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Robert N. Shaver, Iii v. Cfg Healthcare

September 2, 2011

ROBERT N. SHAVER, III, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CFG HEALTHCARE, GARY MERLINE, L. DAVENPORT, THOMAS, ATLANTIC: COUNTY JAIL STAFF, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

OPINION

Plaintiff, Robert N. Shaver, III, a pro se inmate, brings suit against Defendants, CFG Health Systems, L.L.C. (or, "CFG"), the medical provider for the Atlantic County Justice Facility (or, "ACJF"), Luanne Davenport, a CFG nurse, and Gary Merline and Sean Thomas, former wardens of the ACJF (collectively, "Defendants"). Shaver alleges defendants violated the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution when he contracted certain diseases, including tuberculosis (or, "TB"), while an inmate at the ACJF. In particular, Shaver alleges that his infections resulted from the unsanitary conditions and design of the prison and that prison officials and medical providers refused to provide him with necessary medical treatment. In response to Shaver's claims, Defendants move for summary judgment.

For the reasons expressed below, Defendants' motions for summary judgment are granted.

I. JURISDICTION

Plaintiff has brought his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiff's federal claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

II. BACKGROUND

At the time of his allegations, Robert N. Shaver, III, was an inmate in the Atlantic County Justice Facility in the State of New Jersey.*fn1 During his incarceration at the prison, Shaver had been placed in overcrowded facilities with other inmates.*fn2 Due to the congestion and unhealthy conditions of the prison, including the uncleaned ventilation system, Shaver purportedly contracted latent TB and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus ("MRSA").

Nurse Luanne Davenport conducted a skin test on Shaver and discovered a lump, seven millimeters in size, on Shaver's arm. Drawing from the examination, Davenport informed Shaver that he tested positive for having come into contact with tuberculosis. After relaying this information to Shaver, Davenport threw him out of her office and refused to provide him with any treatment or medication for latent TB. However, Davenport scheduled Shaver for an X-ray. Shaver submitted to an X-ray examination, for which he tested negative.

In or around July 2009, Shaver filed suit in this Court against Defendants, alleging violations to his Eighth Amendment rights. In particular, Shaver alleges that Defendants failed to protect his health and provide him with necessary medical treatment for TB. Additionally, Shaver avers that the medical staff did not inform him that he had MRSA. Shaver attributes his infections to the correctional facility's overcrowded prison population, unsanitary conditions, and faulty structural design.

In or around January 2011, CFG and Nurse Davenport (collectively, "Healthcare Defendants") moved for summary judgment against Shaver's claims. Soon thereafter, Gary Merline and Sean Thomas, former wardens of ACJF (collectively, "Warden Defendants"), also moved for summary judgment.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).

An issue is "genuine" if it is supported by evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is "material" if, under the governing substantive law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the suit. Id. In considering a motion for summary judgment, a district court may not make credibility determinations or engage in any weighing of the evidence; instead, the nonmoving party's evidence "is to be believed and all justifiable ...


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