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Gonzales v. Wright

February 22, 2010

RAYMOND GONZALES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. LESTER WRIGHT, ET AL.,, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hood, D. J.

DECISION and ORDER

Raymond Gonzales complains in this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that, while he was incarcerated at the Upstate Correctional Facility ("Upstate"), Defendants, various New York penal officers and employees, denied him the protections of the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.*fn1 The matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. (Dkt. No. 81). Plaintiff having responded to the motion sub judice (Dkt. No. 88), it is ripe for review.

Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff claims that beginning shortly after his arrival on July 3, 2006, in Building 10 SHU at Upstate Correctional Facility, some unidentified "infections harmful chemical substance" came out of the ventilation system. Although Defendants John Finazzo and Gerald Caron looked for the substance, they claimed not to see anything and mocked him. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 38, 39). In response to his ongoing complaints, Plaintiff claims that Defendants James Spinner, Sheen Pombrio, Brian Grant, Michael Riley, Scott Dumas, Jonathan Price, Jeffrey Hyde, William Brown, and Lynn Furnace looked for the substance, but claimed that they did not see nor find anything. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 41, 42).

Plaintiff also claims that all the above-named Defendants, along with Defendants Steven Salls, Jeffrey Bezio, Ricky Colton, N. Guerin, Dean Sauther, Brian Bogardus, Michael Welch, Michael Albert, and non-movant D. Ravelle*fn2 , made comments and placed "infections harmful chemical substance" in the ventilation system in retaliation for filing lawsuits at other facilities and that Defendants Robert Woods and Norman Bezio directed this conspiracy. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 45-50). Defendant Bogardus is alleged to have gestured and looked with satisfaction and gladness towards the ventilation system while delivering mail. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 55). Plaintiff also states that the above-named Defendants tried to poison his food with an unknown "infectious chemical substance." (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 108-110)*fn3 .

Plaintiff further alleges that the above Defendants denied him access to the courts by denying him a pen needed to complete his 45 page, 177 paragraph complaint as well as legal work related to his other pending lawsuits. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 162-67). Plaintiff claims that he requested a pen from the correctional officers as supplies were given out and was repeatedly denied one. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 127, 129, 132, 162-67, 170-71).

Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that after his food was supposedly tainted he refused to return his food tray (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 130, 168-69) which prompted a search of Plaintiff's cell. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 126, 134-41). Plaintiff further alleges that during the cell search, the officers damaged his legal documents in retaliation for his other lawsuits against DOCS employees at other correctional facilities. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 142-43). Plaintiff further alleges that the cell search was unlawful because he said he returned all the pieces of the broken food tray. Therefore, the officers had no right to conduct the search, and did it for the sole purpose of retaliation. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 142-43).

Plaintiff alleges that due to the "infectious harmful chemicals," his face, chest, and other body parts became infected. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 43). Due to Plaintiff's alleged "infections, he made several sick call requests, requesting medical attention for his "infections." (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 44, 74, 85). Plaintiff also wrote letters to Facility Health Service Director Wiessman requesting medical care. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 74). Plaintiff also wrote Lester Wright, the Associate Commissioner of Health Services/Chief Medical Officer of New York State Department of Correctional Services at Albany, asking Wright to order Defendant Louise Tichenor to provide Plaintiff with medical care. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 78). Plaintiff claims that, although seen by Defendant Tichenor on July 14, 2006, he did not receive proper medical care. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 77). Thus, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Evelyn Wiessman, failed to properly supervise Plaintiff's medical providers. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 7A).

Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Tichenor failed to adequately examine him during his medical call out on July 14, 2006, asking with intrigue what had happened to Plaintiff's skin, but failing to properly examine Plaintiff's chest, back, shoulders, testicles and penis. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 64, 66). Plaintiff also states that Defendant Tichenor prescribed him Loratadine, which Plaintiff refused to take because Plaintiff knew that he was given the medicine only to conceal and hide the evidence of the damage caused to him by the "infectious substances." (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 68-69, 72). Plaintiff then states that he was given a prescription cream for his skin problem, but not enough of it. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 73, 75).

Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Tichenor wrongfully discontinued and denied Plaintiff the nutritional supplement, Ensure, although Plaintiff acknowledges that he failed to comply with facility procedure by refusing to drink the Ensure in front of the Nurses. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 145-60).

Finally, Plaintiff alleges that nurses J. Chesbrough, R. Holmes, and Walsh failed to provide Plaintiff with non-prescription medication even though Plaintiff completed all required sick call procedures. (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 85, 89-106). Plaintiff contends that all these Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.

Defendants' Statement of Material Facts

Defendants have provided a different view of what happened while Plaintiff was confined at Upstate, as detailed in their statement of material facts. Although quite lengthy, they are recounted in detail below to provide a better understanding of Defendants' position in the matter:

1. Plaintiff Raymond Gonzalez was seen on a nearly daily basis from his arrival at Upstate on or about July 3, 2006. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 1.

2. On July 5, 2006, Plaintiff demanded that he be given skin cream and became very agitated when he was told that he had to wait until he was examined by the PA in order to receive the cream. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 2.

3. Plaintiff also received an orientation on sick call procedure on July 5, 2006. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 3.

4. On July 6, 2006, Plaintiff refused to drink his Ensure in the presence of the nurse and became very vulgar and abusive. As a result, Plaintiff received a misbehavior report. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 4.

5. On July 6, 2006, it was once again explained to Plaintiff that medical procedure required that Plaintiff consume the Ensure in view of the nurse to insure that it was properly consumed. Id.

6. Plaintiff was also informed that Ensure and skin cream would be withheld pending an examination by the PA. Id.

7. Plaintiff was again seen on July 8, 2006 and July 10, 2006 and requested skin cream and indigestion aids. Plaintiff did not exhibit any symptoms and continued to be very demanding. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 5.

8. On July 12, 2006, Plaintiff demanded Ensure, ibuprofen and hemorrhoid cream and refused hepatitis B vaccination. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 6.

9. On July 14, 2006, Plaintiff was examined by the PA. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 8.

10. On July 15, 2006, Plaintiff demanded the medication ordered by the PA. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 7.

11. On July 17, 2006, Plaintiff refused to be weighed and refused medication for allergies. Id.

12. On July 19, 20, and 21, 2006 Plaintiff refused treatment, demanded to see Dr. Weissman and was vulgar and loud indicating he did not want further treatment from the PA. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 9.

13. On July 24, 2006, Plaintiff refused to be examined and became verbally abusive, using the vilest of language, threats and sexually explicit rants. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 10.

14. On July 25, 2006, the refusals and tirades were repeated and Plaintiff refused treatment. Id.

15. On July 26, 2006, Plaintiff once again refused to cooperate in his examination and treatment could not be provided. Once again, Plaintiff began to be verbally abusive, using the vilest of language, threats and sexually explicit rants. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 11. 16. On July 27, 2006, Plaintiff rejected his medication by throwing it on the floor and indicating that he did not want to be examined or treated by the PA. Id.

17. On July 28, 2007, Plaintiff refused treatment yet again. Additionally, Plaintiff continued to express that he did not want what was being prescribed. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 12.

18. On July 29, 2006, Plaintiff once again refused to be examined and insisted that he be given medication without examination. Plaintiff also persisted in his abusive and vulgar language until he was given a misbehavior report. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 13.

19. On July 30, 2006, Plaintiff continued to refuse examination, making treatment impossible. Plaintiff also refused to consume Ensure as directed and treated the nurse to more vulgarity. Id.

20. On July 31, 2006, Plaintiff was again seen and reminded that he was required to consume the Ensure in the presence of the nurse or it would be discontinued. Examination revealed that Plaintiff's face was clear and had no redness, however, Plaintiff continued to insist that his face was real bad, dry and itching. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 14.

21. On August 1, 2006, Plaintiff once again refused to consume Ensure in the presence of the nurse and was warned again that non-compliance would cause the Ensure to be stopped. Plaintiff continued to refuse to comply and the Ensure was ordered stopped. Weissman Declaration, Exhibits 15-16.

22. On August 2, 2006, Plaintiff again refused to be examined and became vulgar and abusive. An attempt to talk with Plaintiff about taking Ensure was met with more abuse and vulgarity. Plaintiff was finally given a misbehavior report when he began to threaten staff. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 17.

23. On August 4, 2006, Plaintiff again refused to be examined and refused treatment. Once more the nurse was treated to a vulgar and threat filled tirade. Id.

24. On August 5, 2006, Plaintiff was non-compliant with sick call procedure. Id.

25. On August 6, 2006, Plaintiff again refused to be examined and refused treatment. Once more the nurse was treated to a vulgar and threat filled tirade. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 18.

26. On August 7, 2006, Plaintiff's medicine was renewed and once again he was uncooperative and vulgar and received another misbehavior report. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 19.

27. On August 9, 2006, the PA examined Plaintiff and Plaintiff was once more instructed that he must talk to and cooperate with the nurse in order to be treated.

Id.

28. On August 8, 2006, Plaintiff refused to speak to the nurse and instead simply held up a piece of paper. Weissman Declaration, Exhibit 20.

29. On August 10, 2006, Plaintiff refused to speak to the nurse and instead simply held up a piece of paper. When told that he must cooperate, Plaintiff once more became ...


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