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Madore v. Semple

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 6, 2017

ROLAND MADORE, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT SEMPLE, et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          Michael P. Shea United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Roland Madore, currently incarcerated at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, filed this case pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting claims for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The plaintiff names as defendants Commissioner Scott Semple, Nurse Dwiller, Gary Freston, Monica Faranella, Sayeed Naqvi, Johnny Wu, Richard Furey, Dr. Ruiz, and Correctional Officer Hammond. He seeks damages and injunctive relief. The complaint was received by the Court on January 27, 2017. The plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on February 1, 2017. (ECF No. 6.)

         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. 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 se litigants).

         I. Allegations

         Commissioner Semple has entered a contract with Johnny Wu of the University of Connecticut Health Center to form Correctional Managed Health Care (“CMHC”), which provides medical service to all Connecticut inmates. As part of the contract, Commissioner Semple agreed to assume liability for any judgments against CMHC regarding inmate medical and dental care. CMHC, through defendants Wu, Freston, Faranella and Naqvi, has developed a Utilization Review Committee (“URC”) that denies all requests for services at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Inmates must file medical habeas petitions in state court before they can obtain needed medical services.

         A. Sleep Apnea

         On August 2, 2014, the plaintiff requested a sleep apnea test. On August 6, 2014, Nurse Dwiller told the plaintiff that, according to his medical chart, he had been diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2013. The plaintiff contends that this is false.

         On September 25, 2014, Dr. Wright ordered a pulse oximeter study to measure the amount of oxygen in the plaintiff's blood. The test had to be performed twice, on September 30, 2014, and again on October 7, 2014, because the test machine malfunctioned.

         On November 4, 2014, defendants Wu, Faranella and Naqvi denied Dr. Wright's request for a sleep study at the University of Connecticut Health Center. On January 13, 2015, the plaintiff filed a medical habeas action in state court seeking a sleep study, hernia surgery, and a mouth guard. On January 28, 2015, the plaintiff went to the University of Connecticut Health Center for the sleep study, which revealed severe obstruction sleep apnea. Defendants Wu, Faranella and Naqvi denied requests for a sleeping wedge or double pillows.

         On February 18, 2015, Dr. Wright requested a sleep apnea machine, or C-PAP machine, for the plaintiff. On March 6, 2015, a C-PAP machine was delivered to the plaintiff. He refused the machine because it did not have a humidifier. On March 30, 2015, a C-PAP machine was delivered to the plaintiff. Again, he returned the machine because it did not have a humidifier.

         On May 21, 2015, the plaintiff met with Dr. Wright who appealed the denial of a C-PAP machine with a humidifier. On June 8, 2015, Dr. Wright told the plaintiff that the University of Connecticut Health Center had approved a C-PAP machine with a humidifier. The plaintiff received the machine on June 18, 2015, but it had the wrong pressure. On July 15, 2015, the plaintiff still needed a machine adjusted to the proper pressure. On August 11, 2015, he wrote a letter asking about the status of the machine. Nurse Lewis said she would discuss it with Dr. Wright. The plaintiff finally received the correct C-PAP machine sometime in September or October 2015.

         B. Hernia

         On February 2, 2014, the plaintiff wrote to the medical department at Cheshire Correctional Institution complaining about pain from a lump in the area of his navel. On February 7, 2014, the plaintiff saw Dr. Ruiz and received a binder. Dr. Ruiz refused the plaintiff's request that he submit a request for surgery to the Utilization Review Committee, stating that the Department of Correction would not provide corrective surgery.

         On January 13, 2015, the plaintiff filed a medical habeas action in state court. On June 29, 2015, the plaintiff submitted a grievance about his abdominal hernia, stating that it caused pain and bathroom issues. The plaintiff also remarked that Drs. Wright and Ruiz had told him that it was highly unlikely that the University of ...


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