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Ronald Gantt v. Martin Horn et al

March 8, 2013

RONALD GANTT,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARTIN HORN ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul A. Engelmayer, District Judge:

OPINION & ORDER

Plaintiff Ronald Gantt, proceeding pro se,brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that defendants-corrections officers employed by the New York City Department of Corrections ("DOC")-violated his Eighth Amendment rights during his incarceration. He claims the defendants (1) acted with deliberate indifference in depriving him of adequate medical treatment, and (2) denied him outdoor recreation.*fn1 Defendants now move for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For the reasons set forth, that motion is granted.

I.Background and Procedural History*fn2

A. Overview of Gantt's Incarceration During 2008 and 2009

Between September 17 and 25, 2008, Gantt was incarcerated by the DOC at the Anna M. Kross Center ("AMKC") on Riker's Island. He was then released on bail. Dantowitz Decl. ¶ 2. Between October 14, 2008, and May 6, 2009, Gantt was again incarcerated and housed at AMKC. Id. On May 6, 2009, Gantt was found to be in possession of narcotics and tobacco and was transferred to the Central Punitive Segregation Unit ("CPSU") of the Otis Bantum Correctional Center ("OBCC"). See Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") (Dkt. 24), at 4; Dantowitz Decl. ¶ 3. On June 16, 2009, Gantt was transferred to a New York State correctional facility. Dantowitz Decl. ¶ 3. On June 26, 2009, Gantt was rearrested and returned to DOC, where he was housed at the Robert N. Davoren Center ("Davoren Center"). On June 28, 2009, Gantt was transferred from the Davoren Center back to the CPSU at OBCC, where he was housed until July 17, 2009. Id. Gantt was then again transferred to a New York State correctional facility. Id.

Gantt's claims of Eighth Amendment violations arise from his detention at both at AMKC and OBCC. He claims that the defendants failed to adequately treat his rheumatoid arthritis and glaucoma, and unjustifiably delayed treating those conditions.

B.Gantt's Medical Treatment

On September 17, 2008, when Gantt arrived at AMKC, AMKC medical staff performed an intake medical examination. Def. 56.1 ¶ 24. They asked Gantt about any health conditions and whether he was taking medication for ongoing illnesses. Id. DOC's records of Gantt's intake do not indicate that he disclosed either that he was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or glaucoma, or that he reported taking any medication for these, or any other, conditions. Id.; MacDonald Decl. Ex. A ("Sept. 17 Exam.").

On October 15, 2008, following his return to DOC custody, a new intake medical screening was performed. MacDonald Decl. ¶ 24. DOC's records of Gantt's intake reflect that Gantt told attending medical staff that he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. DOC's records do not, however, reflect that Gantt identified any medications he was currently taking, or that Gantt disclosed that he was suffering from glaucoma. Id.; id. Ex. B ("Oct. 15 Exam."). The attending medical staff developed a plan to treat the pain associated with Gantt's rheumatoid arthritis, which included his taking 500 milligrams of Naprosyn twice daily. Oct. 15 Exam. at 4. That plan was approved by a supervising physician. Id. The same day, a pharmacy order was issued authorizing the administration to Gantt of 500 milligrams of Naprosyn twice daily for four days. MacDonald Decl. ¶¶ 25--26; id. Ex. C.*fn3

On December 14, 2008, during an emergency sick call, Gantt reported to the attending physician that he had glaucoma and required medication. MacDonald Decl. ¶ 27. The physician referred Gantt to the optometry clinic and issued a consultation request that Gantt be evaluated by the appropriate specialist. Id.; id. Ex. D ("Dec. 14 Consultation Request"). The same day, the site medical director approved that request; Gantt was given an appointment at the prison's optometry specialty clinic scheduled for December 19, 2008. MacDonald Decl. ¶¶ 27--28. According to the DOC's records of Gantt's medical history, Gantt refused this appointment. See Dec. 14 Consultation Request.*fn4

On January 26, 2009, during a sick call visit, an attending physician examined Gantt, who had complained of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. MacDonald Decl. ¶ 29; SAC 3. The attending physician prescribed 500 milligrams of Naprosyn twice a day for five days. MacDonald Decl. ¶ 29; id. Ex. E. That evening, Gantt received a four-day supply of Naprosyn. MacDonald Decl. Ex. F; id. ¶ 30.

The attending physician also referred Gantt to a rheumatologist. Id. ¶ 31; id. Ex. G. On February 11, 2009, Gantt was examined by a rheumatology specialist at Bellevue Hospital.

MacDonald Decl. ¶ 31; SAC 4. The specialist recommended that Gantt receive 500 milligrams of Naprosyn twice a day or 600 milligrams of Ibuprofen three times a day. MacDonald Decl. ¶ 31.

On February 24, 2009, Gantt was seen for mental health care by an AMKC social worker, who referred Gantt to the medical clinic for an evaluation related to his arthritis and glaucoma. Id. ¶ 32. Two days later, on February 26, 2009, attending medical staff prescribed Gantt 500 milligrams of Naprosyn twice a day for three days. Id. ¶ 33. That evening, Gantt received a three-day supply of Naproxen (another name for Naprosyn). Id.; id. Ex. H.

On May 7, 2009, in response to complaints of wrist pain, Gantt was prescribed 500 milligrams of Naproxen twice a day for four days. Id. ¶ 34. The following evening, Gantt received a four-day supply of Naproxen. Id. Ex. I.

On June 27, 2009, Gantt was prescribed 400 milligrams of Motrin three times a day for four days; the following evening he received the Motrin. Id. ¶ 35; id. Ex. J. During the June 27, 2009 evaluation, Gantt reported for the first time that he had not taken glaucoma medication during the preceding eight months. Id. ¶ 36. He told the attending medical staff that he had missed his December 2008 ophthalmology appointment and, for the first time, told medical staff that he had previously been prescribed Travatan and Timolol. See id. Ex. K ("June 27 Consultation Request"). Gantt was referred to the optometry clinic for evaluation. Id. However, Gantt failed to appear for his July 6, 2009 appointment at that clinic. See id. Ex. L ("Specialty Clinic Form") (indicating that Gantt was a "No show" and needed a new appointment).

On July 12, 2009, Gantt was prescribed 400 milligrams of Motrin to be taken once a day for five days, and received a seven-day supply of Motrin the following evening. Id. Ex. M. On July 14, 2009, Gantt was examined by an attending physician who again referred him to the optometry specialty clinic for evaluation of his glaucoma. Id. Ex. N ("July 14 Consultation Request"). On July 17, 2009, however, before he could be seen by the optometry clinic, Gantt was discharged from DOC and transferred to a New York State correctional facility. Id. ¶ 39; Dantowitz Decl. ¶ 3.

Although Gantt alleges that his eyesight "will suffer in the long run because of the action of the defendants," he acknowledges that his eyesight is "not yet damaged." SAC 7. When deposed on April 13, 2012, Gantt attested that he is "in regular shape except for the ...


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