March 11th, 2017

Judgment for the Defense – Rodriguez v. County of Berks

Summary Judgment / Civil Rights / Medical Treatment of Prisoners

On March 9, 2017, the Honorable Edward G. Smith of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered summary judgment for Berks County, the Warden , a Lieutenant and a Corrections Officer at the Berks County Jail in a civil rights action by a former inmate for an alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment after his appendix ruptured while he was incarcerated.  In addition to suing the County, Plaintiff sued the contracted private healthcare provider and eight medical employees.

Drew Adair represented the County Defendants in the litigation.  The Plaintiff alleged that the individual County Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by ignoring his pleas to be taken to a hospital and by failing to recognize that he was not receiving appropriate medical treatment.  He also alleged the County’s policies and procedures, including a lack of supervision and training, caused the civil rights violation.  On the eve of trial the Court granted the County Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Court concluded the individual County Defendants were not subjectively aware of the Plaintiff’s medical condition and deliberately indifferent.  Additionally, the Court found that the County’s policies and procedures did not cause a civil rights violation because the record showed that each time the Plaintiff requested medical attention, a corrections officer contacted a medical provider.