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NEWLAND v. ACHUTE

June 24, 1996

WAYNE C. NEWLAND, Plaintiff, against CAPTAIN ACHUTE, R/R Captain of C74, Correction Department C74 Building A.R.D.C., and the Montefiore Medical Center, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KOELTL

 JOHN G. KOELTL, District Judge:

 The plaintiff Wayne C. Newland, a former inmate at the Adolescent Reception Detention Center ("ARDC"), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the defendants Captain William Achute and the Montefiore Medical Center ("Montefiore"). The plaintiff alleges that Captain Achute used excessive force and that an employee of Montefiore denied him adequate medical treatment in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The defendants now move for summary judgment dismissing all of the plaintiff's claims against them.

 I.

 The amended complaint alleges two claims: (1) on December 18, 1991, the defendants were deliberately indifferent to the plaintiff's serious medical needs, and (2) on December 18, 1991, the defendants subjected the plaintiff to excessive force.

 Newland claims that during his incarceration by the Department of Correction and prior to December 18, 1991, he underwent extensive medical examinations and mental evaluations by the prison health services of St. Vincent's Hospital, Medical Center of New York, and Montefiore in connection with long-standing and serious medical conditions, including asthma, hypertension, hepatitis B & C, cardiac irregularities, and depression and anxiety. (Pl.'s 3(g) P 1; Newland Aff. P 5.)

 On December 18, 1991, Newland was incarcerated at the ARDC, Rikers Island, Elmhurst, NY, awaiting sentencing after having entered a plead of guilty in New York State Supreme Court, New York County, to the crime of criminal possession of stolen property. (Defs.' 3(g) P 1.) ARDC had an order from New York Supreme Court that required that the plaintiff be produced in court on December 18, 1991 for his sentencing. (Defs.' 3(g) P 2.)

 On the morning of December 18, 1991, Newland reported to correction officers at ARDC that he was having an asthma attack and was, therefore, medically unable to go to court. (Defs.' 3(g) P 3.) Newland alleges that he was having chest pains and nausea and breathing difficulties, and that these symptoms were consistent with his long-standing medical history of hypertension, asthma or cardiac irregularities. (Pl.'s 3(g) P 2; Newland Aff. P 6.) A correction officer escorted Newland to the Montefiore facility at ARDC to be examined to determine whether he was too ill to go to court. (Defs.' 3(g) P 4.)

 Dr. Donald Dayson, a physician employed by Montefiore, examined and observed Newland. (Defs.' 3(g) P 5; Dayson Decl. PP 5, 8, 9.) Newland claims that he told Dr. Dayson that he was nauseous and was having chest pains, that he had a history of asthma and might be having an attack, and that his medical records indicated prior treatment for asthma and hypertension and previously prescribed medications for these ailments. (Newland Aff. P 9.) Dr. Dayson took Newland's pulse, examined his throat and eyes, and administered a peak flow test. (Pl.'s 3(g) P 11.) It is undisputed that Dr. Dayson did not consult the plaintiff's medical records during his examination of Newland. (Defs.' 3(g) P 13; Dayson Decl. P 15.) The defendants claim that Newland's medical records were not immediately available because this was not a scheduled clinic visit. (Defs.' 3(g) P 13; Dayson Decl. P 15.) The defendants argue that the plaintiff's medical records were unnecessary in any event because these records would not have aided in the determination of whether the plaintiff was having an asthma attack. (Defs.' 3(g) P 15; Dayson Decl. P 15.) Newland claims that a review of his medical chart was an essential component of any medical examination of his symptoms, especially because Dr. Dayson was unfamiliar with Newland's medical history. (Pl.'s 3(g) PP 4, 6.) Newland claims that Dr. Dayson performed a rushed examination and only examined him for asthma, even though his records indicated that he should be examined for hypertension and cardiac irregularities. (Pl.'s 3(g) P 5.)

 After examining Newland, Dr. Dayson concluded that there was no evidence that Newland was having an asthma attack and that therefore there was no medical reason why he could not go to court that morning. (Defs.' 3(g) P 11; Dayson Decl. P 16.) Accordingly, Dr. Dayson released Newland from the medical clinic to go to court. (Defs.' 3(g) P 12; Dayson Decl. P 16.) Newland continued to complain that he was too sick to go to court. (Defs.' 3(g) P 16; Newland Aff. P 13.)

 Because Newland refused to go to court, defendant Captain William Achute ("Captain Achute") directed four correction officers to handcuff Newland so that he could be placed on a bus for transport to court. (Defs.' 3(g) P 17.) Newland claims that although he told Captain Achute and the correction officers that he was too sick to go to court, Captain Achute told the officers "just take him." (Newland Aff. P 15; Newland Dep. at 49-50.) Newland claims that he was physically attacked by four correction officers in full protective riot gear wielding shields and batons. He alleges that these officers wrestled him to the floor, hit him with their batons, handcuffed him, and forcibly dragged him out of the facility onto a waiting bus. (Pl.'s 3(g) P 10.) Newland claims that as a result of this incident he suffered visible and long-standing injuries to his head, ear, back, and shoulder. (Pl.'s 3(g) P 11.) The defendants claim that the four correction officers forcibly handcuffed Newland without using excessive force. (Defs.' 3(g) P 18; Dayson Decl. P 20.) Dr. Dayson observed this incident. (Dayson Decl. PP 17-20.) Newland alleges that even though the officers' beating resulted in visible wounds to his head, neither Dr. Dayson nor any of the officers provided medical treatment to determine the extent of his wounds. (Newland Aff. PP 19, 20.)

 After the incident, the plaintiff was transported to court, where he was sentenced. (Defs.' 3(g) P 20.) While Dr. Dayson observed the handcuffing by the four officers, he denies that he observed any unnecessary or inappropriate use of force. (Dayson Decl. P 24.)

 Newland alleges that when he returned to ARDC after his sentencing, he requested medical attention because he was having problems with his head and ears but that his request was unheeded. (Newland Aff. P 24.) The defendants contend that Newland did not advise any correction officers or medical personnel that he needed medical treatment and that he did not ask for any medical attention. (Defs.' 3(g) P 21.) Between December 21 and December 30, 1991, Newland was seen by medical staff at ARDC on at least two occasions. The parties dispute whether Newland reported any injuries on these occasions. (Defs.' 3(g) P 22; Newland Aff. PP 25, 26.) At the end of December 1991, Newland was given a thorough medical examination at Downstate Correctional Facility, and in the beginning of January 1991, Newland was again examined at Collins Correctional Facility. The defendants claim that Newland did not indicate that he had any ...


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