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Angileri v. Wu

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 28, 2016

JOHN WU, et al., Defendants.


          STEFAN R. UNDERHILL, District Judge.

         The plaintiff, Giuseppe Angileri, [1] incarcerated and pro se, has filed an amended complaint alleging the defendants, Correctional Managed Health Care, the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections, John Wu, Augustus Mazzocca, Ricardo Ruiz, Isaac Moss, Deborah Wilson, "Cindy" [last name unidentified], and John/Jane Doe 1-5, violated the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. See Am. Compl., Doc. No. 7. Angileri has also filed a motion for an order directing the defendants to comply with the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. See Motion for Order, Doc. No. 8. For the reasons set forth below, the motion for order is denied and the complaint is dismissed in part.

         I. Motion for Order [Doc. No. 8]

         Angileri's application to proceed in forma pauperis included a section in which Angileri agreed to permit the Department of Correction to deduct money from his inmate account to pay the full filing fee of $350.00. Angileri now contends that on one occasion in March 2016 the Department of Correction deducted too much money from his account towards the payment of the filing fee. He does not assert that he made any prior efforts to resolve this issue prior to filing this motion. He now seeks a court order directing the Department of Correction to reimburse $44.49 to his account.

         The Department of Correction has not yet forwarded any money from Angileri's inmate account to the court for the payment of the filing fee. It is the court's understanding that the Department of Correction waits to forward any money to the Clerk until the full amount of the filing fee has been collected from the inmate's account. Angileri has not alleged that he will suffer imminent harm if the relief requested is not granted. Accordingly, if he disagrees with the amount of money deducted by the Inmate Accounts Office of the Department of Correction, he should contact that office to resolve the issue. The motion [doc. No. 8] is denied.

         II. Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 7]

         A. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to section 1915A(b) of Title 28 of the United States Code, the court must review prisoner civil complaints against governmental actors and "dismiss... any portion of [a] complaint [that] is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, " or that "seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." Id. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).

         Although detailed allegations are not required, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A complaint that includes only "labels and conclusions, ' a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action' or naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement, '" does not meet the facial plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)). Although courts still have an obligation to interpret "a pro se complaint liberally, " the complaint must include sufficient factual allegations to meet the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations omitted).

         B. Background

         The following facts are alleged in the amended complaint. See Am. Compl., Doc. No. 7. Angileri suffered an injury to his left shoulder and neck prior to his incarceration. During his incarceration, Angileri complained of chronic pain in his left shoulder that radiated down his arm and up to his neck. He underwent an MRI of his left shoulder in June 2013. Following the MRI, prison medical staff submitted a request that Angileri be approved for surgery to his shoulder. The Utilization Review Committee approved the request and Dr. Mazzocca performed rotator cuff surgery in August 2013.

         Dr. Mazzocca's post-operative instructions included restrictions on weight bearing, an order that Angileri wear a sling and a brace, and a prescription for pain medication; however, Dr. Ruiz discontinued Angileri's pain medication prematurely despite his complaints of continuing pain after the surgery. The pain medication was reinstated two weeks later. In October 2013, Nurse Wilson required Angileri to move his property to a new cell despite his medical condition. Angileri claims that he experienced an increase in pain in his left shoulder as a result of the move.

         In March 2014, Angileri underwent a follow-up MRI of his left shoulder. A physician reviewed the MRI and noted abnormal spacing in the cervical vertebral canals. The MRI also reflected that the rotator cuff surgery had caused nerves in his neck to be pinched. An additional MRI in July 2014 reflected deterioration of the left shoulder tendon and fluid retention. In September 2014, Nurse "Cindy" discontinued one of Angileri's prescription medications, as well as an order that he be provided with ice for his neck pain on a daily basis, despite Angileri's on-going pain.

         A nerve conduction study performed on Angileri's left shoulder in October or November 2014 showed severe nerve damage. Dr. Mazzocca informed Angileri that the nerve damage to his neck was the cause of the nerve damage to his left shoulder. On November 12, 2014, Angileri underwent a second surgery on his left shoulder. A December 2014 MRI of Angileri's cervical spine showed joint degeneration, disc protrusion and spinal canal stenosis. Between December 2014 and July 2015, ...

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