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Jusino v. Frayne

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 2, 2016

JOSE A. JUSINO, Plaintiff,
MARK FRAYNE, et al., Defendants.


          Michael P. Shea United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Jose A. Jusino, currently incarcerated at the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, filed this case pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting claims for deliberate indifference to mental health needs and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiff names as defendants Mark Frayne, Gerard Gagne, Jr., Paul Chaplin, Robert Berger, Craig Burns, Scarlett Forbes, Andrea Reischerl, and Brian Liebel. All defendants are named in individual and official capacities.

         Under section 1915A of title 28 of the United States Code, the Court must review prisoner civil complaints and dismiss any portion of the complaint that is frivolous or malicious, that 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. In reviewing a pro se complaint, the Court must assume the truth of the allegations, and interpret them liberally to “raise the strongest arguments [they] suggest[].” Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007). Although detailed allegations are not required, the complaint must include sufficient facts to afford the defendants fair notice of the claims and the grounds upon which they are based and to demonstrate a plausible right to relief. Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Conclusory allegations are not sufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. Nevertheless, it is well-established that “[p]ro se complaints ‘must be construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest.’” Sykes v. Bank of Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006)); see also Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se litigants).

         I. Allegations

         The plaintiff has been diagnosed with multiple psychological disabilities. Although disputed by the defendants, he claims to have a documented brain impairment.

         On February 28, 2013, the plaintiff was rushed to an outside emergency room for an overdose. On March 3, 2013, he barricaded himself in his cell and set fire to his property. On March 7, 2013, the plaintiff was transferred to Northern Correctional Institution (“Northern”), the state’s most restrictive correctional facility. At Northern, the plaintiff’s mental health treatment is supervised by defendant Frayne. The plaintiff alleges that defendant Frayne assisted the state prosecutor in a state matter which was an attempt to kill him. On March 20, 2013, the plaintiff first asked to participate in the “Start Now” program which was designed to help inmates with coping skills.

         On April 8, 2013, the plaintiff was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. On April 10, 2013, the plaintiff met with defendant Gagne concerning his sentence. The plaintiff asked defendant Gagne why he did not do a follow-up visit upon the plaintiff’s return to Northern following his overdose. The plaintiff alleges that defendant Gagne stated that there was no need for a follow-up because the plaintiff is a sociopath who does not care for others or consequences.

         On May 3, 2013, the plaintiff gave defendant Forbes a copy of psychiatric reports and brain scans. The following day, the plaintiff asked defendant Forbes what was wrong with him. She told the plaintiff that he did not have any of those diagnoses. Defendant Forbes stated that the plaintiff was emotionally disturbed, immature and seeking attention. The plaintiff requested treatment and enrollment in the Start Now program. Defendant Forbes refused and stated she was too busy.

         On June 18, 2013, the plaintiff engaged in a verbal confrontation with defendant Frayne. The plaintiff requested a new case worker because defendant Forbes was not doing her job. Defendant Frayne refused and threatened to lower the plaintiff’s mental health score. The plaintiff agreed that it would be a good idea. Later that day, the plaintiff felt worthless and began cutting himself.

         On November 7, 2013, the plaintiff engaged in another verbal confrontation with defendant Frayne regarding his mental health treatment. On November 8, 2013, the plaintiff asked to speak with defendant Forbes while she was in his housing unit. Defendant Forbes stated that she was not touring the unit. The plaintiff felt angry, worthless, and ignored; he decided to overdose. While waiting for an ambulance, defendant Forbes told the plaintiff that she was coming back to see him and that he did not have to do something stupid. The plaintiff responded that suicide was not stupid, only her excuses were.

         The plaintiff remained at the University of Connecticut Health Center on suicide watch from November 8, 2013, until November 12, 2013. He was evaluated by a psychologist and psychiatrist who diagnosed him as suffering from major depression disorder. They prescribed Prozac and recommended intense therapy.

         On November 14, 2013, defendant Frayne told the plaintiff that Prozac had serious side effects, including breast growth, and that he would have defendant Gagne prescribe a more suitable medication. The plaintiff asked defendant Frayne about therapy and requested participation in the Start Now program. Defendant Frayne became angry and told the plaintiff that he would not receive anything beyond the protocol. Defendant Frayne stated that the plaintiff could not expect to be rewarded for his actions. The plaintiff felt hopeless and began to cut himself.

         The last week of November 2013, the plaintiff submitted an inmate request to defendant Gagne concerning Prozac. On December 4, 2013, defendant Gagne told the plaintiff that he had discontinued the Prozac and that the plaintiff needed no medication.

         On December 7, 2013, defendant Burns placed the plaintiff on observation because of a letter the plaintiff had written. On December 12, 2013, after a conversation with defendant Frayne, the plaintiff attempted to hang himself. On December 23, 2013, the plaintiff spoke with defendant Burns regarding his mental health needs.

         On April 17, 2014, the plaintiff was placed on mental health observation. On April 23, 2014, defendant Gagne prescribed incorrect medication for the plaintiff. When the plaintiff complained that the medication was not working and that ...

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