United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
September 15, 2017, Plaintiff, Jason Edward Eddington, an
inmate formerly confined in the York County Prison, York,
Pennsylvania, filed the above captioned civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. (Doc. 1,
complaint). He complains of incidents which occurred at his
former place of confinement, the York County Prison.
Id. The named Defendants are PrimeCare Medical,
Inc., Margaret Smith, CRNP (incorrectly identified as
“Physicians Assistant, Jane Doe, (MAGGIE)), and Sandra
Sackett, PA-C (incorrectly identified as “Physicians
Assistant, Jane Doe, (SANDY)); Physicians Assistant John Doe;
Warden Mary Sabol; Maintenance Manager John McCoy;
Maintenance Worker John Doe; and York County Prison.
filed two separate motions to dismiss, on November 9, 2017
and December 20, 2017, pursuant to Federal Rule Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that Plaintiff's action
should be dismissed for Plaintiff's failure to properly
exhaust his administrative remedies in accordance with the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C.
§1997e(a). (Docs. 15, 26).
April 25, 2018, in accordance with Paladino v.
Newsome, 885 F.3d 203 (3d Cir. Mar. 16, 2018), (holding
that the District Court shall provide the parties notice that
it will consider exhaustion in its role as fact finder under
Small v. Camden Cty., 728 F.3d 265 (3d Cir. 2013),
this Court issued an Order, converting Defendants'
motions to dismiss to motions for summary judgment and
allowing the parties an opportunity to supplement the record
with supporting evidence relevant to the exhaustion of
administrative remedies. (Doc. 31).
15, 2018, Defendants PrimeCare Medical, Inc., Margaret Smith,
and Sandra Sackett, filed a motion for summary judgment,
(Doc. 36) which supercedes and therefore renders
moot their November 9, 2017, motion to dismiss.
motions have been fully briefed, and are ripe for
disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
grant Defendants' motions for summary judgment.
Standard of Review
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a)
“[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). “[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).
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, parties may not rely on
unsubstantiated allegations. Parties seeking to establish
that a fact is or is not genuinely disputed must support such
an assertion by “citing to particular parts of
materials in the record, ” by showing that an adverse
party's factual assertion lacks support from cited
materials, or demonstrating that a factual assertion is
unsupportable by admissible evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1);
see Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (requiring evidentiary
support for factual assertions made in response to summary
judgment). The party opposing the motion “must do more
than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to
the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Parties must
produce evidence to show the existence of every element
essential to its case that they bear 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). Failure to
properly support or contest an assertion of fact may result
in the fact being considered undisputed for the purpose of
the motion, although a court may also give parties an
opportunity to properly provide support or opposition.
Statement of Facts
states that “on September 30, 2015, while confined on
the premises of the York County Prison's Immigration
Wing, I-C-4, Bund Bed #8, awaiting a Civil Forfeiture
Proceeding, the Plaintiff was surprisingly sprayed directly
into the eyes and face by another inmate with a liquid
disinfectant cleaning chemical substance that was supplied
and distributed to all Housing Units by the York County
Prison Maintenance Department for inmates unsupervised
use.” (Doc. 1). Plaintiff claims that
“after [his] eyes and face were sprayed with said
chemical, Plaintiff's eyes and face began to burn
severely, causing extreme pain.” Id. He then
“requested from the duty Correctional Officer (identity
unknown), to be immediately sent to the York County Prison
Medical Department for the above said injuries, and was told
by this said Corrections Officer, that the Medical Department
was too busy tonight and that Plaintiff must wait.”
Id. Also, “Plaintiff requested to receive a
Grievance Form from this same said Corrections Officer and
was told by this Corrections Officer that there were not any
Grievance Forms on the Housing Unit available.”
September 30, 2015, the Plaintiff “used carbon paper
and handwrote his own Grievance complaining of these above
said facts.” Id. Specifically, Plaintiff's
Grievance read as follows: “Attn: Warden Sabol, While
using the rest room I was sprayed in the eyes and face with
cleaning chemicals and my eyes are burning very bad. I asked
the C/O to send me to the medical but he refused. When I
asked for a Grievance he told me that he did not have any.
Please help.” (Doc. 1-1 at 6, Grievance).
Plaintiff claims to have “hand delivered, submitted,
and filed that emergency handwritten grievance with the
on-duty Corrections Officer, believing that the on duty
Corrections Officer would recognize the Plaintiff's
immediate emergency needs and concerns and get the Plaintiff
the immediate emergency medical care and treatment required
and necessary for Plaintiff's said injuries.” (Doc.
October 1, 2015, at 11:49 a.m., Plaintiff was seen by Nurse
Practitioner Margaret Smith. (Doc. 48-1, Medical
Record). Plaintiff reported the following:
Plaintiff stated that he had something in his eye last night.
Stated he kept rubbing it. He stated that he was getting
discharge. Plaintiff stated that he also looks like he has
something in eye. Plaintiff stated his sight is fine. He also
stated it was scratchy, but had little discharge from that
Id. Plaintiff was assessed as having conjunctivitis,
conjunctival irritation. Id. He was then given
Natural Tears and Polymyxin eye drops, to place in his right
eye for five days, was instructed to try not to touch it and
to follow-up in five days. Id.
October 5, 2015, at 8:54 a.m., Plaintiff was again seen by
Nurse Practitioner Smith for his follow-up. Id.
Plaintiff reported that he “believes from touching it
now has conjunctivitis.” Id. He started using
Polytrim drops and stated “it is improved now”
with “slight amount of drainage.” Id.
Plaintiff was assessed as having conjunctivitis and was
directed to continue Polytrim drops as ordered and to
follow-up in seven days.” Id.
October 12, 2015, at 10:05 a.m., Plaintiff was seen for his
follow-up by Physicians Assistant Sandra L. Sackett.
Id. Plaintiff reported the he “has redden
conjunctiva for several weeks, was given natural tears and no
relief, then ordered ab ointment and still no relief, now he
is almost 1 month and still burning and stinging.”
Id. Plaintiff was assessed with “redden
conjunctiva swollen lids.” Id. He was directed
to be seen in the afternoon, for a follow-up, by Dr. Bene.
October 12, 2015, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Bene at the York
Eye Institute. (Doc. 44 at 25). Dr. Bene's
report to York County Prison reveals the following:
Jason Eddington presents with red painful OU with burning and
swelling and blurred vision for about 2 wks. Since getting a