United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER ON MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (DOC. NO.
Smith is currently an inmate at Old Colony Correctional
Center (“OCC”).Smith's claims arise out of
the treatment of a wound on his right leg. Doc. No. 11 at 1.
He first requested treatment for the wound in September 2018,
at which point he was prescribed thirty days of Bacitracin
and Band-Aids. Id. at 2-3. Smith subsequently
returned to medical services after experiencing a burning
sensation near the wound. Id. at 3. On October 1,
2018, Smith was taken to Lemuel Shattuck Hospital
(“LSH”) where he was examined and referred to
dermatology for a punch biopsy. Id. He was then
returned to OCC with instructions to care for the wound.
Id. at 3-4.
Smith's symptoms worsened, and he was taken back to LSH
on December 14, 2018. Id. at 6. He was admitted for
a week and given intravenous antibiotics before being
returned to OCC. Id. On December 28, 2018, Smith was
returned to LSH where he was admitted for twenty days and
treated with additional antibiotics. Id. at 6-7.
After his discharge, Smith reported that his leg was feeling
better. However, by the end of February 2019, Smith reported
that he was experiencing issues with the wound and he was
prescribed additional antibiotics. Id. at 8. Smith
continues to experience pain, swelling, and numbness in his
right leg over a year after he first sought treatment.
Doc. No. 25 at 3. Initially, Smith brought suit
against the manufacturer of the Band-Aids he was prescribed,
alleging various state law claims, and the medical staff who
treated him, alleging the staff members violated his
constitutional rights. Doc. No. 11 at 8-9. Smith has
since filed this motion for preliminary injunction seeking a
court order that he be taken “to an outside hospital
other than Lemuel Shattuck Hospital to address the pain and
suffering” with his wound. Doc. No. 25 at 3.
plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish
that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely
to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and
that an injunction is in the public interest.”
Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7,
20 (2008); Voice of the Arab World, Inc. v. MDTV Med.
News Now, Inc., 645 F.3d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 2011). The
party seeking a preliminary injunction bears the burden of
establishing that these four factors weigh in its favor.
Esso Standard Oil Co. (Puerto Rico) v.
Monroig-Zayas, 445 F.3d 13, 18 (1st Cir. 2006). The
likelihood of success is the critical factor of the analysis.
Philip Morris, Inc. v. Harshbarger, 159 F.3d 670,
674 (1st Cir. 1998).
order to prove a constitutional violation based on inadequate
medical care, a prisoner must satisfy two elements:
“(1) an objective prong that requires proof of a
serious medical need, and (2) a subjective prong that
mandates a showing of prison administrators' deliberate
indifference to that need.” Kosilek v.
Spencer, 774 F.3d 63, 82 (1st Cir. 2014). A serious
medical need is “one that has been diagnosed by a
physician as mandating treatment, or one that is so obvious
that even a lay person would easily recognize the necessity
for a doctor's attention.” Gaudreault v.
Municipality of Salem, Mass., 923 F.2d 203, 208 (1st
Cir. 1990). This prong does not impose a duty on prison
administrators to provide ideal care or care of the
prisoner's choosing. Kosilek, 774 F.3d at 82.
“Rather, the Constitution proscribes care that is so
inadequate as to shock the conscience.” Id. at
83 (internal citation omitted).
the medical care at issue is inadequate enough to satisfy the
objective prong, a prisoner is still required to show
deliberate indifference on the part of prison administrators.
Deliberate indifference can be purposeful behavior like
withholding medical treatment as a form of punishment, or
wanton disregard in delaying or denying care “akin to
criminal recklessness, requiring consciousness of impending
harm, easily preventable.” Kosilek, 774 F.3d
at 82 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).
careful consideration of the record before the Court, the
Court concludes Smith has not met his burden on either of the
two required prongs of the test articulated by the
Kosilek court. Thus, the Motion for Preliminary
Injunction is DENIED. That said, it is concerning that Smith
has reported that he continues to suffer from significant
symptoms, including recurrent wound issues, despite three
separate trips to LSH and ongoing treatment. Therefore,
Defendants shall file a status report within twenty-one days
explaining the treatment Smith has received in the last three
 The Court recounts the facts as drawn
from the submissions on the pending motion for injunctive
relief along with Smith's Amended Complaint. See