United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA, U.S.D.J.
February 28, 2018, the plaintiff, Jayevon Blaine, an inmate
currently confined at MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MWCI”) in Suffield, Connecticut,
brought a civil action pro se under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against the University of Connecticut Correctional
Managed Health Care Center (“CMHC”) and three
Department of Correction clinical workers in their individual
capacities: Nurse Rose Walker, Nurse Gina Burns, and Dr.
Palie. The plaintiff is suing all defendants for acting with
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in
violation of his Eighth Amendment protection against cruel
and unusual punishment, and for medical malpractice. Compl.
(ECF No. 1) at 1-4. He seeks money damages and a preliminary
injunction ordering the defendants to send him to Yale New
Haven Hospital for treatment. Id. at 5. On March 7,
2018, this Court granted the plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. See Order (ECF
No. 6). For the following reasons, his complaint is dismissed
in part and his request for preliminary injunctive relief is
denied without prejudice.
Relevant Legal Principles
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the 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. 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 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.” Bell Atlantic, 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).
early December 2017, the plaintiff wrote to the medical unit
about a third lump he had on his genitals which caused him
constant pain. Compl. 1-2. After evaluating the plaintiff,
Nurse Burns refused to provide him with any pain medications,
even though the plaintiff told her that he had rated his pain
as an “8 from a scale [of] 1 [to] 10.”
Id. at 2. Burns placed the plaintiff on the list to
see the doctor. Id. While he was waiting to see the
doctor, the plaintiff's pain increased, particularly when
he walked and used the restroom. Id. When he
informed the medical unit about the pain increase, he was
told that there was nothing that could be done at the moment
and that he had to wait to see the doctor. Id.
plaintiff was evaluated by Dr. Palie on December 19, 2017.
Compl. 2. Dr. Palie looked at the plaintiff's genitals
and discovered the lump. Id. at 2-3. The plaintiff
told him that the lump caused him pain. Id. at 3.
Dr. Palie told the plaintiff that he would be put on the list
to go to CMHC for testing. Id. While waiting to hear
back from CMHC, the plaintiff submitted another request to
the medical unit stating that his problem was getting worse.
Id. When he returned to the medical unit, a nurse
(presumably Nurse Burns) told him that he was not on the list to
go to CMHC and that his medical request had been denied.
plaintiff filed a grievance based on what Nurse Burns had
told him, and staff responded that he would have to undergo
blood work before being approved to go to CMHC. Compl. 3. He
asked Nurse Walker about his grievance and accused her of not
handling his complaints properly. The plaintiff still has not
received treatment for his condition.
plaintiff claims that the defendants violated his Eighth
Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment by
acting with deliberate indifference to his medical problem
and that their actions constituted medical malpractice. The
court will permit his claims to proceed only against Nurse
Claims Against CMHC
CMHC is not a “person” subject to suit under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 because it is a division of a state
agency. Figueroa v. Correctional Managed Health
Care, No. 16 Civ. 120 (VAB), 2016 WL 7428191, *3 (D.
Conn. Dec. 23, 2016). A state agency is not a
“person” within the meaning of section 1983.
See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, (1989) (state and state agencies not persons within
meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Therefore, the
plaintiff's claim against CMHC is dismissed because it
lacks an arguable legal basis. See 28 U.S.C. §
Eighth Amendment Deliberate Indifference to Serious
indifference to serious medical needs occurs when an official
knows that an inmate faces a substantial risk of serious harm
and disregards that risk by failing to take reasonable
measures to abate it. Harrison v. Barkley, 219 F.3d
132, 137-38 (2d Cir. 1998) (citing Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994)). In order to state a
deliberate indifference claim, the plaintiff must allege both
that his medical need was serious and that the defendants
acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind. See
Smith v. Carpenter, 316 F.3d 178, 184 (2d Cir. 2003)
(citing Estelle v. Gamble, 492 U.S. 97, 105 (1976)).
Objectively, the alleged deprivation must be
“sufficiently serious.” Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991). The condition must be
“one that may produce death, degeneration, or extreme
pain.” See Hathaway v. Coughlin, 99 F.3d 550,
553 (2d Cir. 1996) (internal ...