United States District Court, N.D. New York
RENDELL ROBINSON, Plaintiff, Pro Se Attica Correctional Facility Attica, New York.
HON. ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN ADRIENNE J. KERWIN, ESQ. Attorney General for the State of New York Assistant Attorney General Counsel for Defendants The Capitol Albany, New York.
DECISION and ORDER
GLENN T. SUDDABY, District Judge.
Currently before the Court, in this pro se prisoner civil rights action filed by Rendell Robinson ("Plaintiff") against the two above-captioned New York State correctional employees ("Defendants"), are Defendants' second motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 55), and United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece's Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted (Dkt. No. 67). For the reasons set forth below, the Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted, and Defendants' motion is granted.
I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND
Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this action on July 12, 2010. (Dkt. No. 1.) Plaintiff filed an Amended and Supplemental Complaint in this action on November 30, 2010. (Dkt. No. 11.) Generally, in his Amended and Supplemental Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment while he was an inmate at Mary Correctional Facility during the period of December 24, 2009 to October 14, 2010, by recklessly failing to properly treat his chronic lower back pain (caused by injuries sustained in a car accident that occurred while he was being transported by the City of New York Department of Correction in 2007). ( Id. )
On March 27, 2012, Defendants filed motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 43.) On January 31, 2013, Magistrate Judge Treece issued a Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be denied. (Dkt. No. 53.) Generally, in his Report-Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Treece found that, because Defendants have misconstrued Plaintiff's claims as being based only on events occurring between December of 2009 and March of 2010, they have neglected to adduce arguments or evidence regarding events occurring between March of 2010 and October of 2010, thus precluding the Court from being able to make a determination as to the constitutional sufficiency of Plaintiff's medical treatment. ( Id. at Part II.)
On March 8, 2013, the Court accepted and adopted Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation and denied Defendants' motion without prejudice, permitting Defendants to renew their motion. (Dkt. No. 54.)
On March 21, 2013, Defendants filed a second motion for summary judgment, providing previously omitted arguments and record evidence. (Dkt. No. 55, 56.) Generally, in their memorandum of law, Defendants assert the following three arguments regarding the medical care that Plaintiff received at Marcy Correctional Facility between his arrival there on December 24, 2009, and his transfer from there on October 21, 2010: (1) Plaintiff has neither alleged facts plausibly suggesting, nor adduced admissible record evidence establishing, that a rational fact finder could conclude that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs; (2) to the extent that Plaintiff's claims are asserted against Defendants (who are state officials) in their official capacities, those claims must be dismissed as barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment; and (3) in the alternative, based on the admissible record evidence, Defendants are protected from liability as a matter of law by the doctrine of qualified immunity. (Dkt. No. 56, Attach. 4.) In support of their motion, Defendants submitted a Statement of Material Facts containing 159 paragraphs of factual assertions supported by accurate record citations. (Dkt. No. 55, Attach. 3.)
On April 17, 2013, Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants' motion. (Dkt. No. 59.) Generally, in his opposition memorandum of law, Plaintiff asserts the following three arguments: (1) Plaintiff has stated and established a viable Eighth Amendment medical indifference claim, (2) Defendants sued in their individual capacities are not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity, and (3) Defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity where, as here, genuine issues of material fact are in dispute. (Dkt. No. 60, Attach. 3, at Points I through III.) While Plaintiff submitted a response to Defendant's Statement of Material Facts, the vast majority of the denials in that response are not supported by any record citations (much less accurate record citations). (Dkt. No. 59, Attach. 2.)
On January 21, 2014, Magistrate Judge Treece issued a Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted. (Dkt. No. 67.) Generally, in his recommendation, Magistrate Judge Treece found that, while Plaintiff has established that his back condition constituted a serious medical need, he has failed to established that Defendants possessed the sort of culpable mental state (which is akin to criminal recklessness) necessary to be deliberately indifferent to that serious medical need. ( Id. at Part II.) Rather, found Magistrate Judge Treece, the medical records and declarations adduced by the parties reveal that, while Plaintiff may not have received the medical care he desired, Defendants were attentive to Plaintiff's medical needs and provided treatment in accordance with established medical guidelines. ( Id. ) Familiarity with the remaining grounds of Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for review by the parties.
On January 29, 2014, the Court extended the deadline for Plaintiff's Objections, from February 7, 2014, to March 3, 2014. (Text Order filed Jan. 29, 2014.) The Court received those Objections on March 17, 2013. (Dkt. No. 70.) Generally, in his Objections, Plaintiff repeats previously asserted arguments. ( Compare Dkt. No. 70 and Dkt. No. 70, Attach. 1 with Dkt. No. 59, Attach. 3.) In addition, he attempts to adduce 35 pages of exhibits. (Dkt. No. 70, Attach. 2.) Plaintiff's Objections appear devoid of any explanation of why Plaintiff omitted the exhibits from his response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 70.) The Court notes that the exhibits bear dates from before the date of Plaintiff's response to Defendants (i.e., April 10, 2013). (Dkt. No. 70, Attach. 2.)
II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS
A. Standard Governing Review of a ...