United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. Senior United States District Judge
Davon Rose, incarcerated and pro se, has filed a
Complaint [Doc. 1] under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
State of Connecticut and the Department of Correction Osborn
Medical Department (collectively "Defendants") for
alleged indifference to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that a doctor at the Hospital of Central Connecticut
in New Britain "diagnosed [him] with sleep apnea, "
a disorder which causes him to stop breathing in his sleep.
Doc. 1, at 2. As a result, a medical doctor "prescribed
a (C- PAP) machine" to assist with his sleep disorder -
to avoid the "risk [of] high blood pressure, " a
"possible stroke, " or death. Id.
Plaintiff alleges that the "D.O.C." (Department of
Correction) informed him that due to budgetary problems
("budget and financial reasons"), he would not be
provided with such a machine. Id. He therefore
continues to suffer with his health and life at risk.
Id. As compensation for such suffering, Plaintiff
prays for $50, 000. Id., at 5.
LEGAL STANDARD OF REVIEW
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court must review a
prisoner's civil complaint and dismiss any portion that
"(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief."
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)-(2). Although
detailed allegations are not required, the complaint
"must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its
face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The alleged facts must be
sufficient to afford the defendants fair notice of the claims
and the grounds upon which the claims are based.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56. The complaint must
provide "more than the unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. "A pleading that offers
'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555).
"[a] document filed pro se is to be liberally
construed and a pro se complaint, however inartfully
pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers." Boykin v. Key
Corp., 521 F.3d 202, 214 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)). See
also Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant, 537 F.3d 185,
191 (2d Cir. 2008) (When the plaintiff proceeds pro
se, a court is "obliged to construe his pleadings
liberally.") (quoting McEachin v. McGuinnis,
357 F.3d 197, 200 (2d Cir. 2004)). A pro se
complaint is adequately pled if its allegations, liberally
construed, could "conceivably give rise to a viable
claim." Phillips v. Girdich, 408 F.3d 124, 130
(2d Cir. 2005).
reviewing a pro se complaint, the court must assume
the truth of the allegations, and interpret them liberally 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 Abbas v.
Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007) (same);
Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010)
(discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se
litigants). Despite being subject to liberal interpretation,
a pro se plaintiff's complaint must still
"state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Mancuso v. Hynes, 379 F.App'x 60, 61
(2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
the allegations in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the
facts contained in the Complaint include the following. In
2009, Plaintiff was diagnosed with sleep apnea at the
Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. Doc. 1, at 2.
The condition of sleep apnea causes Plaintiff "to stop
breathing in [his] sleep, " to wake up "gasping for
air, " and to experience "bad headaches." Due
to the severity of this sleep disorder, a medical doctor
prescribed a C-PAP machine, instructing Plaintiff that he
must use it to avoid the risk of high blood pressure,
possible stroke, or death. Id.
Hospital's medical records regarding Plaintiff's
sleep apnea, including his need for a C-PAP machine, were
made available to the medical records unit of the Osborn
Correctional Institution. Id. A "D.O.C."
official at the correctional facility informed Plaintiff that
due to "budget and financial reasons, " no C-PAP
machine would be provided. Id. Plaintiff thus
continues to suffer from the symptoms and risks of sleep
apnea. Id., at 5.
Section 1983 Claim
Complaint, Plaintiff seeks damages for Defendants'
alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free
from cruel and unusual punishment, which includes the
"unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain."
See Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 345-46 (1981).
"In order to state a cognizable claim, a prisoner must
allege acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs."
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976).
"Although Plaintiff mentions no specific statute, if the
Court construes his complaint liberally, it finds that
Plaintiff's claim arises under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the
federal civil rights statute which protects prisoners from
prison officials' failure to provide adequate medical
care for their serious medical needs.
Claims against the State of Connecticut and Department of
Correction Osborn Medical
state a claim under section 1983, the 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). In the case at bar, the two named defendants are the