The opinion of the court was delivered by: David G. Larimer United States District Judge
Plaintiff, Amar Bell, appearing pro se, filed the complaint in this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 . Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS"), has sued Roxanne Arnone, a DOCS sergeant, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated in early November 2004, in connection with certain incidents while plaintiff was confined at Attica Correctional Facility. Both sides have moved for summary judgment.
Plaintiff alleges that on November 5, 2004, he "was on suicide watch inside a strip cell" in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU"), when plaintiff "cut [his] wrist with a razor." He states that when Sgt. Arnone, who was supervising SHU at the time, was informed of what had happened, she came and spoke to plaintiff, and then told an officer, "I don't care if he cut himself but we going [sic] to move him [to a different cell] behind a shield." Complaint at 5-6. Plaintiff alleges that he received no medical attention at the time.
Plaintiff also alleges that after he was moved to the new cell, he cut himself again numerous times, requiring sutures in his arms, neck and right leg. He alleges that Arnone violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution by creating a policy or custom that caused him to receive inadequate medical treatment, and by "[f]ailing to oversee the people who caused the wrong, such as hiring unqualified people or failing to adequately train the staff." Complaint at 7.
In support of her motion, Arnone has submitted copies of plaintiff's relevant medical records. Those records indicate that plaintiff received treatment on October 31, 2004 for self-inflicted lacerations, which were sutured. Dkt. #20 at 8. He was moved to SHU later that day. Id. at 6. It appears that he received a medical visit on November 1, id. at 9, and that he again cut himself on November 3, id. at 10. He was again treated and the mental health unit was contacted. Id.
On November 5, it was reported that plaintiff "began to open [his] previous wounds in his arms [and] refused medical treatment." Id. Plaintiff was given a form acknowledging his refusal of treatment but he would not sign it. Id. at 11-12. There is no indication from the medical records that Arnone was present during any of these events.
In support of his motion for summary judgment, plaintiff states only that Arnone "was the sergeant on duty" at the time of the November 3 incident and that "she ordered to move [sic]" plaintiff to a different cell. Dkt. #11-2. Plaintiff has not responded to defendant's motion.*fn1
I. Summary Judgment: General Principles
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a moving party is entitled to summary judgment "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Rule 56(e) further provides that:
When a motion for summary judgment is made and supported as provided in this rule, an adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but the adverse party's response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. If the adverse party does not so respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered against the adverse party.
II. Eighth Amendment Claims: General Principles
To show that prison medical treatment was so inadequate as to amount to "cruel or unusual punishment" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant's actions or omissions amounted to "deliberate indifference to a serious medical need." Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). A medical need is "serious" for constitutional purposes if it presents "'a condition of urgency' that may result in 'degeneration' or 'extreme pain.'" Chance v. Armstrong, 143 ...