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Sutton v. Cerullo

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

February 19, 2015

MARVA CERULLO, et al., Defendants.


EDWIN M. KOSIK, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Kelvin Sutton, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, alleging claims of the denial of adequate medical care for a foot condition called "plantar fasciitis" while he was confined at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy (SCI-Mahanoy), Pennsylvania.[1] The only remaining Defendant is Nelson Iannuzzi, CRNP, at the time an employee of Prison Health Services, Inc.[2] Pending before the court are Plaintiff's motion to compel discovery (Doc. 99) and motion for leave to continue discovery (Doc. 112).

I. Background[3]

In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant was deliberately indifferent to his plantar fasciitis condition in August of 2009. Specifically, he claims that on August 12, 2009, he was examined by Dr. G. Gustitus. Gustitus ordered (1) a consult with orthotics for custom F.O.S. to accommodate the deformity of Plaintiff's feet and to reduce shock, and (2) a renewal of arch support insoles for six (6) months, noting that a deformity was present in Plaintiff's foot. On August 26, 2009, Plaintiff went to a medical appointment at SCI-Mahanoy to exchange and receive new arch support insoles from Ms. Albertson, a Prison Health Services employee. Defendant Iannuzzi entered the room and asked to see Plaintiff's old pair of insoles, which Plaintiff claims were visibly worn out. Iannuzzi questioned the authorization for such treatment, and did not agree that Plaintiff's current insoles looked worn out. He informed Plaintiff that he would be required to wear the old insoles until Iannuzzi authorized new ones.

On August 28, 2009, a prison nurse informed Plaintiff that Iannuzzi had ordered her to seize and destroy Plaintiff's prescribed arch support insoles. He was further told that Iannuzzi had discontinued the use of insoles.

On January 22, 2010, Plaintiff states he received orthotics and boots for his plantar fasciitis condition. On March 1, 2010, he received Moldable Arch Support Gel insoles from the prison medical department.

A motion to dismiss filed on behalf of Iannuzzi was granted in part and denied in part on September 24, 2013. The court found that any claims set forth against Iannuzzi with respect to incidents occurring prior to September of 2008 were barred by the statute of limitations. However, the claims raised against Iannuzzi regarding the incidents occurring on August 26, 2009 and August 28, 2009 were found to be timely and would proceed. At that point, the court was not willing to find that Plaintiff's medical condition was not sufficiently serious for purposes of an Eighth Amendment claim, or that Plaintiff alleged mere disagreement with the treatment he was receiving, or negligence on the part of Iannuzzi.

Iannuzzi filed his answer to the remaining claims against him on November 13, 2013. (Doc. 73.) Although a case management order was not issued, the parties began to engage in discovery.[4] Plaintiff has served Requests for Admissions and for the Production of Documents on Defendant. Defendant responded and/or objected thereto. Defendant also conducted the deposition of Plaintiff.

Ripe for consideration is Plaintiff's motion to compel discovery filed on July 29, 2014. Plaintiff seeks to compel the production of documents, which he requested in his First Request for the Production of Documents served on or about February 6, 2014.

II. Standard of Review

It is well settled that Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 establishes a fairly liberal discovery policy. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow discovery on any relevant, non-privileged material that is admissible or reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Courts interpret relevancy "broadly to encompass any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter[s] that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case." Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 350-51 (1978). However, "discovery, like all matters of procedure, has ultimate and necessary boundaries." Id . Discovery may be properly limited where:

(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the action; or (iii) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.

See Fed.R.Civ.P. ...

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