United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOSE A. JUSINO, Plaintiff,
MARK FRAYNE, et al., Defendants.
RULING ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Michael P. Shea, United States District Judge.
plaintiff, Jose A. Jusino, commenced this civil rights action
challenging his mental health treatment while incarcerated at
Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut. The
plaintiff claims that the defendants, Mark Frayne, Gerard
Gagne, Jr., Paul Chaplin, Craig Burns, and Scarlett Forbes,
have been deliberately indifferent to his mental health needs
in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants move for
summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, the
defendants' motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
February 28, 2013, correctional staff at MacDougall-Walker
Correctional Institution (“MacDougall”) observed
the plaintiff swallowing several pills. Dr. Naqvi saw the
plaintiff, who refused to be evaluated. Dr. Naqvi sent the
plaintiff to the emergency room. When he returned to the
correctional facility, the plaintiff was placed on behavior
March 7, 2013, the plaintiff was transferred from MacDougall
to Northern Correctional Institution
(“Northern”). The transfer was based on the
February 28, 2013 overdose and the fact that the plaintiff
had set his mattress on fire. The assessment upon admission
showed the plaintiff to be at risk of harm to himself and
others. Dr. Frayne ordered the plaintiff admitted to the
infirmary. He was assessed twice by mental health staff on
March 7, 2013. Dr. Coleman recommended that mental health
observation status be initiated.
March 8, 2013, the plaintiff was again evaluated by Dr.
Frayne. The plaintiff expressed an intent to commit suicide.
Dr. Frayne placed the plaintiff on suicide watch and ordered
bag meals for the plaintiff's safety.
March 11, 2013, Dr. Frayne assessed the plaintiff and noted
that he was exhibiting better control. Dr. Frayne reported
that the plaintiff denied current thoughts of suicide. Dr.
Frayne ordered that the plaintiff be closely monitored for
two weeks. During March 2013, the plaintiff was on trial for
murder and saw mental health staff consistently to deal with
the stress of trial.
April 10, 2013, the plaintiff met with Dr. Gagne about his
sentencing. Dr. Gagne noted that the plaintiff was calm,
showing no distress, anger or anxiety. He expressed no
suicidal or homicidal ideations. The same day, the plaintiff
also was assessed by Dr. Frayne. The plaintiff made no
threats of self-harm.
4, 2013, defendant Forbes met with the plaintiff. The
plaintiff was stable, expressed no concerns for his safety,
and displayed no signs of psychosis.
point, the plaintiff asked to enroll in the “Start
Now” program. The parties dispute whether, at some
unspecified date, defendant Forbes told the plaintiff she was
too busy or her caseload too large to allow her to meet with
him every week.
18, 2013, the plaintiff was seen in the medical unit in
response to reports that he was cutting himself. The
plaintiff had superficial scratches on his left arm.
Forbes met with the plaintiff on June 19, 2013, to discuss
his refusals of mental health treatment. She encouraged the
plaintiff to meet with her. In a medical incident report
dated June 20, 2013, defendant Forbes noted that the
plaintiff denied any current thoughts to hurt himself or
others. Dr. Frayne ordered the plaintiff discharged to
behavior observation status. Medical records show that the
plaintiff was seen on June 22, 2013, and not seen again until
November 8, 2013, a custody officer saw the plaintiff take a
handful of green and yellow pills. The plaintiff was admitted
to the hospital. Dr. Frayne completed a medical incident
report on November 11, 2013. The plaintiff complained to Dr.
Frayne that other inmates, assigned to the same clinician as
he, were seen more frequently than he was. Dr. Frayne noted
that the plaintiff presented no current risk of self-harm.
Dr. Frayne ordered the plaintiff admitted to the medical unit
on suicide observation and required follow-up daily tours by
medical and mental health staff. The plaintiff was classified
as a Special Needs Inmate at Northern.
November 14, 2013, Dr. Frayne met with the plaintiff and
noted that he appeared acutely irritated and at risk to
injure himself or staff. The plaintiff used obscene and
insulting language toward Dr. Frayne. The plaintiff was
described as expressing poor insight, impulse control, and
problem solving. Dr. Frayne ordered the plaintiff to remain
on suicide watch. That same day, the plaintiff attempted to
injure himself. Nurse Scruggs described the injury as a
superficial abrasion on his left forearm. On November 15,
2013, Dr. Frayne ordered the plaintiff to remain on suicide
watch in the infirmary.
November 18, 2013, Dr. Frayne met with the plaintiff. The
plaintiff denied suicidal ideation, plans, or intent. The
plaintiff said that he felt much better and wanted to return
to his regular cell. The plaintiff said that he would make a
better effort to contact staff for help in the future. Dr.
Frayne determined that the plaintiff's mental health
status was baseline and ordered him discharged to population.
Dr. Frayne saw the plaintiff the following day. The plaintiff
denied any safety concerns.
November 27, 2013, the plaintiff met with defendant Forbes.
At first, the plaintiff refused a one-on-one session. He was
brought to the medical screening area where defendant Forbes
was meeting with another inmate. The plaintiff waited for two
minutes. He then became upset and asked the correctional
officer to return him to his cell. The plaintiff told
defendant Forbes that, if she was too busy to see him, she
should not pull him from his cell. He did not think he should