United States District Court, M.D. Alabama
SHAIN C. HOF, Plaintiff,
AARONJIT KALEKA, Defendant.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT COURT GRANT
DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OBJECTIONS DUE
IN 14 DAYS ECF No. 25
Shain C. Hof, a state prisoner, proceeds without counsel in
this civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff sustained a lower leg injury on October 30, 2015,
while walking down a stairway at Avenal State Prison
(“ASP”) in Avenal, California. ECF No. 1 at 3.
Plaintiff alleges that defendant Aaronjit Kaleka, a medical
doctor and attending triage physician at ASP, was
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Id. at 2.
Plaintiff has also named Scott Kernan and E. Conanan as
defendants, but these two defendants were dismissed at the
screening stage. See ECF No. 10.
moves for summary judgment, arguing that he was not
deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical
needs and that plaintiff was not harmed by his treatment
decisions. See ECF No. 25-1. We recommend that the
court grant Kaleka's motion for summary judgment because
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, and
Kaleka is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
relevant factual background of this case is not
disputed. Plaintiff injured his lower leg on October
30, 2015, at ASP. Plaintiff requested medical care for his
injured lower leg from Kaleka on three instances between
Saturday, October 31, 2015, and Monday, November 2, 2015. The
central question here is whether Kaleka's responses to
plaintiff's medical needs show deliberate indifference.
Plaintiff sustains a lower leg injury on Friday, October
8:30 p.m. on October 30, plaintiff slipped and missed a step
while walking down a stairway in building 650 of ASP.
DSUF1-2; ECF No. 1 at 3. Although plaintiff
immediately felt severe pain and his ankle began to swell, he
did not immediately seek medical attention because he
believed that he had only twisted his ankle. DSUF4; ECF No. 1
at 3. The following morning, plaintiff hobbled on the injured
leg to the “chow, ” ate breakfast, and returned to
his dorm. DSUF5.
Plaintiff first seeks medical attention on Saturday, October
Plaintiff waited until the late morning of the next day,
Saturday, October 31, to seek medical attention for his
injured lower leg. DSUF6; ECF No. 1 at 3. Plaintiff was first
seen by an unidentified “F yard” nurse, who
requested that he be transported to the ASP Triage Treatment
Center. ECF No. 1 at 3.
triage, plaintiff was first seen at intake by Nurse Bitmead.
DSUF8; ECF No. 1 at 3. Nurse Bitmead noted that plaintiff
complained that his right ankle hurt and was swollen and
could not bear weight. DSUF8. Nurse Bitmead further noted
that plaintiff's right ankle and ` foot were swollen with
some purple discoloration on the inner side of the ankle.
DSUF8. She described plaintiff as calm and cooperative,
showing no signs of distress, with clear speech, even and
unlabored respirations, and no open wounds, bleeding or
intake, plaintiff was examined by defendant Kaleka, a medical
doctor. DSUF9; ECF No. 1 at 3-4. Plaintiff told Kaleka how
the injury occurred and described his symptoms. DSUF11; ECF
No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff requested immediate transport to an
outside medical facility for treatment. ECF No. 1 at 4.
Kaleka noted that plaintiff's right ankle had swelling,
tenderness, and a limited range of motion. DSUF11. He
concluded that plaintiff had sprained, rather than fractured,
his ankle, and that immediate transport to an outside medical
facility was unnecessary. DSUF11-12.
issued several orders to treat plaintiff's lower leg
injury. DSUF14; ECF No. 1 at 3-4. He prescribed plaintiff a
pain reliever: Tylenol #3 with codeine. DSUF14; ECF No. 1 at
3. Additionally, plaintiff: (1) received and was instructed
on how to use crutches, (2) was issued a chrono for a
temporary low bunk; (3) had his ankle wrapped with a
supportive bandage; and (4) was instructed to keep his right
foot elevated. DSUF14; ECF No. 1 at 3-4. Finally, x-rays were
scheduled for Monday morning, when the prison radiology
department re-opened, and a follow-up appointment was
scheduled for Tuesday. DSUF14; ECF No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff was
released at 3:30 p.m. DSUF14.
Plaintiff seeks medical attention for a second time on
the appointment, plaintiff returned to his housing assignment
and later walked to the pill and chow line. ECF No. 1 at 4.
Later that evening, plaintiff noticed that his foot and ankle
were turning purple in color, that pain and swelling had
increased, and that blisters had developed on his ankle and
had begun to burst. DSUF15-17; ECF No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff
again sought medical treatment and returned to the ASP Triage
Treatment Center at midnight on Sunday, November 1. DSUF18.
thereafter, Kaleka received a telephone call from the
examining nurse reporting that plaintiff had returned to
triage and was complaining of increased pain, bruising, and
blisters. DSUF19; ECF No. 1 at 4. Kaleka understood the
reported symptoms to be consistent ` with an ankle sprain and
ordered new pain medication for plaintiff. DSUF19; ECF No. 1
at 4. Plaintiff's ankle was re-wrapped by the nurse, the
follow-up appointment with a physician was advanced to Monday
morning after the x-rays, and Kaleka reiterated his
instructions for plaintiff to use crutches. DSUF19. Plaintiff
was released to custody in stable condition at 1:00 a.m.
DSUF19. Plaintiff asked again to be transported to an outside
medical facility, but the request was denied. ECF No. 1 at
that day, plaintiff again requested medical treatment at the
ASP Triage Treatment Center, but access ...