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Terbush v. Mitchell

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 17, 2017




         Plaintiff Ryan Terbush (“plaintiff”) brings this action against defendant Department of Correction Captain Mitchell (“defendant”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that defendant was deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. See Doc. #37, Second Amended Complaint.

         Pending before the Court is defendant's Second Motion for Summary Judgment. [Doc. #42].[1] Plaintiff has filed a Memorandum of Law in Opposition to defendant's motion [Doc. #44], to which defendant has filed a reply [Doc. #45].

         For the reasons articulated below, the defendant's Second Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. #43] is GRANTED.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff filed his complaint on September 8, 2015. [Doc. #1]. Following two amendments of his initial pleading, plaintiff now proceeds under the operative Second Amended Complaint (the “Second Amended Complaint”). [Doc. #37]. The Second Amended Complaint alleges a single count against defendant. Plaintiff claims that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated when defendant deprived plaintiff of the opportunity to attend a medical appointment, resulting in plaintiff's “physical health [having] been gravely jeopardized.” See generally Doc. #37 at ¶¶10-16. Defendant now moves for summary judgment. [Doc. #43].

         II. Legal Standard

The standards governing summary judgment are well-settled. Summary judgment is appropriate only “if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits ... show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)[.]

         Marvel Characters, Inc. v. Simon, 310 F.3d 280, 285-86 (2d Cir. 2002). Summary judgment is proper if, after discovery, the nonmoving party “has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of [his] case with respect to which [he] has the burden of proof.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (alterations added).

         “The party seeking summary judgment has the burden to demonstrate that no genuine issue of material fact exists.”[2]Marvel Characters, 310 F.3d at 286. The moving party may discharge this burden by “pointing out to the district court ... that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325; see also Goenaga v. Mar. of Dimes Birth Defects Found., 51 F.3d 14, 18 (2d Cir. 1995) (“In moving for summary judgment against a party who will bear the ultimate burden of proof at trial, the movant's burden will be satisfied if he can point to an absence of evidence to support an essential element of the nonmoving party's claim.”).

         In deciding a motion for summary judgment, “[t]he court must resolve all ambiguities and draw all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party[.]” Aldrich v. Randolph Cent. Sch. Dist., 963 F.2d 520, 523 (2d Cir. 1992). “If there is any evidence in the record that could reasonably support a jury's verdict for the non-moving party, summary judgment must be denied.” Am. Home Assur. Co. v. Hapag Lloyd Container Linie, GmbH, 446 F.3d 313, 315 (2d Cir. 2006) (quoting Marvel, 310 F.3d at 286) (internal quotation marks omitted). However, “the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48 (emphases in original).

         “In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the district court may rely on any material that would be admissible or usable at trial.” Major League Baseball Props., Inc. v. Salvino, Inc., 542 F.3d 290, 309 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting Azrielli v. Cohen Law Offices, 21 F.3d 512, 517 (2d Cir. 1997)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Where, as here, “a summary judgment motion is supported or opposed by affidavits, those ‘affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated therein.'” Id. at 310 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). Therefore,

[i]n order to defeat a properly supported summary judgment motion, the opposing party must proffer admissible evidence that “set[s] forth specific facts” showing a genuinely disputed factual issue that is material under the applicable legal principles. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); see, e.g., Patterson v. County of Oneida, 375 F.3d 206, 219 (2d Cir. 2004)[.] A party opposing summary judgment does not show the existence of a genuine issue of fact to be tried merely by making assertions that are conclusory, see, e.g., Kulak v. City of New York, 88 F.3d 63, 71 (2d Cir. 1996), or based on speculation, see, e.g., Id. (“Though we must accept as true the allegations of the party defending against the summary judgment motion, drawing all reasonable inferences in his favor, ... conclusory statements, conjecture, or speculation by the party resisting the motion will not defeat summary judgment.”)[.]

         Major League Baseball, 542 F.3d at 310 (alterations added).

         III. ...

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