Lucy v. Siddiq et al (INMATE 1)

Filing 82

OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 7/29/2022. (wcl, )

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IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION WILLIAM N. LUCY, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiff, v. TAHIR SIDDIQ, et al., Defendants. CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:19cv498-MHT (WO) OPINION Pursuant plaintiff, to a 42 U.S.C. state § inmate, 1983 and filed Alabama this law, lawsuit contending, inter alia, that, when he was transferred to Bullock Correctional Facility from another prison, the pain medications he had previously been allowed to keep on his person were confiscated; that he was made to pay a copay to see a medical provider repeatedly in order to obtain the pain medication he previously received without having to do so; that the defendants conspired with each other to keep his pain medication from him and to defraud him by charging him copays; that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need for pain medication and other treatment; and that they inflicted emotional distress on him and committed malpractice. This lawsuit is now before the court on the recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge that (a) defendants' motions for summary federal judgment claims, jurisdiction (b) over be granted the his as to plaintiffs’ court decline to exercise state-law claims, and (c) state-law claims be dismissed without prejudice. before the court are recommendation. review of plaintiff’s magistrate plaintiff’s After the an record, objections judge’s objections independent the should court be recommendation and to the Also the de novo concludes that overruled adopted as and the to the result, but for somewhat different reasons. First, the court recommendation to findings plaintiff’s that the declines extent it medical 2 to makes care adopt the affirmative was at all relevant times delivered in a timely and appropriate manner and that delayed. court Such must plaintiff genuine medical findings answer has on of go enough material was beyond summary submitted dispute care never the denied or question the judgment--whether the evidence fact. to show Furthermore, a the court does not necessarily agree that the record is sufficient to reach those findings. Second, the recommendation to court the declines extent it to adopt relies on the the “self-serving” nature of plaintiff’s sworn statements. “An affidavit cannot be conclusory, ..., but nothing in Rule 56 (or, for that matter, in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) self-serving.” 857 (11th litigant's Cir. prohibits an affidavit from being United States v. Stein, 881 F.3d 853, 2018) (citations self-serving statements omitted). based on “[A] personal knowledge or observation can defeat summary judgment.” Id. 3 Finally, while this assertion does not change the outcome of the motions for summary judgment, to the extent the recommendation accepts the assertion made by two of the defendants in their affidavits that Naproxen 500 mg is a “controlled substance”--which is not true under federal law or under the commonly used definition of that phrase--the court does not adopt or rely upon it.* * The relevant defendants and defense counsel have since submitted affidavits attesting that, by using the term “controlled substance,” they did not mean to suggest that Naproxen 500 mg is a controlled substance under federal law, but instead that the prisoners were not allowed to keep the medications on their person. See Supplemental Affidavit of Tahir Siddiq, M.D. (Doc. 78-1); Supplemental Affidavit of Philip Piggott (Doc. 78-2); Supplemental Affidavit of Treasa Krauel (Hakel) (Doc. 80-1). The court finds it surprising, to say the least, that licensed medical personnel would use the phrase “controlled substance” so loosely, given that they are subject to stringent regulations related to the provision of federally regulated controlled substances and surely know how the phrase is typically defined. Defense counsel is warned to be more careful in his and his client’s use of such terminology in future 4 An appropriate judgment will be entered. DONE, this the 29th day of June, 2022. /s/ Myron H. Thompson UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE litigation, and to ensure that his clients carefully review any affidavits before signing them. 5

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