United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. Underhill United States District Judge.
Anthony Henderson, currently confined at MacDougall-Walker
Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed this
complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The
named defendants are Registered Nurses Vicky, Pam and
Barbara, Dr. Carson Wright, Warden William Faneuff, and
Health Services Administrator B. Liebel. Henderson seeks
damages and injunctive relief. The complaint was received on
June 12, 2018, and Henderson's motion to proceed in
forma pauperis was granted on June 28, 2018.
section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, I 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. 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 Corp. 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. Nevertheless, 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,
623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules
of solicitude for pro se litigants).
March 9, 2017, while confined at Northern Correctional
Institution, Henderson was experiencing severe lower back
pain and requested sick call medical treatment. Compl., No.
1, at 5, ¶ 1. On March 15, 2017, his request was
returned with a notation that he had refused RN sick call.
Id. On March 21 and April 13, 2017, Henderson filed
grievances and an appeal claiming that no medical staff ever
came to his cell for sick call. Id., ¶ 2. Nurse
Vicky met with Henderson and assured him that, if he withdrew
the grievances about delays in treatment, the issue would not
happen again. Id., ¶ 3. On April 27, 2017,
Henderson withdrew all of the grievances on this issue.
Id., ¶ 4.
continued to experience severe lower back pain as well as
pain from a torn right rotator cuff. His medication was not
working and, at approximately 11:00 p.m. on April 20, 2017,
he tried to inform staff of his “emergency.”
Id. at 5-6, ¶¶ 5-6. The emergency call
button in his cell did not work. Id. at 6, ¶ 7.
Henderson lay on the floor, unable to sleep, and waited until
staff toured the unit. The officer told Henderson to sign up
for sick call. Henderson submitted sick call requests dated
April 20 and 21, 2017, on this issue. Id., ¶
8-9. Henderson filed a health services grievance about the
intercom on June 9, 2017. Id., ¶ 12. Nurse
Vicky returned the grievance stating that it was a custody
issue. Id. at 7, ¶¶ 13-14. Health
Administrator Liebel denied Henderson's appeal for the
same reason. Id., ¶¶ 15-16.
18, 2017, Henderson again requested sick call to address his
pain. Id., ¶ 17. On May 20, 2017, he spoke with
Nurse Pam while she was doing rounds. She acknowledged his
request but Henderson never was seen. Id. at 8,
¶¶ 18-20. Henderson filed health services
grievances. Id., ¶ 20. On June 5, 2017, Nurse
Vicky again asked Henderson to withdraw the grievance. He
refused. Id., ¶ 21. The following day, Nurse
Barbara asked him to withdraw the grievance against Nurse
Pam. Henderson refused. Id., ¶ 22. On June 13,
2017, Henderson received his May 18, 2017 sick call request.
Nurse Barbara has indicated falsely that Henderson had
received a sick call examination. Id. at 9, ¶
29, 2017, Henderson was transferred to Walker Correctional
Institution. Id., ¶ 25. He continued to pursue
appeals of his grievance concerning Nurse Pam. Id.,
¶ 26. On July 23, 2017, Henderson filed a grievance
regarding Nurse Barbara. Id. at 9-10, ¶ 27.
22, 2017, after waiting thirty-five days, Dr. Wright saw
Henderson for his complaints of chronic lower back pain and
rotator cuff pain. Id. at 10, ¶ 28. Dr. Wright
told Henderson that he would increase Henderson's pain
medication dosage, submit a request to the Utilization Review
Committee for an orthopedic consultative examination and
arrange physical therapy. Id., ¶ 29. When he
inquired on the status of the consultative examination, a
nurse told Henderson that Dr. Wright had not ordered
anything. Id., ¶ 30. A notation in
Henderson's medical record indicates only that Henderson
“may need URC.” Id., ¶ 31.
Henderson then filed a grievance and grievance appeal
regarding Dr. Wright's lack of treatment. Id. at
11, ¶¶ 32-33. On September 15, 2017, Henderson
received a response to his grievance appeal indicating that
he had been seen by an orthopedist on August 25, 2107.
Id., ¶ 34.
alleges that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs in the following ways: Nurse Vicky
failed to correct actions taken by Nurses Pam and Barbara in
failing to provide timely and adequate medical treatment and
failed to resolve the non-working intercom issues; Nurses Pam
and Barbara failed to provide timely and adequate sick call
medical treatment; Dr. Wright failed to provide timely and
adequate medical treatment for thirty-five days and then
failed to order any treatment; Health Services Administrator
Liebel failed to correct the actions of the nurses and failed
to resolve the issue of the non-working intercom; and Warden
Faneuff failed to correct the non-working intercom.
Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical Needs
alleges that defendants Nurses Vicky, Pam and Barbara, Dr.
Wright and Health Services Administrator Liebel were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs,
specifically, his lower back and rotator cuff pain.
state an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference
to a serious medical need, Henderson must show both that his
medical need was serious and that the defendants acted with a
sufficiently culpable state of mind. See Smith v.
Carpenter, 316 F.3d 178, 184 (2d Cir. 2003) (citing
Estelle v. Gamble, 492 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)). There
are both objective and subjective components to the
deliberate indifference standard. See Hathaway v.
Coughlin, 37 F.3d 63, 66 (2d Cir. 1994). Objectively,
the alleged deprivation must be “sufficiently
serious.” Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298
(1991). The ...