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DeAngelis v. Long

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

May 9, 2018

DEVONIA LONG, et al., Defendants.


          Michael P. Shea, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Jeffery DeAngelis, currently incarcerated at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, filed this case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting claims for violation of various constitutional and federal rights. He names ten defendants: ADA Coordinator Devonia Long, Captain Luis Colon, Commissioner Scott Semple, the Department of Correction, Warden Gary Wright, Captain Griffin, Richard Furey, Dr. Monica Farinella, Dr. Mahoob Ashraf, and Correctional Managed Health Care.

         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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This requirement applies to all prisoner filings regardless whether the prisoner pays the filing fee.[1] Nicholson v. Lenczewski, 356 F.Supp.2d 157, 159 (D. Conn. 2005) (citing Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam)). 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.

         In addition, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2) permits the joinder of multiple defendants in a single action if two criteria are met: first, the claims “aris[e] out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions and occurrences”; and second, “any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2). “What will constitute the same transaction or occurrence under the first prong of Rule 20(a) is approached on a case by case basis.” Kehr ex rel. Kehr v. Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., 596 F.Supp.2d 821, 826 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (citation omitted). As the Second Circuit has observed in the Rule 13 context, [2] whether a counterclaim arises out of the same transaction as the original claim depends upon the logical relationship between the claims and whether the “essential facts of the various claims are so logically connected that considerations of judicial economy and fairness dictate that all the issues be resolved in one lawsuit.” Harris v. Steinem, 571 F.2d 119, 123 (2d Cir. 1978).

         I. Allegations

         A. Conditions in Q Buildings

         From November 2014 through April 2015, the plaintiff was confined in the Q-buildings at Osborn Correctional Institution (“Osborn”). ECF No. 1, ¶ 6. During that time, he was required to drink dirty water containing H-pylori, PCB's, lead, and arsenic. Id., ¶ 7. The cells contained high levels of PCB's and toxic amounts of black mold. Id., ¶ 8. On December 7, 2016, and December 11, 2016, correctional officers stated on televised news that the buildings were being closed because of unsafe conditions including the presence of PCB's and asbestos. Id., ¶ 9. During 2011 and 2012, TRC performed tests at various locations around the Q-buildings. The tests showed toxic levels of PCB's and asbestos. Id., ¶ 10. When the plaintiff returned to Osborn on September 29, 2017, he learned that the Q-buildings had been closed. Id., ¶ 11. Commissioner Semple has been aware of the conditions at Osborn since 2011-12, but continues to house inmates at Osborn. Id., ¶ 135.

         B. Housing Assignments/ADA Claims

         The plaintiff walks with a cane and experiences severe pain from degenerative disc disease and a disc protrusion displacing the S1 nerve root. Id., ¶ 14. Upon his return to Osborn, the plaintiff was assigned to E-block, the housing unit farthest from the dining hall and medical unit. Id., ¶ 12. He was required to walk the length of two football fields to the dining hall and one football field to the medical unit. Id., ¶ 13.

         Inmates are permitted twenty minutes to get to the dining hall and eat their meals. Id., ¶ 15. By the time the plaintiff reached the dining hall, it was closed. He was required to return to his cell without a meal. Id., ¶ 16. On October 1, 2017, the plaintiff explained the situation to Captain Colon and asked to be moved to B-block which was closer to the dining hall and medical unit. Id., ¶ 17. Captain Colon refused the request for transfer and told the plaintiff to deal with the situation. Id., ¶ 18.

         To enter the shower in E-block, the inmate must step over a 30” wall. The shower contains no railings or mats to prevent inmates from falling. Id., ¶ 19. The plaintiff asked Captain Colon for a handicap shower, explaining that recently he had fallen in a non-handicap shower at another correctional facility. Id., ¶ 20. Captain Colon denied the request. Id., ¶ 21. On October 8, 2017, the plaintiff submitted a request for accommodation to Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator Long seeking permission to use the handicap shower in the medical unit. Id., ¶ 22.

         On October 10, 2017, the plaintiff submitted another request seeking a second accommodation, a single cell. Id., ¶ 23. The plaintiff experiences urinary incontinence. Incidents of incontinence have caused problems with several past cellmates and resulted in assaults by two prior cellmates. Id., ¶¶ 24-25.

         Although departmental directives provide that a response to a request for reasonable accommodation should be received within two business days, the plaintiff received no response to either request for five weeks. On November 17, 2017, he resubmitted the requests. Id., ¶¶ 26-28.

         Dr. Wright ordered that the plaintiff utilize a catheter connected to a leg bag to collect urine. Id., ¶ 126. This was the reason for the request for a single cell. ADA Coordinator Long has ignored these requests since November 2017. Id., ¶ 127. The plaintiff wrote to Warden Wright complaining about the lack of response for five months. Id., ΒΆ 128. When he spoke to Warden Wright on ...

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