United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MIGUEL A. DIAZ, Plaintiff,
WARDEN CHAPALAIN, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Miguel A. Diaz is incarcerated at Corrigan Correctional
Center. He has filed a complaint pro se and in
forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Warden Chapalain and Captain Rivera. Based on my initial review
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I conclude that the
complaint should be dismissed on the ground that it plainly
fails to state plausible grounds for relief.
following allegations from plaintiff's complaint are
accepted as true for purposes of the Court's initial
review. On June 28, 2015, plaintiff visited the prison barber
for a haircut. After the haircut, he noticed a pimple on his
head that was painful and began to grow. He asked a unit
staff member if he could be seen by someone in the medical
department, but the unit staff denied his request because
they determined that it was not an emergency. Doc. #1 at 6
pimple grew into a bump, continued to hurt, and made it
difficult for plaintiff to move his head from side to side.
Plaintiff began to experience swelling in his neck, and the
bump continued to get larger. Plaintiff then spoke to
Correctional Officers Batista and Lewis about his condition,
and they sent him to be seen by someone in the medical
department. Ibid. (¶¶ 4-6).
medical staff member prescribed pain medication and scheduled
plaintiff to be seen by a physician. A physician diagnosed
plaintiff as suffering from an infection called
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
(“MRSA”) and prescribed an antibiotic to treat
the condition. A culture of the lesion confirmed the MRSA
diagnosis. Ibid. (¶¶ 7-9).
contends that he contracted MRSA when the barber cut his
hair. Ibid. (¶ 1). He states that MRSA is now
in his system, and he suffered from a second breakout in
February 2016. Ibid. (¶ 10). In addition, he
has a scar on his head from the lesion. Plaintiff claims that
barbers and other people who observe the scar question him
about it and treat him differently. These reactions have
caused him emotional distress. Ibid. (¶ 11).
Plaintiff brings this case against Warden Chapdalaine and
Captain Rivera for compensatory damages.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), 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. The
Court must accept as true all factual matters alleged in a
complaint, although a complaint may not survive unless its
factual recitations state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Mastafa v. Chevron Corp.,
770 F.3d 170, 177 (2d Cir. 2014) (same). 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); see also
Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010)
(discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se
complaint is best characterized as an Eighth Amendment claim
of deliberate indifference under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It is
well established that “[a] prison official's
‘deliberate indifference' to a substantial risk of
serious harm to an inmate violates the Eighth
Amendment.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
828 (1994). A deliberate indifference claim has two component
requirements. “The first requirement is objective: the
alleged deprivation of adequate medical care must be
sufficiently serious. The second requirement is subjective:
the charged officials must be subjectively reckless in their
denial of medical care.” Spavone v. New York State
Dep't of Corr. Servs., 719 F.3d 127, 138 (2d Cir.
2013). In order to meet the subjective requirement,
“the charged official [must] act or fail to act while
actually aware of a substantial risk that serious
inmate harm will result.” Ibid.
plaintiff asserts that he contracted a serious medical
condition, MRSA, he does not assert facts to suggest that
defendants or others at MacDougall were deliberately
indifferent to his health or medical needs. Plaintiff names
only two defendants, Warden Chapdalaine and Captain Rivera.
Beyond naming them as defendants, plaintiff does not
specifically mention Warden Chapdalaine or Captain Rivera
anywhere in his complaint. Plaintiff does not allege that
these defendants acted or failed to act in response to his
medical condition, nor does he allege any facts to suggest
they were personally involved in or aware of the conduct
comprising the alleged constitutional violation. See
Grullon v. City of New Haven, 720 F.3d 133, 138 (2d Cir.
2013) (“It is well settled that, in order to establish
a defendant's individual liability in a suit brought
under § 1983, a plaintiff must show, inter
alia, the defendant's personal involvement in the
alleged constitutional deprivation.”); Raspardo v.
Carlone, 770 F.3d 97, 116 (2d Cir. 2014) (noting that
“liability for supervisory government officials cannot
be premised on a theory of respondeat superior
because § 1983 requires individual, personalized
liability on the part of each government defendant”).
Accordingly, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §
plaintiff had named as defendants the officials whom he
mentions in his complaint, he has not alleged facts to
suggest that those officials were aware of a substantial risk
that he would suffer serious harm. At the time plaintiff
first asked a staff member in his housing unit to be seen in
the medical department, he only had a pimple on his head that
was painful. Unit staff members did not grant plaintiff's
request to go the medical department because they did not
think that his condition was serious. To the extent that unit
staff members were negligent in refusing to permit the
plaintiff to visit the medical department, such conduct is
not cognizable in a civil rights action. See Farid v.
Ellen, 593 F.3d 233, 249 (2d Cir. 2010)
(“negligence is insufficient to support an Eighth
Amendment claim” of deliberate indifference).
plaintiff asked to be taken to the medical department after
his condition became worse, he claims that correctional
officers sent him to be seen in the medical department.
Medical staff then diagnosed his condition and prescribed
medication to treat it. There are no facts in the complaint
that suffice to establish plausible grounds for relief for
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs under the
Eighth Amendment. In the obvious absence of such ...