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Archy v. Connections CSP Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 25, 2019

AARON ARCHY, Plaintiff,
v.
CONNECTIONS CSP, INC., Defendant.

          Aaron Archy, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware; Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Dana Spring Monzo, Esquire, and Roopa Sabesan, Esquire, White & Williams, Wilmington, Delaware, Counsel for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Aaron Archy, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. (D.I. 51, 63). Briefing is complete

         BACKGROUND

         Connections became the medical service contract provider for the Delaware Department of Correction on June 1, 2014, replacing the former medical service contract provider Correct Care Solutions, whose contract was set to expire on June 30, 2014.[1] (D.I. 64 at 30-31, 45-46). It appears there was a one-month transition period. According to Defendant, during the transition and until the end of June 2014, Correct Care Solutions continued to provide medical care to inmates at Delaware Department of Correction prisons. (D.I. 63 at 2, n.1).

         Plaintiff was injured on June 11, 2014, either during a fight with another inmate or from punching a wall. (D.I. 4 at ¶ 9; D.I. 53 at 5; D.I. 64 at 9). Plaintiff submitted a sick call slip that day and requested treatment for a broken knuckle. (D.I. 53 at 5; D.I. 64 at 9). Plaintiff was seen the next day by a nurse practitioner, who examined Plaintiffs right knuckles, noted moderate swelling and bruising, prescribed Motrin for ten days, and placed a request to schedule Plaintiff for a follow up evaluation by a provider. (D.I. 53 at 5, 7; D.I. 64 at 9). Plaintiff rated his pain level at six out often. (D.I. 53 at 5; D.I. 64 at 9).

         The next morning, the pain had worsened and the hand was badly swollen. (D.I. 4 ¶ 2). On June 25, 2014, Plaintiff submitted another sick call slip and asked for an x-ray of his right hand. (D.I. 53 at 6; D.I. 64 at 8). He was seen on June 27, 2014, and medical staff observed that Plaintiffs right hand was swollen, and he had a limited range of motion. (Id.). Plaintiff rated his pain at four out of ten. (Id.). Medical staff prescribed Motrin and ordered an x-ray of the right hand. (D.I. 53 at 6-7; D.I. 64 at 5, 8). (Id.). The x-ray request is on a Correct Care Solutions form. (D.I. 53 at 9).

         On July 22, 2014, Plaintiff submitted another sick call slip for medical attention and an x-ray. (D.I. 53 at 11; D.I. 64 at 7). The x-ray was scheduled and took place on July 25, 2014. (D.I. 53 at 10, 11, 13, 206; D.I. 64 at 7, 69). The x-ray revealed a fracture of the right fourth metacarpal with slight displacement. (D.I. 53 at 20). Written on the x-ray report is "schedule to see provider (indecipherable initials) 8/21/14." (Id.). Plaintiff submitted a sick call slip on August 19, 2014, to review the x-ray results and further medical care. (D.I. 53 at 12, 14; D.I. 64 at 6). On August 21, 2014, Plaintiff was seen by medical staff who contacted the provider to schedule an x-ray review. (D.I. 53 at21;D.I. 64at6).

         On September 6, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a medical grievance and asked to see a physician, requested the x-ray results, and complained that his knuckle was disfigured. (D.I. 64 at 64). The grievance investigation found that Dr. Louise DesRosiers had reviewed the x-ray results on August 21, 2014 and ordered that Plaintiff be seen by an outside medical provider. (D.I. 4 at 9). Nurse Practitioner Bernard Addogoh was made aware of this on September 26, 2014, and ordered a repeat x-ray of the right hand. (D.I. 4 at 9; D.I. 53 at 19, 21). Medical notes indicate that because the July 25, 2014 x-ray was two months old, a repeat x-ray would be scheduled. (D.I. 53 at 23, D.I. 64 at 16). At the same time, Plaintiff was scheduled to see a provider on September 30, 2014. (D.I. 53 at 21). The charge nurse noted that Plaintiff "still has not been seen." (D.I. 53 at 23; D.I. 64 at 16).

         The repeat x-ray was taken on September 29, 2014. (D.I. 53 at 23, D.I. 64 at 16). It showed an angulated fracture of the fourth metacarpal with moderate to complete healing. (D.I. 53 at 17, D.I. 64 at 16). Dr. DesRosiers was unable to see Plaintiff on September 29, 2014, and rescheduled him. (D.I. 53 at 23; D.I. 64 at 16). Plaintiff was seen by Dr. DesRosiers on October 7, 2014. (Id.). At that time, Plaintiff indicated that he no longer had pain and could use the hand almost normally. (Id.). He was able to do push ups but stopped upon a nurse's advice. (Id.). Examination revealed normal range of movement, normal fist, normal extension but instability at metacarpal/phalangeal joint. (Id.) Dr. DesRosiers made an assessment of healed angulated fracture of the right fourth metacarpal and metacarpal/phalangeal joint instability. (Id.). She scheduled Plaintiff for a follow up consult with board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard DuShuttle. (D.I. 53 at 23; D.I. 64 at 4, 16, 70).

         Plaintiff was seen by Dr. DuShuttle on October 16, 2014. (Id. D.I. 53 at 26; D.I. 64 3, 15). Plaintiff presented with complaints of pain, instability, stiffness and decreased range of motion. (Id.). Plaintiff complained of symptoms that occur constantly, are severe and unchanged, and described the pain as sharp and dull, but not radiating. (Id.).

         Dr. DuShuttle's review of the x-ray found that the fracture had healed. (Id. at 3). His examination of the right hand found a full range of motion, good grip strength, sensation of finger intact, positive active dip (i.e., distal interphalangeal joint) motion fourth finger, positive active pip (i.e., proximal interphalangeal) motion fourth finger, and positive full ringer range of motion. (Id.). In addition, examination of the right hand indicated it was negative for: trigger finger, locking finger, dorsal redness, palmar redness, locking fourth finger, extension lag pip joint further finger, pain fourth finger, finger sensation deficit, deformity fourth finger, and swelling of the fourth finger. (Id.). Dr. DuShuttle determined that no medication or further care was needed. (Id.).

         Connections Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christopher Moen reviewed Plaintiff's medical records. (Id. at 69). Based upon his review, he determined that Plaintiff sustained no permanent injuries to his hand. (Id. at 70). He stated that that "it is consistent with the standard of care for Dr. DesRosiers to refer Plaintiff to an orthopaedic specialist, such ...


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