United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. Underhill United States District Judge
plaintiff, Gary Gray, incarcerated and pro se, has
filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Unit Manager Jackson and the University of Connecticut
Medical Hospital/Health Care Center. For the reasons set
forth below, I dismiss Gray's complaint.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), I 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.”
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 include sufficient factual allegations to meet the
standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
alleges that in January 2014, he was a pretrial detainee and
was confined at MacDougall Correctional Institution. He
states that he had been diagnosed with cancer prior to his
incarceration, but the condition was in remission. He asserts
that once a week, Unit Manager Jackson gave him a
watered-down cleaning fluid to clean his cell as well as
cleaning supplies that had been used previously by other
inmates. He contends that the supplies were not sanitized
between uses and were hazardous.
about January 20, 2014, Gray cut himself shaving. At the
time, he was using a razor provided to him by a correctional
officer. Within a day or two, the cut became irritated and he
began to feel feverish and weak. Gray claims correctional
staff did not monitor him sufficiently and his condition
became worse over the next four days.
January 27, 2014, prison staff escorted him to the medical
department and admitted to the infirmary. On January 28,
2014, a nurse diagnosed Gray as suffering from pneumonia and
a physician directed medical staff to call an ambulance to
transfer Gray to John Dempsey Hospital for treatment. At the
hospital, physicians diagnosed Gray as suffering from
pneumonia and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
remained in the hospital until February 12, 2014. When he
arrived back at MacDougall, a physician ordered Gray to be
confined in the infirmary for a short stay and to be isolated
from other inmates and staff because he still suffered from
MRSA and was recovering from a thoracotomy that had been
performed in the hospital.
seeks compensatory damages and injunctive relief. For the
reasons set forth below, I dismiss Gray's complaint with
leave to amend.
Official Capacity Claims
extent that Gray seeks damages against the defendants in
their official capacities, the claims are barred by the
Eleventh Amendment. See Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S.
332, 342 (1979); see generally Kentucky v. Graham,
473 U.S. 159 (1985). I dismiss all such claims pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2).
University of Connecticut Medical Hospital/Health Care
state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must allege
facts showing that the defendant, a person acting under color
of state, law deprived him of a federally protected right.
See Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922, 930
(1982). A state agency is not a person within the meaning of
section 1983. See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, (1989) (state and state agencies
not persons within meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983).
University of Connecticut Health Center is a state agency, of
which the University of Connecticut John Dempsey Hospital
constitutes an integral part. See Walker v. State of
Connecticut, No. 06-cv-00165, 2006 WL 1981783, at *2 (D.
Conn. Mar. 15, 2006) (“Like other state agencies, the
University of Connecticut Health Center is not a person
within the meaning of section 1983.” (citations
omitted)); Stewart v. John Dempsey Hospital, No.
03-cv-1703, 2004 WL 78145, at *2 (D. Conn. Jan. 9, 2004)
(Eginton, J.); see also Ruby v. Massey, 452 F.Supp.
361, 364 (D. Conn. 1978). Because the University of
Connecticut Health Center is a state agency, it is not a
person subject to suit under section 1983. See
Walker, 2006 WL 1981783, at *2; Stewart, 2004
WL 78145, at *2 (holding that John Dempsey Hospital, as part
of the University of Connecticut Health Center, “is not