The opinion of the court was delivered by: Larimer, Chief Judge.
By decision and order entered January 26, 1999, plaintiff's
section 1983 claims against defendant Goord were dismissed with
prejudice, and the Court deemed certain of plaintiff's claims to
arise under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").
42 U.S.C. § 12132. (Dkt.# 5). By decision and order entered August
17, 1999, plaintiff was permitted to amend his complaint to add
as defendants Collins Correction Lieutenant Gregory Sarra,
Collins Deputy Superintendent for Administration Thomas Mudra,
Collins Deputy Superintendent for Security Patricia
O'Connor*fn2, Collins Deputy Superintendent for Program Services
Richard Becker, and John & Jane Doe of Central Office Health
Services. (Dkt.# 24).
The relief requested in the complaint includes compensatory and
punitive damages, a restraining order protecting him from
retaliation, and injunctive relief. Plaintiff has requested
relief against all defendants in both their individual and their
official capacities. (Dkt.# 9). Presently before the Court are
plaintiff's and defendants' motions for summary judgment.
Parkinson was convicted of two counts of attempted assault upon
a police officer and reckless endangerment in the first degree
for shooting a rifle at two New York State troopers. Parkinson
was briefly incarcerated at Collins from June 25, 1998 through
November 17, 1998. Plaintiff is an amputee with only one leg. He
has raised several claims that relate to his medical treatment
and housing during his short tenure at Collins. First, he alleges
that he repeatedly requested a prosthetic leg, either his old one
or a new one, but that when he filed his complaint he was still
without a prosthesis. Plaintiff wrote letters to defendants Dr.
Cetin and Counselor Hicks requesting the prosthesis. Plaintiff
also alleges that his medical needs as an amputee have not been
met. For example, he is authorized to receive an additional
pillow to raise the remainder of his amputated limb to decrease
swelling, but plaintiff claims that he was given neither a pillow
for his head nor one for his limb.
The lack of a prosthetic leg resulted in further difficulties.
At the time he filed his complaint, he was still housed on an
upper floor in an older building at Collins that he claims is not
designed to accommodate his needs. Defendants Hicks and Deputy
Superintendent Herbert acknowledged plaintiff's requests for
transfer and sought to have plaintiff transferred to a facility
with ground-floor housing and programs, but were unsuccessful in
obtaining approvals for such transfer requests. When he was at
Collins, plaintiff claimed he did not have access to a
handicapped-equipped bathroom, toilet or shower. He alleges that
he had to shower on one leg without any handgrips, bars, or
anti-skid mats to provide stability. Plaintiff also claimed that
it was very difficult for him to move around the facility on
crutches, in that he had to regularly negotiate stairs that were
covered with debris, and use floors which were often wet and
slippery. These conditions caused him to fall several times, and
he hurt his wrist, arm and back and broke his crutches during one
of his falls. He further claims that he experienced back pain
from this fall, and complains
that the prescribed medication was not alleviating his pain.
On August 31, 1998, plaintiff began working in the Collins
"storehouse" but within hours he was removed from the job. On or
about August 31, 1998 and September 8, 1998, Parkinson filed
grievances about this removal with the Inmate Grievance
Resolution Committee ("IGRC"). The IGRC recommended that
Parkinson be allowed to return to the storehouse. Becker Aff.,
Ex. H. Superintendent Herbert disagreed with the IGRC's decision,
and stated that Parkinson would not be considered for work until
after he received his prosthetic limb. Id. The Central Office
Review Committee ("CORC") affirmed Superintendent Herbert's
response on November 10, 1998. Id. On November 17, 1998,
plaintiff was transferred from Collins for disciplinary reasons.
This is one of three suits involving similar allegations that
plaintiff has commenced in federal court. Plaintiff filed his
first lawsuit against a number of Columbia County officials
(including a County Court judge, the local district and assistant
district attorneys, and the local sheriff), the New York State
Attorney General, and DOCS. Parkinson v. Fort, 98-CV-1432
(N.D.N.Y.). Plaintiff's stipulation discontinuing that action was
filed November 19, 1998. Another lawsuit, filed November 19,
1998, is currently pending in the Northern District of New York,
again including DOCS as one of the defendants. Parkinson v. New
York State Department of Correctional Services, 98-CV-1788
(N.D.N.Y.) ("Parkinson's Northern District action").
Summary judgment is appropriate where "there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court "must view
the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party
and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor." McKelvie v.
Cooper, 190 F.3d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1999). Where, as here, the
plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the court will liberally
construe the plaintiff's pleadings, and "interpret them `to raise
the strongest arguments that they suggest.'" McPherson v.
Coombe, 174 F.3d 276, 280 (2d Cir. 1999) (citing Burgos v.
Hopkins, 14 F.3d 787, 790 (2d Cir. 1994)). Nevertheless,
proceeding pro se does not otherwise relieve a litigant of the
usual requirements of summary ...