The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOSEPH GREENAWAY, District Judge
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.] OPINION
This matter comes before the Court on the motion for summary
judgment of Defendants Grace Rogers and Angel Santiago
("Defendant Rogers" and "Defendant Santiago"), pursuant to Rule
56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendant argues that
Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed with prejudice because
Plaintiff is unable to maintain a cause of action as to Defendant
Rogers, pursuant to Section 1983, and because Plaintiff's
complaint fails to state a colorable claim alleging that
Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's
serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth
In 1988, David Riggs ("Plaintiff" or "Riggs") was convicted of
criminal attempt aggravated sexual assault, burglary, and
possession of a weapon. (Affadivit of Angel Santiago ("Santiago
Aff.") Ex. A.) Prior to his release date, Plaintiff was
evaluated, and on February 15, 2000, he was deemed a sexually
violent predator and was civilly and involuntarily committed to
the Special Treatment Unit ("STU" or "Unit") in Kearny, New
Jersey, pursuant to the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act
("SVPA"). N.J. STAT. ANN. § 30:4-27.24 et seq. (Santiago Aff.
Ex. A.) The SVPA allows involuntary commitment of those deemed
"individuals who commit sex offenses, suffer from mental
abnormalities or personality disorders which make them likely to
engage in repeat acts of predatory sexual violence if not treated
for their mental conditions." N.J. STAT. ANN. § 30:4-27.25(a).
The Department of Corrections ("DOC") is responsible for the
custody, care, and treatment of committed individuals. N.J. STAT.
ANN. § 30:4-27.34(a). Defendants Rogers and Santiago were the
Administrator and Assistant Superintendent of the Adult
Diagnostic and Treatment Center of the STU, respectively, at the
time Plaintiff was committed to the Unit. (Affadavit of Grace
Rogers ("Rogers Aff.") ¶ 1; Santiago Aff. ¶ 1.)
The DOC has entered into an agreement with Correctional Medical
Services ("CMS"), a private contract vendor, whereby CMS provides
medical services for STU residents. (Santiago Aff. ¶ 5.)
In August 2001, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Bharatkumar Patel, a
CMS physician. (Complaint ("Compl."), ¶ 5.) Plaintiff alleges
that he complained to Dr. Patel of chest pains and symptoms
related to coronary artery disease. (Id.) Sometime thereafter,
Plaintiff contends that Dr. Patel scheduled a cardiac consultation with Dr. Jeferi
of Hamilton Specialists. In October 2001, Plaintiff visited Dr.
Jeferi, who ordered a cardiac stress test and cardiac
catherterization. (Id.) Plaintiff received a cardiac stress test
in December of 2001. (Brief and Appendix on Behalf of State Defs.
("Defs.' App.," Ex. D.).)
On March 14, 2002, Joan D. Van Pelt, Plaintiff's court
appointed counsel, wrote to Defendant Santiago, inquiring about
the DOC's delay in providing the cardiac catheterization that Dr.
Jeferi had ordered, and requesting that the DOC schedule the
procedure immediately. (Compl. ¶ 5; Santiago Aff. Ex. C,
(explaining, "[i]t is now almost 6 months later and the procedure
has not been scheduled. It is my understanding that [the DOC] is
responsible for providing medical care to the STU residents.").)
(Id.) In May 2002, Plaintiff alleges that he asked Defendant
Santiago to inform him as to when the cardiac catheterization
would be ordered.*fn2
On August 7, 2002, Plaintiff submitted a written grievance,
alleging that Defendant Santiago ignored his repeated requests to
schedule a cardiac catheterization in compliance with Dr.
Jeferi's order. (Defs.' App., Ex. C.) Plaintiff's written
grievance states that it contained enclosures including a copy of
the letter from Ms. Van Pelt and Dr. Jeferi's order. (Id.)
Plaintiff's grievance notes that CMS reported no knowledge of Dr.
Jeferi's order. (Id.) The grievance form further indicates that
it was forwarded to DOC on August 9, 2002. (Id.) Defendants
contend that the form was forwarded "to medical" in September
2002. (Id.) The Residents' Guide to the STU, which each resident receives
upon arrival, states, "[a]ll responses to grievances will be made
to the resident within 30 days, and the responses will be in
writing. If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of
the resident, the grievance can be forwarded to Unit's Clinical
Director, or Administrator for final resolution of the
complaint." (Defs.' App., Ex. B.)
St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, New Jersey admitted
Plaintiff for a cardiac catheterization on November 19, 2002.
(Defs.' App., Ex. D.) The procedure revealed irregularities with
eighty to ninety percent stenosis. (Id.) Due to Plaintiff's heart
condition, Dr. Jay K. Patel performed an angioplasty with
placement of two stents. St. Francis Medical Center discharged
Plaintiff on November 22, 2002. (Id.)
This matter is before this Court on Defendants Grace Rogers and
Angel Santiago's motion for summary judgment, pursuant to FED. R.
CIV. P. 56. Plaintiff argues that the parties have not yet
conducted preliminary discovery and thus, urges this Court to
apply the standard under Rule 12(b)(6).*fn3 On a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, pursuant
to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6), the court is required to accept as
true all allegations in the complaint and all reasonable
inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and to view them in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Oshiver v.
Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384 (3d Cir.
1994). A complaint should be dismissed only if the alleged facts,
taken as true, fail to state a claim. See In re Warfarin
Sodium, 214 F.3d 395, 397-98 (3d Cir. 2000). The question is
whether the claimant can prove any set of facts consistent with
his or her allegations that will entitle him or her to relief,
not whether that person will ultimately prevail. Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974); Semerenko v. Cendant Corp.,
223 F.3d 165, 173 (3d Cir. 2000). While a court will accept
well-pled allegations as true for the purposes of the motion, it
will not accept bald assertions, unsupported conclusions,
unwarranted inferences, or sweeping legal conclusions cast in the
form of factual allegations. Morse v. Lower Merion School
District, 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). "The pleader is
required to `set forth sufficient information to outline the
elements of his claim or to permit inferences to be drawn that
these elements exist.'" Kost v. Kozakewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d
Cir. 1993) (quoting 5A Wright & Miller, Fed. Practice &
Procedure: Civil 2d § 1357).
Summary judgment is appropriate under FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c)
when the moving party demonstrates that there is no genuine issue
of material fact and the evidence establishes the moving party's
entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986); Orson, Inc. v. Miramax
Film Corp., 79 F.3d 1358, 1366 (3d Cir. 1996). In making this
determination, the Court must draw all reasonable inferences in
favor of the non-movant. Hullett v. Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby, Inc., 38 F.3d 107,
111 (3d Cir. 1994); Nat'l State Bank v. Fed. Reserve Bank of
N.Y., 979 F.2d 1579, 1581 (3d Cir. 1992).
Once the moving party has satisfied its initial burden, the
party opposing the motion must establish that a genuine issue as
to a material fact exists. Jersey Cent. Power & Light Co. v.
Lacey Township, 772 F.2d 1103, 1109 (3d Cir. 1985). The party
opposing the motion for summary judgment cannot rest on mere
allegations and instead must present actual evidence that creates
a genuine issue as to a material fact for trial. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Siegel Transfer,
Inc. v. Carrier Express, Inc., 54 F.3d 1125, 1130-31 (3d Cir.
1995). "[U]nsupported allegations . . . and pleadings are
insufficient to repel summary judgment." Schoch v. First Fid.
Bancorporation, 912 F.2d 654, 657 (3d Cir. 1990).
If the nonmoving party has failed "to make a showing sufficient
to establish the existence of an element essential to that
party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of
proof at trial, . . . there can be `no genuine issue of material
fact,' since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all
other facts immaterial." Katz v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co.,
972 F.2d 53, 55 (3d Cir. 1992) (quoting Celotex,
477 U.S. at 322-23). In determining whether there are any issues of material
fact, the Court must resolve all doubts as to the existence of a
material fact against the moving ...