X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Before Boudin, Circuit Judge, Souter, Associate Justice, *fn1 and Selya, Circuit Judge.

When the plaintiff-appellant, Jesus Ramos, was committed to the Worcester County House of Correction in Massachusetts as a pre-trial detainee on April 4, 2003, he was addicted to heroin, from which he was forced to abstain. In anticipation of his physical reaction he was given medication at the direction of the defendant-appellee, Dr. Thomas Patnaude, the institution’s medical director, according to a protocol designed to mitigate the agony of withdrawal and prescribed by the doctor in thousands of previous cases. The treatment spanned a three-day period and was repeated twice over the nine days after commitment, during which Ramos was taken on two occasions to the nearest hospital for outpatient and inpatient care that included intravenous fluid for dehydration and exploratory chest surgery. All told, the following distressing and in some instances threatening conditions were noted: “extreme dehydration, acute renal failure, advanced respiratory distress, subcutaneous emphysema, mediastinal emphysema, presumed esophageal perforation, malnourishment, metabolic alkalosis, hypokalemia, and pneumothorax of the right chest and total collapse of the right lung.” Ramos v. Flynn, No. 06-10645-GAO, 2009 WL 2207191, at *1 (D. Mass. July 22, 2009). These clinical notations do not, however, fully capture the reality of Ramos’s account of the course of his withdrawal, being left to lie, as he alleged, in the foul products of chronic incontinence and vomiting, on occasion unprotected from the chill of cold weather outside as windows were opened to mitigate the resulting stench.

In the aftermath of the allegedly horrific experience, Ramos brought suits in state and federal courts, including the present action, which was originally against seventeen defendants. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 he claimed a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for reckless indifference to his medical needs and, as to some defendants, for failure to train institutional personnel to respond to inmates’ medical needs. He also invoked the federal court’s supplemental jurisdiction by adding state law tort claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The trial court granted summary judgment to the present appellees on all claims, on various procedural and substantive grounds. It held for them on procedure after concluding that Ramos had failed to avail himself of the House of Correction’s grievance procedure for raising his complaints and should accordingly be barred from federal litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), a provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 requiring exhaustion of available administrative remedies before resorting to the federal courts, and the court drew a comparable conclusion as to the tort claims under state law. The court nonetheless considered the merits and held that facts not subject to genuine dispute and disputed facts that might be resolved in Ramos’s favor failed to show any action or failure to act going beyond negligence or malpractice to the point of deliberate indifference to substantial risk of serious harm to health, which would be necessary in order to state a § 1983 claim under the Due Process Clause; it drew a comparable conclusion about the state law tort claims, and entered summary judgment for the appellees. On de novo review, Sullivan v. City of Springfield, 561 F.3d 7, 14 (1st Cir. 2009), we affirm.

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

The Asia Legal Awards (ASLA) 2022

June 29, 2022
Hong Kong

Where the region's top lawyers, law firms and in-house teams will gather to celebrate their most stellar achievements of the year.


Learn More

Pennsylvania Legal Awards 2022 (PALA)

June 29, 2022
PA

The Legal Intelligencer honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania with their dedication to law.


Learn More

Elite Trial Lawyers 2022 (ETL)

July 14, 2022
New York, NY

The National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers recognizes U.S.-based law firms performing exemplary work on behalf of plaintiffs.


Learn More

Commercial Finance Associate (Flexible location)


Duane Morris LLP seeks two commercial finance associates to join its strong and growing 190+ lawyer Corporate Practice Group. The ideal cand...


Apply Now ›

Commercial Litigation Associate


Duane Morris LLP has an opening in its San Francisco office for a commercial litigation associate to join its team. The ideal candidate wil...


Apply Now ›

Labor & Employment Associate- California


Labor & Employment Associate (4-5 years of experience)HANSON BRIDGETT LLPNorthern California: San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento AreaFle...


Apply Now ›

RAYNES & LAWN

06/29/2022
TLI Web

Raynes & Lawn is proud to congratulate Harold I. Goodman on the prestigious honor of Lifetime


View Announcement ›

MCCORMICK & PRIORE, P.C.

06/23/2022
TLI Web

IN MEMORIUM: With a profound sense of sadness, McCormick & Priore announces that Harry A Short, Jr., a preeminent products liability defense lawyer in Philadelphia with a career that spanned over sixty-five (65) years, passed away on June 14, 2022.


View Announcement ›

STARR GERN DAVISON & RUBIN

06/20/2022
NJLJ Web

Starr Gern Davison & Rubin, PC. Attorneys at Law are pleased to announce that SHELLEY L. STANGLER, ESQ. has joined the firm as of Counsel.


View Announcement ›