United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
TERENCE D. JACKSON, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.
JEFFREY L. SCHMEHL, J.
Terence D. Jackson, a prisoner incarcerated at the Federal
Detention Center in Philadelphia (“the FDC”),
filed this civil action along with a motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. Jackson asserts claims
pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal
Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 397 (1971) and the
Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) against the
United States and several federal employees at the FDC in
their official and individual capacities. Before the Court
had an opportunity to address Jackson's Complaint, he
filed an Amended Complaint, which is now the governing
pleading in this case. (ECF No. 7.) For the following reasons,
the Court will grant Jackson leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, dismiss certain Defendants and claims with
prejudice, and dismiss certain Defendants and claims without
prejudice for failure to state a claim. The Court will permit
Jackson to file a second amended complaint if he is able to
cure the defects identified by the Court in the claims
dismissed without prejudice. Alternatively, Jackson may opt
not to file a second amended complaint and instead proceed at
this time on his remaining claims, i.e., the claims
the Court did not dismiss.
gist of Jackson's claims is that for seven months,
medical officials at the Federal Detention Center allowed a
serious infection in his nose to go untreated. According to
the Amended Complaint, Jackson began to suffer constant nose
bleeds on or about January 1, 2019 while in custody at the
FDC. (ECF No. 7 at 3, ¶ 17.) He began submitting sick
call requests, but they went unanswered until January 11,
2019, when he was seen by a medical professional who
prescribed ointment and told Jackson not to put anything in
his nose. (Id. at 3, ¶ 19.)
bleeding continued, so Jackson submitted a sick call slip on
January 29, 2019. He also submitted “cop outs” to
the medical department stating that something was
“really wrong” with his nose” because it
has been bleeding constantly, and that the “old blood
has been in [his] nose for so long that it's starting to
smell.” (Id. at 3-4, ¶¶ 20-23.) It
appears he was seen by Defendant Nurse Practitioner Nelson
during this time and that Nelson prescribed him a saline
rinse. On February 21, 2019, Jackson was seen by medical
providers and prescribed antibiotics after a large purple
mass was found in his nose.
the next few days, Jackson sent more “cop outs”
to the medical department about his nose, noting that the
infection was “leaking out of [his] nose
everyday” and affecting his ears, eyes, and mouth.
(Id. at 4, ¶ 24.) He also reported having
trouble breathing and that his eyes had turned red. Around
this time, Jackson began corresponding with Defendants
Dalmasi and Cassano about his condition.
February 25, he was treated by Defendant Kistler, a nurse
practitioner in the FDC medical department. (Id. at
4.) Kistler observed that Jackson had bloodshot eyes, a
swollen face and a purple mass that had grown over his right
nostril. (Id.) That same day, February 25, 2019,
Jackson was seen at Hahnemann Hospital where he had a
radiological scan and was diagnosed with conjunctivitis and a
rounded soft tissue within the anterior nares, most likely an
“atypical nasal polyp/papilloma with anterior nasal
cavity obstruction.” (Id.) An unidentified
person, presumably Kistler, wrote in notes that were
presumably sent to the hospital that Jackson had:
recurrent right epistaxis for the past two months,
unresponsive to conservative treatment. Large purple mass
found in right nares 2/21/19. Not present at previous exam on
2/5/19. Patient started on Bactrim (his history of MRSA)
2/21/19. With significant right-sided facial swelling and
photophobia. Please perform CT if indicated to rule out
sinusitis vs orbital cellititis.
(Id.) Jackson was prescribed antibiotics and
released. (Id.) He alleges that officials at the FDC
were instructed to follow up on his discharge instructions
within three to five days with the Drexel Otolaryngology
Jackson received eye drops and his antibiotic was changed
because his testing came back positive for MRSA.
(Id.) His course of antibiotics was due to run
through March 11, 2019. (Id.) Jackson continued to
have nose bleeds during this period and complained in emails
to the medical unit that the medicine was ineffective.
(Id.) He received responses from the medical unit on
March 11, 19, and 20 stating he was scheduled to be seen.
(Id. at 5-6.) On March 20, Jackson showed a
correctional officer and Defendant Nelson that his nose was
still bleeding and stated that he had an infection in his
nose and eyes. (Id. at 6.)
continued to exchange emails with Defendants Dalmasi,
Lawrie and Cassano through April 15, 2019 about
his condition and was seen again at Hahnemann Hospital on
April 17. (Id.) The Amended Complaint suggests that
Jackson did not receive any treatment from when his course of
antibiotics finished on March 11 until his hospital visit on
April 17. Jackson continued to suffer from his symptoms, and
emailed Dalmasi, Lawrie and Cassano on numerous dates.
15, 2019, Jackson was sentenced on his underlying criminal
charges. See United States v. Jackson, Crim. Nos.
17-71 (E.D. Pa.) In response to a concern that Jackson
receive medical treatment for his conditions, the Court
entered an Order that same day directing that the Bureau of
Prisons shall not transfer Jackson from the FDC pending
further order of the Court. (See Id. ECF No. 621.)
The Court also recommended that Jackson be designated to a
facility where he could receive treatment for his medical
issues. (Id. ECF No. 634 at 3.)
this time, Jackson emailed Dalmasi and Cassano to let them
know that he had eight bumps with brownish-white puss in
them, one of which was on his leg and the size of a softball.
(ECF No. 7 at 7.) Jackson received a response from Lawrie
that he was on the list to be seek in two weeks and that he
should report to sick call if the conditions got worse.
(Id.) Jackson responded that he could not wait two
weeks to be seen because the bumps were itchy, causing him to
scratch them and bleed. (Id.) Defendant Lawrie
responded that he spoke with Jackson's ENT and that they
will arrange the first appointment available that coordinated
with schedules for the doctor and the Marshal Service.
(Id.) On June 4, Jackson sent another email to
Dalmasi, Lawrie, and Cassano about a tingling feeling on his
skin that he attributed to the infection. (Id.)
Lawrie replied that his symptoms sounded unrelated to his
sinus issues, but that he forwarded the concerns to the
doctors and Cassano. (Id.) Lawrie also suggested
reporting to sick call to be seen for the skin issue.
continued to send emails to Defendants Dalmasi, Lawrie and
Cassano complaining about the lack of treatment for his nasal
condition. According to Jackson, on July 5, Defendant Lawrie
I think we are well aware that we are awaiting a surgery date
for the nose. We are at the mercy of your ENT doctor and when
he is available they will conduct surgery. Due to Hahnemann
Hospital closing this is a complicating issue that we are
awaiting your doctor privileges to be approved at another
hospital. However, we are continuing to be persistent in
getting this surgery.
(Id. at 8.) Jackson replied that he knows he needs
surgery to remove the mass in his nose, but that his bigger
concern was that in the meantime, no one was addressing what
he considered a separate infection in his nose ...