United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
E.K. PRATTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
16, 2019 Tyree Jackson is a prisoner with chronic intestinal
illnesses. For five months in 2015, he was temporarily
transferred from federal prison to city custody in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Curran-Fromhold
Correctional Facility ("CFCF"). Mr. Jackson alleges
that Corizon Health, Inc., CFCF's medical provider,
failed to address his medical needs because it had a policy
or custom of delaying medical treatment when an inmate was
about to be transferred out of CFCF. Mr. Jackson claims that
these delays and his inadequate medical treatment caused him
to suffer severe symptoms, lose 60 pounds, and undergo
invasive surgery. He asserts one Eighth Amendment claim under
42 U.S.C. § 1983.
now moves for summary judgment, arguing that Mr.
Jackson's § 1983 claim should be dismissed for four
1) Mr. Jackson cannot establish that Corizon maintained a
policy or custom approved by a final policymaker concerning
the delay of treatment to prisoners who were about to be
transferred out of CFCF;
2) Mr. Jackson did not exhaust his claims as required by the
Prison Litigation Reform Act;
3) Mr. Jackson cannot establish deliberate indifference; and
4) Mr. Jackson cannot establish that the defendants'
actions, or inactions, caused his constitutional injury.
Court need only address Corizon's first argument. To
survive summary judgment on a § 1983 claim against a
private health company providing services to inmates, like
Corizon, a plaintiff must "provide evidence that there
was a relevant... policy or custom, and that the policy
caused the constitutional violation [he] allege[s]."
See Natale v. Camden Cty, Corr. Facility, 318 F.3d
575, 583-84 (3d Cir. 2003). As Mr. Jackson's counsel
conceded during oral argument on Corizon's Motion for
Summary Judgment, there is no evidence on the record
suggesting that Corizon maintained a policy or custom of
delaying treatment when an inmate was about to be transferred
out of CFCF. Therefore, the Court will grant Corizon's
Motion for Summary Judgment and dismiss Mr. Jackson's
Jackson has suffered from Crohn's disease, irritable
bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and gastrointestinal
reflux disease for over thirty years. Exh. D. to
Corizon's Mot. for Sum. J. (hereinafter Mr.
Jackson's Deposition Tr.) at 23:23-24:23. Prior to Mr.
Jackson's relevant period of incarceration,
gastroenterologist Dr. Farzana Rashid of the Perm
Presbyterian Medical Center treated Mr. Jackson's
conditions. Id. at 33:25-34:11.
Jackson was placed in federal custody for aggravated identity
theft and passport fraud in 2014. Id. at
19:23-23:22. He was transferred to CFCF, a Philadelphia
County prison, on June 19, 2015 and remained there until
November 12, 2015. See Exhibit C to Corizon's
Mot. for Sum. J. (hereinafter Medical Records) at
detained at CFCF, Mr. Jackson was seen by Corizon medical
staff over twenty times concerning his intestinal issues,
including for complaints of abdominal pain, constipation, and
blood in his stool. The medical records show that Mr. Jackson
was examined, given diagnostic tests-including x-rays and
blood work-provided medications (although not always the
medications he preferred), and sent out to hospitals for
treatment and additional diagnostic testing on several
occasions when his symptoms intensified. For example,
• Mr. Jackson was sent to Aria Hospital's emergency
room following complaints of abdominal pain and vomiting on
July 27, 2015. Mr. Jackson underwent a CT scan, the results
were "unremarkable," and Mr. Jackson was
discharged. See Medical Records at 135-43.
• After Mr. Jackson's July visit to the ER, Dr.
Bruce Blatt-who was Mr. Jackson's primary treating
physician within CFCF, see Mr. Jackson's
Deposition Tr. at 132:8-20-scheduled an appointment for Mr.
Jackson to see Dr. Rashid at Perm Presbyterian on September
9. See Medical Records at 332.
• Mr. Jackson was sent to Perm Presbyterian after
complaining of abdominal pain and constipation on August 25.
After another CT scan and more "unremarkable" lab
work, Mr. Jackson was discharged. The discharge papers state
that Mr. Jackson was instructed "to follow up with his
PCP and ...