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Green v. Shaw

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 17, 2017

COURTNEY GREEN, Plaintiff,
v.
R.N. SHAW, R.N. AUGUSTE, Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Courtney Green, currently incarcerated at Osborn Correctional Institution ("Osborn"), and who was previously incarcerated at Corrigan Correctional Center ("Corrigan") in Connecticut, filed this Complaint pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] He has named as Defendants two Registered Nurses ("R.N.s") at Corrigan, identifying them by last name only as Shaw and Auguste. Each Defendant is sued only in his or her individual capacity. Plaintiff contends that Defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and caused him significant physical harm.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under section 1915A of title 28 of the United States Code, the Court must review all prisoner civil complaints against governmental actors, and dismiss any portion of the complaint that “is frivolous, malicious, or 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(b)(1), (2). 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); see also 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)). 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. Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). A plaintiff must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. "Even in a pro se case, however . . . threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Chavis v. Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Nor may the Court "invent factual allegations" plaintiff has not pleaded. Id.

         II. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         The factual allegations contained in Green's Amended Complaint and in the medical requests attached to his Amended Complaint are recounted herein, recited in the light most favorable to Green. See Doc. 6. On or about June 23, 2015, Green began experiencing pain and bleeding from his rectum after a bowel movement, which occurred after he had been playing basketball and when he was fasting for Ramadan. Id. ¶ 1. The next day, on June 24, 2015, he wrote to the medical unit of Corrigan stating that he was "having pain in [his] rectum during bowel movement." Id. ¶ 2. His request was returned on or about June 26, 2015 with a notation that he had been placed on the sick call list. Id. About a week later on July 1, 2015, he wrote the medical unit after experiencing severe discomfort and because he still had not been seen by a medical professional. Id. ¶ 3. He stated: "I have a serious problem. Pain and bleeding from the rectum and I need to see the Dr. urgently." Id. He also reminded them that he had sent a previous written request to them. Id. On July 3, 2015, he was called to sick call for triage where Defendant Shaw saw him. Id. ¶ 4. He explained what was happening to him and informed Shaw that he was fasting for Ramadan and had not consumed any food or liquid on June 23, 2015 the day of the first incident. Id. Shaw informed Plaintiff that he had to up his water and fiber intake, and suggested that he not strain while using the restroom. Id. ¶ 5. Shaw diagnosed him with hemorrhoids even though his rectum was never examined. Id. Shaw instructed Plaintiff to purchase hemorrhoid cream off commissary and explained that there was nothing that could be done for hemorrhoids. Id.

         On August 20, 2015, Green again wrote to medical stating "I'm having hemorrhoid trouble problems." Doc. 6 ¶ 6. Soon after he was called to medical for triage where Defendant Auguste consulted him. Id. During this consultation, Green informed Auguste that he had been using hemorrhoid cream but it was not effective and his rectum was still bleeding. Id. ¶ 7. Auguste explained that hemorrhoids are chronic and life-long. Id. Auguste instructed Green to push the hemorrhoids back into his rectum with his fingers while in the shower. Id. Green requested that Auguste put him on a list to see the doctor so that they could being a process to remove the hemorrhoids. Id. Auguste told Green that there was no removal of hemorrhoids and Green stated "Oh ok. I'm all set." Id. Auguste did not place Green on the doctors wait list and did not examine Green's rectum, and thus, did not know the true extent of Green's medical condition. Id. ¶ 8.

         On or about March 31, 2016, Green was transferred from Corrigan to Macdougall Walker Correctional Institution. Doc. 6 ¶ 9. While housed there, his symptoms worsened and eventually impeded his ability to have regular bowel movements so much so that his underwear would be soiled with blood. Id. At that point, he also experience burning sensations from his rectum and he was in extreme discomfort while walking, running and during bowel movements. Id. In mid to late August 2016, Green wrote to medical via an inmate request. Id. ¶ 10. He was not seen and two weeks later, on September 12, 2016, he wrote again elaborating on the difficulties he was experiencing and explaining that he had not been seen for sick call treatment as required under Administrative Directives 8.1(6)A, 8.1(3)A. Id. On or about October 4, 2016, he received a notification that he was scheduled to see a doctor three days later. Id. ¶ 11. The notification was signed by A. Walter. Id. Green was not seen three days later, but was subsequently transferred to Osborn on October 21, 2016. Id.

         Once transferred, on October 23, 2016, Green wrote to medical via an inmate request, requesting that the removal of veins because the hemorrhoids were causing a great deal of burning, bleeding and restriction of his bowel movements. Doc. 6 ¶ 12. On October 31, 2016, he was returned his inmate request, and on November 7, 2016, he filed an administrative health services review. Id. ¶ 13.[2] On December 1, 2016, he was called to medical where Dr. Wright saw him. Id. ¶ 14. During his consultation, Green explained in detail the symptoms that he had been experienced over about 18 months. Id. Dr. Wright then examined Green's rectum and did not find any hemorrhoids but did observe blood. Id. Dr. Wright prescribed to Green a stool softener, suppositories and cortisone cream. Id. Dr. Wright also submitted Green to a review committee to be determined if he should be tested for colon cancer. Id.

         On or about December 9, 2016, Green's health services review was returned with the disposition "Change DX/TX" and he exhausted his administrative health services review. Doc. 6 ¶ 15. Between December 1, 2016 and February 6, 2017, Green was approved by the review committee to have testing done with Dr. Giles at the UCONN Health Center on February 7, 2017. Id. ¶ 16. During the consultation it was determined that he did not have colon rectal cancer, but that Green, in addition to suffering from moderate size hemorrhoids had anal tissue which had healed with gradation tissue and would not actually heal without a resection procedure and would continue to bleed until then. Id. On or about March 15, 2017, Green was transferred to UCONN Health Center for the resection procedure. Id. ¶ 17. He also had his internal hemorrhoid ban ligated. Id. Sometime in the middle of May, Green again began experiencing sharp pain from his rectum in addition to bleeding. Id.

         Green alleges that Defendants Shaw and Auguste acted with deliberate indifference to his safety and violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by failing to provide reasonable medical care in response to a serious medical need. Doc. 6 ¶ 20. Green also asserts that Defendants violated his due process rights by not allowing him to be seen by a doctor and denying him the proper medical treatment, thus, causing him significant pain and suffering over about 21 months. Id. ¶ 23. Finally, Green alleges that he was denied "Equal Treatment" by Defendants because they interfered with his medical care and were not qualified to diagnose him. Id. ¶ 25. He asserts that he should have been provided access to a specialist. Id. Green seeks a declaration that the acts and omissions described violate the Constitution, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, and costs. Id. at 6.

         III. DISCUSSION

         The Court will assess each of Green's three claims to determine whether any claim “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or a claim that “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). The Court will address each claim in turn.

         A. Eighth ...


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