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Chapman v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, D. Colorado

December 4, 2015

SEIFULLAH CHAPMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS; WARDEN JOHN OLIVER, in his official capacity; FRANKIE CORDOVA, MD, individually and in his official capacity; GEORGE SANTINI, MD, individually and in his official capacity; ANTHONY OSAGIE, PA, individually and in his official capacity; RONALD CAMACHO, PA, individually and in his official capacity, Defendants.

ORDER

WILEY Y. DANIEL SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the following motions: (1) Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 54), filed June 22, 2015; (2) Defendants’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment for Failure to Exhaust Rehabilitation Act Claims (ECF No. 53), filed June 22, 2015; and (3) Plaintiff’s Motion for Discovery Under Rule 56(d) (ECF No. 65), filed July 13, 2015. The pending motions are denied in part and granted in part as set forth below.

I. INTRODUCTION AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This is a prisoner civil rights lawsuit. Plaintiff Seifullah Chapman brings two claims against the Defendants: (1) a violation of the Eighth Amendment against Defendant Oliver in his official capacity and against Defendants Santini, Osagie, and Camacho[1] in their individual and official capacities; and (2) a Rehabilitation Act claim against all Defendants.

The following facts are taken from Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint (ECF No. 24), filed May 22, 2015 and the parties’ relevant submissions. Although much detail is provided in the Amended Complaint, I summarize the pertinent allegations. For purposes of determination of the motion to dismiss, I treat the allegations as true.

During the relevant time period, Plaintiff was an inmate incarcerated in solitary confinement at the U.S. Penitentiary - Administrative Maximum Security Prison (“ADX”) in Florence, Colorado. Defendant John Oliver is the Warden of ADX. Defendant George Santini, MD, is a physician employed at ADX. Defendant Anthony Osagie, PA, and Defendant Ronald Camacho, PA, are Mid-Level Practitioners at ADX.

Plaintiff suffers from a severe form of Type I diabetes that requires specialized medical care. (Am. Compl. ¶ 11). Diabetes is a metabolic condition that makes it difficult to control blood sugar. (Am. Compl. ¶ 12). According to Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) policies and procedures and community standards of care, blood sugar control is the goal of Plaintiff’s diabetes management. Therefore, Plaintiff’s blood sugar should remain between 70 and 180 milligrams per deciliter (“mg/dl”). If his blood sugar is ever outside that range, he becomes hypoglycemic, or has low blood sugar, or he becomes hyperglycemic, which means that he has high blood sugar. When Plaintiff is hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic, he is put at substantial risk of serious future harm, including loss of consciousness, diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure, blindness, stroke, heart failure, coma, and imminent death. (Am. Compl. ¶ 13).

Plaintiff claims that Defendants Osagie, Camacho, and Santini have delayed and denied him adequate medical care for his Type I diabetes. Defendants Osagie, Camacho, and Santini’s actions have prevented Plaintiff from blood sugar control, and, as a result, he suffers from worsening diabetic neuropathy (a severe form of nerve damage that can lead to decreased blood flow, ulcers, chronic infections, and death), almost daily hypoglycemia (a life-threatening condition), and frequent hyperglycemia (a painful condition). (Am. Compl. ¶ 14).

Plaintiff requires proper medication, diet, and exercise to control his blood sugar. (Am. Compl. ¶ 15). Despite a prescribed, specific dosage of insulin to administer to Plaintiff in the morning and night, on multiple occasions, Defendants Osagie and Camacho have arrived at Plaintiff’s cell with the wrong form or dosage of insulin. Furthermore, Defendants Osagie and Camacho often improperly administer the insulin. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 22-28).

Despite a prescription for sufficient medical supplies including a glucometer, lancets, and test strips to check his blood sugar along with glucose gel tubes, Defendants often fail to replenish these supplies and instead of using the BOP’s own supply, force Plaintiff to use his limited, personal supply, which inhibits his ability to manage his blood sugar. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 29-40).

BOP medical staff members, including Defendant Santini, assess the effectiveness of Plaintiff’s medication and other aspects of his diabetes management during Chronic Care appointments. (Am. Compl. ¶ 41). According to BOP policies and procedures, Plaintiff should receive at least quarterly Chronic Care appointments because of his severe form of Type I diabetes, his lack of blood sugar control, and his diabetic complications. (Am. Compl. ¶ 43). At ADX, the BOP, including Defendant Santini, provides Plaintiff with at most two Chronic Care appointments a year. Furthermore, during these infrequent appointments, Defendant Santini fails to address Plaintiff’s problems managing his diabetes. (Am. Compl. ¶ 44).

Plaintiff further alleges that he is substantially limited in his ability to eat, a major life activity, because of his severe form of Type I diabetes. (Am. Compl. ¶ 49). According to BOP policies and procedures and community standards of care, Plaintiff should eat a consistent amount of carbohydrates at each meal and have a means to identify the amount of carbohydrates in each food item in his meals, which is known as carbohydrate counting. Defendants, including Defendant Oliver, denied Plaintiff the ability to count his carbohydrates. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 50-51).

According to BOP policies and procedures and community standards of care, Plaintiff must eat in accordance with a set meal time schedule. According to community standards of care, Plaintiff should receive his meals within 45 minutes of receiving his insulin. Defendants Osagie and Camacho rarely deliver insulin within 45 minutes of Plaintiff’s morning or evening meal and never deliver insulin with Plaintiff’s lunch. Defendants’ denial of coordination between morning and evening meals and insulin and denial of insulin with lunch causes Plaintiff substantial harm and puts him at substantial risk of serious harm (hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia). (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 53-55). This denial also limits Plaintiff’s ability to eat, which has substantially harmed him or puts him at a substantial risk of serious future harm, including loss of consciousness, diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure, blindness, stroke, heart failure, coma, and imminent death. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 57-58).

According to BOP policies and procedures and community standards of care, Plaintiff must exercise in order to manage his Type I diabetes, but he can only do so when his exercise is coordinated with his meals and medication. If this coordination is lacking, exercise causes Plaintiff’s blood sugar to dip to a dangerously low level. BOP staff allows Plaintiff at most fourteen hours of out-of-cell exercise a week. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 63-64).

According to BOP policies and procedures, Defendant Oliver is in charge of identifying the BOP medical staff vacancies at ADX, and understaffing of medical staff negatively impacts the quality of prisoners’ medical care. Defendant Oliver’s general understaffing of the BOP medical staff has led to a delay and denial of medical care to Plaintiff. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 70-71). In June 2014, Defendant Camacho told Plaintiff that his evening delivery of insulin occurred five hours late because of limited medical staff. In August 2014, Defendant Camacho told Plaintiff that he would receive his insulin hours later than normal because of a shortage of medical technicians. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 74-75).

Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants have denied him the ability to control his blood sugar, causing frequent bouts of hypoglycemia, which have resulted in numerous instances of neuroglycopenia and loss of consciousness. Despite Plaintiff’s reliance on BOP policies and procedures which mandate that a BOP physician should be called when a person with diabetes is ...


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