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Garcia v. University of Connecticut Health Care Center

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

September 29, 2016

JOSE GARCIA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT HEALTH CARE CENTER, ET AL., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          JANET C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The plaintiff, Jose Garcia (“Garcia”), is incarcerated at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, Connecticut. He has filed a complaint under section 1983 of title 42 against the University of Connecticut Health Care Center (“UCONN”), the Department of Corrections, Commissioner Scott Semple, Correctional Officers Genise, Gray, Parnisakul, Burritt, Ross and Byars, Lieutenant Hurdle, Social Workers Marek and Bertulis and Nurse Yerkes. Doc. No. 1. For the reasons set forth below, the Complaint is dismissed in part.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Pursuant to section 1915A(b) of title 28, 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 have an obligation to interpret “a pro se complaint liberally, ” the complaint must still 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).

         III. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         On May 6, 2014 at Garner, Officer Genise made repeated verbal comments to Garcia regarding his mental illness. See Compl. at 6-7. After two hours of verbal harassment, Garcia was unable to control his anger and his disruptive conduct resulted in his placement in the restrictive housing unit. See id. at 7.

         Garcia informed Officer Gray, Social Workers Marek and Bertulis, and Nurse Yerkes that he had been provoked by Officer Genise and that he could not control the symptoms associated with his bi-polar and anxiety disorder. See id. He requested that Social Workers Marek and Bertulis and Nurse Yerkes prescribe medication to treat his symptoms, but they refused to do so. See id. Garcia's mental health condition deteriorated, and he became irate and extremely agitated. See id.

         Officers Parnisakul and Burritt handcuffed Garcia, escorted him to a multipurpose room, placed him in a steel cage and then escorted him to another cell. See Id. at 7-8. When Garcia arrived at the new cell, Officers Parnisakul, Burritt, Ross, and Byars placed him in handcuffs, leg shackles, and a tether chain around his waist. The officers applied the restraints in such a way that Garcia was unable to stand upright or use the toilet. See id. at 8. He was forced to urinate and defecate on himself. See Id. He remained in soiled clothes for nine hours. See id.

         When Lieutenant Hurdle came to remove the restraints, Garcia asked for a wash cloth to clean himself because he was scheduled to go to a court hearing. See Id. Lieutenant Hurdle refused to permit Garcia to clean himself off and suggested that Garcia might think twice next time about pissing off staff and threatening to file lawsuits. See id.

         After Garcia arrived at the courthouse, his mental health condition deteriorated, and he attempted to hang himself in the holding cell. See id. at 9. Officers transported him to New Britain Hospital for treatment. See id. Garcia suffered injuries to his neck, head, and back. See id. After his return to Garner, medical staff placed him in the inpatient unit for observation. See id. Eventually, prison staff returned Garcia to the restrictive housing unit. See id.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. Americans with ...


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