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Brown v. Uconn Managed Health Care

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 26, 2016

KENYA BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
UCONN MANAGED HEALTH CARE, et al., Defendants.

RULING ON CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Docs. ##81, 96]

Janet Bond Arterton United States District Judge

The plaintiff, incarcerated and pro se, has filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 against various medical care providers asserting claims relating to his medical care. This ruling considers the plaintiff’s second motion for partial summary judgment [Doc. #81], in which he seeks entry of judgment on four of the eight counts in his complaint, and the defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment [Doc. #96]. For the reasons that follow, the plaintiff’s motion is denied and the defendants’ motion is granted.[1]

I. Facts[2]

The plaintiff has a long history of psychiatric disorders for which he has been prescribed antipsychotic medications. He was prescribed Risperdal in 2007. Dr. Lawlor discontinued the prescription in May 2011. The plaintiff has not taken Risperdal since that time. At times between 2007 and 2011, the plaintiff took Prozac along with the Risperdal.

The plaintiff contends that he experienced side effects from taking Risperdal in combination with Prozac, namely gynecomastia, an endocrine disorder resulting in enlarged breast tissue in males, sexual dysfunction and a pituitary microadenoma. See www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gynecomastia/basics/defin ition/CON-20028710 (last visited July 21, 2015). In this action, the plaintiff asserts claims for pituitary microadenoma and sexual dysfunction only. He asserted claims for gynecomastia and sexual dysfunction in a lawsuit filed in state court, Brown v. Provender, et al., No. TTD-CV-11-5005569-S, (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 17, 2012). That case was settled in 2012. See Pl.’s Mem. Ex. Y, Doc. #81-29, and Defs.’ Mem., Ex. B-1, Doc. 96-6.

An MRI performed in January 2013, showed a pituitary microadenoma. The microadenoma is a stable, benign, non-hormone producing cyst. The plaintiff underwent additional MRI’s in March 2014, and October 2014. The tests showed that the microadenoma remains stable with no evidence of optic compression.

The plaintiff underwent examination by a neuro-ophthalmologist in November 2014. The doctor agreed that the microadenoma is stable and the plaintiff’s vision is normal. He concurred with the monitoring being done by the Department of Correction.

The plaintiff was seen by an endocrinologist in June 2014, and October 2014. The doctor conducted a complete endocrine workup and concluded the tests were normal.

II. Standard of Review

A motion for summary judgment may be granted only where there are no issues of material fact in dispute and the moving party is therefore entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Rule 56(a), Fed. R. Civ. P.; In re Dana Corp., 574 F.3d 129, 151 (2d Cir. 2009). The moving party may satisfy his burden “by showing-that is pointing out to the district court-that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party’s case.” PepsiCo, Inc. v. Coca-Cola Co., 315 F.3d 101, 105 (2d Cir. 2002) (per curiam) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Once the moving party meets this burden, the nonmoving party must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Wright v. Goord, 554 F.3d 255, 266 (2d Cir. 2009). He must present such evidence as would allow a jury to find in his favor in order to defeat the motion for summary judgment. Graham v. Long Island R.R., 230 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir. 2000). Merely verifying the allegations of the complaint in an affidavit, however, is insufficient to oppose a motion for summary judgment. Zigmund v. Foster, 106 F.Supp.2d 352, 256 (D. Conn. 2000) (citing cases).

When reviewing the record, the court resolves all ambiguities and draws all permissible factual inferences in favor of the party against whom summary judgment is sought. Loeffler v. Staten Island Univ. Hosp., 582 F.3d 268, 274 (2d Cir. 2009). If there is any evidence in the record on a material issue from which a reasonable inference could be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party, summary judgment is inappropriate. Security Ins. Co. of Hartford v. Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., 391 F.3d 77, 83 (2d Cir. 2004). However, the existence of a mere “scintilla” of evidence supporting the plaintiff’s position is insufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Harvey v. Homebound Mortgage, Inc., 547 F.3d 158, 163 (2d Cir. 2008).

III. Discussion

In his amended complaint, the plaintiff clearly indicated that he asserts only federal claims for violation of the First and Eighth Amendments. See Doc. #45 at 1, 2. The plaintiff includes eight counts in his amended complaint captioned: (1) inadequate psychiatric care; (2) inadequate medical care; (3) denial of access to treatment; (4) delay of medical care; (5) interference with medical treatment/protected speech; (6) failure to inquire, essential medical/inadequate care and failure to warn; (7) inadequate medical and mental health care; and (8) retaliation/protected speech. In his second motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff seeks summary judgment on counts two, four, five and eight. In their motion for summary judgment, the defendants contend that the plaintiff fails to demonstrate that they were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and that they are protected by qualified immunity. They also contend that all claims are barred by the release of liability the plaintiff signed when he settled several state court cases and that his claims against all defendants except Drs. Naqvi and Pillai are time-barred.

In August 2011, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in state court concerning side effects of Risperdal and Prozac. The plaintiff alleges that he suffered enlarged breasts and experienced fluid discharge from his nipples. See Brown v. Provender, et al., No. TTD-CV-11-5005569-S, (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 17, 2012), Doc. #112-5 at 53-66.[3] When he spoke with a doctor, the plaintiff also described symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Doc. #81-29 at 8. The doctor indicated ...


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