United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. Dooley United States District Judge
October 15, 2018, the plaintiff, Dashawn Perry, an inmate
currently confined at the Osborn Correctional Institution
(“Osborn”) in Somers, Connecticut, brought a
civil action pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against five
state Department of Correction (“DOC”) officials
in their individual and official capacities: Health Services
Administrator Richard Furey, Dr. Gary Robert Freston, Dr.
Wright, Correction Officer Ayala, and Warden Gary Wright.
(ECF 1). Although not explicitly stated, the plaintiff
appears to be suing the defendants for acting with deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs, in violation of
his Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual
punishment. He requests damages and injunctive relief in the
form of specialized medical care. Id. at 6. On
November 5, 2018, Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel
granted the plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma
pauperis. See Order No. 8.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 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. 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 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.” Bell Atlantic, 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 America, 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).
January 6, 2018, the plaintiff sustained a very painful
injury to his left ankle while playing basketball during
outside recreation at Osborn. Compl. ¶ 1. He immediately
went to the medical unit at Osborn seeking treatment.
Id. at ¶¶ 1-2. There, he was evaluated by
nursing staff who refused to divulge their names to the
plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 2. The plaintiff requested
medication to alleviate the pain he was experiencing along
with an x-ray, an appointment with a physician, and a
bottom-bunk pass, but the nursing staff denied his requests.
Id. at ¶¶ 2-3.
plaintiff returned to his housing unit and wrote a request to
Administrator Furey, but Furey did not reply. Compl. ¶
3. Several days later, the plaintiff saw Furey in one of the
hallways at Osborn, told him about his painful condition, and
asked him about his failure to respond to the request he had
written to him. Id. Furey responded, “Too bad,
you should [not] have . . . come to prison, ” and then
walked away. Id.
plaintiff continued to write requests to correction officers,
counselors, and medical personnel about his condition, but
none of them responded. Compl. ¶ 4. After waiting nearly
a month for treatment, the plaintiff was called to the
medical unit and evaluated by Dr. Freston. Id. at
¶ 5. Freston “did nothing” for the
plaintiff's pain, but he ordered an x-ray and
consultation at the UConn Health Center. Id.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff was forced to climb up and down his
bunk with the painful ankle injury. Id.
at the UConn Health Center, a physician provided the
plaintiff with a treatment plan, but Dr. Freston and
Administrator Furey failed to ensure that the treatment plan
was followed by medical staff at Osborn. Compl. ¶ 6. The
plaintiff wrote another formal request to Furey on February
26, 2018. Id. at ¶ 7. Furey responded on March
13, stating that the plaintiff had a medical appointment
scheduled with Dr. Wright. Id. However, Dr. Wright
told the plaintiff that he had to submit a formal request
before any evaluation. Id. The plaintiff complied,
but he never received an appointment with Dr. Wright or even
a reply to the formal request. Id. Several months
later, Furey finally responded to one of the plaintiff's
requests, stating that the plaintiff had an appointment
scheduled in one week to be evaluated by Dr. Wright.
Id. at ¶ 8.
April 11, 2018, the plaintiff was called to the medical unit
for an appointment with Dr. Wright. Compl. ¶ 9. While he
was waiting in the medical unit holding area, another inmate
asked the plaintiff if he could take his vital signs, but the
plaintiff refused, stating that he was there to see Dr.
Wright and that his vital signs were confidential.
Id. The inmate insisted that he wanted to take the
plaintiff's vital signs, but the plaintiff adamantly
refused. Id. Correction Officer Ayala then
interfered and told the plaintiff that, if he did not let the
inmate take his vital signs, he would write him a
disciplinary report. Id. The plaintiff still
refused, and Ayala then sent him back to his housing unit.
Id. The plaintiff was unable to see Dr. Wright.
Id. at ¶ 10.
plaintiff filed a formal complaint to Warden Wright
explaining that Ayala had refused to allow him to see the
medical doctor at Osborn, but Warden Wright did not respond.
Compl. ¶ 10. The plaintiff then followed up an
administrative remedy/grievance, which Warden Wright rejected
on the ground that the plaintiff never filed an inmate
request form. Id. The plaintiff did, however, file a
request for submitting his grievance. Id. The
plaintiff later spoke with Warden Wright as he toured his
housing unit. Id. Wright told him, “Nothing
goes up the chain of command without [my] approval.”
Id. The plaintiff told Wright that he believed
Wright was obstructing the administrative remedy process, to
which Wright replied, “Sue me, I don't care.”
plaintiff brings this §1983 action claiming that all
defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. Deliberate indifference to a prisoner's
serious medical needs constitutes cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)). To prevail on a claim
for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, the
plaintiff must show both that his need was serious and that
defendants acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind.
See Smith v. Carpenter, 316 F.3d 178, 184 (2d Cir.
2003) (citing Estelle, 429 U.S. at 105).
the allegations and the inferences that could be drawn
therefrom, liberally, the plaintiff has stated a plausible
Eighth Amendment claim against the defendants for refusing
medical treatment, delaying medical treatment, and/or
interfering with his ability to obtain medical treatment for
his allegedly painful injury. Thus, the Eighth Amendment
claim may proceed against the ...