Aug 6 2019

James Bello & Caroline Kelly Obtain Summary Judgment in a Deliberate Indifference Case

Morrison Mahoney Partner James Bello and Associate Caroline Kelly obtained summary judgment from United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in a deliberate indifference case.  

The Plaintiff alleged that he was physically assaulted by the correctional officers, causing cuts and bruises, and that our insured, a nurse, failed to provide him with medical treatment and assessment. The Plaintiff further alleged that the nurse withheld medications from the Plaintiff, which was corroborated by an incomplete medication administration chart for the day in question.  At the hearing, Plaintiff argued that there were various factual disputes at the case at issue. Plaintiff stated that cuts and bruises can be a serious medical need and relied upon Fowles v. Stearns (a 1995 case from the District of Maine where a Plaintiff’s cuts and bruises were seen as a serious medical need.) In turn, the Defendant argued the high burden that a deliberate indifference claim represents and that the Plaintiff did not have a serious medical need. The Defendant further illustrated for the Court that the Fowles case is factually distinguishable from this matter. The Court focused on the standard for a serious medical need and agreed with the Defendant that the Fowles case was different to the matter at hand.  Ultimately, the Court agreed that Defendant was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.  Prior to filing the summary judgment motion, the remaining Defendants all settled with the Plaintiff.  

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