United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, John Ingram, is currently incarcerated at Cheshire
Correctional Institution (“Cheshire”). He has
filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against David
Sochacki, DDS, John F. Dupont, Jr., DDS, Victor W. Shivy,
DDS, Dr. Richard Benoit, DMD, Bruce Lichtenstein, DMD, Peter
O'Shea, DDS, and Sharon Brown, Health Services
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must review prisoner
civil complaints against governmental actors and
“dismiss ... any portion of [a] 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.” Id. This requirement applies both
where the inmate has paid the filing fee and where he is
proceeding in forma pauperis. See Carr v.
Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam). Rule 8
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a
complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A
complaint that includes only “‘labels and
conclusions, ' ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action' or ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement, ' ” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts have an obligation to interpret “a
pro se complaint liberally, ” the complaint
must still include sufficient factual allegations to meet the
standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
plaintiff alleges that in July 2012, at Cheshire, he sought
dental treatment for severe pain in the area of his lower
front teeth. Drs. Sochacki and Shivy did not examine him
until about three weeks later, in August 2012, and he
experienced severe pain during this interval. Either Dr.
Sochacki or Dr. Shivy took x-rays of the plaintiff's
teeth. Dr. Sochacki opined that tooth number 23 and tooth
number 24 must be extracted because the dental department at
Cheshire could not perform root canals of those teeth. Dr.
Sochacki prescribed pain medication and indicated that the
extractions would take place at a later date.
plaintiff suffered excruciating pain during August and
September 2012 because the pain medication was ineffective.
In September, he submitted a request to the dental department
regarding the pain that he was experiencing in the area of
his lower, front teeth, but no one responded to the request.
He then submitted a medical grievance to Health Services
Administrator Sharon Brown complaining that he was being
denied a root canal and was experiencing pain in his lower
teeth, and that the medication that Dr. Sochacki had
prescribed had been ineffective in alleviating the pain.
Sharon Brown did not respond to the grievance. The plaintiff
alleges that internal DOC directives regarding answering
medical complaints and grievances are unconstitutional
because they do not provide a timeframe for a response.
point in September 2012, Dr. Sochacki extracted tooth number
23 and tooth number 24. Dr. Sochacki told the plaintiff that
the DOC does not provide root canals “just to prevent
tooth extractions.” Dr. Sochacki refused to prescribe
pain medication to the plaintiff after the extractions.
Several days later, the site of the extractions became
painful. The plaintiff experienced pain for about a month and
was unable to eat solid foods. He sought medication, but Dr.
Sochacki refused to address his complaints or prescribe him
November 2012, Drs. Sochacki and Dupont extracted tooth
number 25 and tooth number 26 from the plaintiff's jaw.
Dr. Sochacki informed the plaintiff that he would be eligible
to receive partial dentures.
12, 2014, Dr. O'Shea extracted the plaintiff's right
upper molar, tooth number 2, because of heavy tartar, plaque,
bone loss and lack of stability. The plaintiff claims that
tooth number 2 did not have to be extracted and could have
been saved. The plaintiff alleges Dr. O'Shea did not take
an x-ray of tooth number 2 to determine the degree of bone
loss prior to extracting tooth number 2.
2016, Dr. Lichtenstein examined the plaintiff and reviewed
the prior x-rays of the plaintiff's teeth numbers 23, 24,
25, 26. He concluded that two of the four teeth that had been
extracted should not have been extracted and could have been
saved. (Compl., ECF No. 19 at 2.)
Benoit is the Director of Dentistry for Correctional Managed
Health Care. The plaintiff claims that Dr. Benoit failed to
properly train Drs. Sochacki, Dupont, Shivy and O'Shea.
In addition, Dr. Benoit was aware of the deficiencies in the
dental program including inadequate staffing and inadequate
training and delays in treatment at Cheshire.
plaintiff sues defendants Brown, Lichtenstein, Sochacki,
Dupont, Shivy, and O'Shea in their individual capacities
only and defendant Benoit in his official capacity only. The