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Lewis v. Frayne

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

July 18, 2016

KACEY LEWIS, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. MARK FRAYNE, DR. ROBERT BERGER, AND DR. GERARD GAGNE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [DKT. #93]

          Vanessa L. Bryant, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Kacey Lewis (“Plaintiff” or “Lewis”), an inmate in the Cheshire Correctional Institution, proceeding pro se, brings Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference and Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claims against Defendants Mark Frayne (“Frayne”), Robert Berger (“Berger”), and Gerard Gagne (“Gagne”), doctors at Northern Correctional Institution (“Northern”), in connection with the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication. Plaintiff Lewis has moved for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The Court GRANTS summary judgment in favor of the Plaintiff on his Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim and DENIES summary judgment on his Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim.

         I. Factual Background

         In October 2010, Plaintiff Lewis was serving a period of incarceration at Northern. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 1; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 1]. Beginning at that time, Defendant Frayne, a supervising psychologist at Northern, began to visit his cell. [Id.]; see also [Dkt. #99, Frayne Aff. at ¶ 2].[1] During these visits, Frayne insisted that Lewis leave his cell to meet and speak with him. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 1; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 1]. Lewis did not wish to meet with Frayne and other mental health staff, and repeatedly refused such meetings. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶¶ 2-3; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶¶ 2-3]. Nevertheless, beginning on February 25, 2011, Northern medical staff began keeping clinical records regarding their visits with Plaintiff Lewis. See [Dkt. #103 at 5]. Staff visited him multiple times that day and the next day, February 26, noting that he was not responsive to attempts to speak, but that he appeared stable. See [id.]. There are no records of any interactions between Plaintiff Lewis and Northern medical staff between February 26 and April 11, 2011.[2]

         On April 12, 2011, Defendant Frayne again visited Plaintiff Lewis’s cell, along with his colleague, Defendant Gagne, another psychologist at Northern. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 4; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 4]. During this meeting, Defendant Frayne questioned Plaintiff Lewis about a court case Lewis had filed approximately three months earlier, on January 20, 2011, in the Superior Court of Connecticut. [Id.].[3] Lewis contends that when he refused to answer Frayne’s questions, Frayne told him that he “should stop going to court, ” and stated that “if things did not go right the next time” Lewis went to court, Frayne “was going to deal with [him.]” [Dkt. #34, Ex. A to Pl.’s Am. Compl., Lewis Aff. at ¶ 1; Dkt. #34, Ex. B to Am. Compl. at 1].[4] Medical records documenting this April 12, 2011 meeting state that ____ [Dkt. #103 at 5]. The records further indicate that ____[Id.]. According to the medical records, ____ [Id. at 4-5]. The records state that ____ [Id. at 4]. The records from this encounter are the first to mention ____ At the bottom of that day’s medical records is _____ [Id.].

         On May 19, 2011, Defendant Frayne returned to Plaintiff Lewis’s cell and ordered that he be removed from the cell against his will and placed in a cell in the medical unit. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 6; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 6]. Medical records were prepared regarding this encounter, and a stamp appears at the bottom of that day’s records, which states ____ [Dkt. #103 at 4]. Defendant Frayne also appears to have signed that day’s records. [Id.]. The records state that ____ [Id.].

         Following this meeting, Plaintiff Lewis was transferred to a cell in the medical unit. The parties dispute the condition of the cell and the clothing items with which Lewis was provided upon his transfer. Lewis contends that the cell was filthy, “infested with ants and flies, and with excrement smeared on the walls and floors.” [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 7]. He further maintains that he was at first required to be barefoot, and was later given to wear “soiled underwear and socks previously worn by another prisoner.” [Id. at ¶¶ 8-9]. The Defendants deny these allegations. See [Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶¶ 7-9; Dkt. #99, Frayne Aff. at ¶ 10].

         Throughout the remainder of the month, Plaintiff Lewis was monitored in the medical unit. On May 31, 2011, in addition to continuing to refuse to speak with medical staff, staff records state that Lewis ______ and doctors noted that ______ [Dkt. #103 at 2-3]. As a result of these observations, Defendant Gagne concluded ______ [Id. at 3].

         The same day, May 31, Plaintiff Lewis learned that Defendant Gagne had requested that a panel of doctors be convened the following day, June 1, 2011, to assess whether Lewis should receive involuntary medication. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 12; Dkt. #101, Gagne Aff. at ¶ 6]. The parties dispute whether Lewis was ever told the reasons for the involuntary medication and whether Lewis was ever offered the assistance of an advocate at the hearing. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶¶ 12-13; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶¶ 12-13; Dkt. #99, Frayne Aff. at ¶ 12; Dkt. #101, Gagne Aff. at ¶ 6]. However, Defendant Frayne admits that he served as Lewis’s advocate at the hearing. [Dkt. #99, Frayne Aff. at ¶ 12]; see also [Dkt. #103 at 7 (______].

         On the morning of June 1, 2011, Lewis was found to be ______ [Dkt. #103 at 3]. Later that day, the medical panel convened to conduct a review of the records prepared by health staff regarding Plaintiff Lewis and to provide the Plaintiff with an opportunity to respond. The panel was comprised of three members of the medical staff, Defendant Frayne, Defendant Berger, and a registered nurse. [Dkt. #99, Frayne Aff. at ¶ 12; Dkt. #101, Gagne Aff. at ¶ 6]. Dr. Gagne submitted to the panel a form in support of his involuntary medication request. The form stated that Lewis ______ [Dkt. #103 at 1]. In support of these diagnoses, Gagne informed the panel that ______ [Id.]. Gagne recommended ______ [Id.].[5] Finally, Gagne represented to the panel that ______ [Id.].

         There is no evidence that Defendant Frayne actually advocated on behalf of Plaintiff Lewis’s opposition to involuntary medication at the hearing, nor is there any evidence that Defendant Frayne made any effort prior to the hearing to investigate any basis, or fashion any rationale, to support Lewis’s objection to being forcibly medicated. Indeed, the record is barren on what, if anything, Defendant Frayne said at the hearing. The Defendants contend that Plaintiff Lewis refused to cooperate with the panel process or to speak with his assigned advocate, Defendant Frayne. [Dkt. #99, Frayne Aff. at ¶ 13; Dkt. #101, Gagne Aff. at ¶ 7].

         The panel found that Lewis presented ______ [Dkt. #103 at 6]. The panel further found that, ______ [Id.]. Accordingly, the panel adopted Defendant Gagne’s primary diagnosis of psychosis and secondary diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and authorized the health staff at the prison to involuntarily administer psychoactive medications to the Plaintiff. [Id. at 1, 6]; see also [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 16; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 16].

         Between June 1 and November 18, 2011, Defendant Gagne ordered that Plaintiff Lewis receive a total of approximately forty-two injections of psychoactive medications. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶¶ 17-18; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶¶ 17-18]. Lewis objected to these injections, and when he refused to receive them, Gagne and Frayne ordered that they be administered by force. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶¶ 17-18, 28; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶¶ 17-18, 28]. During some of the Defendants’ attempts to administer the medication, Plaintiff Lewis was taken from his cell, held down, shackled in chains, and sprayed with capsicum. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶¶ 19-23, 28; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶¶ 19-23, 28]. In addition, on July 11, 2011, Defendant Frayne instructed a custody supervisor lieutenant to place Lewis in shackles and a belly chain for three days and to issue Lewis a disciplinary report because he refused an injection of medication. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 30; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 30]. Plaintiff Lewis contends, and the Defendants deny, that one of these medications, “Haldol, ” caused him to develop tardive dyskinesia, a severe neurological disorder, irreversible in some cases, which causes involuntary, repetitive, tic-like muscle movements, especially around the face. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 24; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 24].[6]

         Shortly after he began receiving the involuntary injections of medication, Plaintiff Lewis sought administrative review of the June 1, 2011 panel decision. The review was performed by Defendant Frayne, who denied Lewis’s request. [Dkt. #93-2, Pl.’s Rule 56(a)(1) Statement at ¶ 33; Dkt. #100, Defs.’ Rule 56(a)(2) Statement at ¶ 33].

         II. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment should be granted “if the movant shows that 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). The moving party bears the burden of proving that no factual issues exist. Vivenzio v. City of Syracuse, 611 F.3d 98, 106 (2d Cir. 2010). “In determining whether that burden has been met, the court is required to resolve all ambiguities and credit all factual inferences that could be drawn in favor of the party against whom summary judgment is sought.” Id. (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Matsushita Electric Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986)). “If there is any evidence in the record that could reasonably support a jury's verdict for the nonmoving party, summary judgment must be denied.” Am. Home Assurance Co. v. Hapag Lloyd Container Linie, GmbH, 446 F.3d 313, 315-16 (2d Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In addition, determinations of the weight to accord evidence or assessments of the credibility of witnesses are improper on a motion for summary judgment, as such are within the sole province of the jury. Hayes v. New York City Dep’t of Corr., 84 F.3d 614, 619 (2d Cir. 1996).

         “A party opposing summary judgment cannot defeat the motion by relying on the allegations in his pleading, or on conclusory statements, or on mere assertions that affidavits supporting the motion are not credible. At the summary judgment stage of the proceeding, Plaintiffs are required to present admissible evidence in support of their allegations; allegations alone, without evidence to back them up, are not sufficient.” Welch-Rubin v. Sandals Corp., No. 3:03-cv-481, 2004 WL 2472280, at *1 (D. Conn. Oct. 20, 2004) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); Martinez v. State of Connecticut, 817 F.Supp.2d 28, 37 (D. Conn 2011). Where there is no evidence upon which a jury could properly proceed to find a verdict for the party producing it and upon whom the onus of proof is imposed, ...


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