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ATKIN v. COUNTY OF ORANGE

June 3, 2005.

ROMUS ATKINS, MARK BELLOTTO, DAWN BROWN, JANE BROWN, MICHAEL J. CROCI, JR., MICHAEL P. KRACHT and ROBERT GRASSFIELD, Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF ORANGE, CHRIS ASHMAN, Commissioner of Mental Health, sued in his individual and official capacities, DONNA DOMINICK, ROBERT CURRERI, DAVID SERRANO, PAUL WEISSINGER, MICHAEL ZAPPOLO, KATHLEEN FERRERI, ARTHUR CONKLIN, KEITH PELTON, JENNIFER SERGI, KANDI JONES, KRISTY KELLY, MICHAEL ANDRICUT, DANIEL FIGUEROA, EDWARD CRAVEN, RICHARD RUSSELL, BRYCE SOTELO, LOU PASTOR, VINCENT DICHAIRO, LAWRENCE CATLETTI, ROBERT TICHY and GERALD KEHLENBECK, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM CONNER, Senior District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs Romus Atkins, Mark Bellotto, Dawn Brown, Jane Brown, Michael J. Croci, Jr., Michael P. Kracht and Robert Grassfield (collectively the "plaintiffs") bring this action against numerous corrections officers (the "CO defendants"),*fn1 the County of Orange (the "County") and Chris Ashman, the County Commissioner of Mental Health.*fn2 Plaintiffs assert claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The CO defendants are sued in their individual capacities and Ashman is sued in both his individual capacity and his official capacity. In the present motion, defendants move pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 37 to preclude the testimony of plaintiffs' expert and pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 56 for partial summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs' claims. In addition, defendants move to sever each individual plaintiff's claims for separate trials and, in the alternative, the CO defendants move to sever trial of the claims against the CO defendants from those against the County defendants. For the reasons stated hereinafter, defendants' motions are granted in part and denied in part.

  BACKGROUND

  I. Plaintiffs' Factual Allegations

  Plaintiffs were incarcerated at the Orange County Correctional Facility (the "Jail") at various times between 1999 and 2002. (Complt. ¶¶ 11-17.)*fn3 While incarcerated, each plaintiff was under the care of the Orange County Department of Mental Health ("DMH"), which operates and staffs the forensic mental health clinic (the "forensic clinic") at the Jail. Plaintiffs allege that the County had a policy or practice of deliberate indifference to the mental health needs of prisoners at the Jail that resulted in violations of their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Four of the plaintiffs also allege that the County's deliberate indifference to their mental health needs caused episodes of irrationality or insanity that resulted in their being beaten or otherwise mistreated by certain CO defendants in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The following factual allegations appear in plaintiffs' Complaint.

  A. Allegations Pertaining to Plaintiffs With Excessive Force Claims

  Atkins suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. (Id. ¶ 43.) On April 16, 2001, he was incarcerated at the Jail and immediately referred to the forensic clinic. (Id. ¶ 44.) On April 17, 2001, a forensic clinic psychiatrist evaluated Atkins, diagnosed him with "chronic, undifferentiated schizophrenia with acute exacerbation" and prescribed medication. (Id. ¶ 45.) Atkins refused his medication, but no action was taken when DMH was informed of his refusal. (Id.) Atkins then experienced a psychotic episode. (Id. ¶ 46.) On April 18, he was placed in a cell called "the bullpen" and pepper spray was directed at his eyes. (Id. ¶ 47.) He was then placed in a therapeutic restraint without medical authorization, shackled and handcuffed. While Atkins was restrained, CO defendants Curreri, Catletti, Tichy and Kehlenbeck allegedly beat him. (Id.) Sometime thereafter, Lieutenant Joseph Williams transported Atkins to the forensic clinic, explained that Atkins's inappropriate behavior was a direct result of his mental condition and demanded that the prisoner receive treatment. Plaintiffs allege that Atkins did not receive treatment for his mental condition until April 20. (Id. ¶ 48.)

  Dawn Brown was an inmate at the Jail on several occasions during the relevant period and suffers from schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. (Id. ¶¶ 63-64.) On April 19, 2000, Dawn Brown was behaving irrationally and was referred to the forensic clinic. (Id. ¶ 69.) The nursing staff placed her on close watch, but she was not treated by a psychiatrist until April 24, 2000, five days later. (Id. ¶¶ 67-68.) On two other occasions during her incarceration, Brown refused treatment and DMH took no further steps to provide her with care. (Id. ¶¶ 73, 77.) On April 12, 2001, Dawn Brown was placed in restraints after she was found in a highly agitated state. Plaintiffs allege that after she was shackled, handcuffed and a helmet was placed upon her head, CO defendants Dominick. Curreri, Serrano and Weissinger beat her. (Id. ¶ 78.) On April 26, 2001, Dawn Brown was again placed in the bullpen, restrained and allegedly beaten by CO defendants Zappolo, Ferreri, Conklin and Pelton after she smeared feces on the walls of her cell. (Id. ¶ 79.) At some point during her incarceration, Dawn Brown was confined to medical "keeplock" isolation which according to plaintiffs was the result of DMH's failure to provide treatment. (Id. ¶ 82.) CO defendants Sergi, Jones and Kelly allegedly turned off the water supply to Dawn Brown's keeplock unit, denying her drinking water for several days. The officers also threw her food "through a slot in her door" and refused to allow her to shower. Dawn Brown alleges that she was beaten when she did not cooperate with the prison guards. (Id.)

  Croci was incarcerated at the Jail from May 29, 1999 until March 2000, and from May 15, 2001 until September 2001. During the relevant periods, he suffered from bipolar disorder, claustrophobia and anxiety. (Id. ¶¶ 94-96.) Upon his incarceration in May 1999, Croci was referred to DMH for treatment "ASAP," but he was not seen by a doctor until many days later. (Id. ¶ 99.) When he was finally examined, he was administered a number of prescribed medications that left him in an "almost constant state of somnolence." (Id. ¶ 100.) During his incarceration in 2001, Croci was seen by DMH personnel but there was no follow-up treatment even though he refused medication. (Id. ¶¶ 106, 109-10.) On June 16, 2001, Croci had a psychotic episode which plaintiffs allege was caused by his failure to take his medication. (Id. ¶ 104.) CO defendants Andricut, Figueroa and Craven allegedly beat Croci so severely in connection with this episode that he was transported to a community hospital emergency room. Upon Croci's return to the Jail, he was placed in the bullpen and restrained because no psychiatrist was available to prescribe the drugs that he required. (Id. ¶ 105.)

  Grassfield was incarcerated from January 11, 2002 until March 2002. (Id. ¶ 134.) During this period, he suffered from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. (Id.) Upon incarceration, Grassfield informed the booking officer that he required certain medications and provided his medications to the officer. (Id. ¶ 137.) Once he was in the inmate population, Grassfield made repeated requests for medication but was denied medication and treatment for four days. (Id. ¶¶ 138-40.) When the proper medications were finally prescribed for him, he received them only sporadically. (Id. ¶ 141.) As a result. Grassfield suffered from severe depression and attempted suicide on February 4, 2002. (Id. ¶ 146.) He was then allegedly beaten by an unnamed corrections officer who discovered his suicide attempt. (Id. ¶ 147.) After several inmates threatened him in an unrelated incident, Grassfield was placed in "keeplock" isolation. (Id. ¶ 149.) While in isolation, his medications were not properly dispensed and Grassfield continually asked to be reintroduced to the general inmate population. (Id. ¶¶ 150-51.) On February 10, 2002, Grassfield attempted to hang himself from the Jail's sprinkler system using a sheet that he had fashioned as a noose. (Id. ¶ 152.) His weight caused the pipe to break and he was sprayed with water and chemicals. (Id. ¶ 153.) According to Grassfield, after observing the spectacle for a period of time, CO defendants Russell, Sotelo, Pastor and DiChairo allegedly shackled him and beat him as they dragged him to the medical unit. (Id.)

  B. Allegations Pertaining to Plaintiffs Without Excessive Force Claims

  Kracht has been incarcerated at the Jail more than ten times. (Id. ¶¶ 113-14.) He suffers from bipolar disorder. (Id. ¶ 112.) Upon incarceration in July 2001, it is alleged that Kracht was denied medication for a week despite the fact that DMH was aware of his mental illness. (Id. ¶ 115.) When he was finally seen by a psychiatrist, the doctor ignored Kracht's previous mental health record, issued a new diagnosis of Kracht's mental conditions and prescribed several psychotropic medications for him. (Id. ¶¶ 116-17.) One of the drugs prescribed for him was Elavil. (Id. ¶ 118.) Although this drug requires careful monitoring, Kracht did not see a DMH psychiatrist until three weeks after the drug was first prescribed. (Id. ¶ 118.) Kracht informed the DMH psychiatrist that he was experiencing side effects. (Id. ¶ 119.) Instead of weaning Kracht off the drug, the psychiatrist abruptly terminated the Elavil and prescribed Depakote, Neurotin and Seroquel. (Id. ¶ 120.) DMH failed to closely monitor Kracht to determine how he was responding to these new drugs. (Id. ¶ 121.) On September 16, 2001, Kracht refused to take his medications but received no follow-up treatment. (Id. ¶ 123.) Thereafter, Kracht's medications were changed again and a caseworker noticed that he was "sleeping day and night." (Id. ¶¶ 124-27.) No changes in his medications were made even after it was determined that Kracht was sleeping excessively. (Id. ¶¶ 128-32.)

  Bellotto was a minor with no previous history of mental illness when he was incarcerated for a thirty-day sentence in 2000. (Id. ¶¶ 53-54.) Subsequent to his admission, a forensic clinic psychiatrist diagnosed Bellotto with depression and prescribed Paxil for him. (Id. ¶ 56.) Bellotto was not informed he could refuse the medication, (id. ¶ 57), although his mother protested the administration of the drug to her son. (Id. ¶ 58.) DMH continued to administer Paxil to Bellotto for the remainder of his sentence. (Id. ¶ 59.) Plaintiffs allege that during the relevant period, DMH routinely prescribed psychotropic drugs to inmates who had no need for them to "induce a state of stupor." (Id. ¶ 60.)

  Jane Brown was an inmate at the Jail from March 30, 2001 to May 9, 2001. During that time, she suffered from cyclothymic disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder and was a recovering substance abuser. (Id. ¶¶ 86-88.) A psychiatrist at the forensic clinic prescribed Paxil for Jane Brown, but she frequently missed taking the drug because she was attending GED classes during the time it was distributed. (Id. ¶ 89.) Her request to have the distribution schedule changed went unheeded until one week before her release. (Id. ¶¶ 89-90.) DMH provided no discharge planning, and Jane Brown suffered withdrawal symptoms after release. (Id. ¶ 95.)

  C. The County Defendants' Alleged Knowledge of Treatment Failures

  Plaintiffs allege that the County was deliberately indifferent to the mental health needs of mentally ill inmates at the Jail and failed to provide them with adequate mental health care in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. They contend that Ashman and the County had direct knowledge of the treatment problems in the Jail, but failed to take any action. In 1995, Susan Menon, a nurse administrator working for the medical services contractor at the Jail, informed Ashman that the forensic clinic psychiatrists were routinely over-prescribing psychotropic drugs for inmates under their care. (Id. ¶ 30.) Menon contacted Ashman on another occasion two years later to apprise him of continuing problems at the forensic clinic. She advised Ashman that DMH was still over-medicating some prisoners and that many prisoners suffered significant delays in receiving treatment. She also told Ashman that DMH lacked an emergency backup treatment program and facilities. (Id. ¶ 31.) In 1998, Menon, along with another nurse, Lurana Berweger, informed Ashman that the problems in the forensic clinic were continuing. (Id. ¶ 32.)*fn4

  In the spring of 1997, Menon met with Deputy County Executive Toni Murphy. (Id. ¶ 38.) She explained the treatment problems occurring in the forensic clinic and provided memoranda that she had written to others in authority detailing the same problems. (Id.) Murphy told Menon that Joseph Rampe, who was the County Executive at the time,*fn5 would be shocked by this information and that it would be dealt with after his re-election. (Id. ¶ 39.) In July 1998, Berweger wrote a letter to Rampe outlining the same treatment problems she observed and included documentary support. (Id. ¶ 40.) According to plaintiffs, the County did not take any steps to rectify the alleged problems in the forensic clinic prior to the commencement of the present action.

  II. Defendants' Contentions Regarding Alleged Treatment Failures

  The County defendants contend adequate mental health treatment was available to plaintiffs. The forensic clinic at the Jail employs clinicians as senior caseworkers,*fn6 staff social workers, support staff and a director, and contracts with psychiatrists who perform various consulting services. (County Defs. Mem. Supp. Summ. J. at 2.) In addition, the County contracted with Dr. Ramachandran in the Fall of 2001 to perform quality assurance reviews and with Dr. Fruchter in early 2002 to provide on-call emergency psychiatric services whenever the forensic clinic was closed. (Id.) With respect to each plaintiffs' claims, the County defendants assert the following:
A. Atkins
  Defendants maintain that "[a]lthough Atkins does not recall the intake procedures, the records are clear that he was properly and promptly processed and his mental health care began immediately upon admission." (Id. at 57.) Atkins was admitted to the Jail on April 16th and on the same day he was assessed in booking, referred for mental health services and placed on "close watch" until mental health could see him. He was then seen by medical staff which also made a mental health referral. Atkins was seen by mental health on the 17th at which time a case file was opened and, with his consent, mental health received his records from prior treatment at Cornwall Hospital. (Id.) Atkins was also seen by a psychiatrist on the 17th. (Id. at 61.)

  Notably, Atkins had no complaints about the medication he began taking at the Jail or the care he received from his mental health clinician, although plaintiffs' expert did state that the dosage Atkins was receiving was "woefully inadequate." (Id. at 58; Thornton Affm., Ex. 29.) Rather, Atkins's claim centers around an incident which occurred on April 18th after Atkins was yelling and screaming uncontrollably in his cell. The forensic clinic records indicate that Atkins was seen by his case worker after being brought to the clinic from medical on the 18th shortly after the incident occurred and returned to his cell within one and one-half to two hours of being brought to the medical unit. (County Defs. Mem. Supp. Summ. J. at 59, 61.) In addition, defendants note that while Atkins alleges that the clinic refused to provide him with his medication, the medical records demonstrate that it was Atkins, himself, who did not follow up with the care recommended by Cornwall Hospital. Therefore, defendants contend that Atkins was provided with constitutionally adequate mental health treatment.

  B. Dawn Brown

  Defendants maintain that each of the five times Dawn Brown was incarcerated and alleged constitutional deprivations, she was a patient of the mental health clinic and "received timely and appropriate care . . ., even when she refused to be treated by medical and mental health staff." (Id. at 63.) With respect to Dawn Brown's April 19, 2000 incarceration, she was immediately evaluated for mental health issues and was referred to mental health. (Id.) She was also placed on "close watch" until she could be seen by a mental health professional. (Id.) The forensic records indicate that Dawn Brown requested mental health services and signed a voluntary application to the mental health clinic on April 20, 2000, and that she was seen in the mental health clinic by a mental health clinician and a psychiatrist for evaluation on that same day. (Id. at 64.) Dawn Brown was again seen by a mental health clinician on April 24th and the clinician's notes indicate that this was the third time she had seen Brown since her arrival at the Jail. (Id. at 65.) In addition. Dawn Brown also saw the psychiatrist again, which was the second time in five days. (Id.) During this incarceration, Dawn Brown did not suffer, nor does she allege any injury or harm.

  With respect to the other incarcerations, defendants contend that the record is replete with examples of how defendants attended to Dawn Brown's medical and mental health needs with constant supervision and counseling. Dawn Brown alleges that during her incarceration which began on October 31, 2000, she tried to hang herself. However, defendants note that there are no allegations that Dawn Brown did not receive proper and adequate mental health care during this particular incarceration. (Id. at 66.) Upon admission, Dawn Brown's mental health was screened by corrections officers and an "urgent/emergency" referral was made to mental health. (Id.) She was observed to be at an "elevated" risk for suicide and was placed on "close watch" in a "strip cell."*fn7 (Id.) Dawn Brown was seen by a psychiatrist and mental health case worker on the day she was admitted to the Jail. (Id.) Medication was prescribed for her by the psychiatrist, and she was directed to return to the clinic for follow-up in three weeks. The medication administration chart indicates that Dawn Brown was given her medication regularly. (Id. at 66-67.) Dawn Brown was seen by her mental health case worker and psychiatrist on two subsequent occasions after her initial screening at the clinic. The alleged attempted hanging by Dawn Brown occurred on November 24, 2000. Dawn Brown was found by corrections staff sitting on her bed with a sheet around her neck, not hanging. (Id.) Corrections staff removed Dawn Brown from her cell, placed her in a protective "strip cell" and put her on "extreme close watch" until she could be evaluated and seen by someone from mental health. Dawn Brown was seen by her mental health case worker on November 27, 2000, and the mental health case worker noted that Dawn Brown admitted to her that "`she wasn't seriously considering suicide, she just wanted somebody's attention.'" (Id.)

  Dawn Brown was next incarcerated from March 12, 2001 until March 19, 2001. There are no allegations of constitutional deprivations during this incarceration other than the statement that Dawn Brown was again incarcerated and treated by the forensic clinic. (Id. at 68.) Dawn Brown was screened in booking for mental health issues and was put on "close watch" with a referral to mental health. She was seen by a psychiatrist and mental health caseworker the next day and medication was prescribed for her by the psychiatrist. (Id.)

  Dawn Brown was incarcerated again on March 26, 2001. She was immediately screened in booking for mental health issues and was placed on "close watch" with an urgent referral to mental health. (Id. at 69.) The medical charts indicate that while Dawn Brown was in the booking unit she began "acting out" and was placed in the "bullpen" which was a cell under constant supervision by correction officers. The medical progress notes indicate that Dawn Brown was placed in a restraint chair with a helmet on her head, but defendants note that "[t]hese devices are used only by corrections staff when an inmate exhibits conduct that presents a danger to herself and others and requires restraint to prevent injury to herself or others."*fn8 (Id. at 70.) Dawn Brown was in the restraints for a little more than one hour. (Id.) The following day, March 27, Dawn Brown was seen by a mental health clinician, but she later refused to be seen by a psychiatrist and refused all mental health services. (Id.) She also refused to submit to an intake medical/mental health screening, but it was eventually conducted on March 28. (Id.) Dawn Brown was released from the Jail on April 2, 2001.

  The last incarceration in which Dawn Brown alleges constitutional deprivations began on April 4, 2001. (Id. at 71.) She was screened at booking for mental health problems and a referral was made to the mental health clinic. She was then taken to the medical unit, where it was again attempted to assess her mental health, but Dawn Brown refused. "She was observed to be `screaming, shaking — banging at cell door' and was referred to mental health and to a psychiatrist and placed in medical keeplock and close watch." (Id. at 72.) Dawn Brown refused medical intake and was kept in medical "keeplock" until April 17 when she agreed to be screened and tested. "Until then, additional efforts to persuade Brown to be seen in medical on several occasions between April 7 and April 10 were rebuffed proving false the allegation that after April 4 there was `no further effort to provide her treatment.'" (Id.) On April 12, Dawn Brown was seen by a nurse at her cell, and it is alleged that she screamed and lunged at the nurse. Defendants also maintain that Dawn Brown was observed by the corrections staff to be "shaking" and "banging at [the] cell door." (Id.) Corrections then made a referral to mental health, and Dawn Brown was seen by a mental health clinician, Jane Tiller. Tiller reported to corrections that Dawn Brown was "getting worse — loud, banging her head, refusing all medical services." (Id.) The corrections staff then decided that Dawn Brown needed to be restrained, and she was placed in the restraint chair for about two to three hours. (Id. at 73.) While in the restraint chair, a nurse tried to assess Dawn Brown's condition several times, but was resisted. A report of the incident was filed with the State Commission of Correction. (Id. at 73.) On April 12, Dawn Brown submitted to an examination by the staff psychiatrist and medication was prescribed for her. Defendants note that even though Dawn Brown failed to voluntarily request mental health services, she was seen by a mental health clinician on April 13, April 16 and April 19, "each time in connection with disruptive and non-compliant misconduct." (Id.) Dawn Brown was seen by a psychiatrist on April 25, who noted that she was refusing all medication. (Id.) On April 26, Dawn Brown threw feces and urine under her cell door and was placed in a restraint chair for her safety. Defendants maintain that she was immediately attended to by a staff psychiatrist "who found her to be `agitated and uncontrollable' and had smeared feces `all over' and `needed to be restrained.'" (Id.) The staff psychiatrist then administered a STAT dose of Ativan, which was consistent with the emergency and accepted medical practice. (Id.) Dawn Brown admits that she banged her head against the wall and that this was the cause of her being restrained and given an injection of Ativan. (Id. at 74.) She also admits that she was "agitated" before the injection, and that after the injection she stopped banging her head and was able to sleep. (Id.) There are no further allegations by Dawn Brown regarding her mental health care after April 26, 2001.

  A court-ordered psychiatric examination was conducted on May 4, 2001 to determine Dawn Brown's competency pursuant to Article 730 of the Criminal Procedure Law. (Id.) As a result of the examination, on May 16, 2001, Dawn Brown was found to be an incapacitated person and was remanded to the custody of the State Commissioner of Mental Hygiene. (Id.) On or about May 16, 2001, Dawn Brown was discharged from the Jail and transferred to the Middletown Psychiatric Center. (Id.) Defendants contend that although on numerous occasions Dawn Brown refused medication and mental health care, defendants met their obligation to provide access to care and continued to monitor her mental and physical condition, despite her refusal for such care. (Id. at 75.)

  C. Croci

  Defendants contend that Croci received adequate mental health care and was seen by case workers and a psychiatrist on numerous occasions. (Id. at 42.) According to defendants, each time the medical staff or nurses reported Croci was acting strange or refusing his medications, he was referred to and seen by a psychiatrist. (Id. at 43.) Further, although Croci alleges that he requested his medications be changed, defendants note that there is no constitutional obligation to accommodate such a request. (Id. at 44.) Defendants also note that despite the fact that Croci met with his psychiatrist on numerous occasions, he made "no mention of side effects and certainly no mention of somnolence or a stupor." (Id.) In addition, defendants maintain that Croci's "extensive treatment record [in 1999] documents that Croci was not in a `stupor' or `state of somnolence'" as the complaint alleges, nor does the record indicate Croci complained to anyone about nausea or dizziness. (Id. at 47.)

  With respect to Croci's incarceration during 2001, his forensic clinic case was opened a day after he was admitted to the Jail, he saw a psychiatrist that same day and was diagnosed with "bi-polar disorder depressed" and medication was prescribed. (Id. at 49.) Croci refused all medications, so medical suggested counseling which he received. (Id. at 50.) In addition, defendants note that, despite Croci's allegations to the contrary, the records reveal that Croci was seen repeatedly by both clinicians and a psychiatrist during July and August 2001. (Id. at 56.) D. Grassfield

  Defendants maintain that Grassfield was provided with adequate mental health treatment and the fact that he attempted suicide does not create an issue of fact with respect to the constitutionality of the care provided to him.*fn9 (Id.) Grassfield was appropriately screened in booking by corrections and was referred to mental health as a result of his high score on the Jail's suicide screening. (Id. at 25.) He was then seen by a nurse, who also referred him to mental health. On the day Grassfield entered the jail, he was seen by a licensed social worker in the forensic clinic and his mental health case was opened. (Id.) The social worker obtained "Grassfield's consent for services, completed a detailed intake assessment and also obtained Grassfield's consent to obtain information from providers of services on the outside in order to verify his medication and treatment history." (Id. at 26.) Defendants also note that "Grassfield acknowledges the propriety of the jail's policy of not permitting inmates to take their own medication and the need to obtain verification from previous providers." (Id.)

  The social worker referred Grassfield for a psychiatric consult and recommended he be "monitored more closely" in the mental health housing unit. The records indicate that Grassfield saw a psychiatrist on January 14, 2002, three days after he was admitted to the Jail. (Id.) In addition, the medication administration record reveals that Grassfield began receiving his medication on January 16, which was five days after he was admitted and two days after he saw the psychiatrist. (Id. at 27.) Notably, during the period of time that Grassfield was not taking any medication, he took no action to harm himself, others or property, nor did he suffer any apparent ill effects. In fact, during that time, Grassfield was on "close watch" which protected him until he was seen by the psychiatrist. (Id.)

  Moreover, with respect to the alleged February 4th suicide attempt, which defendants contend plaintiff has since admitted was a "joke." Grassfield was seen immediately by a case worker in the mental unit and referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation. (Id. at 28.) Grassfield was then counseled by the psychiatrist and had his medication adjusted. (Id.) As a result of the February 10th suicide attempt, Grassfield was immediately seen by medical personnel at the Jail and then taken to Arden Hill Hospital where he was evaluated and examined. He was then sent to Middletown Psychiatric Center where he spent three days. (Id. at 29.) When Grassfield returned to the Jail, he was seen by the psychiatrist for a "suicide evaluation" and was counseled and medication was prescribed. (Id.) Each time Grassfield requested to see a doctor, he was seen, and he continuously met with his caseworker for counseling. (Id.) Furthermore. Grassfield "received a detailed discharge plan which . . . he felt was more than adequate." (Id. at 30.) Defendants maintain that Grassfield "clearly benefitted from procedures in place at the forensic clinic in that he participated in group and individual therapy and was given ready access to a psychiatrist." Defendants also maintain that their response to Grassfield's suicide attempts were appropriate, as was the discharge plan. (Id.) Thus, defendants contend that "the forensic clinic had in place all necessary policies and staff to care for his mental health needs." (Id. at 31.)

  E. Kracht

  Defendants contend that Kracht's mental health case was opened the same day he was admitted to the Jail, and although Kracht alleges that it took nine days to get his medication, he was on "close watch" during that period and he admits that "he took no action to harm himself or others." (Id. at 32.) Defendants contend that this is due, "presumably, at least in part to the beneficial effects of [the] intense level of supervision." (Id.) Defendants maintain that a review of Kracht's chart for the period in which he alleges that his constitutional rights were violated indicates that he was seen by his clinician/case worker on numerous occasions, consulted with clinic psychiatrists sixteen times and participated in group therapy about twenty times. In addition, defendants allege that while Kracht may have complained about his medication, these complaints were addressed by the clinic. (Id.)

  Further, defendants note that Kracht was sentenced "more than fifteen times" and had been a patient of the clinic during his prior incarcerations, but challenges how he was treated during only this sentence. (Id. at 31.) Defendants maintain that during the period about which he complains, Kracht was treated "with the same or substantially similar medications" that were administered to him during his prior incarcerations. (Id. at 32.)

  F. Bellotto

  Defendants maintain that Bellotto had a prior history of hospitalization for depression, about which the Jail was advised, and that Bellotto was depressed at the time of his admission. (Id. at 17.) Bellotto saw a psychiatrist during his incarceration who diagnosed him with depression and prescribed Paxil and supportive therapy. (Id.) Therefore, defendants contend that "[a]s far as the forensic clinic was concerned a depressed inmate was referred to it by medical, he consented to care, was screened by a clinician and seen by a psychiatrist whose medical judgment resulted in a Paxil prescription. The clinic received no complaints from the inmate, corrections or medical with respect to adverse side effects, assuming there were any." (Id. at 18.) Additionally, defendants note that Bellotto suffered ...


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