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Andrew C. Bickel v. Judge Gordon R. Miller

July 7, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Baxter


United States Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter.


A. Relevant Procedural History

On September 12, 2008, Plaintiff Andrew C. Bickel, a prisoner formerly incarcerated*fn2 at the Crawford County Correctional Facility (ACCCF@), initiated this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. ' 1983, against: Judge Gordon R. Miller (AJudge Miller@), Chairman of the Crawford County Prison Board (APrison Board@); Tim Lewis, Warden at CCCF (ALewis@); Morris Wade (AWade@), Jack Preston (APreston@), and Sherman Allen (AAllen@), Crawford County Commissioners and members of the Prison Board; Vantage LTC Partnership d/b/a Care Apothecary (incorrectly identified by Plaintiff as AVantage CCCF Healthcare Provider@) (AVantage@); Doctor Richard Moran (AMoran@); Judy Urey, a nurse practitioner (AUrey@); and two unnamed Defendants identified as AHMO Doe@ and AJane Doe #2." (Defendants Miller, Lewis, Wade, Preston, and Allen are collectively referred to herein as ACCCF Defendants@).

In his Complaint, Plaintiff claimed that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of his rights under the eighth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, and violated his Aright to a grievance system.@

On or about December 12, 2008, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his claims against unnamed Defendants AHMO Doe@ and AJane Doe #2,@ and said Defendants were terminated from this case. [ECF No. 15]. Defendant Moran was subsequently terminated from this case on October 21, 2009, due to Plaintiff=s failure to have him served. (See Text Order dated October 21, 2009). In the interim, Defendant Vantage and the CCCF Defendants filed motions to dismiss. [ECF Nos. 37 and 44, respectively].

On December 18, 2009, this Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Defendant Vantage=s motion to dismiss and terminating Defendant Vantage from this case, and granting the CCCF Defendants= motion to dismiss Plaintiff=s Fourteenth Amendment due process claim challenging the adequacy of his medical treatment, and Plaintiff=s Fourteenth Amendment due process claim regarding his right to a grievance system; however, the CCCF Defendants= motion was denied in all other respects, and Plaintiff=s remaining claims against the said Defendants were allowed to proceed beyond the pleading stage. [ECF No. 76]. In addition, Plaintiff=s claims against Defendant Urey were dismissed due to Plaintiff=s failure to have her served, and Defendant Urey was terminated from this case. [Id.].

Thus, the only Defendants remaining in this case are the CCCF Defendants, and the only claims remaining against them are: an Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference to Plaintiff=s serious medical needs, and a Fourteenth Amendment claim challenging conditions of confinement at CCCF.

The parties have now completed discovery and the CCCF Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiff=s remaining claims [ECF No. 101], arguing that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with regard to a majority of his claims, and has failed to produce any evidence to establish a basis for his claims. [ECF No. 102, CCCF Defendants= Brief]. Plaintiff has since filed AObjections@ and other documents in opposition to the CCCF Defendants= motion. [ECF Nos. 106-108, 115, 116). This matter is now ripe for consideration.

B. Relevant Factual History

Plaintiff was incarcerated at CCCF from May 21, 2008 through October 13, 2008. (ECF No. 103, Defendants= Concise Statement of Material Facts, at & 1; ECF No. 109, Plaintiff=s Concise Statement of Material Facts, at & 2). Plaintiff alleges that he was not screened by CCCF=s medical staff until May 23, 2008, at which time Plaintiff gave a ANurse Brenda@ two separate lists of medication: one listing medications Plaintiff received from outside physicians, and one containing a list of medications Plaintiff Athought he received at Erie County Prison.@ (ECF No. 8, Complaint, at && 16-19). According to Plaintiff, he also informed ANurse Brenda@ that he had Atwo damage that were causing him severe pain,@ apparently referring to a protruding disk in the L4-L5 area of his spine that caused him to experience constant pain in his lower back, groin, knee and ankle. (Id. at && 20-22). Plaintiff requested his prescribed pain medication, but was told by ANurse Brenda@ that CCCF did not keep any prescription pain medication on hand and that Amedical may not be able to get [his] medication because of Memorial Day weekend.@ (Id. at && 23-26). As a result, Plaintiff alleges that he Areceived no substantial pain medication for over seven (7) days leaving him in torturus [sic] pain.... (Id. at & 30).

On June 27, 2008, Plaintiff saw a nurse and told her that he suffered a Anew injury@ to his back when he moved a Aheavy day room table@ the day before. (Id. at && 33-34). Yet, Plaintiff alleges that the medical staff let him Asuffer with no doctor to examine [him].@ (Id. at & 35). Plaintiff complains that he Ahas been reduced to limited walking caused by stabbing spasms of pain in [his] back, groin, and leg, with no feeling in his feet.@ (Id. at & 37). As a result, Plaintiff states that he Ahas been confined to sitting in a hard plastic chair, having to extend his damaged leg straight out to help reduce pain.@ (Id. at & 38). In addition, Plaintiff alleges that he suffers Aextreme tightness and pain in [his] head and face, causing [him] to lose clear vision, and loss of depth perception....@ (Id. at & 39). Nonetheless, Plaintiff complains that he was never seen by a doctor, physician assistant, or Apsych doctor,@ during his time at CCCF. (Id. at && 27, 42, 48).

C. Standards of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c)(2) provides that summary judgment shall be granted if the Apleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.@ Rule 56(e)(2) further provides that when a motion for summary judgment is made and supported, Aan opposing party may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own pleading; rather, its response must B by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule B set out specific facts ...

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