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Dr. Simon Banks, J.D v. District of Columbia

September 21, 2011

DR. SIMON BANKS, J.D., PLAINTIFF,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Deborah A. Robinson United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Defendant District of Columbia's Motion for Summary Judgment (Document No. 83) is pending for determination by the undersigned. Upon consideration of the motion, the memoranda in support thereof and in opposition thereto and the entire record herein, Defendant's motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings the instant action seeking damages for alleged violations of his rights protected by the United States Constitution during his imprisonment in the District of Columbia. See generally Complaint (Document No. 6). Plaintiff's remaining claims against the District of Columbia are for failure to provide diabetic meals and adequate heat during his incarceration in violation of the Eighth Amendment (Count I), and a common law malpractice claim for denial of Banks v. District of Columbia, et al. 2 dental care. (Count II). See Plaintiff's Second Amendment Complaint (Document No. 47).*fn1

In its Answer, Defendant asserts that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and that he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. See Answer to Corrected Complaint (Document No. 35); Defendant, District of Columbia's, Answer to Plaintiff's Errata to Second Amended Complaint Adding Count II [Docket 47] Medical Malpractice, Negligence and Agency Liability for Medical Malpractice and Negligence (Document No. 49).

CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES

Defendant moves for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, alleging that there are no genuine issues as to any material fact for trial and that Defendant is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. See generally Defendant District of Columbia's Motion for Summary Judgment (Document No. 83).

With regard to Plaintiff's claims concerning adequate heat and diabetic meals, Defendant submits that such claims do not rise to the sort of punishment prohibited by the Eight Amendment. Defendant's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of the District of Columbia's Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defendant's Mem.") (Document No. 83) at 6-9. Defendant asserts that the actions described by Plaintiff do not "amount to 'deliberate indifference' to 'serious medical needs[,]'" as required to state a violation of the Eight Banks v. District of Columbia, et al. 3 Amendment. Id. Next, Defendant contends that Plaintiff has failed to offer expert testimony to meet his burden of establishing the applicable standard of care, a breach thereof, and a causal relationship with Plaintiff's injury. Id. at 11-13. Lastly, Defendant argues that all of Plaintiff's claims are barred because he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing a cause of action, as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Id. at 9-11.

Defendant's motion for summary judgment is accompanied by a statement of material facts as to which Plaintiff contends there is no genuine issue, including references to the parts of the record relied upon in support thereof. See generally Defendant District of Columbia's Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Issue. With citations to the record, Defendant offers as support twenty-two material facts, as well as an addition thirty-eight filed under seal. Id. Collectively, the facts address the contention that Plaintiff failed to appeal the disposition of his grievances, concerning lack of heat, dental care and dietary meals, to the "next level". Id.

Plaintiff, in his three and one-half page opposition, blanketly states that he "den[ies] each and every allegation in the Defendant's Motion . . . which state[s] that there is no genuine dispute[.]" Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Document No. 116) at 2; see also Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. In his statement of material facts as to which no genuine issues exists filed with its opposition, Plaintiff offers as support twenty-eight material facts, which in their entirety lack citation to the record. Plaintiff's Statement of Material Facts Upon Which There Exist Genuine Dispute ("Plaintiff's Statement of Material Facts"). The facts Banks v. District of Columbia, et al. 4 principally address the nature of the dental care he received while imprisoned, the circumstances surrounding the denial of diabetic meals, and the lack of heat. Id. at 1-7; 9-23; 24-26; 27-28.

In its reply, Defendant maintains that Plaintiff's memorandum "fail[s] to controvert any or all of the material facts set forth" in its motion, and that Plaintiff's statement of material facts "fails procedurally as it totally disregards" the requirement of citing to the parts of the record relied on. Defendant District of Columbia's Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment (Document No. 120) at 8.

Upon consideration of the motion of Defendant, Plaintiff's opposition thereto, Defendant's reply and the entire record herein, the motion of Defendant District of Columbia will be granted.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment shall be granted if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Diamond v. Atwood, 43 F.3d 1538, 1540 (D.C. Cir. 1995). The burden is upon the non-moving party to demonstrate that there are material facts in dispute. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. There is a genuine issue of material fact "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Material facts are in dispute if they are capable of affecting the outcome of the suit under governing law. Id. In considering a motion for summary judgment, all evidence and inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Banks v. District of Columbia, et al. 5 Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); see also United States v. ...


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