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Licari v. Semple

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 20, 2018

RANDAL LICARI, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER SEMPLE, ET AL., Defendants.

          RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS

          AWT ALVIN W. THOMPSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The plaintiff, Randal Licari, is incarcerated at the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield, Connecticut. He initiated this action by filing a civil rights complaint asserting claims of deliberate indifference to medical needs against Commissioner Scott Semple; Drs. Giles, Naqvi, Wu and Coleman; Physician Assistant Kevin Crystal; and Nurses Dionne, Shannon, Heidi Green, Barbara LaFrance and Rikil Lightner.

         On May 9, 2017, the court dismissed all retaliation claims and all other claims against defendants Semple, Giles and Coleman pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). The court concluded that the plaintiff had stated plausible claims that Dr. Naqvi, Physician Assistant Crystal, and Nurses Green, LaFrance, Dionne, Shannon and Lightner were deliberately indifferent to his complaints of pain in his groin area after undergoing hernia surgery in April 2015 and that Dr. Wu was deliberately indifferent to his painful groin condition by failing to provide any treatment for his complaints of pain after concluding that he did not suffer from ilioinguinal nerve[1]entrapment or a “nerve block.” The case proceeds against defendants Naqvi, Crystal, Green, LaFrance, Dionne, Shannon, Lightner and Wu in their individual and official capacities.

         The defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint. For the reasons set forth below, the motion to dismiss is being denied in part and granted in part.

         I. Legal Standard

         Although the defendants purport to have filed their motion to dismiss pursuant to both Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P., they offer no argument in support of dismissal due to a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Thus, the court considers the motion only under Rule 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P.

         When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P., the court “accepts as true all of the factual allegations set out in [the] complaint, draw[s] inferences from those allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and construes the complaint liberally.” Roth v. Jennings, 489 F.3d 499, 510 (2d Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In addition to the facts set forth in the complaint, the court may also consider documents either attached to the complaint or incorporated into it by reference, “and matters subject to judicial notice.” New York Pet Welfare Ass'n, Inc. v. City of New York, 850 F.3d 79, 86 (2d Cir. 2017) (citation omitted).

         To withstand a motion to dismiss, “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 Atlantic 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. 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.

         II. Factual Allegations

         As of June 27, 2014, the plaintiff was experiencing chronic pain in his testicular/groin area that interfered with his ability to walk, sleep and exercise. See Compl. at 3 ¶ 7. On April 15, 2015, the plaintiff underwent double hernia surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center (“UCONN”). See Id. ¶¶ 8-9.

         On May 5, 2015, the plaintiff complained to the surgeon who had performed his hernia surgery that he was still experiencing pain in his groin. See Id. ¶ 10. The surgeon opined that the degree of pain that the plaintiff claimed to still be experiencing was excessive given the uncomplicated nature of the procedure. See Id. The surgeon recommended that a follow-up appointment be scheduled by the treating physician at the plaintiff's place of confinement if the pain did not subside within two weeks. See id.

         After his hernia surgery, the plaintiff worked as a janitor seven days a week. See Id. ¶ 12. During this time, he was in contact with and complained to Dr. Naqvi, Physician Assistant Crystal, and Nurses Green, LaFrance, Dionne, Shannon and Lightner about the pain he continued to experience in his groin area. See Id. ¶ 11. On September 10, 2015, he filed a grievance claiming that he was still experiencing groin pain, but no one responded to the grievance. See Id. ¶ 13.

         At some point, the plaintiff filed a habeas petition in state court seeking medical treatment for his groin pain. See Id. ¶ 14. He also sought mental health treatment for anxiety caused by the pain in his groin area. See Id. at 4 ¶ 16. At some later point, prison officials transferred the plaintiff to Osborn Correctional Institution. See Id. ¶ 15.

         On April 3, 2016, the plaintiff met with Dr. Naqvi who informed him that Dr. Giles had diagnosed him as suffering from ilioinguinal nerve entrapment and had recommended that he receive injections into his upper thighs. See Id. ¶ 18. This treatment did not relieve the plaintiff's pain. See Id. Dr. Naqvi did not submit a request that the plaintiff undergo surgery to correct the condition ...


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