The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDA WOLFSON, Magistrate Judge
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.] OPINION
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant David Owen's
Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.
Plaintiff Michael Alford alleges violations of his Fourteenth
Amendment rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for inadequate
medical care at Camden County Correctional Facility ("CCCF") and
Defendants' failure to protect him from other inmates. This Court
has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. For the reasons
discussed herein, the Court grants Defendant's Motion in its
entirety, and will grant summary judgment sua sponte to
Officers Joe Doe (1-10).*fn1 I. BACKGROUND
Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Camden County
Correctional Facility ("CCCF") in Camden, N.J., on April 21,
2001, the date of the incident that is the subject of Plaintiff's
Complaint. Deposition of Michael Alford, Exhibit 4 to Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment ("Def. Exh.") at 6:16-24. Plaintiff
shared a cell in the 5 South "E" block with two other inmates,
Roger Thornton and Miguel Figueroa. Certification of Sergeant
Kenneth Cunningham, Def. Exh. 5, at ¶ 4. The cell contained a
bunk bed, which was occupied by Thornton and Figueroa; Plaintiff
slept on a mattress on the floor. Id. at 19:3-13. At the time
of the incident, Plaintiff had lived in this cell for
approximately a month. Id. at 18:4-16. Plaintiff got along well
with Thornton and Figueroa, and was teaching Thornton how to
read. Id. at 19:23-20:5; 21:1-18.
On the morning of April 2, 2001, Thornton awoke early to watch
television in the day room adjacent to the cell. Id. at
21:21-22:6. Plaintiff claims that Thornton often woke up early,
but that he and Figueroa slept until around lunch time. Id. at
22:1-2. Plaintiff alleges that on that morning he was having
trouble sleeping because of the noise of the television. Id. at
22:6-12. Plaintiff claims that he asked Thornton to turn the
volume on the television down, but that Thornton became very
defensive and refused to lower the volume. Id. at 22:9-23:17.
Plaintiff tried to fall back asleep, but a few minutes later got
up from bed, went into the day room, lowered the volume, and
returned to bed. Id. at 23:19-22. A few minutes later Thornton
raised the volume again and then argued with Plaintiff about the
television. Id. at 23:22-24. At no time during these events did
Plaintiff attempt to complain to any of the prison guards or
staff. Id. at 88:2-14; 90:2-24.
Once the volume was turned up, Plaintiff decided to get up
because he was unable to sleep. Id. at 25:17-19. Plaintiff
washed up, got dressed, and then sat down in a chair in the day
room to watch television with Thornton. Id. at 23:19-25;
24:1-16; 25:19-26:8. Plaintiff alleges that Thornton then left
the day room and went back into the cell, without speaking to
Plaintiff. Id. at 27:16-19. A few minutes after Thornton left,
Plaintiff lowered the volume on the television and continued to
watch it. Id.
Thornton returned to the room where Plaintiff was watching
television, walked directly up to him, and began punching
Plaintiff repeatedly. Id. at 28:1-30:23. Plaintiff wrapped his
arms around Thornton and pushed him into the wall under the
television. Id. at 31:1-20. With his head in Thornton's chest,
still fighting, Plaintiff heard a gritting sound and felt
Thornton bite down on his ear. Id. at 31:21-34:21.
Plaintiff cried out in pain, causing the other inmates to watch
what was happening. Id. at 38:15-25. Inmates banged on the
doors to get a correctional officer to come break up the fight.
Id. at 39:5-9. Approximately two to three minutes later,
Officer Manuel Rolon came to the cell and separated Plaintiff and
Thornton. Id. at 39:12-23. As Rolon approached the cell, other
inmates told Plaintiff that Thornton had bitten his ear off.
Id. at 40:17-41:3. Plaintiff felt his ear, saw he was bleeding,
and discovered that Thornton had bitten part of his ear off.
Id. at 41:4-6; 41:24-42:2.
Plaintiff began looking down to search for the piece of his ear
that was missing. Id. at 41:7-11. Officer Rolon grabbed
Plaintiff by the arm and told him that he needed to be taken to
medical department. Id. at 42:18-43:3. Plaintiff pushed away
from Rolon, saying that he needed to search for his ear. Id. at 43:15-18. Rolon grabbed Plaintiff
again, this time not letting him go, and insisted that Plaintiff
go to the medical department. Id. at 44:14-45:1. After
continuing to look down for his ear for a minute or two,
Plaintiff went with Officer Rolon to the medical department.
Id. at 46:1-6.
After being examined by a doctor in the medical department,
Plaintiff was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden.
Id. at 51:20-53:2. At the hospital, the remaining part of his
ear was stitched up. Id. at 53:7-12. The doctor who treated
Plaintiff at the hospital recommended that he see Dr. Scott Busch
the next day for his injuries. Id. at 55:21-22; 56:8-12. The
officer accompanying Plaintiff informed the doctor that there is
a required procedure to be followed before making an appointment.
Id. at 56:13-15. Plaintiff was taken back to CCCF that day and
housed in the medical block. Id. at 57:8-14. Plaintiff was
given a disciplinary report as a result of the incident. Id. at
57:15-17. He attended a disciplinary hearing a few days later,
where he was found guilty of having an "altercation." Id. at
Sergeant Kenneth Cunningham was on duty the day of the incident
and was informed by Officer Rolon that he was taking Plaintiff to
the medical department. Def. Exh. 5 at ¶ 2. After another
sergeant who was on duty told him the details of the incident,
Cunningham went to the block where the incident took place and
found Figueroa outside his cell searching for the ear. Id. at ¶
3, ¶ 4. Figueroa told Cunningham that Thornton had "bit off
Michael's ear and ate it." Id. at ¶ 5. Cunningham asked
Thornton about it and searched his mouth for signs of the ear.
Id. at ¶¶ 5-6. He then searched the cell area, the day room,
and the area between the security grates and the windows in the
day room with Rolon and two investigators from the Internal
Affairs department. Id. at ¶ 8-13. None of them found any sign
of Plaintiff's ear. Id. Several days later, Plaintiff was taken to Dr. Busch. Def. Exh.
4 at 64:15-19. Dr. Busch said that cartilage would be taken from
Plaintiff's ribs and used to construct a new ear, but that the
ear needed to heal for a month before any reconstructive surgery
could be done. Id. at 64:21-65:10. Busch told Plaintiff that
the reconstruction process would take up to a year. Id. at
65:10-11. Plaintiff went back to Dr. Busch to have the stitches
in his ear removed approximately nine or ten days later. Id. at
66:20-67:4. Plaintiff was told by Dr. Busch that the work that
would be done depended on how much county insurance would cover.
Id. at 67:16-19.
Plaintiff had his first surgery at Cooper Hospital
approximately a year after the incident in 2002. Id. at
69:13-14; 69:14-18. A second surgery was performed the same year,
and a third surgery was performed around a year after the first.
Id. at 71:1-72:10. Following the surgeries, Plaintiff has
undergone daily treatments where the ear is flushed with peroxide
and saline to prevent infection. Id. at 76:6-18. Plaintiff has
had infections in his ear since the surgeries. Id. at
72:25-73:8. Because infected sections of the ear continuously
have to be removed, there is a possibility that future surgeries
will be required. Id. at 73:9-11.
Prior to his surgeries, Plaintiff had intense pain in his ear,
but no problem hearing out of the ear. Id. at 75:8; 81:18-82:4.
Following the surgeries, Plaintiff's pain has not been as
intense. Id. However, Plaintiff claims that the daily treatment
is painful. Id. at 75:21-24. Additionally, he gets occasional,
intense headaches that feel like a throbbing in his ear. Id. at
76:24-77:7. He cannot sleep on his side without pain from the
ear. Id. at 75:14-18; 78:4-9. Plaintiff also complains of a
constant ringing sound from the affected ear. Id. at 74:8-75:8.
Plaintiff also claims that he suffered emotional injuries prior
to his surgery because of the embarrassment of having only one
ear and ridicule from the other inmates. Id. at 82:9-83:14. II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint on February 24, 2003,
naming as Defendants Joe Doe (1-10), Officers at CCCF; and David
S. Owen, Jr., Warden of CCCF.*fn2 On March 12, 2003, the
Court granted Plaintiff's application for in forma pauperis
status. Defendants initially filed their Motion for Summary
Judgment on July 30, 2004. On January 19, 2005, the Court denied
without Prejudice Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment because
Defendants had failed to provide ...