United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
PAUL OETKEN, United States District Judge
Kenneth Betts, proceeding pro se, filed the initial
complaint in this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on May
7, 2015. (Dkt. No. 2.) Betts filed the first amended
complaint, the operative complaint in this action, on January
12, 2016, naming as defendants Ivan Rodriquez, Kelthlyn
Frederick, Glenda Wajer, Sergeant Ricardo Morrison, and the
City of New York (collectively, “Defendants”).
(Dkt. No. 20 (“Compl”).) In an Opinion and Order
dated December 12, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied
in part Defendants' motion to dismiss. (Dkt. No. 75.)
Defendants now move for summary judgment on Betts'
remaining claims. (Dkt. No. 78.) For the reasons that follow,
the motion is granted in part and denied in part.
document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed' . . . .” Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble,
429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). “The rule favoring liberal
construction of pro se submissions is especially
applicable to civil rights claims.” Cruz v. Midwood
Ambulance & Oxygen Serv., Inc., 136 F.App'x 414,
415 (2d Cir. 2005) (citing Weixel v. Bd. of Educ.,
287 F.3d 138, 146 (2d Cir. 2002)).
is entitled to summary judgment where “there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56. A fact is material if it “might affect the outcome
of the suit.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “A dispute is genuine if,
considering the record as a whole, a rational jury could find
in favor of the non-moving party.” Cohen Lans LLP
v. Naseman, No. 14 Civ. 4045, 2017 WL 477775, at *3
(S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2017) (quoting Ricci v. DeStefano,
557 U.S. 557, 586 (2009)).
summary judgment stage, the party bearing the burden of proof
at trial must provide evidence on each element of its claim
or defense. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322-23 (1986). “If the party with the burden of proof
makes the requisite initial showing, the burden shifts to the
opposing party to identify specific facts demonstrating a
genuine issue for trial, i.e., that reasonable
jurors could differ about the evidence.” Clopay
Plastic Prods. Co. v. Excelsior Packaging Grp., Inc.,
No. 12 Civ. 5262, 2014 WL 4652548, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 18,
2014). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, courts view
the evidence “in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party” and grant summary judgment only if
“no reasonable trier of fact could find in favor of the
nonmoving party.” Allen v. Coughlin, 64 F.3d
77, 79 (2d Cir. 1995) (internal quotation marks omitted).
with this dispute is presumed, and the facts of the case are
detailed in the Court's prior Opinion and Order at the
motion-to-dismiss stage. See Betts v. Rodriquez, No.
15 Civ. 3836, 2016 WL 7192088 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 12, 2016).
considering this motion, the Court relies on facts that are
undisputed, and where facts are disputed and supported by
evidence, takes those facts in the light most favorable to
stage, the only claims remaining are Betts' claims for
excessive force and for deliberate indifference to serious
argue that they are entitled to summary judgment on the
deliberate indifference claim due to Betts' failure to
show that he was denied adequate medical care. (Dkt. No. 79
at 10.) Defendants also argue that they are entitled to
summary judgment on the excessive force claim because Betts
has not adequately alleged Defendants' personal
involvement. (Id. at 7.) The Court will address
these issues in turn.
Court explained at the motion-to-dismiss stage:
In order to succeed on a deliberate indifference claim, a
1983 plaintiff must plead two elements. “The first
requirement is objective: the alleged deprivation of adequate
medical care must be sufficiently serious.”
Salahuddin v. Goord, 467 F.3d 263, 279 (2d Cir.
2006) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994)). Determining
whether a deprivation is objectively serious demands two
inquiries. “The first inquiry is whether the prisoner
was actually deprived of adequate medical care. As the
Supreme Court has noted, the prison official's duty is
only to provide reasonable care.” Id. (citing
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 844-47). “Second, the
objective test asks whether the inadequacy in medical care is
sufficiently serious.” Id. at 280.
“Factors relevant to the seriousness of a medical
condition include whether ‘a reasonable doctor or
patient would find [it] important and worthy of comment,
' whether ...