United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS
R. UNDERHILL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Gonzalez Torres (“Gonzalez”) commenced this
action asserting various claims relating to his medical care
while in the custody of the Connecticut Department of
Connection. On August 29, 2017, I issued an Initial Review
Order regarding Gonzalez's Amended Complaint, in which I
directed service on defendant Nurse Rob Doe/Smith for
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs and on
defendants Nurse Barbara LaFrance, Dr. Johar Syed Naqvi,
Commissioner Scott Semple, and Warden Carol Chapdelaine on a
claim regarding the side-effects of Neurontin. See
Doc. No. 30. The defendants have now filed a motion to
dismiss the claims against Commissioner Semple, Warden
Chapdelaine, and Nurse Rob, Doc. No. 54, as well as a motion
to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim, Doc.
No. 63, Gonzalez has filed a number of motions, including a
motion for relief from judgment, Doc. No. 58; a motion for
summary judgment, Doc. No. 60; a motion for default judgment,
Doc. No. 62; and a motion to strike the defendants'
second motion to dismiss, Doc. No. 65.
reasons that follow, I grant the defendants' first motion
to dismiss in part and deny it in part. I deny the
defendants' second motion to dismiss, deny as moot
Gonzalez's motion to strike, and deny both Gonzalez's
motion for relief from a judgment or order and his motion for
Standard of Review
withstand a motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). “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.” Id. “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
Legal conclusions and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, ” are not entitled to a presumption of
truth. Id. Nevertheless, when reviewing a motion to
dismiss, the court must accept well-pleaded factual
allegations as true and “draw all reasonable
inferences in the non-movant's favor.” Graziano
v. Pataki, 689 F.3d 110, 114 (2d Cir. 2012).
Amended Complaint makes the following allegations with regard
to Commissioner Semple and Nurse Rob. (Neither the original
nor the amended complaint contains any facts relating to
October 21, 2016, Gonzalez experienced chest pains and
shortness of breath. At 8:30 a.m., Gonzalez asked
Correctional Officer Shulz to call for medical assistance.
Nurse Rob told Correctional Officer Shulz that chest pains
were not considered an emergency and that he would call back.
Sometime later, Correctional Officer Shulz again called and
spoke to Nurse Rob with no results. Finally, Correctional
Officer Shulz called the medical unit and spoke to someone
else who directed that Gonzalez go to the medical unit.
waiting in the medical unit for 45 minutes, Gonzalez asked
Nurse Rob when he would be seen. Nurse Rob became belligerent
and commented that chest pains were not a medical emergency,
that he had 28 inmates to see, and that Gonzalez could wait.
Nurse Rob also threatened to send Gonzalez to segregation if
an EKG failed to show he was having a heart attack. Gonzalez
responded that something was wrong and that he could not
breathe. Nurse Rob continued to see other inmates and ignored
12:05 p.m., Nurse David examined Gonzalez. He took
Gonzalez's blood pressure and asked him a question. Nurse
David instructed Gonzalez to sit in the waiting room until
the facility count cleared. Gonzalez then returned to his
November 23, 2016, Gonzalez claims to have written a letter
to Commissioner Semple regarding the incident with Nurse Rob.
He refers to that letter as Exhibit 20. That exhibit,
however, is a complaint on a form from the Department of
Public Health Division of Medical Quality Assurance addressed
to the Clinical Director of Correctional Managed Health Care.
See Ex. 20 to Am. Compl., Doc. No. 22, at 6-9.
The Defendants' First Motion to Dismiss [Doc. No.
defendants move to dismiss the claims against Warden
Chapdelaine, Commissioner Semple, and Nurse Rob. With respect
to Warden Chapdelaine and Commissioner Semple, the defendants
argue that Gonzalez alleges no facts to support claims
against them for deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs. With respect to Nurse Rob, the defendants contend that
his alleged actions do not rise to the level of deliberate
indifferent to a serious medical need.
Defendants Chapdelaine and Semple
state a cognizable claim for damages, Gonzalez must allege
facts showing the “personal involvement” of each
defendant in the alleged constitutional violation.
Farrell v. Burke, 449 F.3d 470, 484 (2d Cir. 2006)
(Sotomayor, J.). In the instant case, Gonzalez seeks damages
as relief and also “[p]roper medical
attention/treatment and follow up treatment.”
See Doc. No. 20-1, at 10. The requested injunctive
relief appears directed at his claims relating to the
side-effects of medication, which are not at issue in the
first motion to dismiss. I note, however, that I ordered
service on Warden Chapdelaine and Commissioner Semple
specifically with regard to the claim for side-effects of
medication. Thus, Gonzalez's request for injunctive
relief is applicable to Warden Chapdelaine and Commissioner
names Warden Chapdelaine as a defendant, but he makes no
mention of her in his statement of facts. It appears he has
named her as a defendant solely due to her position as
warden. “Government officials may not be held liable
for the unconstitutional conduct of their subordinates under
a theory of respondeat superior” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 676. Absent any claim that Warden Chapdelaine was
personally involved in the allegedly unconstitutional
conduct, Gonzalez cannot state a claim for damages against
alleges that he wrote a letter to Commissioner Semple
regarding the incident with Nurse Rob. Because
“personal involvement of defendants in alleged
constitutional deprivations is a prerequisite to an award of
damages under [section] 1983, ” ...