle had been fractured.
Sterling noted the swelling and discoloration, and referred to
the injury as an "old fracture." (Id. at 4.)
Robinson contends that Defendant Shannon was deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs because he was aware of the
deficient and inadequate health care the medical department
provides to inmates. He claims that Nurse Gibbons was
deliberately indifferent in that she mis-diagnosed his condition
as a sprain, and failed to order an x-ray and crutches. He also
contends that he should have seen a doctor before his visit with
Defendant Sterling on October 18, 2004. He further claims that
the "professional assessment was well below marginal expectancy"
when Defendant Gibbons mis-diagnosed his condition as a sprain,
and then Defendant Sterling stated that it was best to allow the
fractured portion of the bone to dissolve. (Dkt. Entry 1, Compl.
at 5.) As relief Robinson requests compensatory damages.
A. Motion for appointment of counsel
On March 16, 2005, Robinson filed his second motion seeking the
appointment of counsel. (Dkt. Entry 16.) In the pending motion
Robinson reiterates the grounds for the appointment of counsel
presented in his initial motion: his inability to afford/obtain
counsel, the limitations prison imposes upon his ability to litigate the case
and the complexity of the issues involved. Robinson has responded
to the motion to dismiss in a comprehensible manner. As explained
below, the averments of the Complaint reflect a disagreement as
to the level of ...