Constitutional Rights Case Involving Buffalo Area Jail Detainee Heads to Trial

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Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC and Nan L. Haynes, Esq., announce that they have defeated a motion for summary judgment brought by the defendants in a §1983 action involving a Cheektowaga, New York man who was denied adequate medical care while a pretrial detainee at the Erie County Holding Center. The Court’s twenty-two page decision is especially important in light of the current controversy surrounding conditions at the Holding Center, and the lack of adequate care for the chronically ill and other individuals undergoing withdrawal from drugs and treatment for mental illnesses.

The law firm of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC and Nan L. Haynes, Esq., announce that they have defeated a motion for summary judgment brought by the defendants in a §1983 action involving a Cheektowaga, New York man who was denied adequate medical care while a pretrial detainee at the Erie County Holding Center.

In 2006, the plaintiff, Craig Beatty, brought a lawsuit against the County of Erie, Sheriff Timothy Howard and other defendants for violation of Mr. Beatty’s constitutional rights while detained in the jail on charges pending in April, 2005. Beatty alleged that the defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights in their deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs as a Type I diabetic. After numerous depositions and discovery proceedings, including the deposition of the plaintiff; defendant Sheriff Howard; The Erie County Health Commissioner, Anthony S. Billitier; and other jail officials and personnel; the County Attorney’s office asked the federal district court to grant summary judgment and dismiss the lawsuit. The defendants argued that Beatty’s constitutional rights were not violated and that he was instead merely the victim of unfortunate and largely unavoidable circumstances, when he went into diabetic ketoacidosis at the Holding Center. As a result of his medical condition, Beatty was sent to the Erie County Medical Center for four days in April 2005. He went into diabetic ketoacidosis because he had not been given his insulin as needed at the Holding Center.

As a result of the Court’s decision, which found that there were ample facts implicating the County and the other defendants in violating Beatty’s constitutional rights, the Court cleared the way for the case to proceed to trial. The Court’s twenty-two page decision is especially important in light of the current controversy surrounding conditions at the Holding Center, and the lack of adequate care for the chronically ill and other individuals undergoing withdrawal from drugs and treatment for mental illnesses.

This case was filed in the United States District Court, Western District of New York, Decision and Order 06-CV-571S.

About Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC:
Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC, established in 1995, concentrates its practice in the areas of asbestos disease and lead poisoning litigation, medical malpractice, insurance liability, personal injury and worker’s compensation matters. The Firm has achieved many hundreds of settlements and numerous verdicts on behalf of its clients who were harmed by toxic substances. For more information, visit our website at http://www.lipsitzponterio.com.

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Marlene Potter
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