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Lesage v. Spencer-Faire

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

February 3, 2016

ROBERT LESAGE, Plaintiff,
v.
GINA SPENCER-FAIRE, R.N., et al., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Docket No. 55]

JENNIFER C. BOAL, Magistrate Judge.

Pro se plaintiff Robert LeSage, who is civilly committed at the Massachusetts Treatment Center, alleges that the Defendants exhibited deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Docket No. 1. Defendants Gina Spencer-Faire, Carol McLellan, and Lucy Rounsville have moved for summary judgment. Docket No. 55.[1] For the following reasons, the Court recommends that the District Judge assigned to this case grant the Defendants' motion.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

LeSage filed this action on July 3, 2013. Docket No. 1. Discovery closed on May 25, 2015. See Docket No. 52.

On June 8, 2015, the Defendants filed the instant motion for summary judgment. Docket No. 55. LeSage filed an opposition on July 31, 2015. Docket No. 61. He also filed a memorandum of law and several affidavits in support of his opposition. Docket Nos. 62-66. However, he did not respond to the Defendants' Local Rule 56.1 statement. Therefore, on August 6, 2015, the Court entered an order affording LeSage a further opportunity to file a response to the Defendants' Local Rule 56.1 statement. Docket No. 68. LeSage filed such a response on September 14, 2015. Docket No. 70.

II. FACTS[2]

LeSage is an inmate civilly committed to the Massachusetts Treatment Center ("MTC").[3] Effective July 1, 2013, Massachusetts Partnership for Correctional Health, LLC commenced providing medical and health services to inmates committed to the Department of Correction.[4] The prior medical contractor was UMASS Correctional Health.[5]

Defendants Spencer-Faire and Lucy Rounsville are Registered Nurses.[6] Defendant McLellan is a Nurse Practitioner.[7]

LeSage suffers from hypertension, type 2 diabetes, A-Fib, peripheral vascular disease, elevated cholesterol levels, GERD, severe osteoarthritis, adhesive capsulitis, peripheral neuropathy, bilateral leg weakness, anemia, and hiatal hernia.[8]

In 2010, LeSage began to rely on a wheelchair to get around the facility and he frequently relied on someone to push him.[9] LeSage alleges that the wheelchair was necessary because his legs became more painful, weaker, swollen, and gave out more often.[10] In addition, he experienced increased pain on his shoulders, neck and arms which made it more difficult for him to walk to programs and meals.[11] On November 23, 2011, LeSage was evaluated by a physical therapist who noted that he had become increasingly weak to the point that he required assistance with basic functions.[12] The physical therapist recommended that LeSage strengthen his trunk and extremities to improve his overall function level with the goal of increasing by ½ his muscle grade.[13]

On or around December 26, 2011, medical staff advised LeSage to push himself around as much as possible in his wheelchair, and he was counseled about the importance of exercise to maintain function.[14]

In 2012, LeSage met with Dr. Mutinga, who is the Head of Gastroenterology at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital.[15] Dr. Mutinga evaluated LeSage for GERD disease and did not recommend that LeSage receive an endoscopy at that time.[16]

LeSage continued to work with physical therapy on January 25, April 11, and May 9, 2012.[17] On December 4, 2012, LeSage had an x-ray of his cervical spine.[18] The x-ray report indicated "degenerative changes in the lower cervical spine, not significantly changed. No acute bony abnormality or other significant interval change."[19]

In November of 2012, the medical staff implemented a plan in order to get LeSage to ambulate more frequently with his walker with the ultimate goal of discontinuing his wheelchair.[20] This plan was implemented as a result of the medical staff's concerns that LeSage had become immobile, as a result of his reliance on a wheelchair, and that he was putting his health at risk.[21] Specifically, his legs were ...


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