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Nagy v. Corrections Corporation of America

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

February 4, 2015

SANDRA NAGY, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, Defendant

Page 115

For SANDRA NAGY, Plaintiff: Donald M. Temple, LEAD ATTORNEY, DONALD M. TEMPLE, P.C., Washington, DC; Reginald J. Richter, LEAD ATTORNEY, RICHTER LAW GROUP, Washington, DC.

For CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, Defendant: Daniel P. Struck, LEAD ATTORNEY, Anne Marie Orcutt, STRUCK WIENEKE & LOVE, P.L.C., Chandler, AZ; Mariana Del Valle Bravo, LEAD ATTORNEY, Matthew D. Berkowitz, CARR MALONEY PC, Washington, DC.

Page 116

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES E. BOASBERG, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Sandra Nagy was arrested in January 2010 for trying to enter the White House without authorization. She was then incarcerated at the Correctional Treatment Facility here in Washington, where she claims she was twice beaten by correctional officers. Plaintiff filed suit against the District of Columbia and Corrections Corporation of America -- the private entity that runs CTF -- alleging violations of her constitutional rights together with related state-law claims. This Court dismissed the District from the case, granted summary judgment in favor of CCA on Nagy's constitutional causes of action, and dismissed the remainder of the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff then re-filed her suit in D.C. Superior Court. Her new Complaint included counts for negligence, negligent supervision, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. CCA then removed the suit on diversity grounds and once again moves for summary judgment. Because the Court finds that disputes of material fact remain, Nagy prevails this time.

I. Background

As the Court set out the underlying facts of this case in a previous Opinion, see Nagy v. District of Columbia, No. 11-1446, ECF No. 47 (D.D.C. Aug. 14, 2014), it includes here only those necessary to adjudicate CCA's Motion. Because the parties rely on the factual record developed in that case, moreover, all citations throughout this section refer to the docket of that previously filed suit unless otherwise noted.

From January 28 to February 18, 2010, Nagy was incarcerated at CTF after attempting to enter the White House in the midst of an apparent psychotic episode. See Defendant's Statement of Facts (DSOF), ¶ ¶ 1, 2, 7, 8, 11, 125. According to Nagy, she was abused almost immediately upon arrival at CTF: two correctional officers grabbed her by the arms, took her to a locked cell, and threw her against the commode. See Opp., Exh. 1 (Deposition of Sandra Nagy) at 42:7-14. She landed sideways on her back, and the officers kicked her on her right side, broke her ribs, and bruised her body. See id. As one might naturally expect, Nagy found herself in " severe pain." Id. at 42:14. CCA vigorously denies this incident, but because this matter is before the Court on summary judgment, it is required to credit Nagy's testimony for purposes of resolving the Motion.

In the following days, Plaintiff's body showed signs of injury. On January 31, a correctional officer showed a mental-health nurse on the unit, Nurse Battle-Bey, a " red[] mark" on Nagy's chest. See Opp., Exh. 9 (Nagy Medical Reports) at 23. Nurse Battle-Bey recorded what she described as a " fresh wound/abrasion at [the] left breast plate" that was approximately three centimeters long. Id. Nagy told Battle-Bey at the time that " the tall officer with long [dreads] had [done] it," and that " the officer then threatened her if she should say anything about what happen[ed]." Id.; DSOF, ¶ ¶ 222, 223. A second nurse, Nurse Ahlrich, evaluated Nagy

Page 117

that same day, and Plaintiff reiterated her story, claiming that she had been " hit in [the] chest multiple times, scratched on [the] chest [and] arms and had her hair pulled." DSOF, ¶ ¶ 225-26. A third nurse completed a body chart that identified four scratches on Nagy's arms, back, and chest. See id., ¶ 228. Chest x-rays completed on February 1, 2010, however, did not show any rib fractures. See id., ¶ ¶ 115, 117. On February 3, 2010, Plaintiff complained of pain on the right side of her chest to a doctor at CTF and said that it " hurt[] when she breathe[d] in and out . . . ." Nagy Medical Reports at 33.

Six days later, Plaintiff once again alleged that she had been assaulted " by staff and officers" -- this time on February 8, and she showed a doctor at CTF, Ilse Levin, " bruising on both buttocks and hips regions" and " pointed to her right flank and reported pain there as well." Id. at 39. Dr. Levin observed bruises on Plaintiff's buttocks and hips " of varying stages, none that appeared newer than 2-3 days old with some yellowing and fading." DSOF, ¶ 268. She also noted scabs on Nagy's right shin and chest. Id., ¶ ¶ 102-04. CCA does not concede that any beating occurred here either. See id., ¶ ¶ 268-70.

In response to both instances, medical-service providers completed and submitted forms that are part of CCA's incident-reporting policy. See Opp., Exh. 6 (Reporting Policy) at 74 (including 13-34A2 forms as part of incident-reporting packet); id., Exh. 16 (Nagy's 13-34A forms). And it appears that, per CCA policy, such reports of physical abuse -- whether to correctional officers or medical personnel -- are supposed to be shared with the shift supervisor on duty. Id., Exh. 15 (Deposition of Rebecca Richards) at 56:18-62:13. There is no evidence, however, that any shift supervisor ever reviewed or considered the charts describing Nagy's injuries. See id.

Plaintiff was released from CTF on February 18, 2010. See DSOF, ΒΆ 11. According to her, she had a chest x-ray two days later that revealed rib fractures, and Dr. Levin testified that it frequently occurs that an initial chest x-ray does not reveal a fracture whereas a second one ...


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