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Baptista v. Onondaga County Dep't of Corrections

March 22, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence E. Kahn United States District Judge


Plaintiff Miguel Baptista commencedthe instant action against Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that their failure to provide adequate medical treatment to him while he was incarcerated at the Onondaga County Correctional Facility violated his rights as guaranteed by the Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion to preclude Plaintiff's expert from testifying and for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure seeking dismissal of the Complaint in its entirety.


From May 23, 2001 through November 4, 2002, Plaintiff was an inmate at the Onondaga County Correctional Facility ("OCCF"). On Saturday, December 15, 2001, Plaintiff jammed the middle finger of his right hand while playing basketball. Within forty-five minutes of the injury, Plaintiff was brought to the medical unit at the OCCF and examined by Ann Samonte, R.N. Samonte noted that Plaintiff's finger had swelling around the metacarpal joint. Samonte further noted that Plaintiff was able to flex his finger with assistance, and that she could hear a pop when he bent his finger. Plaintiff's finger was "buddy-taped" to his ring finger, and he was provided ice for swelling and 800 milligrams of Motrin for one week for pain. Samonte also added Plaintiff to the medical doctor's sick call list for Monday, December 17, 2001.

Plaintiff was next seen by medical personnel on Sunday, December 16, 2001. Plaintiff's finger was noted to be swollen. Plaintiff was unable to bend his finger. The finger was again "buddy-taped" and an ice pack was applied. Dr. Mark J. Shaw was contacted and restricted Plaintiff from work and recreation. Although Plaintiff was scheduled to see the OCCF physician on December 17, 2001, he did not appear because of a court appearance.

Plaintiff was examined by Dr. Shaw on December 18, 2001. Plaintiff's finger was found to be swollen around the PIP joint. Plaintiff was able to fully extend his finger, but unable to flex his finger due to pain. Shaw ordered a splint and x-rays. Shaw ordered a follow-up visit after the x-rays were taken.

Plaintiff's finger was x-rayed on December 20, 2001. The x-ray revealed a "volar plate fracture of the middle phalanx." Based on the results of the x-ray, Shaw ordered that Plaintiff's middle finger be "buddy taped" and splinted with tongue depressors from the tips of the fingers to the middle of his hand. Plaintiff's case also was submitted for medical staff review on Monday, December 24, 2001 to evaluate the need for follow-up with the Orthopedic Hand Clinic (the "Hand Clinic").

On December 24, 2001, Chief Facility Emergency Physician Mark Johnston reviewed the x-ray report. Consent was obtained to permit Plaintiff to be seen at the Orthopedic Hand Clinic at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital. An appointment was scheduled for January 23, 2002.

During this time, Plaintiff was administered 800 milligrams of Motrin for pain. The medication was administered on December 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, and 25, 2001. On December 25, 2001, Plaintiff submitted a request for more Motrin. On December 31, 2001, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Johnston for treatment to his finger. Johnston ordered a one month prescription of 600 milligrams of Motrin.

On January 9, 2002, Plaintiff was against treated in the medical unit. At that time, Plaintiff was noted to have swelling to the joint of the middle finger. Medical staff changed the splint.

Plaintiff was seen at the Hand Clinic on January 23, 2002. Plaintiff was diagnosed with "right middle finger PIP joint dislocation." Plaintiff was sent for pre-surgery testing on January 28, 2002. On January 29, 2002, Plaintiff underwent a volar plate arthroplasty. The surgeon prescribed Vicodin for Plaintiff's post-surgery pain. Following surgery, Plaintiff returned to the OCCF for recuperation.

Upon his return from surgery, Plaintiff was provided Motrin instead of the Vicodin. This was done purportedly due to OCCF restrictions on the distribution of narcotics. While at OCCF, Plaintiff was provided with follow-up treatment, including physical therapy and further x-rays.

On May 17, 2002, Plaintiff underwent a second surgery to his finger to release joint contracture. Following surgery, Plaintiff was prescribed 800 milligrams of Motrin and his finger was splinted. Plaintiff was then returned to the OCCF. Plaintiff was next seen at the Hand Clinic on May 22, 2002. Records note that Plaintiff was doing "some active motion post-op but has not been doing aggressive passive motion as was instructed by us." On May 24, 2002, Plaintiff was seen at the University Hospital Emergency Department with complaints of middle finger pain. Plaintiff was advised to continue taking the 800 milligrams of Motrin, to ice and elevate his hand, and to continue with the flexion and extension exercise ordered by Dr. Mosher (the physician who performed the second surgery). Plaintiff received follow-up treatment, including physical therapy and pain management on May 29, June 26, August 7, and September 11, 2002.*fn1

"The medical records . . . show that while Plaintiff was in the custody of the Defendants, and more specifically the period of time between Plaintiff's injury on December 15, 2001 through his surgery at the Orthopedic Hand Clinic on January 25, 2002, and all through the follow-up care administered thereafter up to September 11, 2002, Plaintiff was provided reasonable and necessary medical care by the medical ...

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