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Atkins v. County of Orange.

U.S. District Court

MEDICATION

MENTAL HEALTH

DELAY IN CARE

Atkins v. County of Orange, 372 F.Supp.2d 377 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). Jail inmates brought a [section] 1983 action against a county and corrections officers, alleging indifference to their mental health needs and mistreatment. The defendants moved to preclude expert witness testimony and for partial summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment in part and denied it in part. The court held that the county was not deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of a jail inmate, despite the inmate's claim that he was given a "woefully inadequate dosage" of medication and was not treated in a timely manner. The court noted that the medical record revealed that the inmate was seen by the mental health unit and a psychiatrist within one day of her admission to the jail and was on a "close watch" until he was seen by mental health personnel. The court found that the county was not deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of another inmate who alleged that she was prescribed the wrong medication and was given inadequate care while she was acutely manic. The court stated that the record demonstrated that the inmate was provided with mental health care upon each admission to the jail and that she was kept on "close watch" to ensure her safety until she was able to be seen by mental health staff. The court ruled that the county was not deliberately indifferent by allegedly delaying psychiatric assessment of an inmate and delaying the administration of psychotropic drugs. The court noted that the inmate was on "close watch" during the period of delay to ensure the inmate did not harm himself or others, and the inmate was seen immediately by various professionals after his two suicide attempts. The court found no deliberate indifference based on a three-day delay between the time an inmate was booked and the time she was seen by a psychiatrist, or based on the fact that on several occasions she missed doses of her medication because she was out of her cell at the time of the scheduled administration of her medications. The court noted that there was no showing that the inmate was harmed as the result of the conduct, and that her medication schedule was switched to evenings to accommodate her as soon as the forensic clinic was notified that she had missed some of her medications. (Orange County Correctional Facility and County Commissioner of Mental Health, New York)
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Atkins v. County of Orange, 372 F.Supp.2d 377
Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Aug 1, 2005
Words:422
Previous Article:Willson v. Buss.
Next Article:Calhoun v. Ramsey.
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