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Jackson v. Moore

February 15, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Jones III United States District Judge

Magistrate Judge Smyser



The Plaintiff, Grishelda Jackson ("Plaintiff" or "Jackson"), a former inmate at SCI-Muncy, filed this complaint on June 29, 2005 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. The Defendants are Jeffrey Beard ("Beard"), the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, Shirley Moore ("Moore"), the Superintendent of SCI-Muncy, Dr. Rodriguez ("Dr. Rodriguez"), a institutional doctor at SCI-Muncy, Karen Rodgers ("Rodgers"), a Unit Manager at SCI-Muncy, SCI-Muncy prison Lieutenant Moser ("Moser"), and Correctional Officer Johnson ("Johnson").

The case was referred to United States Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser.

Dr. Rodriguez filed a Motion to Dismiss (doc. 8) on August 24, 2005. Thereafter, the remaining Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss (doc. 12) on September 12, 2005. Both Motions were fully briefed by the parties. On December 27, 2005, Magistrate Judge Smyser issued a Report and Recommendation (doc. 20), recommending that this Court dismiss most of the causes of action and Defendants set forth in the complaint, except as to the claim of excessive use of force against Defendant Johnson.

Objections to Magistrate Judge Smyser's Report were due January 17, 2006. On January 11, 2006, Plaintiff filed objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report (doc. 21) and on January 24, 2006, Dr. Rodriguez filed a response to the Plaintiff's objections. (Rec. Doc. 22). This matter is now ripe for disposition.


When objections are filed to a report of a magistrate judge, we make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge to which there are objections. See United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667 (1980); see also 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1); Local Rule 72.3l. Furthermore, district judges have wide discretion as to how they treat recommendations of a magistrate judge. See id. Indeed, in providing for a de novo review determination rather than a de novo hearing, Congress intended to permit whatever reliance a district judge, in the exercise of sound discretion, chooses to place on a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations. See id., see also Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 275 (1976); Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5, 7 (3d Cir. 1984).


Jackson alleges the following facts in her complaint with respect to her Eighth Amendment claim. (Rec. Doc. 1). On July 28, 2001, Jackson suffered a brain aneurysm which subsequently caused her to have seizures and a headache disorder. Her neurologist prescribed the drug Nuerontin for her disorder, and she alleges that this medication stopped her headaches, seizures and vertigo. After her arrival at SCI-Muncy, Jackson was prescribed Dilantin*fn1 instead of Nuerontin. On February 17, 2004, Dr. Calvin Vermiere, a doctor at SCI-Muncy, examined Jackson and told her she would not be prescribed Nuerontin while at SCI-Muncy, nor would she see a neurologist. He further told her that her seizure condition should be healed after twelve months.

On February 19, 2004, Jackson wrote a request to the medical director of SCI-Muncy, complaining that as a result of her change in medication, she was experiencing headaches daily, as well as tremors. Dr. Vermiere responded to her complaint, noting that when he saw Jackson on February 18, 2004, he told her that head trauma reaches a point of maximum improvement in one year, therefore her injury should be stable now, and that she had just had a complete physical and bloodwork which was almost totally normal. Further, he told her she would not be receiving Nuerontin and there was no present need for her to see a neurologist. Jackson subsequently submitted a grievance regarding her medication change to Moore, the Superintendent of SCI-Muncy. Moore thereafter denied the appeal, stating that Jackson had seen a physician on March 12, 2004, was scheduled to be seen again on April 2, 2004 and was receiving an appropriate level of healthcare.

Throughout 2003 and 2004, Jackson was given Neurontin, Dilantin and Tegradol for her seizures. She alleges that her medications were switched and stopped for periods of time for no apparent reason. On May 28, 2004 Jackson suffered a seizure and alleges she saw Beard the following day and told him about her medical issues. She was contacted the next day by the medical records department.

In June of 2004, Dr. Rodriguez told Jackson that she had genital warts and required a biopsy. After the biopsy, she was told she needed to have cryosurgery. On November 17, 2004, Dr. Rodriguez performed the cryosurgery on Jackson and afterwards she was told that she would suffer vaginal discharge for no more than four weeks. Jackson alleges that on December 8, 2004, she told Dr. Rodriguez that she was experiencing vaginal ...

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