Rouse v. Plantier, No. Civ.A. 90-3511.

CourtU.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
Writing for the CourtOrlofsky
Citation987 F.Supp. 302
PartiesDarryl ROUSE, Charles Brooks, Stephen Jankowski, Julio Baez, and Robert Kammerer, on behalf of a class of themselves and other similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. William PLANTIER, William H. Fauver, Dr. Robert Cardinale, Dr. Narsimha Reddy, Elaine Allen, R.N., John Doe, and Jane Roe, Defendants.
Decision Date05 December 1997
Docket NumberNo. Civ.A. 90-3511.

Page 302

987 F.Supp. 302
Darryl ROUSE, Charles Brooks, Stephen Jankowski, Julio Baez, and Robert Kammerer, on behalf of a class of themselves and other similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
William PLANTIER, William H. Fauver, Dr. Robert Cardinale, Dr. Narsimha Reddy, Elaine Allen, R.N., John Doe, and Jane Roe, Defendants.
No. Civ.A. 90-3511.
United States District Court, D. New Jersey.
December 5, 1997.

Page 303

Lawrence S. Lustberg, James E. Ryan, Mark A. Berman, Crummy, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, P.C., Newark, NJ, for plaintiffs, Darryl Rouse, Charles Brooks, Stephen Jankowski, Julio Baez, Robert Kammerer.

Peter Verniero, Attorney General of New Jersey, E. Jayroe Wurst, Deputy Attorney General, William P. Flahive, Deputy Attorney General, Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, Div. of Law, Fedcor Section, Trenton, NJ, for defendants, William Plantier, William H. Fauver, Dr. Robert Cardinale, Dr. Narsimha Reddy, and Elaine Allen, R.N.

OPINION

ORLOFSKY, District Judge.


On September 4, 1990, litigation over the medical treatment provided to diabetic inmates at the Adult Treatment and Diagnostic Center in Avenel, New Jersey began when Plaintiff, Darryl Rouse, filed a pro se complaint.1 After seven years of litigation, Defendants, William Plantier, William H. Fauver, Dr. Robert Cardinale, Dr. Narsimha Reddy, and Elaine Allen, R.N., have now moved for summary judgment on the claims advanced by Plaintiffs, Darryl Rouse, Charles Brooks, Stephen Jankowski, Julio Baez, and Robert Kammerer. Plaintiffs' claim that they were subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and that they were victims of impermissible discrimination on the basis of their disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.

Defendants have moved for summary judgment on the merits of Plaintiffs' Eighth Amendment and ADA claims, and in the

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alternative, on their defense of qualified immunity as to both claims. These motions require an examination of the contours of a prisoner's murky right to constitutionally adequate medical care under the Eighth Amendment and the sometimes opaque doctrine of qualified immunity.

For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the merits of Plaintiffs' Eighth Amendment claims will be denied as against Defendants, Plantier, Dr. Cardinale, Dr. Reddy, and Nurse Allen, and granted as against Defendant, Fauver. Defendants' motion for summary judgment on their defense of qualified immunity to Plaintiffs' Eighth Amendment claims will be denied as to Defendants, Plantier, Dr. Cardinale, Dr. Reddy, and Nurse Allen, and dismissed as moot as to Defendant, Fauver. Defendants' motion for summary judgment on their defense of qualified immunity to Plaintiffs' claim under the ADA will be granted as against all Defendants. Finally, Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the merits of the ADA claim will be dismissed as moot as to all Defendants.

I. Facts and Procedural History

The Plaintiffs were inmates at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center ("ADTC"),2 a facility operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections, located in Avenel, New Jersey. See Second Amended Complaint ¶¶ 1, 6-10 (dated Aug. 2, 1993) (hereinafter Second Amend. Compl.).3 All of the Plaintiffs are diabetics, and represent a class of all former, present, and future insulin-dependent diabetic ADTC inmates. Id. at ¶¶ 1, 6-10, 17-18; Rouse v. Plantier, Civil Action No. 90-3511, slip op. at 27 (D.N.J. Mar. 26, 1996) (Bassler, J.) (certifying class of all former, present, and future insulin-dependent diabetics incarcerated at the ADTC, and a subclass of all former and present insulin-dependent diabetics incarcerated at the ADTC) (hereinafter Rouse II).4

Defendant, William B. Fauver ("Fauver"), is Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections.5 Second Amend. Compl. at ¶ 11. Defendant, William Plantier ("Plantier"), is Acting Superintendent of ADTC. Id. at ¶ 12. Defendant, Dr. Robert Cardinale ("Dr. Cardinale"), is Medical Director at ADTC. Id. at ¶ 13. Defendant, Dr. Narsimha Reddy ("Dr. Reddy"), was a physician at ADTC. Id. at ¶ 14. Defendant, Elaine Allen, R.N., ("Nurse Allen"), was formerly a nurse at ADTC with supervisory responsibilities, Id. at § 15. See also Defendants' Brief at 3; Plaintiffs' Brief in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 3 (dated Sept. 8, 1997) (hereinafter Plaintiffs' Brief).

Plaintiffs' first claim is that the medical care provided by ADTC to treat their diabetic conditions is "uniformly and grossly inadequate as to constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the Eight [sic] Amendment to the United States Constitution." Second Amend. Compl. at ¶ 2; see also id. at ¶¶ 3, 61-67. While not pled as such, the Court has read this allegation as a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Rouse v. Plantier, Civil Action No. 90-3511, slip op. at 4 (D.N.J. June 30,

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1995) (Bassler, J.) (hereinafter Rouse I).6

In their Second Amended Complaint and through factual and expert discovery, Plaintiffs have identified the central axes by which a constitutional program of diabetic care would be measured. Plaintiffs have identified those axes as: blood sugar control, nutrition and diet, patient education, prevention and management of acute and long term complications of diabetes, and diabetic-specific primary care needs. See Plaintiffs' Brief at 6-15; Second Amend. Compl. at ¶¶ 25-31. Plaintiffs claim that on all of these, the level of care provided by Defendants to the insulin-dependent diabetic inmates of ADTC is inadequate to the point of being unconstitutional. See, e.g., Plaintiffs' Brief at 6-15 noting opinion of Dr. Michael Cohen, Plaintiffs' primary medical expert). In addition to the systemic problems with the medical care provided to insulin-dependent diabetics, Plaintiffs also argue that "specific instances of grossly inadequate care" have occurred and that they constitute, in and of themselves, violations of the Eighth Amendment. See Plaintiffs' Brief at 16-17 (detailing problems with respect to foot problems of Plaintiffs, Brooks and Darryl Rouse ("Rouse")). Finally, Plaintiffs allege that the constitutionally deficient medical care was the result of the Defendants' deliberate indifference to Plaintiffs' serious medical needs. See Second Amend. Compl. at ¶¶ 24, 64-66.

Plaintiffs' second claim is that the Defendants have failed to provide adequate medical care and thereby reasonably accommodate their medical needs and have precluded them from participating in various prison programs, a violation of the American with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (the "ADA") See Second Amend. Compl. at ¶¶ 72-74, Rouse I, slip op. at 16-17 (alleging services to which Plaintiffs claim to have been denied access); but see Plaintiffs' Brief at 38-39.

The Court may exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' claims under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343(a)(3-4). See Examining Bd. of Engineers, Architects & Surveyors v. Flores de Otero, 426 U.S. 572, 574, 96 S.Ct. 2264, 2268, 49 L.Ed.2d 65 (1976) (noting complement between section 1983 and section currently codified in section 1343(a)(3)); Hilfirty v. Shipman, 91 F.3d 573, 577 (3d Cir.1996) (noting jurisdictional complements of 42 U.S.C. § 1983); Gares v. Willingboro Township, 90 F.3d 720, 725 (3d Cir.1996) (same).

II. Standard of Review on Motion for Summary Judgment

A party seeking summary judgment must "show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see, e.g., Orson, Inc. v. Miramax Film Corp., 79 F.3d 1358, 1366 (3d Cir.1996); Healy v. New York Life Ins. Co., 860 F.2d 1209, 1219 n. 3 (3d Cir.1988), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1098, 109 S.Ct. 2449, 104 L.Ed.2d 1004 (1989); Hersh v. Allen Prod. Co., 789 F.2d 230, 232 (3d Cir.1986); Lang v. New York Life Ins. Co., 721 F.2d 118, 119 (3d Cir.1983).

In deciding whether there is a disputed issue of material fact, the Court must view the underlying facts and draw all reasonable inferences therefrom in favor of the non-moving party. See, e.g., Pennsylvania Coal Ass'n v. Babbitt, 63 F.3d 231, 236 (3d Cir. 1995); Hancock Indus. v. Schaeffer, 811 F.2d 225, 231 (3d Cir.1987); Meyer v. Riegel Prods. Corp., 720 F.2d 303, 307 n. 2 (3d Cir.1983), cert. dismissed, 465 U.S. 1091, 104 S.Ct. 2144, 79 L.Ed.2d 910 (1984). The threshold inquiry is whether there are "any genuine factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (noting that no issue for trial exists unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict in its favor).

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In deciding whether triable issues of fact exist, Rule 56(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in relevant part:

When a motion for summary judgment is made and supported as provided in this rule, an adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but the adverse party's response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. If the adverse party does not so respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered against the adverse party.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The rule does not increase or decrease a party's ultimate burden of proof on a claim. Rather, "the determination of whether a given factual dispute requires submission to a jury must be guided by the substantive evidentiary standards that apply to the case." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255-56, 106 S.Ct. at 2513-14.

Under the rule, a movant must be awarded summary...

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6 practice notes
  • White v. Fauver, Civ.A. No. 97-5127.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • September 29, 1998
    ...risk of serious harm." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 842, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994); see also Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F.Supp. 302, 307 (D.N.J.1997) (Orlofsky, J.) Plaintiffs charge Defendants with more than just "knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm," but with the ......
  • Shedlock v. Department of Correction, SJC-09135 (MA 12/8/2004), SJC-09135
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 8, 2004
    ...view of this disputed issue prior to Pennsylvania Dep't of Corrections v. Yeskey, 524 U.S. 206 (1998) (Yeskey). Cf. Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F. Supp. 302, 316 (D.N.J. 1997) (applicability of ADA to prisons became clearly established within United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ......
  • White v. Fauver, Civil Action No. 97-5127 (D. N.J. 9/29/1998), Civil Action No. 97-5127.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • September 29, 1998
    ...despite his knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 842 (1994); see also Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F. Supp. 302, 307 (D.N.J. 1997) (Orlofsky, J.) Plaintiffs charge Defendants with more than just "knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm," but w......
  • Rouse v. Plantier, No. Civ.A. 90-3511.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
    • February 9, 1998
    ...Following this Court's decision granting in part and denying in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment, see Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F.Supp. 302 (D.N.J. 1997) (hereinafter Rouse III), Plaintiffs, representatives of a class of insulin-dependent diabetics incarcerated at the Adult Treatme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • White v. Fauver, Civ.A. No. 97-5127.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • September 29, 1998
    ...risk of serious harm." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 842, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994); see also Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F.Supp. 302, 307 (D.N.J.1997) (Orlofsky, J.) Plaintiffs charge Defendants with more than just "knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm," but with the ......
  • Shedlock v. Department of Correction, SJC-09135 (MA 12/8/2004), SJC-09135
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 8, 2004
    ...view of this disputed issue prior to Pennsylvania Dep't of Corrections v. Yeskey, 524 U.S. 206 (1998) (Yeskey). Cf. Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F. Supp. 302, 316 (D.N.J. 1997) (applicability of ADA to prisons became clearly established within United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ......
  • White v. Fauver, Civil Action No. 97-5127 (D. N.J. 9/29/1998), Civil Action No. 97-5127.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • September 29, 1998
    ...despite his knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 842 (1994); see also Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F. Supp. 302, 307 (D.N.J. 1997) (Orlofsky, J.) Plaintiffs charge Defendants with more than just "knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm," but w......
  • Rouse v. Plantier, No. Civ.A. 90-3511.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
    • February 9, 1998
    ...Following this Court's decision granting in part and denying in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment, see Rouse v. Plantier, 987 F.Supp. 302 (D.N.J. 1997) (hereinafter Rouse III), Plaintiffs, representatives of a class of insulin-dependent diabetics incarcerated at the Adult Treatme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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