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Prolonged Sitting On Steel Stools Claim Survives Summary Judgment

Prolonged Sitting on Steel Stools Claim Survives Summary Judgment

Gabriel B. Nock, a prisoner at the Dover Community Correctional Center (DCC) in Dover, Delaware, filed suit in federal district court against Correctional Medical Services (CMS), the health services provider at DCC, and Spectrum Behavior Sciences, the provider of counseling services at DCC.
Nock’s pro se § 1983 suit alleged that the defendants subjected him to physical and mental abuse. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment alleging that the misconduct occurred after their contracts had expired and Nock had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Nock was ordered to file an answering brief but failed to do so. Thus, the motion was ruled on without an answer.
Most of the specific instances of abuse alleged by Nock occurred after the state’s contract with CMS had expired. The only incident that occurred prior to the expiration of the contract was when Nock “was humiliated by having a ‘Listen-up’ (which is when an inmate calls the attention of the entire program to stop, look and listen) called on him while “he was in the shower naked.” Because that misconduct was not medical in nature, the motion was granted with respect to CMS
Nock also alleged that immediately after re-entering the “Key Program,” a counseling program, he was forced to sit on steel stools for extended periods of time. The dates alleged were before Spectrum’s contract expired on June 30, 2003. Thus, Nock properly alleged that he was harmed by counseling services provided by Spectrum. Because Nock had also averred that he filed a grievance, thus exhausting administrative remedies, the motion was denied with respect to Spectrum.
The defendants’ motion to dismiss was therefore granted in part and denied in part. See: Nock v. Correctional Medical Services, U.S.D.C. (D. Del.), Case No. 03-cv-00865-JJF; 2005 WL 552510.

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Related legal case

Nock v. Correctional Medical Services