United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. Underhill United States District Judge
February 20, 2018, Mark Anthony Henderson, an inmate
currently confined at Cheshire Correctional Institution,
brought a pro se civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1986, and 1988 against eleven
employees of the Connecticut Department of Correction
(“DOC”) in their individual and official
capacities for various violations of his First and Eighth
Amendment rights while he was confined at Northern
Correctional Institution (“NCI”) in Somers,
Connecticut. On March 7, 2018, the court, Garfinkel,
J., granted Henderson's motion to proceed in
forma pauperis. See Order #8. I dismissed the
complaint without prejudice on April 26, 2018 because it
failed to comply with the rules of proper pleading and
joinder, Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 and 20, but allowed Henderson an
opportunity to file an amended complaint.
11, 2018, Henderson filed an amended complaint against five
of the eleven defendants previously listed for violating his
Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.
Am. Compl. [Doc.#13]. The five defendants are Lieutenant
Tuttle, Lieutenant Blackstock, Nurse S. Duncan, Nurse L.
Michaud-Alvarez, and Warden William Faneuff. He does not
specify whether he is suing the defendants in their
individual capacities, official capacities, or both. Based on
his initial complaint, I will assume he is suing all five
defendants in both their individual and official capacities.
Henderson seeks an injunction in the form of an order for
medical treatment and monetary damages. For the following
reasons, his amended complaint is dismissed in part.
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 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 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
amended complaint alleges the following facts:
March 29, 2017, at approximately 2:00 p.m., Henderson was in
an outside recreation unit at NCI and asked to speak with his
housing unit manager regarding an issue he had had with
correctional staff taking his headphones and breaking his
television. Am. Compl. ¶ 1. Ten minutes later,
Lieutenants Tuttle and Blackstock and several other
unidentified correction officers came to remove Henderson
from the recreation unit. Id. at ¶ 2. Tuttle
and Blackstock ordered Henderson to place his hands in
handcuffs. Id. at ¶ 3. One minute later, pepper
spray was released into the recreation unit, covering
Henderson. Id. at ¶ 4. At that point, Tuttle
stated, “Put him in in-cells, let him burn.”
Id. After he was handcuffed, the officers removed
him from the recreation unit and placed him in the 1 West
medical unit. Id. at ¶ 5.
arrived in the medical unit, Nurses Duncan and Alvarez
instructed Henderson, while handcuffed, to place his head
under running water from a nearby faucet. Am. Compl.
¶¶ 6-7. The nurses washed the chemical agent off
his face and eyes and then wiped his face with a paper towel.
Id. at ¶ 6. Shortly thereafter, Henderson was
escorted out of the medical unit. Id. at ¶ 8.
He had difficulty opening his eyes because of the pepper
spray that had been applied to his head and neck area.
Id. Tuttle, Blackstock, Duncan, and Alvarez did not
allow Henderson to take a shower to fully wash off the
chemical agent, in violation of DOC administrative policy.
Id. at ¶ 9. The medical incident report that
Duncan and Alvarez generated from Henderson's visit to
the medical unit stated that Henderson received
decontamination treatment in the form of a flushing of the
eyes and that no other injuries or medical complaints were
reported. Pl.'s Ex. 2B [Doc.# 13-2].
Blackstock, and other correction officers placed Henderson in
cell 102 and ordered him to change clothes. Am. Compl. ¶
10. The staff then placed him in in-cell restraints, which
consisted of handcuffs, a chain around his waist, and leg
shackles with a black box and tether chain. Id. at
¶ 11. Henderson believes that the staff subjected him to
in-cell restraints, despite his compliance with their orders,
as an act of unnecessary punishment. Id. at ¶
secured in cell 102, Henderson noticed that the toilet in the
cell was not working properly and was filled with urine and
feces. Am. Compl. ¶ 13. There was also dried blood on
the toilet seat and urine on the floor next to the toilet.
Id. at ¶ 14. The right leg shackle Henderson
was wearing was also cutting into the back of his leg.
Id. at ¶ 15. The improperly placed leg shackle
and the malfunctioning toilet rendered Henderson unable to
eat, sleep, drink water, or use the bathroom. Id. at
¶¶ 15-16. Henderson remained in cell 102 with these
conditions for four days, during which time he engaged in a
hunger strike. Id. at ¶ 17. He was taken off
in-cell restraint status on April 1, 2017. Id.
4, 2017, Henderson filed a grievance regarding his placement
in the unsanitary cell with the malfunctioning toilet. Am.
Compl. ¶ 18. At the time, it was known that cells
101-103 contained such unsanitary conditions. Id. at
¶¶ 18-19. One month later, he received a
“compromised” disposition of his grievance from
Warden Faneuff, which he could not appeal. Id. at
¶¶ 20-21; Pl.'s Exs. 4, 5 [Doc.#s 13-5, 13-6].
The disposition stated that “[t]here is no evidence to
substantiate your claims of urine on the floor, feces on the
floor or dried blood on the toilet, nonetheless, upon an
inmate being removed from a cell and placed in another cell,
the outside detail workers properly clean and sanitize the
cell in accordance with Department Policies and
Procedures.” Pl.'s Ex. 4.
filed another a grievance against Tuttle and Blackstock for
their failure to decontaminate him of the chemical agent on
March 29. Am. Compl. ¶ 22. That grievance was denied on
June 8, and the appeal was denied on July 16. Id. at
¶ 23. In denying the grievance, Warden Faneuff stated
that “showers are not feasible at [NCI]” and, per
DOC policy, an inmate in full restraints is not permitted to
use the shower. Pl.'s Ex. 6 [Doc.# 13-7].
“Decontamination of any exposed person shall include
flushing of [the] eyes, decontaminating exposed skin by
medical personnel, and issuance of clean clothing.”
Id. Faneuff noted that, after being subjected to
pepper spray, Henderson was taken to the medical unit, where
his eyes were flushed and his skin was decontaminated, and
then to cell 102, where he was provided clean clothing.
8, Henderson filed a third grievance against Duncan and
Alvarez for their failure “to provide
decontamination” of the chemical agent. Am. Compl.
¶ 24. He received a disposition of that grievance the
same day. Id. Henderson tried to appeal the
grievance, but he ...