Connecticut: Summary Judgment Denied in Deliberate Indifference Case Where Facial Lesion Turned Out To Be Skin Cancer
Two days after Bardo submitted that request, on December 18, 2012, Dr. Michael Clements examined Bardo, diagnosing the spot as a “two-centimeter sebaceous cyst.”
On June 18, 2013, while at the Osborn Correctional Institution, Bardo complained again about a medical issue — a bump under the skin of his abdomen and an old scar on his face that would not go away, according to court records.
Two months later, Bardo was transferred to the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution, where he met with Dr. Carson Wright after complaining about the spot on his face and the lump on his stomach. Bardo suggested to the physician that he might have skin cancer, which Wright said was not the case. Bardo was eventually told that the spot was likely ringworm and prescribed an antifungal cream.
Upon his release from the Department of Corrections, Bardo went to meet with a primary care physician in 2015. After a biopsy, it was determined that the facial lesion was a basal cell carcinoma.
The cancerous cells required surgical removal.
In 2017, Bardo brought a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Dr. Wright, arguing that he had violated his Eighth Amendment rights and acted with deliberate indifference toward his facial lesion. In response, Dr. Wright moved for summary judgment.
After weighing the Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference accusations, the court found that the record taken in a light most favorable to Bardo permitted the inference that the risk of skin cancer was sufficiently obvious that Dr. Wright should have been aware of it.
With this in mind, the court considered Salahuddin v. Goord, 467 F.3d 263 (2d Cir. 2006), which states that “the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment imposes a duty upon prison officials to ensure the inmates receive adequate medical care.” The court found that reasonable jurors could conclude based on the facts that the doctor was sufficiently callous about Bardo’s health in the face of actual awareness of Bardo’s risk of untreated skin cancer as to support a finding of deliberate indifference.
Related legal case
Bardo v. Wright
|Case No. 3:17-cv-1430 (JBA), USDC (D. Conn.)