United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. Underhill United States District Judge
pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
plaintiff Herminio Sotomayor-currently confined at
Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville,
Connecticut-alleges deliberate indifference to his medical
needs and failure to accommodate his disability. Sotomayor
names as defendants Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, Dr. Kathleen Mourer,
ADA Coordinator Garcia, and Colleen Gallagher.
Sotomayor's complaint was received on May 22, 2017, and
his motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted
on June 1, 2017.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I 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. 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 Atl.
Corp. 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, “[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
2015, Sotomayor was confined at the Cheshire Correctional
Institution. He submitted a sick call request, claiming that
he experienced pain in his ears when the cell door was
slammed, when his cellmate spoke loudly, and when the
television was played loudly. Dr. Ruiz examined Sotomayor and
sent him to an audiologist at the University of Connecticut
Health Center for tests. The audiologist diagnosed tinnitus
in both ears and an injury in the right ear. She also
diagnosed hearing loss of 50 percent in the right ear and of
55 percent in the left.
Sotomayor's return, Dr. Ruiz refused to treat him for
tinnitus and declined to refer him to the University of
Connecticut Health Center to address the right ear injury.
Sotomayor received one hearing aid at the University of
Connecticut Health Center, but it was defective.
informed Dr. Ruiz that he had been slapped on the right ear
during an altercation. He also stated that he had fallen in
the shower and hit the back of his head. Sotomayor lost some
hearing as a result of the fall. In preparing a request for
treatment for the Utilization Review Committee, Dr. Ruiz only
described the slap on Sotomayor's right ear.
29, 2016, Sotomayor submitted a grievance because Dr. Ruiz
did not treat his right knee. Subsequently, an X-ray showed
arthritis or a slightly ripped ligament. Despite these
results, Dr. Ruiz expected Sotomayor to walk upstairs and get
into a top bunk. In an August 2016 Inmate Request Form,
however, Sotomayor stated that he had a bottom bunk pass and
was confined on the bottom tier. Doc. No. 1-1, at 24.
unspecified date, Sotomayor was sprayed with a chemical
agent. The “pepper spray” split his middle bottom
teeth and scarred his right cornea. The eye damage caused
Sotomayor to be prescribed additional lenses. Dr. Ruiz
refused to treat him for several months. Sotomayor alleges
that he has problems keeping his eyes open and has been
attacked by other inmates because they have noticed that he
Mourer signed a Utilization Review Committee appeal on March
21, 2016 denying Sotomayor a left hearing aid. Dr. Mourer
noted that the level of noise in a correctional facility is
not a medical issue. Sotomayor states that Dr. Mourer
discriminated against him, because the doctor should know
that hearing aids act as earplugs to reduce background noise.
ADA Coordinator Garcia
16, 2016, Sotomayor wrote to defendant Garcia seeking single
cell status. He stated that inmates were abusing him with
loud noises and would sneak up on him to test his hearing.
Defendant Garcia denied the request. Sotomayor also submitted
a request for transfer ...