United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF
#58, ECF # 80)
A. DOOLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Jose Ramos (“Ramos”), brings this
civil rights action against Kevin McCrystal (“P.A.
McCrystal”), a Physician Assistant with the
Connecticut Department of Correction, alleging deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment of the United States
Constitution. Specifically, by Amended Complaint dated
August 29, 2017, Ramos asserts that on June 27, 2017 he
advised P.A. McCrystal that he was suffering from extreme
shoulder pain but that P.A. McCrystal provided no treatment
and in fact discontinued his prescription pain medications.
Both Ramos and P.A. McCrystal have moved for summary
judgment. For the reasons set forth below, P.A.
McCrystal's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and
Ramos' motion for summary judgment is therefore not
seeking summary judgment, the moving party bears the burden
of demonstrating “that there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact 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
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.” Robinson v. Concentra Health
Servs., Inc., 781 F.3d 42, 44 (2d Cir. 2015) (citation
omitted). And the non-moving party must do more than vaguely
assert the existence of some unspecified disputed material
facts or “rely on conclusory allegations or
unsubstantiated speculation.” Id. The court
must “construe the evidence in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party and to 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) (citation omitted). The court may not, however,
“make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence.
. . . [because] [c]redibility determinations, the weighing of
the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from
the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge.”
Proctor v. LeClaire, 846 F.3d 597, 607-08 (2d Cir.
2017) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). If
there is any evidence in the record from which a reasonable
factual inference could be drawn in favor of the opposing
party on the issue on which summary judgment is sought,
however, summary judgment is improper. See Security Ins.
Co. of Hartford v. Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., 391
F.3d 77, 83 (2d Cir. 2004).
cross-motions for summary judgment the same standard applies.
See Morales v. Quintel Entm't, Inc., 249 F.3d
115, 121 (2d Cir. 2001). “Where ‘parties file [ ]
cross-motions for summary judgment [, ] ... each party's
motion must be examined on its own merits, and in each case
all reasonable inferences must be drawn against the party
whose motion is under consideration.” Fireman's
Fund Ins. Co. v. Great Am. Ins. Co. of New York, 822
F.3d 620, 631 n. 12 (2d Cir. 2016) (citing Morales,
249 F.3d at 121).
the court recognizes its obligation to read a pro se
party's papers liberally and and to interpret them
“to raise the strongest arguments that they
suggest.” Willey v. Kirkpatrick, 801 F.3d 51,
62 (2d Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). Despite this liberal interpretation, however,
allegations unsupported by admissible evidence “do not
create a material issue of fact” and cannot overcome a
properly supported motion for summary judgment. Weinstock
v. Columbia Univ., 224 F.3d 33, 41 (2d Cir. 2000).
McCrystal was assigned to the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MacDougall-Walker”) as a physician
assistant from 2004 to 2018. P.A. McCrystal Decl. ¶ 4.
He worked in the Walker building for approximately six years
and worked in the MacDougall building for approximately eight
years. Id. ¶¶ 4-5. As a physician
assistant, he managed the Chronic Disease Clinic
(“CDC”), handled inmate sick calls, prescribed
medications for inmates and provided assistance to physicians
when necessary. Id. ¶ 7.
is a sentenced prisoner in the custody of the Department of
Correction (“DOC”). Ramos asserts and his medical
records confirm that in October 2012, shortly after his
admission to DOC custody, he began complaining to medical
providers at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution
about pain and limited mobility in his shoulders. Thereafter,
between October 2012 and August 2016, medical providers at
various DOC facilities prescribed Motrin to treat his
shoulder pain. Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)1, Exs. 2-4, 6-17. On June
17, 2016, Ramos was transferred to the MacDougall building of
MacDougall-Walker. Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2, Ex. B at 53.
4, 2017, Ramos submitted an Inmate Request Form to Supervisor
Rikel Lightner indicating that he had written multiple times
to medical supervisors asking to be seen by a physician and
seeking a prescription for medication to treat his shoulder
pain. Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1 ¶ 1; Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2,
Ex. B at 32. On May 11, 2017, P.A. McCrystal reviewed
Ramos' medical chart, noted that the last x-ray of
Ramos's shoulders revealed minimal degenerative joint
disease, and prescribed 600 milligrams of Motrin to be taken
twice a day for three months to alleviate Ramos's
complaints of shoulder pain. Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1 ¶ 2;
Ex. B at 8.
27, 2017, P.A. McCrystal met with Ramos in the CDC to assess
Ramos' chronic asthma condition. Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1,
¶ 4. Ramos had not requested to be seen for his asthma
condition. Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2 ¶ 5. During the June 27
appointment, Ramos complained of shoulder pain. Def.'s
L.R. 56(a)1 ¶ 5; Ex. B at 8. P.A. McCrystal advised
Ramos of the protocols for submitting a request to be seen
for a more thorough evaluation of his complaint of shoulder
pain. Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1 ¶ 7. Although he alleges to
the contrary in the Amended Complaint,  Ramos now
concedes that he continued to receive Motrin for his shoulder
pain until August 8, 2017 pursuant to the order issued by
P.A. McCrystal on May 11, 2017. Id. ¶ 10.
received an inmate handbook when he arrived at
MacDougall-Walker in 2016. Id. ¶ 18. Ramos is
familiar with the Department of Correction's
administrative remedies process. Id. ¶ 17.
Ramos did not file a request for health services review
regarding his ...