United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ROBERT H. SUNDERMIER, Plaintiff,
WARDEN CHAPDELAINE, ET AL., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea, U.S.D.J.
plaintiff, Robert H. Sundermier, is incarcerated at the
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield,
Connecticut (“MacDougall-Walker”). He filed a
complaint against Warden Carol Chapdelaine, Dr. S. Naqvi, Dr.
Wu, Nursing Supervisor Heidi Green and Associate Director of
Patient Care Mary Ellen Castro. Although the complaint does
not specify a legal theory, the Court construes it to assert
violations of the Eighth Amendment. On March 9, 2016, the
plaintiff moved for leave to file an amended complaint. On
April 29, 2016, the court granted the motion to amend and
directed the plaintiff to file his amended complaint within
twenty days of the date of the order. To date, the plaintiff
has not filed an amended complaint. Accordingly, the court
reviews the allegations in the original complaint.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), 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.
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
plaintiff claims that on August 28, 2015, at his sentencing
hearing in state court, he injured his left hip and ankle.
Upon his return to MacDougall-Walker, officers transported
him in a wheelchair to the medical department to be examined.
August 31, 2015, Dr. Naqvi referred him for x-rays of his
left ankle and hip and provided him with crutches. On
September 3, 2015, the plaintiff began taking pain
medication. On September 4, 2015, a nurse sent the plaintiff
to the hospital because she could not detect a pulse in his
ankle. The plaintiff contends that the nurse mistakenly
checked for a pulse on the wrong side of his ankle. An
ultrasound revealed no blood-clot in his left leg or ankle.
September 9, 2015, Dr. Naqvi prescribed a muscle relaxant and
referred the plaintiff for a CT scan and a consultation with
an orthopedist. Dr. Naqvi did not issue the plaintiff a pass
to shower in the handicapped shower room or wrap the
plaintiff’s ankle. The plaintiff washed himself using
water from the sink in his cell.
September 22, 2015, Dr. Naqvi prescribed a stronger pain
medication to be taken in the evening. On September 26, 2015,
Dr. Naqvi prescribed pain medication to be taken during the
day. On October 7, 2015, Dr. Naqvi informed the plaintiff
that the requests for a consultation had been approved. He
also prescribed a stronger pain medication to be taken by the
plaintiff during the day.
November 4, 2015, a vascular surgeon examined the plaintiff.
On November 5, 2015, the plaintiff underwent a CT scan which
revealed two bulging discs, degenerated disc disease and a
pinched sciatic nerve.
November 8, 2015, the plaintiff wrote to Captain Hall asking
to be permitted to use the handicapped shower room. Captain
Hall contacted Nurse Heidi Green regarding the
plaintiff’s medical status. On November 15, 2015, the
plaintiff asked Dr. Naqvi why he still had not been examined
by an orthopedist. He also requested a wheelchair and
stronger pain medication.
November 16, 2015, Dr. Naqvi prescribed a pain medication
patch. The plaintiff developed an allergic reaction to the
patch. The plaintiff’s left ankle was still painful and
November 25, 2015, the plaintiff was approved for a shower in
the handicapped shower room and was moved to a handicapped
plaintiff filed a grievance about the failure of Dr. Naqvi to
refer him to be seen by an orthopedist. On December 2, 2015,
a follow-up visit with the vascular surgeon indicated there
was no evidence of vascular problems.
December 3, 2015, Dr. Naqvi ordered a wheelchair for the
plaintiff and referred the plaintiff for x-rays of his left
foot. On December 20, 2015, Dr. Naqvi informed the plaintiff
that the x-rays revealed no broken bones in his left foot. On
December 24, 2015, after using crutches for seventeen weeks,
medical staff approved the plaintiff to use a wheelchair. On