Polletta v. Farinella
A prisoner whose request for treatment at another medical facility is denied may not possess a cause of action for deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On Dec. 5, 2010, a nurse allegedly examined the plaintiff inmate's ear and opined that he had a spider bite. The nurse checked the plaintiff's blood pressure and gave him Sulfa/Trimeth DS. On December 6, Dr. Monica Farinella examined the plaintiff, Daniel Polletta, and gave him another dose of Sulfa/Trimeth DS. The following day, a corrections officer allegedly denied the plaintiff's request to visit the medical facility, after the plaintiff was physically sick. Later that day, a nurse checked the plaintiff's blood pressure and suggested that he take his medicine. On December 9, Dr. Farinella prescribed a steroid and cortisone. Dr. Farinella consulted an ear, nose and throat specialist. On December 13, Dr. Farinella prescribed Prednisone and Zantac. The plaintiff's request for medical treatment at another medical facility allegedly was refused. The plaintiff sued, alleging deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition, and requested compensation of $75,000 and that the defendants be ordered to refrain from "experimental treatment." The defendants moved to dismiss. There is no constitutional right to the medical treatment of one's choice. "Dr. Farinella," wrote the District Court, "consulted with an ear, nose and throat specialist, and prescribed multiple medications in order to alleviate Plaintiff's suffering." The plaintiff failed to adequately allege a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition. To the contrary, the plaintiff's complaint indicated that Dr. Farinella examined the plaintiff frequently, prescribed several types of medicine and consulted with another doctor. Although corrections officials did not always authorize immediate medical attention, and the plaintiff's request for medical treatment at another medical facility was denied, the plaintiff's complaint failed to allege that he was harmed, except that he was required to wait one-and-one-half hours for medical treatment. The District Court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss.