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Serrano v. Doe

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

July 5, 2018




         The Plaintiff, Jeremias Serrano, is currently incarcerated at Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution. He has filed a pro se Complaint [Doc. 1-1], under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Correctional Officer John Doe, Correctional Officer Gilliard, Dr. Johnny C. Wright, Dr. Linda Oesar, and Nurse N. Conyers. For the reasons set forth below, the Complaint will be dismissed, with leave to file an amended complaint.

         I. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the court must review prisoner civil complaints against government actors and "dismiss . . . any portion of [a] complaint [that] is frivolous, malicious, or 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." This requirement applies both where the inmate has paid the filing fee and where he is proceeding in forma pauperis. See Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115, 116 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam).

         Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Although detailed allegations are not required,

a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. 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.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)). A complaint that includes only "labels and conclusions . . . a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action," or "naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement," does not meet the facial plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted).

         Courts are "obligated to construe a pro se complaint liberally," but the complaint must still include sufficient factual allegations to meet the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009).

         II. Factual Allegations

         These factual allegations, accepted as true only for the purposes of this Order, are taken from the numbered paragraphs at pages 5-7 of the Complaint [Doc. 1-1], [1] as well as the Exhibits to that filing.

         On September 22, 2015 Plaintiff and a number of other inmates were to be transferred from Bridgeport Correctional Center ("Bridgeport") to Walker Correctional Institution ("Walker"). Early that morning, at 3:30 a.m., Corrections officers brought Plaintiff and other inmates to be escorted, with their property bags, to the Admitting and Processing area. Compl. ¶ 1; Exs. to Compl. at 1. Prior to escorting the Plaintiff and the other inmates, prison officials handcuffed each inmate to a chain. Id. The inmates were expected to carry their bag of belongings in the hand that was not handcuffed to the chain. Id.

         Plaintiff informed Correctional Officer Santiago (not named as a defendant to this action) that, because of bullets lodged in Plaintiff's left arm, he was unable to lift the property bag containing his personal belongings while shackled to the chain. Id. ¶ 1. Plaintiff asked Officer Santiago for permission to use the push cart to transport his personal belongings. Id. ¶ 2. Officer Santiago informed Plaintiff that he must ask Defendant Doe, the transporting officer, for permission to use the push cart. Id. Defendant Doe denied Plaintiff's request to use the push cart. Id. ¶ 3. Defendant Doe then unhooked Plaintiff from the chain, and cuffed Plaintiff's two hands together. Id. Plaintiff told Defendant Doe that he could not lift his belongings with two cuffed hands. Id. Defendant Doe told Plaintiff that he must carry his own belongings. Id.

         Plaintiff picked up his bag and held it in front of his face. Id. ¶ 4. Another inmate guided Plaintiff as he walked towards the Admitting and Processing room. Id. With the bag obscuring his vision, Plaintiff could not see where he was going, and, at one point, his foot got stuck in a gutter and his ankle "snapped." Id. Plaintiff fell to the ground and screamed. Id. Officer Doe asked Plaintiff what had happened and Plaintiff explained that he had hurt his ankle, he could not stand up and needed a wheelchair. Id. Plaintiff asked Officer Doe to call a "Code White," to get a wheelchair. Id. Officer Doe refused to get a wheelchair and ordered Plaintiff to hop, on one foot, to the medical department. Id. Plaintiff hopped about half a mile, up steps and through doors and metal detectors, to get to the medical department. Id. ¶ 5.

         Plaintiff explained to medical personnel what had happened to his ankle and they provided him with ice, ibuprofen, and a wrap. Id. ¶ 6. A lieutenant took photos of Plaintiff's injury and made Plaintiff sign an incident report. Id. See also "Medical Incident Report," Exs. to Compl. at 13. Prison officials transferred Plaintiff to Walker later that day. Compl. ¶ 6.

         On September 23, 2015, medical personnel at Walker gave Plaintiff ice, ibuprofen and a cane. Id. ¶ 7. From that point until December 2015, the only care Plaintiff received for his injury was ibuprofen. Id. ¶ 8. In December 2015, Plaintiff was transferred to Enfield Correctional Institution ("Enfield"). Id. ¶ 9. At Enfield, medical personnel took away Plaintiff's cane, and provided him with ibuprofen and a wrap. Id.

         In May 2016, prison officials sent Plaintiff to Osborn Correctional Institution ("Osborn") for an X-ray. Id. ¶ 10. Prison officials at Osborn sent Plaintiff back to Enfield six months later. Id. Plaintiff underwent another X-ray. Id. Prison officials transferred Plaintiff to the University of Connecticut Health Center ("UConn"). Id. Medical personnel at UConn informed Plaintiff that he had broken fragments, ripped tissue and fluid in his ankle. Id. These ongoing conditions were the cause of the chronic swelling in Plaintiff's ankle. Id. Physicians at UConn ...

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