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Stanley Cook v. Rajiv K. Shah

December 28, 2010

STANLEY COOK,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RAJIV K. SHAH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle U.S. District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION APPEARANCES:

STANLEY COOK, #266122B, Plaintiff Pro Se South Woods State Prison 215 Burlington Road South Bridgeton, NJ 08302 SIMANDLE, District Judge:

Stanley Cook, a prisoner incarcerated at South Woods State Prison, seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Based on his affidavit of poverty, prison account statement and the apparent absence of three qualifying dismissals, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), this Court will grant Plaintiff Crymes's application to proceed in forma pauperis and direct the Clerk to file the Complaint, as amended, without prepayment of the filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).*fn1 Having reviewed Plaintiff's allegations, this Court will dismiss the federal claims raised in the Complaint, as amended, without prejudice to the filing of an amended complaint, and decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over claims arising under state law.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this action against Dr. Rajiv K. Shah, Dr. Abu Ahsan, Dr. Ihuoma Nwachukwu, Lisa Renee Mills, Correctional Medical Services ("CMS"), the contract provider of medical services for state inmates, South Woods State Prison ("SWSP"), and New Jersey Department of Corrections. He asserts the following facts, which allegedly occurred while he was confined at SWSP. In June 2007 nurse Mills visually examined Plaintiff when a corrections officer sent Plaintiff to the infirmary as a result of Plaintiff's experiencing sharp abdominal pain and bleeding from the rectum. Defendant Mills concluded that the bleeding was due to hemorrhoids and that the abdominal pain may have been caused by constipation; Mills prescribed a laxative and anal lubrication, and sent Plaintiff back to his unit.

Plaintiff asserts that he submitted medical request slips advising medical staff of continued bleeding and, later in June, Dr. Abu Ahsan conducted a full examination and diagnosed a cancerous polyp in the lower area of the rectum. Various medical officials continued to see Plaintiff in July and August. Plaintiff asserts that these officials treated him with laxatives and anal lubricants. Plaintiff alleges that in mid-August Plaintiff was transported to St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, New Jersey. After conducting a full examination, Dr. Rajiv K. Shah, a physician employed by CMS to conduct surgery on inmates at St. Francis, concluded that Plaintiff had a cancerous polyp in the rectum. Dr. Shah scheduled Plaintiff for an MRI and a consultation with a specialist and sent Plaintiff back to SWSP. Plaintiff asserts that he continued to experience bleeding and pain, and Mills continued to treat him with laxatives and anal lubricants.

Plaintiff asserts that on August 29, 2007, he was seen by specialist Dr. Gersten who ordered a colonoscopy and a CAT scan of the abdomen and pelvis. Plaintiff alleges that the colonoscopy, which was performed on October 3, 2007, showed a large mass; the biopsy revealed that Plaintiff suffered with invasive adenocarcinoma, moderately differentiated; and the CAT scan showed thickening of the rectal wall and a lesion in the end of Plaintiff's large intestine (not his rectum, as diagnosed by Dr. Ahsan.) Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Gersten recommended immediate exploratory surgery, which was initially scheduled for December 2, 2007, but postponed until December 15, 2007, because officials at SWSP failed to follow the pre-surgery preparations,i.e., give Plaintiff the prescribed pre-operative diet, administer prescribed colon cleansing medication, and advise Plaintiff he had to fast the prior evening.

Plaintiff alleges that on December 17, 2007, Dr. Shah performed surgery at St. Francis Medical Center, discovered 11 cancerous polyps in the large intestine, and removed the large intestines in full. Plaintiff states that he spent five days in St. Francis and on December 21, 2007, he returned to the Extended Care Unit at SWSP. Plaintiff alleges that at 4 a.m. on December 22, 2007, he was awakened by abdominal pain and rectal bleeding. He asserts that the nurse who responded called Dr. Nwachukwu, who took no action that night. He alleges that the next day, Dr. Ahsan visited Plaintiff, asked Plaintiff if he was feeling better, and when Plaintiff responded "yes," Dr. Ahsan released Plaintiff from the Extended Care Unit.

Plaintiff asserts that he again experienced abdominal pain and bleeding in the evening of December 27, 2007. He alleges that the nurse telephoned Dr. Ahsan who instructed her to return Plaintiff to his cell and to take no further action until the next morning. Plaintiff asserts that the next morning he continued to experience pain and heavy bleeding, he lost consciousness, and officials transported Plaintiff to South Jersey Health Care Hospital. Plaintiff asserts that doctors administered several pints of blood and conducted numerous tests, but because they could not determine the cause of the pain and bleeding, on January 3, 2008, doctors performed exploratory surgery. Plaintiff asserts that the surgeons found that "Dr. Rajiv K. Shah, MD of CMS, who removed the plaintiff's large intestines, failed to secure three large arteries, and that this was the cause of the hemorrhaging." (Docket Entry #1, p. 11.) The surgeons secured the arteries and, on January 7, 2008, Plaintiff was transported back to the prison. He allegedly recovered fully within weeks.

Plaintiff asserts the following claims for relief:

The facts related above discloses the failure of defendant, [] Lisa Renee Mills [] to properly respond to plaintiff's serious medical condition by failing to conduct an adequate examination and order the proper tests to properly treat plaintiff's injury, which was most likely the catalyst to his debilitating condition; For mis-diagnosing plaintiff's condition for one of hemorrhoids; for continuously prescribing the wrong form of medication which was not helping plaintiff.

The facts related above disclose that Dr. Rajiv K. Shah, MD., was deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical condition by rendering sub-standard, incompetent surgery, in the failing to secure three large arteries during surgery, which caused the plaintiff weeks of excruciating pain and suffering, and almost his life.

The facts related above disclose that [Lisa Renee Mills, LP], was deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical condition by failing to conduct an adequate examination and order the proper tests to properly treat plaintiff's injury, which, was most likely the catalyst to his debilitating condition; For mis-diagnosing plaintiff's condition for one of hemorrhoids; for continuously prescribing the wrong form of medication which was not helping plaintiff.

The facts related above disclose that the defendant, Correctional Medical Services, failed to institute a policy by which doctors are available 24 hours a day to intensive care patients housed in state institutions which they provide medical care for; failing to ensure that all medical doctors they hire are competent and qualified to render[] medical services; and failing to institute policies which ensure that patients get properly prepared for surgery.

The facts related above disclose that the defendant, New Jersey Department of Corrections, failed to ensure that CMS institute a policy by which doctors are available 24 hours a day to intensive care patients housed in state institutions which they provide medical care for; failing to ensure that all medical doctors employed by CMS are competent and qualified to render[] medical services; and failing [to] ensure that CMS institute ...


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