Gannaway v. Prime Care Med., Inc., CIVIL ACTION No. 12–1156

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Writing for the CourtEDUARDO C. ROBRENO, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Citation150 F.Supp.3d 511
Docket NumberCIVIL ACTION No. 12–1156
Decision Date21 December 2015
Parties Shakur D. Gannaway, Plaintiff, v. Prime Care Medical, Inc., et al., Defendants.

150 F.Supp.3d 511

Shakur D. Gannaway, Plaintiff,
v.
Prime Care Medical, Inc., et al., Defendants.

CIVIL ACTION No. 12–1156

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania.

Signed December 21, 2015


150 F.Supp.3d 520

Shakur D. Gannaway, Bellefonte, PA, pro se.

John R. Ninosky, Johnson Duffie Stewart & Weidner, Lemoyne, PA, Kathy Le, Office of the Attorney General, Philadelphia, PA, Matthew H. Fry, Robert M. Diorio, Diorio & Sereni, LLP, Media, PA, Osmer Deming, Deming Law Office, Reading, PA, Matthew J. Connell, Nicole Freiler, The MacMain Law Group LLC, Malvern, PA, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, DISTRICT JUDGE.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY...521

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW...523

III. DISCUSSION...524

A. PrimeCare Medical Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 92 & 93)...524

1. Eighth Amendment Violation Based on Inadequate Medical Care Against Defendants Dillman and Gessner...525

2. Eighth Amendment Violation Based on Inadequate Medical Care Against Defendant PrimeCare Medical...530

3. State Law Negligence Claim Based on Inadequate Medical Care Against Defendants PrimeCare Medical, Dillman, and Gessner...530

B. Defendants ADAPPT, Inc., and William Tillman's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 97 & 98)...531

C. Defendant Berks County Public Defender's Office's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 99)...533

D. Defendant Osmer Deming's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 102)...536

1. Section 1983 Claims Against Defendant Deming...537

2. Legal Malpractice Claim Against Defendant Deming...538

E. Commonwealth Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 113 & 114)...539

1. Eighth Amendment Claim Against All Commonwealth Defendants...545

2. Violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Claim Against All Commonwealth Defendants...549

3. First Amendment Retaliation Claim Against All Commonwealth Defendants... 552

4. Violation of Right of Access to Courts Claim Against All Commonwealth Defendants...554

IV. PLAINTIFF'S REPEATED REQUESTS FOR COUNSEL...555

V. REMAINING DEFENDANTS...556

VI. CONCLUSION...557

Plaintiff Shakur Gannaway, currently an inmate at Pennsylvania State Correctional

150 F.Supp.3d 521

Institution (“SCI”) at Rockview, brings this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against seventy-four defendants, including fifty-four agencies and employees of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, private companies and healthcare professionals contracted to provide medical services to the state correctional institutions, and other non-state defendants, including his court-appointed attorneys.

Although Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is disorganized, rambling, and often difficult to decipher, the heart of Plaintiff's allegations is that he received inadequate medical treatment throughout his incarceration in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and state medical malpractice laws. Plaintiff also appears to bring several other constitutional claims under § 1983, including claims concerning First Amendment retaliation, violations of due process, and denial of access to the courts.

The Court ordered Plaintiff to be deposed, and following Plaintiff's deposition on June 19, 2014, Defendants moved for summary judgment, attaching as exhibits Plaintiff's deposition, entire file of medical records, and entire grievance file, among other things. After the Court granted Plaintiff several extensions to respond to these motions, Plaintiff has finally submitted “objections,” which the Court will construe as responses to Defendants' motions. Accordingly, the five pending summary judgment motions are now ripe for disposition. After an exhaustive review of the record, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendants' motions for summary judgment as to all claims against all defendants.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff is currently in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (“DOC”), serving a sentence of fifteen to thirty years for a conviction related to a 2009 armed robbery. Before his criminal trial, Plaintiff was detained at the Berks County Prison to await the disposition of the robbery charges and also pursuant to a probation/parole detainer attached to an earlier offense. Still before then, Plaintiff, while on parole for yet another offense, was assigned to a treatment program at ADAPPT House, a residential facility contracted by the DOC.

Because Plaintiff brings claims against a myriad of defendants concerning a legion of events, the facts pertinent to each claim will be addressed in the discussions of Defendants' summary judgment motions below.

Plaintiff initiated this action on March 5, 2012, by filing an application to proceed in forma pauperis. ECF No. 1. On March 29, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiff's application, requiring him to pay the full filing fee in installments pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. ECF No. 4. In the same order, the Court directed Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint, noting that the statute of limitations limited Plaintiff to raising claims that occurred within the two-year period before March 5, 2012, and directing Plaintiff to describe as clearly, briefly, and legibly as possible the specific events that violated his constitutional rights, how each defendant was involved in his claims, and the harm he suffered from each violation. Id. at 2. Thereafter, Plaintiff asked the Court for several of extensions of time to file an Amended Complaint, which the Court granted. See ECF Nos. 10, 11, 14. Plaintiff finally filed his Amended Complaint on May 13, 2013. ECF No. 15. In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff is unclear as to his requested relief.

150 F.Supp.3d 522

After the U.S. Marshal served the defendants,1 four motions to dismiss were filed.2 On April 25, 2014, the Court denied these motions without prejudice, granted Defendants leave to take Plaintiff's deposition so Defendants could respond accurately to Plaintiff's allegations, and set deadlines for Defendants to file motions for summary judgment and Plaintiff to respond thereto. ECF No. 63. These deadlines were subsequently extended. ECF No. 77.

On May 1, 2014, the Commonwealth Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 66. The Court granted the motion in part, dismissing SCI–Camp Hill, SCI–Greene, and SCI–Rockview, as well as all claims against those Commonwealth Defendants sued in their official capacities. ECF No. 74.

Plaintiff's deposition was taken on June 19, 2014, and various defendants filed motions for summary judgment thereafter. Specifically, summary judgment motions were filed by (1) PrimeCare Medical, Inc., Paula Dillman, and Victoria Gessner, M.D. (collectively, “PrimeCare Medical Defendants”) (ECF Nos. 92 & 93); (2) ADAPPT, Inc., and William Tillman (collectively, the “ADAPPT Defendants”) (ECF Nos. 97 & 98); (3) the Berks County Public Defender's Office (ECF No. 99 & 138); (4) Osmer Deming (ECF No. 102); and (5) the Commonwealth Defendants (ECF No. 113 & 114).

Plaintiff initially filed two responses to the PrimeCare Medical Defendants' motion (ECF Nos. 104 & 105) but did not file responses to the others. After the most recent status and scheduling conference held on July 15, 2015, the Court directed the Clerk of Court to serve copies of all of the pending summary judgment motions, together with their supporting documents, to Plaintiff. See ECF No. 128. The Court then gave Plaintiff until September 14, 2015, to file responses to Defendant's motions for summary judgment. Id.

Thereafter, Plaintiff submitted a series of requests for extensions of time to respond to Defendants' pending motions for summary judgment and for appointment of counsel. ECF Nos. 133, 135, 136. By Order dated October 13, 2015, the Court denied these requests, noting that the Court had previously granted Plaintiff a number of extensions to file his responses to Defendants' motions for summary judgment and that some of the Defendants' motions had been pending for nearly one year. ECF No. 141. The Court also explained that it would reassess Plaintiff's request for appointment of counsel after the parties fully briefed the summary judgment motions. Id. Even after this Order, Plaintiff submitted an additional request for an extension of time and appointment of counsel, purportedly due to mail

150 F.Supp.3d 523

tampering at SCI–Rockview and his ongoing medical issues. ECF No. 145.

Although Plaintiff requested and the Court denied an extension of time to respond to Defendants' motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff recently filed several documents which he calls “objections” to Defendants' summary judgment motions. ECF Nos. 132, 137, 143, 144, 146, 147, 148.3 The Court will treat these documents as Plaintiff's opposition to the pending summary judgment motions. Plaintiff also recently filed a document which he titles “Request for Summary Judgment, Default Against SCI–Rockview Defendants for the Following Reasons,” ECF No. 149, which the Court will construe as an additional response to the Defendants' summary judgment motions.4

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). “A motion for summary judgment will not be defeated by ‘the mere existence’ of some disputed facts, but will be denied when there is a genuine issue of material fact.” Am. Eagle Outfitters v. Lyle & Scott Ltd., 584 F.3d 575, 581 (3d Cir.2009) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247–48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) ). A fact is “material” if proof of its existence or nonexistence might affect the outcome of the litigation, and a dispute is “genuine” if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505.

The Court will view the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. “After making all reasonable...

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24 practice notes
  • Rivera v. Chester Cnty., CIVIL ACTION NO. 15-5609
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • March 28, 2017
    ...is similar to a municipality in that it cannot be held liable on a respondeat superior theory. Gannaway v. Prime Care Med., Inc., 150 F. Supp. 3d 511 (E.D. Pa. 2015). "[R]ather, pursuant to Monell, such a private corporation can be held liable for constitutional violations only if it has a ......
  • Callaway v. Small, 1:21-cv-12058
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • December 22, 2021
    ...for cruel and unusual punishment for failure to provide adequate medical care to inmates. See, e.g., Gannaway v. Prime Care Med., Inc., 150 F.Supp.3d 511, 527 (E.D. Pa. 2015), aff'd sub nom. Gannaway v. PrimeCare Med., Inc., 652 Fed.Appx. 91 (3d Cir. 2016). --------- ...
  • Robinson v. Corizon Health, Inc., CIVIL ACTION NO. 12-1271
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    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
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    ...is similar to a municipality in that it cannot be held liable on a respondeat superior theory. Gannaway v. Prime Care Med., Inc., 150 F. Supp. 3d 511 (E.D. Pa. 2015). "[R]ather, pursuant to Monell, such a private corporation can be held liable for constitutional violations only if it has a ......
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    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • December 21, 2015
    ...to transfer.ORDERAND NOW , this 21st day of December, 2015 , upon consideration of Defendants' Motion to Transfer Venue (ECF No. 52), 150 F.Supp.3d 511 Plaintiff's response in opposition thereto (ECF No. 58), and Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Reply Brief (ECF No. 59) and for the reas......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
23 cases
  • Rivera v. Chester Cnty., CIVIL ACTION NO. 15-5609
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • March 28, 2017
    ...is similar to a municipality in that it cannot be held liable on a respondeat superior theory. Gannaway v. Prime Care Med., Inc., 150 F. Supp. 3d 511 (E.D. Pa. 2015). "[R]ather, pursuant to Monell, such a private corporation can be held liable for constitutional violations only if it has a ......
  • Callaway v. Small, 1:21-cv-12058
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • December 22, 2021
    ...cruel and unusual punishment for failure to provide adequate medical care to inmates. See, e.g. , Gannaway v. Prime Care Med., Inc. , 150 F. Supp. 3d 511, 527 (E.D. Pa. 2015), aff'd sub nom. Gannaway v. PrimeCare Med., Inc. , 652 F. App'x 91 (3d Cir....
  • Monche v. Grill, Civil Action 3:22-CV-1516
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • October 27, 2022
    ...757 F.3d 99, 104 (3d Cir. 2014) (internal citations omitted)). [51] Woloszyn, 396 F.3d at 319. [52] Gannaway v. PrimeCare Med., Inc., 150 F.Supp.3d 511, 527 (E.D. Pa. 2015), aff'd sub nom, Gannaway v. PrimeCare Med., Inc, 652 Fed.Appx. 91 (3d Cir. 2016) (citing Chinchello v. Fenton, 805 F.2......
  • Callaway v. Small, 1:21-cv-12058
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • December 22, 2021
    ...for cruel and unusual punishment for failure to provide adequate medical care to inmates. See, e.g., Gannaway v. Prime Care Med., Inc., 150 F.Supp.3d 511, 527 (E.D. Pa. 2015), aff'd sub nom. Gannaway v. PrimeCare Med., Inc., 652 Fed.Appx. 91 (3d Cir. 2016). --------- ...
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3 books & journal articles
  • Part two: case summaries by major topic.
    • United States
    • Detention and Corrections Caselaw Quarterly Nbr. 68, December 2016
    • December 1, 2016
    ...Department, Florida) U.S. District Court INADEQUATE CARE MEDICATION PRIVATE PROVIDER COSTS Gannaway v. Prime Care Medical, Inc., 150 F.Supp.3d 511 (E.D. Pa. 2015). A state inmate brought [section] 1983 action against Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) employees, private companies ......
  • Part two: case summaries by major topic.
    • United States
    • Detention and Corrections Caselaw Quarterly Nbr. 68, December 2016
    • December 1, 2016
    ...fines for those offenses. (City of Ferguson, Missouri) U.S. District Court LAW LIBRARY Gannaway v. Prime Care Medical, Inc., 150 F.Supp.3d 511 (E.D. Pa. 2015). A state inmate brought [section] 1983 action against Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) employees, private companies and ......
  • Part one: complete case summaries in alphabetical order.
    • United States
    • Detention and Corrections Caselaw Quarterly Nbr. 68, December 2016
    • December 1, 2016
    ...RIGHTS: Verbal Harassment MEDICAL CARE: Inadequate Care, Medication, Private Provider, Costs Gannaway v. Prime Care Medical, Inc., 150 F.Supp.3d 511 (E.D. Pa. 2015). A state inmate brought [section] 1983 action against Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) employees, private companie......

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