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Green v. Mazzone

July 19, 2002

CHARLES GREEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WARDEN FRANK MAZZONE, DR. MARVIN ROTH, MS. CAROL LOLLER, AND MS. DIANE NORTH, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irenas, District Judge

OPINION

Presently before the Court is the motion for summary judgment of Defendants Frank Mazzone, Marvin Roth, Carol Loller, and Diane North, in this action. Plaintiff Charles Green, an inmate formerly incarcerated at the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing, New Jersey, asserts that several employees of the ACJF were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, in violation of the Eight Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion will be granted.

I.

In 1996, Plaintiff *fn1 was initially incarcerated at Ely State Prison in Nevada. On July 16, 1998, Plaintiff was diagnosed with "lateral subluxation of both patellas" and treated with cortisone injections. (Pl. Ex. W-1, Attached to Pl. Answer to Def. Mot. for Summary Judgment). Lateral subluxation of the patella is an "incomplete or partial dislocation" of the knee cap. (Dorland's Medical Dictionary, 28th Edition). In January 1999, Plaintiff was released from Ely State Prison and traveled to New Jersey.

On January 24, 1999, Plaintiff was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant and incarcerated at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, in Mays Landing, New Jersey. The Plaintiff's intake physical examination report noted his statement concerning the arthritic condition in his knees. On February 10, 1999, Plaintiff was treated for complaints of a sore throat and tingling in his toes, feet, back, and head. On February 21, 1999, Plaintiff again received treatment for tingling in his extremities and head pain. On March 17, 1999, Plaintiff requested treatment for shoulder and knee pain. In response to this request, X-rays were performed on Plaintiff's shoulder and Motrin was prescribed to address the knee pain. (Pl. Ex. A-1). A few days later, in response to the Plaintiff's request, additional pain medication was prescribed for shoulder and knee pain.

On March 29, 1999, Plaintiff sought treatment for knee pain, at which time he specifically requested x-rays and expressed his willingness to pay for the procedure. (Pl. Answer to Def. Mot. for Summary Judgment). The request for x-rays was refused, and Dr. Roth, the treating physician at the facility, instead prescribed Motrin. (Pl. Ex. A-1). On April 4, 1999, Plaintiff received treatment from Dr. Roth for nasal congestion. On April 17, 1999, Plaintiff sought treatment for shoulder and knee pain, and received treatment a few days later. At that time, Dr. Roth again prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and requested the release of Plaintiff's medical records from the Nevada State Prison. (Pl. Ex. A-1).

On April 26, 1999 Plaintiff sent a complaint to Warden Mazzone, stating that Dr. Roth was denying him medical treatment for his knee pain. (Pl. Ex. T-1). Plaintiff contends that Warden Mazzone never responded to this complaint. (Pl. Answer to Def. Mot. for Summary Judgment). Throughout the last week in April 1999, Plaintiff received treatment from Dr. Roth for a facial abscess, but was not treated for knee pain.

On April 30, 1999, Plaintiff sent a complaint to Diane North *fn2 stating that Dr. Roth was denying him treatment for his knee pain. (Pl. Ex. T-2). Plaintiff contends that North never responded to his complaint. After Plaintiff requested treatment for knee pain on at least two occasions at the beginning of May, Dr. Roth ordered x-rays on the Plaintiff's knees. (Pl. Ex. A-2). On May 19, 1999, Dr. Roth evaluated Plaintiff's x-rays and concluded that the x-rays showed no signs of arthritis. (Pl. Ex. I-1). Plaintiff contends that after he was informed of this diagnosis, he asked Dr. Roth about the possibility of performing further tests, to which Roth responded, "no, who is going to pay for it?" (Green Dep., at 23, Attached to Def. Mot.). Only a few days later, on May 25, 1999, Plaintiff filed a medical request seeking treatment for knee pain. From May 25 through June 1, 1999, Defendant Loller, a nurse at the facility, unsuccessfully attempted to obtain Plaintiff's medical records from the Nevada State Prison.

On May 29, 1999, in response to Plaintiff's medical requests seeking treatment for knee pain, Nurse Loller informed Plaintiff that he would not receive treatment because Dr. Roth had not received the Nevada medical records. On June 1, 1999, Plaintiff filed a medical request seeking treatment for knee pain and was seen by Dr. Roth. On June 3, 1999, Plaintiff filed a medical request seeking treatment for pain in both knees but did not receive treatment. On June 7, 1999, Plaintiff was treated for a pulled neck muscle.

On June 12, 16, & 17, 1999, Plaintiff received treatment from Dr. Roth for a nodule. On June 23, 1999, Plaintiff was treated by Dr. Roth and prescribed medication in response to complaints of arm swelling and pain. Beginning in late June and continuing through early July, Plaintiff received treatment from Dr. Roth for a facial abscess. On July 8, 1999, Plaintiff received treatment in response to persistent knee pain and Dr. Roth prescribed 800 mg of Motrin. (Def. Ex. D). On July 17, 1999, Plaintiff was seen by Nurse Loller in response to his request for treatment of a developing rash.

On July 22, 1999, in response to the Plaintiff's request for medical treatment for arm pain and a developing nodule, Plaintiff received treatment from Nurse Loller and was prescribed medication to address the pain and swelling. On July 28, 1999, Plaintiff filed a medical request seeking additional Motrin and vitamins, however, it is unclear whether he received these prescriptions. On August 5, 1999, Plaintiff received treatment in response to his complaints from the previous day of arm pain and a developing abscess. At this time, Dr. Roth prescribed 800 mg of Motrin and other medications. On August 7, 1999, Plaintiff received treatment for irritation and pain in his ear.

On August 17, 1999, Plaintiff was released from the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Plaintiff contends that Dr. Roth did not perform a physical examination of his knees at any point during his treatment, and refused to run further tests after he concluded that the x-rays showed no sign of arthritis. (Pl. Ans. to Def. Mot).

On January 13, 2000, Plaintiff was re-incarcerated at the Atlantic County Justice Facility. On June 24, 2000, Plaintiff was transferred to Bayside Prison. Soon after arriving at this facility, Plaintiff received a number of treatments for knee pain. On October 17, 2000, Plaintiff was referred to an orthopedist who reviewed the original x-rays taken during the Plaintiff's incarceration in Nevada. On November 29, 2000, the orthopedist, Dr. Okezie, examined Plaintiff and ordered x-rays. After reviewing the new x-rays, Dr. Okezie diagnosed the Plaintiff with an arthritic condition in his knees that caused his patella to conjugate ...


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