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Castillo v. Hogan

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 22, 2016

MICHAEL CASTILLO, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER HOGAN, et al. Defendants.

RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS

VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Plaintiff, Michael Castillo, is currently confined at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution in Uncasville, Connecticut (“Corrigan”). On March 9, 2015, he filed an amended civil rights complaint naming Correctional Officers J. Hogan, Johnson, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2, Lieutenants Smith, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2, Warden Jon Brighthaupt, Deputy Warden Lauren Powers, Nurses Vickie Garcia, Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, and Jane Doe 3, Nursing Supervisor C. Durato, Medical Supervisor B. Stewart, Medical Grievance Coordinator Sheryl Estrom, Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, and Health Services Administrator S. Brown as defendants.

On April 30, 2015, the Court issued a ruling that: (1) dismissed all claims against defendants Brighthaupt and Powers pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1); (2) concluded that the Eighth Amendment claims of deliberate indifference to medical needs and the state law claims of negligence/malpractice would proceed against Lieutenants Smith, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2, Correctional Officers Hogan, Johnson, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2, Nurses Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and Vickie Garcia, Nursing Supervisor C. Durato, Medical Supervisor B. Stewart, Medical Grievance Coordinator Sheryl Estrom, Dr. Ricardo Ruiz and Health Services Administrator S. Brown; and (3) permitted the retaliation claim to proceed against Lieutenant Smith and Correctional Officers Hogan and Johnson. Pending before the Court is the defendants’ motion to dismiss [Doc. No. 15]. For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss is DENIED IN PART and GRANTED IN PART.

Consequently, the following claims remain: (1) the Eighth Amendment claims of deliberate indifference to medical needs against Lieutenants Smith, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2, Correctional Officers Hogan, Johnson, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2, Nurses Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and Vickie Garcia, Nursing Supervisor C. Durato, Medical Supervisor B. Stewart, Medical Grievance Coordinator Sheryl Estrom, Dr. Ricardo Ruiz and Health Services Administrator S. Brown; and (2) the Fifth Amendment retaliation claim against Lieutenant Smith and Correctional Officers Hogan and Johnson. .

I. Factual Allegations

Mr. Castillo alleges that, in January 2011, at Cheshire Correctional Institution, he became ill with a severe nasal infection. He claims that, between January and March 6, 2011, Officers John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, Lieutenants John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, and Nurses Garcia, Jane Doe 1, and Jane Doe 2 failed either to treat him for his condition or to arrange for treatment of the condition.

On February 17, 2011, Lieutenant Smith and Correctional Officers Hogan, Johnson, and John Doe 3 placed Mr. Castillo in the restrictive housing unit in connection with an investigation into gang activity. On February 24, 2011, Lieutenant Smith and Correctional Officers Hogan and Johnson escorted Mr. Castillo into a room to be questioned about gang activity. Mr. Castillo complained about the pain caused by his nasal condition. Lieutenant Smith and Correctional Officers Hogan and Johnson informed Mr. Castillo that his answers to their questions and the outcome of their investigation would determine whether they would arrange for him to receive medical treatment. Mr. Castillo denied all knowledge of any misconduct, invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to answer any questions and refused to cooperate in the investigation. Lieutenant Smith and Correctional Officers Hogan and Johnson then allegedly sent Mr. Castillo back to the restrictive housing unit without arranging for him to receive medical treatment.

Dr. Ruiz examined Mr. Castillo on March 7, 2011, and diagnosed him as suffering from allergies. Dr. Ruiz ordered x-rays and prescribed medication to treat Mr. Castillo’s condition. On many occasions after receiving treatment on March 7, 2011, Mr. Castillo complained about the fact that the medication was not helping to treat his nasal condition, but defendant Ruiz allegedly failed to listen to Mr. Castillo, re-examine him, or provide new treatment.

Mr. Castillo made Nursing Supervisor C. Durato, Medical Supervisor B. Stewart, Medical Grievance Coordinator Sheryl Estrom, Health Services Administrator Brown, and Nurse Jane Doe 3 aware of his medical condition and complaints by filing grievances and inmate requests. None of these defendants attempted to arrange for or provide medical treatment to Mr. Castillo.

On June 21, 2012, Grievance Coordinator Estrom allegedly listened to Mr. Castillo’s symptoms, but refused to arrange for a physician to see Mr. Castillo immediately. Instead, she placed Mr. Castillo on a list to see a physician and did not provide Mr. Castillo with any treatment or medication.

On July 3, 2012, Nurse Jane Doe 3 allegedly listened to Mr. Castillo’s complaints but refused to arrange for a physician to see Mr. Castillo immediately. She suggested that Mr. Castillo had not received treatment for his condition because he had filed too many written grievances and complaints. She allegedly did not provide him with treatment or medication.

Dr. O’Halloran allegedly examined Mr. Castillo on July 19, 2012 and diagnosed him as suffering from a severe nasal infection. He prescribed medication which successfully cured the plaintiff’s infection.

II. Standard of Review

When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court accepts as true all factual allegations in the complaint and draws inferences from these allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974); Bigio v. Coca-Cola Co., 675 F.3d 163, 169 (2d Cir. 2012). In its review of the complaint, the Court applies a “plausibility standard, ’” which is guided by “[t]wo working principles.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). First, the requirement that a court accept as true the allegations in a complaint “‘is inapplicable to legal conclusions, ’ and ‘[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.’” Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Second, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state a ...


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