United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
Laheem Smith, currently incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker
Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed this
case pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting
claims for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.
Plaintiff names as defendants Nurse Jane Doe 1 and Head Nurse
Jane Doe 2 from New Haven Correctional Center,
Physician's Assistant Kevin McCrystal from MacDougall,
and the Review Committee of the University of Connecticut
Health Center. He seeks damages and injunctive relief. The
complaint was received by the Court on December 12, 2016. The
plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
was granted on December 21, 2016. (ECF No. 6.)
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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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
February 20, 2016, Plaintiff injured his left leg while
playing basketball at New Haven Correctional Center. He was
taken to the medical unit in a wheelchair.
told Nurse Doe 1 that he heard and felt something pop inside
his left leg and experienced severe pain. Defendant Doe 1
asked Plaintiff if he could move his ankle. In response,
Plaintiff stated that the injury was in his leg. Defendant
Doe 1 told Plaintiff that he was not a doctor and should not
tell her how to diagnose him. Plaintiff asked to be taken to
the hospital. Defendant Doe 1 gave Plaintiff ibuprofen and
ordered him to return to his housing unit. To do so,
Plaintiff had to walk up six flights of stairs.
following day, Plaintiff was given one crutch but was told
that he could not use the crutch outside his cell. Plaintiff
submitted numerous complaints to the medical unit complaining
of pain and his injury.
was called to the medical unit on March 3, 2016, where he was
seen by Head Nurse Doe 2. She did not order x-rays or an MRI.
Defendant Doe 2 diagnosed Plaintiff with a partially torn
Achilles tendon and told him that she would order a special
boot so his leg would heal properly.
March 14, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred to the Walker
building at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. He
informed the medical unit of his injury and stated that he
expected to receive the special boot ordered by defendant Doe
2. On April 17, 2016, Plaintiff was called to the medical
unit and given a special boot to wear for six weeks. He was
told that defendant Doe 2 never ordered a boot for him.
9, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred to the MacDougall
building. He informed the medical unit of his injuries and
told them that the six week period for wearing the boot would
end on May 19, 2016. A nurse recommended that he see a
specialist before having the boot removed. In June 2016,
Plaintiff saw defendant McCrystal. Plaintiff told him that he
continued to experience severe pain. Defendant McCrystal
prescribed ibuprofen and told Plaintiff that he would
schedule an x-ray.
13, 2016, x-rays were taken of Plaintiff's left ankle.
The x-rays revealed a chronic injury to the Achilles tendon
as well as insertional tendonitis of the Achilles tendon. The
doctor interpreting the x-ray suggested that an MRI could be
performed to specifically evaluate the tendon. Upon learning
the results of the x-ray, Plaintiff again requested an MRI.
McCrystal submitted a request for an MRI to the Review
Committee. In the request, defendant McCrystal falsely stated
that Plaintiff had pending litigation against the University
of Connecticut and Department of Correction. The Review
Committee denied the request for MRI.
alleges that the defendants Doe 1, Doe 2, and McCrystal were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need in the
following ways. Defendant Doe 1 failed to provide proper
care, failed to ensure that Plaintiff was seen by a doctor,
denied emergency medical care, and forced Plaintiff to walk
up six flights of stairs. Defendant Doe 2 failed to have
Plaintiff seen by a doctor and did not order the special
boot. Defendant McCrystal ordered x-rays of Plaintiff's
left ankle rather than his left leg, and improperly stated in
the MRI request that Plaintiff had a ...