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Negron v. Mulligan

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

October 17, 2017

MULLIGAN, et al., Defendants.


          STEFAN R. UNDERHILL, United States District Judge

         Ricardo Negron (“Negron”), currently confined at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed this amended complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting deliberate indifference to medical needs. Negron's complaint was received on September 5, 2017, and his motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on September 8, 2017. He filed his amended complaint on September 21, 2017. The named defendants are Lieutenant Charter (“Charter”), Correctional Officer Mata (“Mata”), Warden Mulligan (“Mulligan”), Deputy Warden Roach (“Roach”) and Deputy Warden Hines (“Hines”).

         Under 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 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

         The complaint sets forth the following allegations. In March 2013, prior to his incarceration, Negron was involved in a motor vehicle accident. He suffered injuries to his head, hip and spine, including several fractures. As a result of the accident, Negron has permanent damage to various areas of his body.

         On October 16, 2015, Negron was incarcerated. Upon his admission, he informed correctional staff about his injuries. As a result of his injuries and his obesity, Negron was given a bottom bunk pass. Correctional staff also verified his medication.

         On April 12, 2017, Negron received footwear from an outside vendor. A correctional employee approved the purchase. His medical records contain a pass for footwear effective from January 23, 2017, through January 23, 2018. On April 16, 2017, Dr. Naqvi entered an order in Negron's medical filed confirming that he could use his own shoes because the shoes met prison requirements. The footwear began to wear, so Negron attempted to order another pair. He was not permitted to do so.

         On July 17, 2017, Negron submitted an Inmate Request form to Roach regarding the denial. On July 20, 2017, Negron's counselor informed him that Mulligan and Roach were no longer honoring any passes. Negron then submitted an Inmate Request to Mulligan asking why health services passes were no longer being honored. The following day, Captain Paine told Negron he would look into the issue. To date, Negron has not received a response from Captain Paine.

         Negron renewed his request on July 23, 2017. On July 27, 2017, Negron spoke to Mulligan while he was touring the housing unit. Negron asked why his pass was not being honored. Mulligan merely stated that he was no longer honoring passes.

         Unable to resolve the issue with Mulligan and Roach, Negron spoke to Hines, who asked Negron to provide him a copy of the pass and said that he would ensure that Negron could receive footwear from an outside vendor as arranged by his family. Negron followed up with an Inmate Request.

         Negron also contacted the commissary and learned that sneakers for medical issues were not available. The commissary only carries standard sizes of sneakers. While Negron was attempting to resolve this issue, his injuries worsened. He was unable to put pressure on his right foot and began to limp. The medical unit verified the existence of Negron's pass. Negron asked his counselor to speak to Roach about his medical need for specially altered shoes. On August 21, 2017, however, Negron's counselor told him that Roach refused the request.

         On August 23, 2017, Negron collapsed and fell down the stairs. He attributes the fall to the lack of proper footwear. He limped to the officer's station and asked Mata to contact the medical unit for emergency assistance. Mata refused. A nurse entered the housing unit a short time later and instructed Mata to call the medical unit for Negron. Mata again refused. The following day, Captain Claudio called the medical unit for Negron; he was brought to the medical unit by wheelchair and was given an ace bandage and crutches.

         On August 31, 2017, Mata instructed Negron to bring his mattress to the AP room for a mattress exchange. Negron said that he could not do so and asked if someone could move the mattress for him or if the AP officer would send someone to fetch the mattress. The request was denied. Charter observed Negron struggling to move the mattress in the hallway but refused to help him. ...

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