Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Richard v. Weinstock

January 16, 2012

RICHARD SUNDAY IFILL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WEINSTOCK, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, FIVE POINTS, J.P. GREGOIRE, MEDICAL DOCTOR, FIVE POINTS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny Chief Judge United States District Court

DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendants move for summary judgment against Plaintiff Richard Sunday Ifill's remaining claim from his Third Amended Complaint filed August 22, 2008. Plaintiff, a former inmate at the Five Points Correctional Facility ("Five Points"), claims violations under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1986, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112-12117, and Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb et seq., arising out of Defendants' alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.*fn1 Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief. Presently before this Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.*fn2 For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is granted and Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Facts*fn3

The facts in this case detail an extensive and complicated 3-year history of Plaintiff's medical treatment. Plaintiff's own submissions include a lengthy, handwritten, single-spaced, 15-page affidavit, as well as a similarly written 32-page memorandum of law, which includes various other factual allegations. Defendants, for their part, have submitted a 178 paragraph statement of facts that laboriously documents each of Plaintiff's numerous medical visits. Parsing the most relevant material from those submissions shows that Plaintiff is a former Five Points inmate suffering from various chronic and complex medical problems. These conditions included atrophy of the legs, degenerative spinal disease, scoliosis of the lumbar spine, avascular necrosis of the hips, and an enlarged heart. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 8, Docket No. 66.) Defendants are doctors at Five Points who provided treatment to Plaintiff during the time-period relevant to this case. Dr. J.P. Gregoire is a physician licensed to practice medicine employed at the time by the Department of Correctional Services at Five Points. (Gregoire Decl. ¶ 1, August 16, 2011, Docket No. 67.) Dr. Daniel Weinstock, also a physician licensed to practice medicine and then employed by the Department of Correctional Services, was promoted to the position of Facility Health Services Director at Five Points in June 2006. (Weinstock Decl., August 19, 2011, Docket No. 66.)*fn4

Relevant to Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint, Plaintiff was incarcerated in Five Points from December 5, 2005 to August of 2008. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 6.) Prior to arriving at Five Points, Plaintiff received treatment at the Walsh Regional Medical Unit ("Walsh") where he was prescribed various drugs to treat his pain symptoms, including Percoset and Ultram. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶¶ 10, 11.) Upon arriving at Five Points, Plaintiff's treatment was changed and brought in line with Five Points policy, which prohibited prescribing narcotics such as morphine or Percocet for the treatment of pain. (Gregoire Decl. ¶ 10.)

On December 9, 2005, Dr. Weinstock prescribed Plaintiff a version of the drug Neurontin. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 40.) Plaintiff contends that this medication failed to alleviate his pain. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 44.) Plaintiff moreover refused to take the Neurontin in a crushed form because Defendants would not prepare the drug in Plaintiff's presence and Plaintiff believed he had previously been given the wrong medication. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 46.) In addition to Neurontin, Plaintiff was prescribed various other drugs to treat his symptoms, including pain. These included Phenylgesic, Northplylline, Flexeril, Lyrica, Felden, and, eventually, Ultram. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶¶ 39, 40, 49, 62, 109, 110, 140.) Plaintiff alleges that neither these prescriptions, nor other treatment he received, alleviated his pain. (Ifill Aff. ¶ 8.)

In addition to these prescriptions, Plaintiff was also referred to various specialists for consultation. These included a neurologist, Dr. Patel, (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 30), as well as a physical therapist (Defs.' Stmt. ¶¶ 30, 81.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants ignored Dr. Patel's recommendations that Plaintiff be prescribed the medications he formerly received at Walsh, and instead continued to prescribe Plaintiff medications that had proven ineffective. Relevant to this, Defendants recorded a concern that Plaintiff's requests for stronger drugs were an indication of drug-seeking behavior. (Gregoire Decl. ¶ 10.)

Defendants also met with Plaintiff on several occasions, and Defendant appears to have been in contact with medical personnel on a daily basis. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶¶ 21, 17, 84, 103.) On March 6, 2007, the possibility of a live-in assistant was discussed by Dr. Gregoire with Plaintiff. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 108.) Plaintiff alleges that he needed a live-in assistant for help transferring into and out of his wheel chair, bed, and shower, as well as to use the toilet. (Defs.' Stmt. ¶ 149.) Dr. Gregoire granted Plaintiff an assistant to help clean his cell a few times a week, but denied the help of a live-in assistant out of security concerns. (Gregoire Decl. ¶ 12; Defs' Stmt. ¶ 165.)

B. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint on August 22, 2008. (Docket No. 20.) In that complaint, Plaintiff alleged four causes of action against over a dozen defendants. Of these, three claims were dismissed by Judge Telesca in an Order dated March 18, 2009. (Docket No. 25.) The only claim allowed to go forward was Plaintiff's medical treatment claim. This claim was further narrowed to include only Defendants Gregoire and Weinstock. Plaintiff's claims against all other defendants were dismissed. Plaintiff filed an interlocutory appeal which was denied as moot on July 27, 2009. (Docket No. 31.)

Following the close of discovery on December 31, 2010, Defendants filed the present Motion for Summary Judgment on August 30, 2011. Plaintiff filed a timely response, and Defendants did not submit a reply memorandum. The parties' briefs were deemed submitted on October 17, 2011, at which time ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.