United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. NO.
C. Hall United States District Judge.
January 27, 2017, the plaintiff, Michael Schibi
(“Schibi”), a former inmate of the Connecticut
Department of Correction, filed a Complaint pro se
pursuant to title 42 section 1983 of the United States Code
against Commissioner of Correction Scott Semple, Dr. Johnny
Wu, Dr. Syed Naqvi, Dr. Pillia, MaryAnn Castro, MaryAnn
Rodriguez, and two unidentified correction officials for
acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs, in violation of his Eighth Amendment protection
against cruel and unusual punishment and his Fourteenth
Amendment right to due process.Complaint
(“Complaint”) (Doc. No. 1). On April 13, 2017,
this court issued its Initial Review Order permitting
Schibi's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims to
proceed against the defendants. Initial Review Order (Doc.
No. 7) at 5-6. The defendants answered the Complaint on July
9, 2017. Answer (Doc. No. 15).
December 29, 2017, the defendants filed their Motion for
Summary Judgment along with a Memorandum of Law and
supporting exhibits. Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc No.
25). Dr. Wu argues that he is entitled to summary judgment
because the evidence submitted shows that he and other
officials in the Department of Corrected provided adequate
treatment for Schibi's medical condition. Defendants'
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
(“Defs.' Mem.”) (Doc. No. 25-1) at 3-7. The
remaining defendants argue they were not personally involved
in the alleged constitutional deprivations. Id. at
7-8. Alternatively, all defendants argue that they are
entitled to qualified immunity. Id. at 8. Schibi had
until February 28, 2018, to submit his response to the
defendants' motion but failed to do so.
following reasons, the defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. No. 25) is granted.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for summary judgment, the burden is on the moving
party to establish that there are no genuine issues of
material fact in dispute and that it is “entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A
fact is “material” if it “might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law” and is
“genuine” if “a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party” based on it.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986); see also Dister v. Continental Group, Inc.,
859 F.2d 1108, 1114 (2d Cir. 1988) (mere existence of alleged
factual dispute will not defeat summary judgment motion). The
moving party may satisfy this 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 curium) (internal citations
motion for summary judgment is supported by documentary
evidence and sworn affidavits and “demonstrates the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact, ” the
nonmoving party “must come forward with specific
evidence demonstrating the existence of a genuine dispute of
material fact.” Id.; see also First Nat.
Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 289
(1968) (nonmoving party must submit sufficient evidence
supporting claimed factual dispute to require factfinder to
resolve parties' differing versions of truth at trial).
reviewing the record, the court must “construe the
evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party
and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor.”
Gary Friedrich Enters., L.L.C. v. Marvel Characters,
Inc., 716 F.3d 302, 312 (2d Cir. 2013). If there is any
evidence in the record from which a reasonable factual
inference could be drawn in favor of the non-moving party for
the issue on which summary judgment is sought, then summary
judgment is improper. See Security Ins. Co. of Hartford
v. Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., 391 F.3d 77, 83 (2d
has been incarcerated in the Connecticut Department of
Corrections since 2010. Defs.' Ex. 1 (Doc. No. 25-3). Dr.
Wu is a licensed physician in the state of Connecticut and
worked as the Director of Medical Services at UConn Health
from June 2012 to March 2017. Defendants' Local Rule
56(a)1 Statement (“Defs.' 56(a)1 Stmt.”) at
¶¶ 1-2. He chaired the Utilization Review Committee
and co-chaired the Hepatitis C Utilization Review Board at
UConn. Id. at ¶¶ 3-4.
December 5, 2013, correctional medical staff performed a
Hepatitis C screening test on Schibi. Defs.' 56(a)1 Stmt.
at ¶ 12. Pursuant to Hepatitis C treatment guidelines
available at the time, Schibi needed to be monitored with
serial liver function tests for at least six months to
establish chronicity and evaluated for immunity to Hepatitis
A and B. Id. at ¶ 13. Results of the screening
later showed that Schibi did not have proper immunity to
Hepatitis B and, thus, required vaccinations over a course of
six months. Id. at ¶ 14. At the time,
“there was no FDA-approved single oral direct-acting
antiviral (DAA) drug to treat [Schibi] . . . .”
Id. at ¶ 21; Declaration of Dr. Johnny Wu,
Defs.' Ex. 2 (“Wu Decl.”)(Doc No. 25-5) at
August 2014, Schibi brought a medical habeas corpus Petition
in state court. Defs.' 56(a)1 Stmt. at ¶ 8. One of
the issues asserted in the petition was a demand for
Hepatitis C treatment. Defs.' 56(a)1 Stmt. at ¶ 8;
Compl. at ¶ 12. Schibi later withdrew his Petition.
Defs.' 56(a)1 Stmt. at ¶ 9; Defs.' Ex. 2 (Doc
15, 2015, Schibi met the criteria for consideration of
treatment for chronic Hepatitis C infection. Defs.'
56(a)1 Stmt. at ¶ 15. He was classified as genotype 4, a
less common form of Hepatitis C that is more difficult to
treat, and his viral load before starting therapy was 131,
000 IU/ml, a relatively low number. Id. at
¶¶ 14, 16. After reviewing his treatment workup,
Dr. Wu and the Hepatitis C Utilization Review Board approved
Schibi for Hepatitis C treatment on July 27, 2016. Wu Decl.
at ¶ 11. Schibi started his Hepatitis C treatment on
August 19, 2016, through the use of a newly-approved
medication called Epclusa. Defs.' 56(a)1 Stmt. at ¶
17. The FDA approved Epclusa in late June 2016. Id.
at ¶ 22.
took Epclusa daily for a twelve-week period until November
11, 2016. Defs.' 56(a)1 Stmt. at ¶ 19. According to
Dr. Wu, Schibi tolerated the medication very well with no
adverse effects. Wu Decl. at ¶ 12. Schibi denied
experiencing headaches, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, fevers, or skin rashes. Id. A
Hepatitis C viral load conducted on or about November 17,