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Jordan v. LaFrance

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

October 1, 2018




         Plaintiff Lester Jordan, currently incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed this case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He contends that the defendant, Nurse Barbara LaFrance, is deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Although the plaintiff names the defendant in both individual and official capacities, he seeks only damages and references only individual capacity in the prayer for relief.

         The Court 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. This requirement applies to all prisoner filings regardless whether the prisoner pays the filing fee. Nicholson v. Lenczewski, 356 F.Supp.2d 157, 159 (D. Conn. 2005) (citing Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam)). Here, the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.

         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.

         I. Allegations

         The plaintiff was transferred to the Walker Reception Special Management Unit (“Walker”) at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in April 2018. ECF No. 1, ¶ 10. The plaintiff has juvenile diabetes and is insulin-dependent. Id., ¶ 11. His blood sugar level should be between 80 and 130. Id., ¶ 12. Since he was transferred to Walker, however, the plaintiff's blood sugar level has been well over 200, often ranging between 300 and 400. Id., ¶ 13. The high levels have caused him to experience loss of appetite, loss of sleep, excessive thirst, constant urination, stomach and bladder aches, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, and increased neuropathic foot damage. Id.

         The plaintiff requested, but was denied a diabetic diet. Id., ¶ 15. Prior to his incarceration, the plaintiff took insulin twice a day. Id., ¶ 17. At Walker, he has been given insulin three times per day to address the high blood sugar levels, but his blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled. Id., ¶ 18.

         The plaintiff is scheduled to receive insulin within thirty minutes of 6:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. His meals are served at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. Id., ¶ 19. The amount of each insulin dose varies depending on his blood sugar level. Id., ¶ 20. The 4:00 p.m. insulin dose often is administered between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Id., ¶ 21. The plaintiff cannot eat his meals until after he receives his insulin and his blood sugar level has lowered. Id., ¶ 24. Thus, he often must wait an hour before eating a meal which has grown cold. Id., ¶ 23.

         The plaintiff is confined to a small cell 23 hours per day. The cell lacks sufficient space for him to properly exercise. Id., ¶ 25.

         High blood sugar levels in diabetics can cause glaucoma, blindness, dermatitis, gangrene resulting in amputations, urinary tract infections, bladder damage, and the danger of pancreas shutdown. Id., ¶ 26.

         The plaintiff has spoken and corresponded with the defendant about stabilizing his glucose levels. Id., ¶ 30. She believes that all diabetics should be treated the same. Id., ¶ 31.

         II. Analysis

         The plaintiff contends that the defendant is deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need. The Department of Correction website indicates that the plaintiff was sentenced on July 18, 2018. See (last visited Sept. 17, 2018). Thus, for some of the time at issue in this action, the plaintiff was a pretrial detainee.

         A pretrial detainee's rights under the Fourteenth Amendment are “at least as great as the Eighth Amendment protections available to a convicted prisoner.” City of Revere v. Massachusetts Gen. Hosp., 463 U.S. 239, 244 (1983). Previously, the analysis of the two prongs of the deliberate indifference standard were the same, irrespective of whether the claim was brought under the Eighth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment. See Caiozzo v. Koreman, 581 F.3d 63, 72 (2d Cir. 2009), overruled by Darnell v. Pineiro, 849 F.3d 17, 35 (2d Cir. 2017). However, in Darnell, the Second Circuit, relying ...

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