United States District Court, D. Maine
NICHOLAS A. GLADU, Plaintiff,
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION TO VACATE JUDGMENT
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prisoner in Maine custody seeks to vacate a judgment against
him more than a year after it entered based on newly
discovered information related to his medical diagnoses.
Because he did not file his motion within one year of
judgment entering and because he has not demonstrated
extraordinary circumstances entitling him to relief under the
catch-all provision of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b)(6), the Court denies his motion.
27, 2016, Nicholas Gladu filed an amended complaint against
Correct Care Solutions, Robert Clinton, M.D., George
Stockwell, D.O., Wendy Riebe, R.N., the Maine Department of
Corrections, and Susan Carr. First Am. Compl. (ECF
No. 251).On January 3, 2017, the Maine Department of
Corrections and Susan Carr moved for summary judgment.
Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 261). On January 4, 2017,
Correct Care Solutions, Robert Clinton, M.D., George
Stockwell, D.O., and Wendy Riebe, R.N. (collectively CCS)
moved for summary judgment. Defs. Correct Care Solutions,
Robert Clinton, M.D., George Stockwell, D.O. and Wendy
Riebe's Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 266). Mr. Gladu
responded to both motions for summary judgment on March 22,
2017. Pl.'s Br. in Resp. to Defs.' Mots. For
Summ. J. (ECF No. 341). On December 18, 2017, the
Magistrate Judge issued a report and recommended decision
recommending a grant of summary judgment for all Defendants
and against Mr. Gladu. Recommended Decision on Defs.'
Mots. for Summ. J. and Order on Pl.'s Record-Related
Mots. (ECF No. 512).
December 28, 2017, Mr. Gladu objected to the Magistrate
Judge's Recommended Decision. Pl.'s Obj. to
Report and Recommended Decision (ECF No. 520). On
January 16, 2018, CCS responded to Mr. Gladu's objection.
Defs. Correct Care Solutions, Robert Clinton, M.D.,
George Stockwell, D.O. and Wendy Riebe's Resp. to
Pl.'s Obj. to Report and Recommended Decision (ECF
No. 525). On February 14, 2018, this Court affirmed the
recommended decision of the Magistrate Judge and issued a
judgment granting both motions for summary judgment.
Order Affirming the Recommended Decision of the
Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 541) (Order). On
February 15, 2018, the Clerk of Court entered judgment in
favor of all the Defendants and against the Plaintiff's
Complaint. J. (ECF No. 542). On February 18, 2018,
Mr. Gladu appealed the judgment to the Court of Appeals for
the First Circuit, Notice of Appeal (ECF No. 545),
and on February 23, 2018, he filed a second notice of appeal
to the First Circuit. Notice of Appeal (ECF No.
August 9, 2019, Mr. Gladu filed a motion to vacate judgment
in this Court. Mot. to Vacate J. (ECF No. 563)
(Pl.'s Mot.). On August 30, 2019, the First
Circuit issued its judgment, affirming the Court's grant
of summary judgment to the Defendants. J. of Ct. of
Appeals for the First Circuit (ECF No. 566). On
September 20, 2019, the First Circuit issued its mandate,
returning jurisdiction to this Court. Mandate (ECF
No. 568); Mandate (ECF No. 569). On November 5,
2019, CCS responded to Mr. Gladu's motion to vacate
judgment. Defs. Correct Care Solutions, Robert Clinton,
M.D., George Stockwell, D.O. and Wendy Riebe's Obj. to
Pl.'s Mot. to Vacate J. (ECF No. 571)
Nicholas Gladu's Motion to Vacate Judgment
Gladu moves the Court to vacate judgment against him under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(2), (3), and (6).
Pl.'s Mot. at 1. Mr. Gladu states that
“[t]hroughout the course of litigation in [this]
matter, [he] sought various diagnostic medical testing and
consultation with medical specialists, for what [he]
contended to be a[n] undiagnosed underlying serious medical
condition, ” though CCS argued such testing was
unnecessary. Id. He states that “[s]hortly
after final judgment in this matter, the Maine Board of
Licensure in Medicine began an inquest into [his] medical
care and treatment by Defendant Dr. Clinton” which made
clear that some of the diagnostic tests he sought “were
in fact actually medically necessary.” Id.
Because of this, “Dr. Clinton performed follow-up
testing of [his] phosphorus and Vitamin D 25OH levels and
made subsequent referrals to disease specialists based in
part on those results.” Id. This
“follow-up revealed continued hyperphosphatemia.”
Id. at 2. Mr. Gladu notes that throughout this
litigation, his “other lab results showed recurrent
hematuria and proteinuria” which “herald chronic
kidney disease collectively.” Id.
Gladu states that “[o]n August 28, 2018, Defendant Dr.
Clinton referred [him] to urology for consultation of
recurrent hematuria.” Id. On “October
31, 2018, [Mr. Gladu] was seen by a urologist who was
confused why [he] had been sent to urology at all and
immediately recommended that [he] be evaluated by a
nephrologist.” Id. Dr. Clinton approved Mr.
Gladu's referral to a nephrologist days later, and on
April 12, 2019, Mr. Gladu “was finally sent to
nephrology for consultation.” Id. Mr. Gladu
insinuates that this delay was the result of an effort to
prevent him from presenting “new evidence to the Court
for a motion such as this.” Id.
Gladu states that on June 19, 2019, he underwent testing
requested by his nephrologist, and on July 24, 2019, he was
informed that his nephrologist had “diagnosed [him]
with chronic kidney disease and intended to continue workup
of [his] fluid imbalance issues (hypernatremia and
hyper[osmolar]ity).” Id. Mr. Gladu asserts
that “Chronic Kidney Disease is unquestionably a
serious medical need as contemplated under the Eighth
Amendment, ” as it can cause “bone
mineralization disorders and/or secondary
hyperparathyroidism[, b]oth of which cause protracted bone
pain similar to those complaints by [Mr. Gladu] since the
onset of this case.” Id. at 3.
Gladu alleges “[u]pon information and belief”
that CCS “intentionally delayed [his] nephrology
consultation until after the 1 year deadline for [him] to
introduce new evidence in this matter, as [it] knew or
reasonably should have known, that [his] const[e]llation of
symptoms and labwork abnormalities would result in a
diagnosis of chronic kidney disease and other serious
disorders . . ..” Id. He states that
“Rule 60(b)(6) expressly authorizes the Court to vacate
judgment for ‘any other reason justifying relief from
the operation of the judgment'” and that his
“unique circumstances (as a prisoner who cannot
otherwise seek necessary medical diagnostic testing or
consultation by a specialist) need be strongly considered as
to whether good cause exists for [him] to present new
evidence following the 1 year mark from final
makes three arguments why the Court should deny Mr.
Gladu's Motion to Vacate Judgment. First, CCS argues that
the Court “lacks the authority to amend its judgment
once i[t] has been affirmed on appeal.” Defs.'
Obj. at 2 (citing Elias v. Ford Motor Co., 734
F.2d 463, 465 (1st Cir. 1984)). CCS says “[t]he mandate
rule . . . does not divest the district court of the
authority to address issues on which the appellate court has
not expressly or implicitly ruled.” Id. at 3
(citing Diaz v. Jiten Hotel Mgmt., 741 F.3d 170, 175
(1st Cir. 2013)). However, “whatever was before the
appellate court and disposed of by the decree is considered
as finally settled and becomes the law of the case.”
Id. (quoting McMahan Jets, LLC v. X-Air Flight
Support, LLC, No. 2:10CV175KS-MTP, 2012 WL 5606635, at
*2 (S.D.Miss. Nov. 15, 2012)). CCS argues “the First
Circuit considered de novo the record on appeal and
affirmed the entry of summary judgment.” Id.
It states the First Circuit also “had before it Mr.
Gladu's Motion to Vacate the judgment, and the medical