United States District Court, D. New Jersey
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.
Tariq Kyam (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro
se, brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against
several defendants, including CFG Health Systems, LLC
(“CFG”) and Paul Ittoop (“Ittoop” and
with “CFG, ” “Defendants”). Am.
Compl., ECF No. 32. He alleges, among other things,
Defendants provided inadequate medical care while he was a
pretrial detainee at Hudson County Jail. Defendants moved for
summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Defs.' Mot., ECF No. 77. The Court decides the
matter on the papers without need for oral argument.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b); Local Civ. R. 78.1(b). For the reasons
set forth below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment
following facts are drawn from Defendants' Statement of
Undisputed Material Facts (“SMF”) and supporting
exhibits attached in Defendants' Motion, including a copy
of Plaintiff's deposition transcript, entries of
Plaintiff's medical records, Defendants' medical
export report, and Defendant Ittoop's sworn declaration
of non-treatment. See Defs.' SMF, ECF No. 77-27;
Defs.' Cert. of Counsel (“Defs.' Cert.”),
Exs. A-I, ECF No. 77-2. Although the Court extended the
deadline for filing opposition, ECF Nos. 82, 84, 86,
Plaintiff filed no responsive motion papers.
facts are not in dispute here. From May 29 to October 2,
2014, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Hudson County
Jail (the “Jail”) in Kearny, New Jersey.
Defs.' Cert., Ex. E at 71-72, 78; Am. Compl. ¶ 10.
CFG is a health services provider at the Jail. Defs.'
Answer ¶ 10, ECF No. 49.
arrived from Essex County Correctional Facility with orders
for medications to treat constipation and to take fluids.
Defs.' Cert., Ex. E at 5, 8. During the intake process on
May 29, 2014, Plaintiff advised medical officials on his Jail
medical history and screening questionnaire of an injured
Achilles tendon, constipation, use of a cane, and use of
prescribed medications. Id. at 5. That same day, a
nurse ordered Plaintiff be admitted to the Jail's
infirmary, id at 32, 68, to take medications for
treatment of his pre-existing constipation and Achilles
tendon pain, id. at 32-33, and to be placed on fall
precautions, id. at 33. Plaintiff then entered the
Jail's infirmary. Id. at 9, 33.
30, 2014, Dr. Ittoop wrote Plaintiff an order for a lower
bunk assignment and for Plaintiff's continued use of a
cane to aid in walking. Id. at 32. On June 2, 2014,
Plaintiff left the infirmary and arrived at his cell in the
Jail's special needs medical unit (A1 West) on
“lock up” status. Id. at 9; Defs.'
Cert., Ex. H (Deposition of Tariq Kyam) (Pl.'s
Dep.”), Oct. 4, 2018, 42:5-10, 106:1-21, 140:24-25.
around June 2, 2014, Plaintiff became injured while climbing
down from a top bunk. Pl.'s Dep. 36:8-22; 37:15-38:5.
Nobody witnessed the fall; his cellmate was asleep.
Id. at 38:6-16. While getting up from the floor,
Plaintiff “was in some pain and a little
shocked.” Id. at 38:20.
inmates must submit written requests for medical care.
Plaintiff submitted a medical request slip on July 6, 2014,
requesting medical care to treat backside pain and
inflammation; medication for headaches, backaches, and
shoulder pain; and, specific to his fall, Plaintiff was
experiencing dizziness and wanted his right hand and arm
examined. Defs.' Cert., Ex. E (Pl.'s Jail Medical
Records) at 50. He complained the fall aggravated his
previously diagnosed anal fistula and an undiagnosed injury
to his right pinky finger. Pl.'s Dep. 46:3-48:16,
received treatment for his anal discharge related to his
backside pain. Ex. E at 51. Just over two weeks later,
Plaintiff submitted a medical slip requesting treatment for
dizziness and a medical provider made notations acknowledging
the treatment request. Id. at 52-54. Two days later,
medical professionals evaluated Plaintiff and checked his
blood pressure daily for a week. Id. at 27.
Plaintiff had a follow-up visit on August 12, 2014.
Id. at 34. Medical professionals continued
monitoring Plaintiff's blood pressure, prescribed
medication for dizziness (Antivert), and entered orders for
diagnostic testing (an EKG) and lab work, id. at
11-14, 15, 34. Plaintiff's interdisciplinary progress
notes contained orders for a follow-up appointment.
Id. at 34, 47-48. Apart from planned treatments,
Jail medical staff also responded, on August 13, 2014, to a
“Code White” when Plaintiff complained of
experiencing a racing heartbeat and dizziness while
showering. Id. at 42. Plaintiff was then assigned to
the cardiac chronic care clinic and prescribed HCTZ (a
diuretic) for hypertension. Id. at 35, 43; Pl.'s
Dep. 69:23-71:22. He remained there through his time at the
Jail until October 2014.
must grant summary judgment when “there is no genuine
issue of material fact and if, viewing the facts in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party, the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Pearson
v. Component Tech. Corp., 247 F.3d 471, 482 n.1 (3d Cir.
2001) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986)); accord Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).
There is a genuine issue of material fact when “the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party, ” which “might
affect the out-come of the suit under governing law.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the
absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. See
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. If the movant meets this
burden, it then shifts to the non-moving party who must
produce evidence sufficient to satisfy the elements of the
claim. See United States v. Donovan, 661 F.3d 174,
185 (3d Cir. 2011). “A nonmoving party may not
‘rest upon mere allegations, general denials, or . . .
vague statements.” Trap Rock Indus., Inc. v. Local
825, Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs, 982 F.2d
884, 890 (3d Cir. 1992) (quoting Quiroga v. Hasbro,
Inc., 934 F.2d 497, 500 (3d Cir. 1991)). When the
non-moving party cannot show a genuine dispute about a
necessary element of a claim on which it bears the burden of
proof at trial, then the court must grant the moving party
summary judgment. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23.