United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER RE SECOND AMENDED
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
Jonathan Cruz-Droz, currently incarcerated at the Cheshire
Correctional Institution in Cheshire, Connecticut, filed this
case pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting
claims for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. On
February 26, 2018, with the assistance of counsel, the
plaintiff filed this second amended complaint naming six
defendants: Captain Manning, Mental Health Officer Rosado,
Psychiatrist John Doe a/k/a WM Gillian, Dr. John Coleman,
Medical Staff John Doe, and Nurse John Doe a/k/a Nurse
Court 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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
April 20, 2017, the plaintiff was confined at
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. ECF No. 31 at 2,
¶ 11. On that day, inmate Ayala was assigned as the
plaintiff's cellmate. Id. ¶ 12. Inmate
Ayala wore a card or special designation on his person
indicating that he had violent tendencies. Id.
¶ 13. The plaintiff asked Captain Manning if the
plaintiff or inmate Ayala could be moved because of inmate
Ayala's violent tendencies. Captain Manning denied the
request. Id. ¶ 14.
April 24, 2017, inmate Ayala had a psychotic episode while in
the cell with the plaintiff. Id. at 3, ¶ 15.
The plaintiff tried to calm inmate Ayala but was
unsuccessful. Id. ¶ 16. Inmate Ayala covered
the cell door window so the guard could not see into the
cell. Id. ¶ 17. He also pushed his mattress
against the cell door to prevent guards from entering the
cell. Id. ¶ 18. Captain Manning asked the
inmates to stop what they were doing. Id. ¶ 19.
The plaintiff told Captain Manning that he was complying with
prison rules and that inmate Ayala was causing the
disturbance. Id. ¶ 20. The plaintiff then sat
on his bunk away from the disruption at the cell door.
Id. ¶ 21.
inmate Ayala refused to comply with the orders, Captain
Manning sprayed a chemical agent into the cell to subdue
inmate Ayala. Id. ¶¶ 22-23. The plaintiff
was exposed to the effects of the chemical agent.
Id. ¶ 24. Inmate Ayala was restrained.
Id. at 6, ¶ 25.
plaintiff was taken to another cell free from any chemical
agent residue. Id. The plaintiff repeatedly asked
Captain Manning and Medical Staff Doe for medical treatment
for the effects of the chemical agent. Id. ¶
26. They refused his requests. Id. ¶28. The
plaintiff told Officer Rosado that he was experiencing severe
anxiety and asked to speak with a psychiatrist or
psychologist. Id. at 7, ¶ 26. Officer Rosado
denied the request. Id. ¶ 27.
April 28, 2017, Dr. Coleman met briefly with the plaintiff to
discuss the possibility of a consultation. Id.
¶ 28. He disregarded the plaintiff's complaints
about increased anxiety. Id. ¶ 29. Following
the incident, the plaintiff experienced post-traumatic stress
disorder. His repeated requests for treatment by Dr. Coleman
and Psychiatrist Doe were denied. Id. at 8, ¶
Doe met with the plaintiff on May 2, 2017, but disregarded
his complaints of anxiety and denied treatment by a
psychiatrist or psychologist. Id. ¶ 31. On May
9, 2017, Psychiatrist Doe treated the plaintiff for anxiety
and panic attacks. Id. ¶ 32.
plaintiff includes five counts in his complaint: (1)
deliberate indifference to safety by Captain Manning; (2) use
of excessive force by Captain Manning; (3) deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need by Captain Rosado and
Medical Staff Doe; (4) deliberate indifference to a serious
mental health need by Dr. Coleman, Officer Rosado,
Psychiatrist Doe, and Nurse Doe; and (5) harassment by
Captain Manning and Officer Rosado.
Deliberate Indifference to Safety
plaintiff first alleges that defendant Manning was
deliberately indifferent to his safety when he placed inmate
Ayala in the plaintiff's cell. Prison officials have a
duty to make reasonable efforts to ensure inmate safety. To
establish a constitutional violation for deliberate
indifference to safety or failure to protect an inmate from
harm, an inmate must show that the conditions of his
incarceration posed a substantial risk of serious harm and
that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his
safety. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
(1994). Deliberate indifference exists when prison officials
know of and disregard an excessive risk to inmate safety.
See Id. at 837; Bridgewat ...