United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION IN LIMINE
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
McAfee (“Plaintiff”) brings this case against
Syed J. Naqvi, M.D., Omprakash Pillai, M.D., and Robert
Bonnetti (collectively, “Defendants”), all
employees of the Connecticut Department of Correction, in
connection with medical treatment he received while
incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution in Sheffield, Connecticut. He alleges that
Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, by impeding his access to a
surgical consultation and other follow up treatment for his
infected gallbladder. See First. Am. Compl., ECF No.
seek to prohibit any evidence concerning “(1) whether
the alleged delay in taking the plaintiff to the surgical
consultation resulted in injury to the plaintiff other than
pain and suffering until the time of the surgery; and (2)
whether the alleged delay in taking the plaintiff to see the
surgical clinic caused subsequent or permanent
injuries.” See Motion, ECF No. 56. For the
reasons that follow, the motion in limine is GRANTED
to the extent that any treating physician of Mr. McAfee seeks
to testify about any matters beyond the scope of their
treatment of him.
Factual and Procedural Background
October 21, 2011, a Connecticut court sentenced Mr. McAfee to
five years' imprisonment, execution suspended after two
years, for carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of
Connecticut's General Statutes. On March 19, 2012, while
he was serving this sentence, Mr. McAfee allegedly became
seriously ill. After “vomiting … large amounts
of liquid” and experiencing “excruciating upper
abdominal pain, ” Mr. McAfee notified the correctional
officers on duty. Compl. at ¶ 14. Eventually, the
officers brought Mr. McAfee to the prison medical unit.
Id. at ¶ 15. The next morning, medical
personnel at the prison medical unit evaluated Mr. McAfee and
conducted several medical tests and x-rays. Id. at
¶ 16. Later that morning, Dr. Pillai evaluated Mr.
McAfee. Id. at ¶ 17. While lab results were
pending, Dr. Pillai reviewed the x-rays and ordered a
next week, Mr. McAfee alleges that he suffered severe pain
and “could not eat without vomiting.”
Id. at ¶ 19. He “made several written
requests to corrections officers for further medical
attention and treatment.” Id. at ¶ 20. On
April 6, a nurse at the medical unit evaluated Mr. McAfee,
took new blood samples, and gave Mr. McAfee a prescription
for Zantac. Id. at ¶ 21. The next day, Mr.
McAfee made another written request to correctional officers
for “immediate medical attention, ” referencing
the same acute abdominal pain and vomiting that he had
described in his previous requests. Id. at ¶
Naqvi evaluated Mr. McAfee the next day. Compl. at ¶ 22.
He concluded that Mr. McAfee's gall bladder was inflamed,
prescribed a bacterial antibiotic and anti-inflammatory
medication, and submitted a document to the Utilization
Review Committee recommending that Mr. McAfee receive an
ultrasound and general surgery consult. Id. at
¶ 25. The Utilization Review Committee approved the
request on April 10. Id. at ¶ 31. On April 12,
prison officials called Mr. McAfee to the medical unit.
Id. at ¶ 33. McAfee alleges that Mr. Bonnetti
(“Nurse Rob”) was on duty at the time. When Mr.
McAfee entered the unit, Mr. Bonnetti allegedly responded in
a hostile manner. Specifically, Mr. Bonnetti
approached him and asked, “Who is the emergency?”
McAfee responded, “It's me.” McAfee then
followed Nurse Rob it the exam room. After McAfee explained
that he was not in pain at that very moment, Nurse Rob
responded, “Then you're not a f-king
emergency.” Stunned at Nurse Rob's inappropriate
outburst, McAfee asked, “Why are you being such a cocky
assh-le to me?” Nurse Rob then told McAfee to get out
of the exam room and that he would be put in segregation
instead of his cell. McAfee then went back into the waiting
room and sat down.
Id. at ¶ 34.
McAfee alleges that he continued to experience severe pain
and vomiting after his interaction with Mr. Bonnetti, but
“did not request medical treatment …out of fear
that he would be placed in segregation as threatened by Nurse
Rob if he made such requests.” Id. at ¶
38. On April 28 and 30, he made written requests for medical
care once again. Id. at ¶ 39. On May 1, prison
officials took him to UCONN Health Center
(“UCHC”) in Farmington, Connecticut for his
ultrasound and consultation. Id. at ¶ 40.
Health Center, a doctor evaluated Mr. McAfee, concluded that
he had “acute cholecystitis” and scheduled gall
bladder surgery the next day. Compl. at ¶ 44. The next
day, Dr. David W. McFadden performed the surgery, allegedly
finding that Mr. McAfee's gall bladder was
“thickened, inflamed, and gangrenous.”
Id. at ¶ 45.
the surgery, officials discharged Mr. McAfee to the general
population at MacDougall-Walker. Id. at ¶ 47.
Mr. McAfee alleges that when he was there, Dr. Pillai
“allowed the staples placed in McAfee during the
surgery on May 1 to become embedded and infected before
removing them.” Id. at ¶ 48. He alleges
that he suffered from additional medical complications after
the surgery and had to receive an additional surgery to
remove a hernia near the site of his original surgery.
Id. at ¶ 52.
McAfee alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent
to his serious medical needs. Dr. Naqvi, he alleges,
diagnosed McAfee as suffering from acute cholecystitis on
April 8, 2012 and, at that time, knew that McAfee had a
serious medical need. Compl. at ¶ 55. Mr. McAfee also
alleges that Dr. Pillai was aware of the acute harm on the
same day. Id. at ¶ 57.
McAfee therefore seeks to hold Drs. Naqvi and Pillai
responsible for the twenty-one day delay between Utilization
Review Committee's approval of the ultrasound and general
surgery consult and Mr. McAfee's actual ultrasound and
surgery. He argues that this delay caused damages including
physical pain, emotional distress, and “severe
discomfort.” Id. at ¶ 64. He seeks to
hold Mr. Bonnetti responsible for the delay as well, because
Mr. Bonnetti's taunting deterred him from seeking medical
pre-trial memorandum, Mr. McAfee listed several doctors as
witnesses. The first, Dr. James Passarelli, would testify
“as to the treatment that he had to provide to [Mr.
McAfee] after he was released from incarceration … in
order to attempt to correct the problems that he had that
were caused by the deprivation of medical attention by the
defendants.” Joint Trial Mem., ECF No. 48, 16. The
second, Dr. Michael Wong, would testify about the same thing.
Id. (adding that Dr. Wong would testify about
“problems that were caused by the deprivation of
medical attention by the defendants, including but not
limited to internal bleeding.”). The remaining two
physician witnesses, Dr. McFadden and his assistant, Dr.
Jessica Lee, would testify about Mr. McAfee's May 2012
move in limine for an Order that “no evidence
be presented concerning: (1) whether the alleged delay in
taking the plaintiff to the surgical consultation resulted in
injury to [Mr. McAfee] other than pain and suffering until
the time of the surgery; and (2) whether the alleged delay in
taking [Mr. McAfee] to see the surgical clinic caused
subsequent or permanent injuries.” See Motion,
2. Defendants also argue that Mr. McAfee's proposed
witnesses cannot testify as experts about the medical effect
of the alleged delay in his treatment. Mr. McAfee responds
that he disclosed the Doctors ...