Elliott Greenleaf Wins Summary Judgment in Civil Rights Action

On July 18, 2012, the Honorable Lawrence Stengel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania agreed with Elliott Greenleaf’s arguments and granted summary judgment dismissing all of the Plaintiff’s civil rights claims with prejudice. See Defreitas v. Montgomery County Correctional Facility, et al., 2012 WL 2920219 & 2012 WL 2920277, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99664 (E.D. Pa. July 18, 2012).

The Plaintiff was an above-the-knee amputee inmate at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, who required a prosthesis, crutches or other ambulatory means to maneuver around the jail. In a prior incarceration, the Plaintiff had used his prosthetic leg as a weapon to smash a gate.

In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleged 1) violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983 for cruel and unusual punishment; 2) violation of 42 U.S.C. §12101, et seq. – Americans with Disabilities Act and violation of the Rehabilitation Act § 504; 3) Retaliation under §1983; 4) Retaliation under the ADA and RA; and 5) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.

The Plaintiff asserted that Correctional Medical Care and Montgomery County delayed him in obtaining a new prosthetic leg and that they sometimes did not grant him access to the recreation yard and gym with his crutches.

The Court agreed with Elliott Greenleaf ‘s Motion for Summary Judgment, and found that, contrary to the Plaintiff’s allegations, Correctional Medical Care repeatedly and responsibly treated the Plaintiff for a wide range of alleged maladies, even going so far as to secure for the Plaintiff a new prosthesis so that the Plaintiff could operate without crutches. The Court, therefore, agreed with Elliott Greenleaf and found that the Plaintiff’s claims of inadequate medical care lacked merit.

The Plaintiff also alleged that he was denied recreation time in violation of his civil rights, claiming that he was not permitted to recreate in particular areas because of his disability. Elliott Greenleaf argued that the Plaintiff was offered numerous opportunities to exercise in a variety of locations; the Plaintiff rebuffed these options. Judge Stengel again agreed with Elliott Greenleaf, reasoning that the Plaintiff failed to proffer any evidence that the alleged deprivation of recreation time “resulted in any substantial injury” or that Correctional Medical Care acted with a culpable state of mind. Thus, the Court dismissed as unfounded these allegations as well.

Timothy T. Myers and Gregory S. Voshell of the Firm’s Philadelphia and Blue Bell offices represented the Defendant in securing this summary judgment victory.