United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Scott Jones (“Plaintiff”), currently incarcerated
at the Garner Correctional Institution (“Garner”)
in Newtown, Connecticut, and proceeding pro se, has
sued Captain Watson, Dr. Johnny Wu, Dr. Ruiz, and four other
unidentified correctional officials (collectively
“Defendants”) in their individual and official
capacities for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Mr. Jones
claims that Defendants violated his rights under the Fourth,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by
denying him access to necessary medical equipment. He also
asserts a claim under the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).
reasons that follow, the Complaint is dismissed, in part.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
as the Court can determine, Mr. Jones makes the following
Jones claims to suffer from chronic asthma and sleep apnea.
Compl. at 5, ECF No. 1. On November 20, 2017, while allegedly
housed in the segregation unit at Garner, Mr. Jones filed a
grievance against a number of prison officials because
medical personnel were allegedly preventing him from having
an asthma pump inside of his cell. Id. Correctional
staff allegedly informed Mr. Jones that inmates at Garner are
not permitted to have asthma pumps in their cells, but they
are permitted in cells at other prison facilities.
Id. Nevertheless, Captain Watson allegedly
instructed medical personnel not to permit Mr. Jones to have
the pump. Id. The denial of the pump, Mr. Jones
claims, caused Mr. Jones to struggle breathing in his sleep
and wake up constantly with shortness of breath. Id.
Jones allegedly continued to submit complaints to
correctional staff at Garner about the denial of the pump and
the problems it was causing him. Compl. at 6. Captain Watson
and John/Jane Does 1, 2, and 3 allegedly rejected his
complaints. Id. at 5-6. On the morning of January
19, 2018, Mr. Jones alleges that Nurse Doe 1 forgot to bring
Mr. Jones his two asthma pumps, which contained his asthma
medication. Id. When Mr. Jones complained to a
correction officer about Doe 1's mistake, the officer
allegedly told him to wait until after lunch to receive the
medication. Id. Shortly thereafter, however, Mr.
Jones felt his chest tighten, and he allegedly passed out in
his cell. Id. Correction officials allegedly called
an emergency code, and several medical personnel, including
Nurse Jane Doe 2, allegedly brought Mr. Jones to the medical
in the medical unit, medical staff allegedly monitored Mr.
Jones by repeatedly checking his vital signs. Compl. at 7.
Mr. Jones claims that, however, under the direction of Dr.
Ruiz, the staff initially deprived Mr. Jones of his proper
breathing medication. Id. Finally, after several
complaints and with Mr. Jones “fighting for [his] life,
” the staff provided him with breathing treatment.
Id. Mr. Jones believes Dr. Ruiz and his staff
deprived Mr. Jones of approrpiate treatment out of
retaliation for lawsuits Mr. Jones has filed in state and
federal court and because they wanted Mr. Jones to die.
Jones filed his Complaint on April 12, 2018. Compl. On April
16, 2018, Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel granted Mr.
Jones' motion to proceed in forma pauperis. ECF
STANDARD OF REVIEW
by incarcerated persons must be reviewed and 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, must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Although
detailed allegations are not required, a complaint must
include sufficient facts to afford a defendants fair notice
of the claims and grounds upon which the claims 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). A plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
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, 6 ...