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Bobola v. New Hampshire Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

February 10, 2016

Matthew D. Bobola,
v.
New Hampshire Department of Corrections.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE, Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is plaintiff Matthew D. Bobola's motion seeking a preliminary injunction (doc. no. 31).[1] Bobola requests that this court: 1) enter declaratory judgment in plaintiff's favor; 2) order defendants to have plaintiff's knee and wrist injuries evaluated by non-prison medical professionals, to include a second opinion by a "seasoned orthopaedist[] of the court's choosing, " within a strict timeframe; 3) order expedited discovery of certain matters; and 4) award plaintiff damages.

Defendants object (doc. no. 34). The district judge has referred the motion to this magistrate judge for a report and recommendation as to disposition. See Oct. 1, 2015, Order (Doc. No. 33).

Standard for Preliminary Injunctive Relief

To grant preliminary injunctive relief, this court "must find the following four elements satisfied: (1) a likelihood of success on the merits, (2) a likelihood of irreparable harm absent interim relief, (3) a balance of equities in the plaintiff's favor, and (4) service of the public interest." Arborjet, Inc. v. Rainbow Treecare Sci. Advancements, Inc., 794 F.3d 168, 171 (1st Cir. 2015) (citing Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008)). "In this circuit, proving likelihood of success on the merits is the sine qua non' of a preliminary injunction. [I]f the moving party cannot demonstrate that he is likely to succeed in his quest, the remaining factors become matters of idle curiosity.'" Arborjet, Inc., 794 F.3d at 173 (citations omitted).

Background

Bobola asserts the following facts in support of his motion for a preliminary injunction. When Bobola initially arrived at the New Hampshire State Prison ("NHSP"), [2] he had a right knee injury, a torn anterior cruciate ligament ("ACL"), and a left wrist injury, a broken scaphoid. Bobola further states that in November 2013, he slipped and fell on a wet floor at the prison, which exacerbated his ACL injury and caused new knee injuries, a torn posterior cruciate ligament ("PCL") and torn medial meniscus. Bobola claims that, due to the failure of defendants to provide him with adequate medical care, he continues to have pain, stiffness, limited motion, and the inability to walk properly.

In his filings in this case, Bobola acknowledges that he was provided with the following medical care and treatment for his knee and wrist during his incarceration at the NHSP:

• Bobola was offered a rubber or neoprene "knee sleeve" which he refused, as he felt it would not be effective.
• Bobola was prescribed Motrin for his pain, and when he advised NHSP physician Dr. Celia Englander that the Motrin was not working well, and bothering his stomach, she instead prescribed him Naproxen for pain, a medication he specifically requested.
• Prior to August 2014, Bobola was provided with "medical blankets" to help him position his knee appropriately.
• At some time prior to August 2014, Bobola's knee was x-rayed.
• Bobola was examined by each of the NHSP medical staff members named as defendants in this action, including multiple appointments with NHSP ...

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