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Gibson v. Beard

July 11, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Malcolm Muir United States District Judge

Complaint Filed 04/12/2004



James Gibson, an inmate confined in the Mahanoy State Correctional Institution, Frackville, Pennsylvania, ("SCIMahanoy"),filed the captioned civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff names as defendants Dr. Edelman, a physician employed at SCI-Mahanoy; Jeffrey Beard, Department of Corrections Secretary; Edward Klem, SCI-Mahanoy Warden, Robert Shannon, former SCI-Mahanoy Warden; Marva Cerullo, Corrections Health Care Administrator; Kenneth G. Chmielewski, SCI-Mahanoy Deputy Warden; Fred Hassan, CEO, Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical Drug Co.; Myron Holubiak, President, Roche Labs; Catherine McVey, Director of the Bureau of Health Care Services.

By Order dated July 1, 2004, plaintiff's complaint was screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.*fn1 (Doc. No. 14). Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed as frivolous against defendants Beard, Klem, Shannon, Cerullo, Chmielewski, Hassan, Holubiak and McVey and the United States Marshal was directed to serve plaintiff's complaint on Dr. Edelman. Id. On September 22, 2004, plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc. No. 23).

On October 20, 2004, defendant Edelman filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's amended complaint. (Doc. No. 28). By Order dated April 12, 2005, defendant Edelman's motion to dismiss was denied. (Doc. No. 53). On April 20, 2005, defendant Edelman filed an answer to the amended complaint. (Doc. No. 55).

Presently before the Court is defendant Edelman's motion for summary judgment in which defendant Edelman argues, inter alia, that Gibson has failed to exhaust available administrative remedies. (Doc. No. 107). Because defendant's argument that plaintiff has failed to exhaust administrative remedies is case dispositive, defendant's other argument will not be addressed. For the reasons set forth below, the defendant's motion for summary judgment will be granted.

Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) requires the court to render summary judgment " . . . forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). "[T]his standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original).

A disputed fact is "material" if proof of its existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of the case under applicable substantive law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Gray v. York Newspapers, Inc., 957 F.2d 1070, 1078 (3d Cir. 1992). An issue of material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257; Brenner v. Local 514, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 927 F.2d 1283, 1287-88 (3d Cir. 1991).

When determining whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, the court must view the facts and all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Moore v. Tartler, 986 F.2d 682 (3d Cir. 1993); Clement v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, 963 F.2d 599, 600 (3d Cir. 1992); White v. Westinghouse Electric Company, 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988). In order to avoid summary judgment, however, the nonmoving party may not rest on the unsubstantiated allegations of his or her pleadings. When the party seeking summary judgment satisfies its burden under Rule 56(c) of identifying evidence which demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the nonmoving party is required by Rule 56(e) to go beyond the pleadings with affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories or the like in order to demonstrate specific material facts which give rise to a genuine issue. Celotex Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). The party opposing the motion "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). When Rule 56(e) shifts the burden of production to the nonmoving party, that party must produce evidence to show the existence of every element essential to its case as to which it bears the burden of proving at trial, for "a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. See Harter v. G.A.F. Corp., 967 F.2d 846, 851 (3d Cir. 1992).

Statement of Facts

From the pleadings, declarations and exhibits submitted herewith, the following facts can be ascertained as undisputed.

On April 12, 2004 Gibson filed the instant civil rights complaint in which he alleges that defendant, Dr. Edelman was treating him for Hepatitis C with a series of treatments which included daily oral medication and numerous injections of Interferon which were administered three times a week. (Doc. No. 1, complaint). Plaintiff contends that Dr. Edelman "deviated from accepted medical practice and in fact breached his duty of care" and as a result caused significant damage to ...

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