United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ROBERT H. SUNDERMEIR, Plaintiff,
RULINGS ON MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT, MOTION FOR
EXTENSION OF TIME AND MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY
Michael P. Shea, U.S.D.J.
plaintiff, Robert H. Sundermeir, has filed a fourth motion to
amend his complaint [Doc.#22] and a second amended complaint
[Doc.#26] against Nursing Supervisor Heidi Green, Dr. S.
Naqvi, and Dr. Jonny Wu. He has also filed a motion for
extension of time to submit discovery [Doc.#25] and a motion
to compel the defendants to comply with his discovery
requests [Doc.#27]. For the following reasons, the Court will
GRANT the plaintiff's motion and dismiss the second
amended complaint in part. The Court will GRANT the
plaintiff's motion for extension of time but DENY without
prejudice his motion to compel discovery subject to refiling
at a later stage of litigation.
January 6, 2016, the plaintiff, Robert H. Sundermeir, an
inmate incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MacDougall-Walker”) in Suffield,
Connecticut, filed a complaint pro se against Warden
Carol Chapdelaine, Dr. S. Naqvi, Dr. Jonny Wu, Nursing
Supervisor Heidi Green, and Associate Director of Patient
Care Mary Ellen Castro. As stated in its Initial Review
Order, the plaintiff alleged the following facts:
[O]n August 28, 2015, at his sentencing hearing in state
court, [the plaintiff] injured his left hip and ankle. Upon
his return to MacDougall-Walker, officers transported him in
a wheelchair to the medical department to be examined.
On August 31, 2015, Dr. Naqvi referred him for x-rays of his
left ankle and hip and provided him with crutches. On
September 3, 2015, the plaintiff began taking pain
medication. On September 4, 2015, a nurse sent the plaintiff
to the hospital because she could not detect a pulse in his
ankle. The plaintiff contends that the nurse mistakenly
checked for a pulse on the wrong side of his ankle. An
ultrasound revealed no blood-clot in his left leg or ankle.
On September 9, 2015, Dr. Naqvi prescribed a muscle relaxant
and referred the plaintiff for a CT scan and a consultation
with an orthopedist. Dr. Naqvi did not issue the plaintiff a
pass to shower in the handicapped shower room or wrap the
plaintiff's ankle. The plaintiff washed himself using
water from the sink in his cell.
On September 22, 2015, Dr. Naqvi prescribed a stronger pain
medication to be taken in the evening. On September 26, 2015,
Dr. Naqvi prescribed pain medication to be taken during the
day. On October 7, 2015, Dr. Naqvi informed the plaintiff
that the requests for a consultation had been approved. He
also prescribed a stronger pain medication to be taken by the
plaintiff during the day.
On November 4, 2015, a vascular surgeon examined the
plaintiff. On November 5, 2015, the plaintiff underwent a CT
scan which revealed two bulging discs, degenerated disc
disease, and a pinched sciatic nerve.
On November 8, 2015, the plaintiff wrote to Captain Hall
asking to be permitted to use the handicapped shower room.
Captain Hall contacted Nurse Heidi Green regarding the
plaintiff's medical status. On November 15, 2015, the
plaintiff asked Dr. Naqvi why he still had not been examined
by an orthopedist. He also requested a wheelchair and
stronger pain medication.
On November 16, 2015, Dr. Naqvi prescribed a pain medication
patch. The plaintiff developed an allergic reaction to the
patch. The plaintiff's left ankle was still painful and
On November 25, 2015, the plaintiff was approved for a shower
in the handicapped shower room and was moved to a handicapped
The plaintiff filed a grievance about the failure of Dr.
Naqvi to refer him to be seen by an orthopedist. On December
2, 2015, a follow-up visit with the vascular surgeon
indicated there was no evidence of vascular problems.
On December 3, 2015, Dr. Naqvi ordered a wheelchair for the
plaintiff and referred the plaintiff for x-rays of his left
foot. On December 20, 2015, Dr. Naqvi informed the plaintiff
that the x-rays revealed no broken bones in his left foot. On
December 24, 2015, after using crutches for seventeen weeks,
medical staff approved the plaintiff to use a wheelchair. On
December 30, 2015, the plaintiff wrote the medical department
complaining of a loss of sensation in his left foot.
Review Order [Doc.#14] at 2-4.
March 9, 2016, the plaintiff moved to amend his complaint.
Mot. to Amend Compl. [Doc.#9]. The Court granted his motion
and directed him to file his amended complaint within twenty
days of its order; see Order #12; but the plaintiff
did not amend his complaint within that time frame.
Consequently, the Court reviewed the plaintiff's
allegations as stated in the original complaint.
August 2, 2016, the Court dismissed the plaintiff's
claims against all defendants except Dr. Naqvi. Initial
Review Order [Doc.#14] at 6. The Court permitted the
plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate
indifference to medical needs to proceed against Dr. Naqvi in
his individual capacity. Id.
the Initial Review Order, the plaintiff filed two more
motions to amend his complaint [Doc.#s 16, 17]. In the second
motion, the plaintiff sought leave to add a claim that Dr.
Naqvi acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs
by denying him an increased supply of hormone medication to
help transition him from male to female. The Court found no
basis on which to grant the plaintiff leave to add this new
claim and, therefore, denied his motion. Ruling on Mot. to
Amend [Doc.#19] at 4-5. In the third motion to amend, the
plaintiff made additional allegations against Dr. Wu and
Nursing Supervisor Green regarding the lack of treatment for
his ankle and back injuries. The Court denied the motion to
amend without prejudice because the attached amended
complaint was deficient,  but permitted the plaintiff leave to
file a new motion to amend and an amended complaint.
Specifically, the Court ruled that the plaintiff may:
file a new motion to amend and proposed amended complaint to
assert claims against Dr. Naqvi, Dr. Wu, and Nursing
Supervisor Green with regard to the treatment or lack of
treatment of swelling and pain in the plaintiff's left
ankle and foot and pain in his back. To the extent that the
plaintiff seeks to elaborate on or add to his claim that Dr.
Naqvi refused to schedule or arrange for him to undergo an
examination or evaluation of his swollen and painful left
ankle and knee by an orthopedist during the months of April
through August 2016, he may include those allegations in the
proposed amended complaint.
on Mot. to Amend [Doc.#19] at 8. The Court advised the
plaintiff that his new amended complaint “should only
include claims against Dr. Naqvi, Dr. Wu, and Nursing
Supervisor Green with regard to treatment or lack of
treatment for the pain and swelling in his left ankle and
foot and pain in his pack during the months of September 2015
to September 2016" and any additional allegations
regarding Dr. ...