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Acevedo v. Wilson

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 9, 2017

ANDRES J. ACEVEDO, Plaintiff,
v.
DEBBIE WILSON, et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

          Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Andres J. Acevedo is confined at the Cheshire Correctional Institution. He has filed a complaint pro se and in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff names two defendants, Nurse Debbie Wilson and Dr. Ruiz. He seeks damages as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. After an initial review, the Court concludes that the complaint should be served on defendant Wilson; the claim against defendant Ruiz, on the other hand, will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         Background

         The following allegations from plaintiff's complaint are accepted as true for purposes of the Court's initial review. Plaintiff has suffered from eye pain and blurred vision with flashes of light for two years. Doc. #1 at 3 (¶ 6). In September 2015, plaintiff submitted a request to the medical department at Cheshire Correctional to address these issues. Id. at 3 (¶ 7). Dr. Ruiz, a doctor stationed at Cheshire Correctional, then submitted a request to the Utilization Review Committee seeking approval for plaintiff to be seen by a specialist. Id. at 3 (¶ 9). The Utilization Review Committee decided to send plaintiff to the ophthalmology department at the University of Connecticut hospital. Ibid.

         On January 5, 2016, an ophthalmologist at the University of Connecticut diagnosed plaintiff with cataracts and scheduled him for surgery. Id. at 3 (¶ 10). On February 8, 2016, plaintiff underwent surgery, consisting of a lens implant in his right eye. Id. at 3 (¶ 11). Plaintiff had a follow-up visit the next day with the surgeon, Dr. Ehlers. At this visit, plaintiff complained of extreme pain. He received prescriptions for various eye drops, ibuprofen, and Prilosec for pain and sickness. Id. at 3-4 (¶¶ 12-14), 15.

         When inmates return from outside medical visits, they report to the medical unit at Cheshire Correctional to discuss any orders or prescriptions issued by the consulting physicians. Id. at 4 (¶ 15). On February 9, 2016, after returning from his follow-up visit with Dr. Ehlers, plaintiff reported to the medical unit and met with defendant Wilson. He gave defendant Wilson the paperwork and prescriptions provided by Dr. Ehlers and had a brief conversation with her before returning to his housing unit. Id. at 4 (¶ 16). Defendant Wilson was responsible for submitting the prescriptions to the pharmacy. Id. at 6 (¶ 29).

         On February 10, 2016, plaintiff returned to the hospital for another follow-up appointment, complaining of pounding pain behind his eye. He was prescribed another eye drop. Id. at 4 (¶ 17). On February 16, 2016, plaintiff had another follow-up visit with Dr. Ehlers. Ibid. Plaintiff told Dr. Ehlers that some of the pain had subsided but that he was experiencing blurred and hazy vision and a gritty feeling in his eye. Id. at 4 (¶ 19). Plaintiff was again prescribed eye drops. Id. at 5 (¶ 20), 18.

         On March 24, 2016, at another appointment with Dr. Ehlers, plaintiff complained of hazy vision and sensitivity to light, which caused discomfort and headaches. Id. at 5 (¶ 21). Dr. Ehlers prescribed special glasses to address these conditions. Ibid. When he returned to Cheshire Correctional, plaintiff reported to the medical unit and met with defendant Wilson. At this meeting, defendant Wilson allegedly tore up and destroyed the prescription for special glasses and told plaintiff he would not receive the glasses. She did not provide a reason. Id. at 5 (¶¶ 23- 26). Plaintiff also never received Prilosec, which had been prescribed for sickness resulting from pain medication. Id. at 6 (¶ 28).

         On July 12, 2016, after writing several requests to the medical unit complaining of severe pain, headaches, and light sensitivity, plaintiff submitted a grievance seeking a health service review, requesting the special glasses that he had not received, and requesting surgery to correct his hazy vision. Id. at 6 (¶ 30), 20-21.

         On August 4, 2016, defendant Ruiz submitted a request to the Utilization Review Committee for a YAG laser treatment to correct plaintiff's hazy vision. Id. at 6 (¶ 32). On August 9, 2016, plaintiff submitted another grievance seeking a health service review and requesting the special glasses. Id. at 6 (¶ 32), 23-24. Plaintiff never received the special glasses. Id. at 6-7 (¶ 33).

         On September 14, 2016, plaintiff had another appointment with Dr. Ehlers. Dr. Ehlers requested an evaluation for YAG laser treatment and prescribed artificial tears. Id. at 7 (¶¶ 34- 35). Upon returning to the correctional facility, plaintiff submitted his paperwork and the prescription for artificial tears to the medical unit. Plaintiff never received the artificial tears. Id. at 7 (¶ 37).

         On November 15, 2016, plaintiff was called to the medical unit to have blood drawn, which is standard policy whenever an inmate is scheduled for surgery. Id. at 7-8 (¶¶ 38-39). The following day, defendant Wilson called plaintiff to the medical unit and informed him that she had cancelled the surgery. Ignoring Dr. Ehlers' recommendation, defendant Wilson told plaintiff that before any surgery could be performed, he had to have someone at the University of Connecticut determine whether the surgery was medically necessary. Ultimately, plaintiff underwent the YAG laser surgery. Id. at 8 (¶¶ 41-43).

         The lights in the correctional facility are on from 5:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Although plaintiff can turn off the light in his cell, daylight still enters through the window to the outdoors and the window in the cell door. Inmates are forbidden from blocking the windows or hanging anything from the bunk to block the light. As a result, plaintiff constantly experiences debilitating pain from the light. The ...


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