United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Richard P. Matsch, Senior District Judge
February 11, 2014, Anthony Eget complained to the staff of
the Adams County jail that he had pain in his right wrist
from tight handcuffs on him during a court appearance earlier
that day. He was scheduled to see a hand specialist on March
24, 2014. That did not happen because he was transferred to
the Crowley County Correctional Facility (CCCF) on that day.
The CCCF is managed and operated by Correction Corporation of
America (CCA) under contracts with the Colorado Department of
Corrections (CDOC) and Crowley County. CCA is responsible for
the medical care of the inmates and has a medical staff at
the institution, including a nurse practitioner, Lynne
Cappellucci and a medical doctor, Susan Tiona, M.D.
CDOC has a contract with Correctional Health Partners, LLC
(CHP) to review pre-authorization requests for inmates
seeking medical care outside of the prison system. CHP acts
as an administrator to evaluate the basis for and to
determine the clinical medical necessity of requests for
inmates to be evaluated or treated by health care providers
outside CDOC's internal medical system.
April 11, 2014, Eget reported to nurse practitioner
Cappellucci that he had numbness in the fourth and fifth
fingers of his right hand and could not use the hand even to
brush his teeth. The nurse assessed him as having a possible
tendon injury and right ulnar nerve “decreased
sensate.” She requested CHP to refer him to Charles
Kessler, M.D., a plastic and reconstruction surgeon. That
request was denied as not medically necessary by Stephen
Krebs, M.D., a physician employed by CHP in April.
request was sent by Cappellucci on June 4, 2014, for an
outside nerve study, electromyogram (EMG) as a result of a
new objective finding of an indentation between the thumb and
index finger. CHP approved that request on June 17, 2014.
August 13, 2014, Ashakiran Sunku, M.D., performed the nerve
study. The result was a finding of severe right ulnar
neuropathy across the right elbow and median neuropathies
(moderate right, mild left) at the wrists (carpal tunnel
September 2, 2014, Cappellucci reviewed the EMG results with
Eget and on September 5 she requested CHP approval for
referral to an outside neurology specialist for a
approved that request on September 26, 2014. Through some
error Eget was scheduled for a second EMG rather than a
consultation with a specialist. Dr. Gary Cohen did a second
EMG on November 13, 2014, finding a near total loss of right
ulnar motor and sensory nerves at the right wrist.
December 5, 2014, Dr. Susan Tiona, a physician at CCCF,
submitted an urgent-priority pre-authorization request to CHP
for referral to Dr. Kessler for a consultation to see if any
surgical intervention could help Eget. CHP approved the
request on December 8.
Kessler saw Eget on December 22, 2014. Eget said he began to
notice progressive loss of strength in his right hand in June
2014 and believed that his injury began with the February 11,
2014, handcuffing incident.
request from Dr. Kessler for CHP approval for surgery on the
right wrist was submitted on December 22, 2014, and approved
on January 6, 2015.
Kessler performed neuroplasty decompression surgery of
Eget's ulnar nerve at the right wrist and right carpal
tunnel release on January 28, 2015.
Kessler saw Eget for a post-operative visit on February 17,
2015, and found near normal active and passive range of
motion of the right hand. He reported that Eget stated he
still had weakness in the right hand, but the symptoms of
tingling and numbness in the right-hand ring and little
finger had resolved.
filed this civil action for damages under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 asserting a violation of the Eighth Amendment's
protection from cruel and unusual punishment by the failure
to provide prompt medical care in reckless disregard of ...