The opinion of the court was delivered by: Larimer, Chief Judge.
Plaintiff, Jerome Douglas, Jr., commenced this action pro se
on June 10, 1998, asserting claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The court appointed counsel to represent plaintiff on September
15, 1998. Plaintiff, who is currently an inmate in the custody of
the New York State Department of Correctional Services, alleges
that on February 14, 1998, while he was a pretrial detainee at
the Monroe County Jail ("the Jail") in Rochester, New York, he
broke a bone in his left hand in an altercation with another
inmate. He was later taken to a hospital, where he was treated by
an orthopedic surgeon, who prescribed Darvocet for pain.
Plaintiff alleges that defendants Marilyn Stanwick and Linda
Clark, M.D., who at all relevant times were respectively employed
as the supervising nurse and a physician at the Jail, withheld
his medication on several occasions, causing him to suffer pain.
Plaintiff alleges that defendants thereby were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs, in violation of his
rights under the United States Constitution. Plaintiff seeks an
award of compensatory and punitive damages, plus costs and
attorney's fees. Defendants have moved for summary judgment.
When plaintiff told staff members at the Jail about his injury
on February 14, x-rays were taken of his hand, revealing a
fracture. Plaintiff was given Tylenol for pain, and several hours
later he was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester. Medical
personnel at St. Mary's placed his hand in a splint, and gave
plaintiff a prescription for a three-day supply of pain
medication. The prescription was forwarded to the Jail, and this
initial prescription was filled and administered to plaintiff.
Plaintiff returned to St. Mary's on February 20, 1998, and a
cast was put on his hand. It does not appear that any additional
medication was prescribed during that visit.
The complaint alleges that over the course of the next several
days, plaintiff complained of pain in his hand, and was again
given Tylenol. Plaintiff alleges that Stanwick or another nurse
under her supervision twice told him that he would be taken to
see the Jail physician, but he was not.
Plaintiff was again taken to St. Mary's on March 6, 1998 and
was seen by Stephanie E. Siegrist, M.D. Plaintiff's cast was
removed, and Dr. Siegrist prescribed Darvocet, a narcotic, for
pain. When plaintiff returned to the Jail, however, Dr. Clark
directed the staff to withhold this medication. It appears that
she gave an oral instruction to that effect to Stanwick, who
memorialized it in writing. See Complaint Ex. A. Dr. Clark
states that she wanted the Jail nurses to see if over-the-counter
pain medicines would suffice to control plaintiff's pain, since
many Jail inmates have a history of substance abuse problems.
Plaintiff himself has a history of marijuana and cocaine use,
although Dr. Clark states that she does not remember if she was
aware of that at the time that she
issued her hold order. Based on Dr. Clark's order, the nurses at
the Jail refused to give plaintiff Darvocet when he complained of
pain, instead giving him Tylenol.
On April 9, 1998, plaintiff again was taken to St. Mary's
Hospital for follow-up treatment. He allegedly told Dr. Siegrist
that he was not being given his prescribed medicine. She again
directed that he be given Darvocet for pain. See Plaintiff's
Attorney's Declaration (Docket Item 44) Ex. 14. Plaintiff was
never given Darvocet at the Jail, however. Stanwick states in her
affidavit that plaintiff's medical records at the Jail do not
indicate that he complained of hand pain at any time after April
9, though, and Dr. Clark states that this new directive from Dr.
Siegrist was never forwarded to her. Stanwick Aff. (Docket Item
42) ¶¶ 30, 32; Clark Aff. (Attachment to Docket Item 34) ¶ 20.
Plaintiff alleges that he filed a grievance with Jail
officials, but never got a response. Defendants, however, do not
indicate any awareness of the alleged grievance, and plaintiff
has not submitted a copy of it.
As stated, plaintiff filed the complaint in this action in June
1998, at which time he was still at the Jail. Plaintiff left the
Jail the following month.
State officials' deliberate indifference to the medical needs
of persons in custody can, depending on the circumstances, give
rise to a constitutional violation. Whereas convicted prisoners'
right to medical care stems from the Eighth Amendment's ban on
cruel and unusual punishments, however, see Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 827, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994), the
analogous right of pretrial detainees arises under the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Henderson v.
Sheahan, 196 F.3d 839, 845 n. 2 (7th Cir. 1999); Lopez v.
LeMaster, 172 F.3d 756, 764 (10th Cir. 1999); Weyant v. Okst,
101 F.3d 845, 856 (2d Cir. 1996); Ali v. Szabo, 81 F. Supp.2d 447,
463 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). Although the Supreme Court has not
stated whether this due process right is identical to, or exactly
coextensive with, inmates' Eighth Amendment rights in this
regard, "it is plain that an unconvicted detainee's rights are at
least as great as those of a convicted prisoner." Lopez, 172
F.3d at 764 (citing City of Revere v. Massachusetts Gen'l
Hosp., 463 U.S. 239, 244, 103 S.Ct. 2979, 77 L.Ed.2d 605
In order to establish a § 1983 claim based on inadequate
medical care, a plaintiff must prove "deliberate indifference to
[his] serious medical needs." Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97,
104, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976). The standard of
deliberate indifference includes both subjective and objective
components. "First, the alleged deprivation must be, in objective
terms, `sufficiently serious.'" Hathaway v. Coughlin,
37 F.3d 63, 66 (2d Cir. 1994) (citations omitted), cert. denied,
513 U.S. 1154, 115 S.Ct. 1108, 130 L.Ed.2d 1074 (1995); Ramos v.
O'Connell, 28 F. Supp.2d 796, 802 (W.D.N.Y. 1998). Second, the
defendant "must act with a sufficiently culpable state of mind."
Hathaway, 37 F.3d at 66. An official acts with the requisite
deliberate indifference when that official "knows of and
disregards an excessive risk to [a detainee's] health or ...