United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION GRANTING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Dkt. No. 24]
Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge
Andrew Pierce (“Pierce”), incarcerated and
proceeding pro se, has filed this action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against defendant Dr. Omprakash Pillai
(“Pillai”), alleging deliberate indifference to a
serious medical need in connection with Plaintiff's
exposure to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
(“MRSA”). The Defendant argues summary judgment
is appropriate based on (i) the statute of limitations, (ii)
Plaintiff's failure to exhaust his administrative
remedies, and (iii) lack of evidence that Defendant was
deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need. For the
reasons that follow, the Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment is GRANTED.
following facts are based on the exhibits submitted with the
parties' summary judgment briefing.
has required hemodialysis, three times per week, since 2003.
[Dkt. No. 24, Ex. B (Plaintiff's Deposition) at 13.]
Plaintiff was first incarcerated on June 22, 2011, and was
moved to the McDougall Walker Correctional Center
(“McDougall”) on July 7, 2011. Id. at
11-12. While incarcerated, Plaintiff's hemodialysis was
conducted by the Renal Group. [Dkt. No. 24, Ex. C at 1-2
(Pillai Affidavit).] Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee
throughout the relevant time period. [Plaintiff's
Deposition at 12.]
September 4, 2011, after Plaintiff's hemodialysis
treatment, the injection site on Plaintiff's arm began to
hurt, and “started oozing.” [Dkt. No. 24, Ex. D
(Plaintiff's Medical File) at 30.] The injection site,
the Arteriovenous fistula (“AV fistula”), began
to bleed more profusely and prison staff applied pressure,
contacted the on-call doctor, and transported Plaintiff to
the John Dempsey Hospital Emergency Room at the University of
Connecticut for evaluation and treatment. [Id. at
30; Pillai Affidavit at 1.] The emergency room staff
determined Plaintiff's AV fistula ruptured while his arm
was being cleaned, causing approximately 450 milliliters of
blood loss. [Plaintiff's Medical File at 29.] Hospital
staff surgically repaired Plaintiff's AV fistula, placed
a stent, and administered hemodialysis. [Id. at 27;
Pillai Affidavit at 1.] When he was discharged on September
7, 2011, the treating physician prescribed “Tylenol No.
3 for pain if needed, otherwise his medications have not
changed except for the antibiotics dosing which is given by
[the] Renal g[group] during dialysis.” [Plaintiff's
Medical File at 231.] The physician did not note an infection
at that time. Id.
testified at his deposition that he “was told by the
doctor at UConn that I was supposed to receive antibiotics
once I returned back to the facility.” [Plaintiff's
Deposition at 33.] Plaintiff testified that by September 10,
2011 he had not received the antibiotics the University of
Connecticut doctor had referenced, despite having filed
“several request slips.” Id. at 33.
Accordingly, Plaintiff testified he “filed a grievance
against Dr. Pillai for not giving me antibiotics prescribed
by the doctor at UConn” on September 10, 2011.
Id. at 33. Plaintiff stated he received no response
to his grievance, and was not allowed to keep a copy of his
grievance. Id. at 34.
conversely, submits the affidavit of Nikia M. Henderson, who
maintains the Medical Grievance Log at MacDougall-Walker
Correctional Institution. [Dkt. No. 24, Ex. G.] Ms. Henderson
stated in her sworn affidavit that she “reviewed
records of all inmate medical grievances and grievance
appeals at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution from
September 1, 2011 to September 1, 2012, ” and found
that Plaintiff “did not file any medical
grievances” during that time. Id. at 1. A copy
of the Medical Grievance Log from September 1, 2011 to
September 1, 2012 was attached with Ms. Henderson's
affidavit. Consistent with Ms. Henderson's affidavit, it
does not include an entry memorializing a grievance by
Plaintiff in September 2011. [Id., Ex. A (Medical
September 11, Plaintiff reported feeling something “pop
off” his injection site, causing additional bleeding.
Plaintiff's Medical File at 27. The on-call doctor
ordered the prison clinic to monitor Plaintiff overnight and
gave Plaintiff pain medication. Id. at 26-27. On
September 12, Defendant Pillai examined Plaintiff, found no
evidence of further bleeding, and discharged Plaintiff with
an order to re-examine him in seven days. [Id. at
26; Pillai Affidavit at 2.]
September 14, 2011, Dr. Syed Naqvi examined Plaintiff in the
prison infirmary. [Pillai Affidavit at 2.] Dr. Naqvi
determined Plaintiff's AV fistula wound was healing, but
noted a low-grade fever signaling infection, took a swab of
the wound for laboratory testing, and gave Plaintiff
Ciprofloxacin (“Cipro”), an antibiotic.
[Id. at 2; Plaintiff's Medical File at 26.] On
September 16, 2011, UCHC notified the prison clinic that
Plaintiff's wound culture results tested positive for
MRSA. [Pillai Affidavit at 2; Plaintiff's Medical File at
25.] However, Plaintiff was only notified that he had a
“small infection, ” and the doctors were going to
“knock it out” by administering Vancomycin, an
intravenous antibiotic, with his hemodialysis treatment for
six weeks. [Dkt. No. 24, Ex. B (Plaintiff's Deposition)
at 30; Plaintiff's Medical File at 114.]
submitted a signed affidavit stating he told Plaintiff his
wound tested positive for MRSA on September 18, 2011. [Pillai
Affidavit at 2.] However, Plaintiff testified at his
deposition that he was not informed he had MRSA on that date.
[Plaintiff's Deposition at 30.]
October 7, 2011, prison medical staff took another blood
sample, and on October 8, the University of Connecticut
Health Center reported the sample was still positive for
MRSA. [Plaintiff's Medical File at 123.] Plaintiff was
taken to the John Dempsey Hospital Emergency Room for
evaluation and testing. Id. at 21. Plaintiff
returned to MacDougall-Walker on October 9, where medical
staff administered regular antibiotics, dressing changes, and
blood tests. [Id. at 17-18, 21 (documenting daily
visits to the prison infirmary from October 10 - 18); Pillai
Affidavit at 3 (stating “medical staff examined Mr.
Pierce each day during dressing changes and continued with
swabs and blood testing”).]
October 22, 2011, lab results indicated Plaintiff still had
MRSA. [Pillai Affidavit at 3; Plaintiff's Medical File at
17.] Plaintiff's Medical File indicates Plaintiff was
taken to John Dempsey Hospital for treatment and evaluation
that day. [Pillai Affidavit at 3; Plaintiff's Medical
File at 17.] However, Plaintiff submits what appears to be a
log of his movements between medical facilities, which
indicates Plaintiff was not taken to the hospital that day.
[Dkt. No. 28, Ex. 3 (Log of Movements).]
of Plaintiff's movements does indicate he was admitted to
the hospital on October 26, 2011. Id.
Plaintiff's medical file also indicates Plaintiff was
admitted on October 26, because a dialysis nurse was unable
to access Plaintiff's AV Fistula due to clotting.
[Plaintiff's Medical File, 14-15, 350.] Plaintiff
remained hospitalized through November 16, 2011.
[Id. at 350; Log of Movements.] During his
hospitalization, on November 8, 2011, Plaintiff underwent
surgery to remove the infected AV fistula and repair the area
so Plaintiff could continue receiving hemodialysis.
[Plaintiff's Medical File at 352-53.] Plaintiff states he
first learned of his MRSA diagnosis during this quarantine.