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PA Prisoner's Civil Rights Action Viable Because Factual Dispute Exists

Vincent Cortlessa, a Pennsylvania state prisoner, sued guards and a private health care company in federal district court after the guards beat him and the health care company didn't provide him with adequate care. He argued that these actions violated his rights under the federal constitution and state negligence laws. The defendants moved for summary judgment, controverting Cortlessa's factual allegations.

On summary judgment, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recognized that summary judgment cannot be granted if factual disputes regarding the issues exist. It also found that the health care company, because it was a private company, might be liable for its employees' behavior on a respondeat superior theory. Although summary judgment was granted to some defendants, it was denied to most. See: Cortlessa v. County of Chester, USDC E.D.Pa., Case No. Civ. A. 04-1039 (2006 WL 1490145) (unpublished).

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Related legal case

Cortlessa v. County of Chester