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Milner v. Laplante

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 2, 2019

SHAWN MILNER, Plaintiff,
SHARRON LAPLANTE, et al., Defendants.


          Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Shawn Milner is a pre-trial detainee in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Correction. He has filed a complaint pro se and in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. After an initial review, the Court concludes that the complaint should proceed in part and be dismissed in part.


         The complaint is hand-written in very light script that is difficult to read. It names seven defendants, Sharron Laplante, Allison Black, Lieutenant Rivera, and Nurses Chris, Joe, Michael, and Denise.

         Milner suffers from a seizure disorder. In April 2018, he was being treated at Bristol Hospital for seizure complications. On April 13, 2018, he was transferred from Bristol Hospital to Hartford Correctional Center and housed in a single cell in the segregation unit. Doc. #1-1 at 5 (¶¶ 10-11).

         Milner did not receive a disciplinary report to warrant confinement in segregation. Ibid. (¶ 12). His concrete cell contained metal objects which could injure him if he had a seizure. Correctional staff toured the unit every fifteen minutes, but Milner had no cellmate to summon medical assistance if he suffered a seizure while correctional staff were not there. Ibid. (¶ 13). During his time in segregation, he was denied the three recreation periods per day afforded to other inmates at Hartford Correctional Center. Id. at 5-6 (¶ 14).

         On the evening of April 13, 2018, Milner told Nurse Diane that he was at risk of injury from seizure activity while housed alone.[1] He also told her that he was not receiving the proper dose of anti-seizure medication and was not receiving his pain and anxiety medication. Nurse Diane stated that she could do nothing. Id. at 6 (¶ 15). Milner reported the medication issues to every nurse that distributed medication between April 13, 2018, and May 21, 2018, the day he drafted this complaint. All nurses stated they could not help him. His medication history is recorded in correctional medical records. All medical staff have access to this information. Id. at 6 (¶ 16), 17.

         Milner wrote to Dr. Laplante several times informing her of the medication issues and complaining of severe head and back pain. Dr. Laplante did not respond. Milner had not been seen by a doctor since his arrival at Hartford Correctional Center, even though the Bristol Hospital discharge instructions recommended follow-up with a physician. Id. at 7 (¶ 17). Milner also stopped Lt. Rivera during a unit tour to complain about the medication issues and lack of recreation. He asked to be transferred to general population but Lt. Rivera said he could do nothing. Ibid. (¶ 18).

         On April 17, 2018, Milner suffered a grand mal seizure. He injured his face and back during the seizure. When he regained consciousness, he notified medical staff, Lt. Rivera, and Dr. Black. No. medical care was provided. Ibid. (¶ 19).

         On April 28, 2018, Nurses Diane and Michael did not deliver Milner his morning and evening anti-seizure medication. Id. at 8 (¶¶ 21-23). At 10:00 p.m., he began feeling lightheaded and dizzy and began to see spots. His vision became blurry, and he had a metallic taste in his mouth. These are all preliminary indicators of a seizure. Nurse Chris was touring the housing unit. When Milner called for help, Nurse Chris laughed at him and told him to sit on his bunk. Milner lost consciousness and suffered a grand mal seizure, injuring his face, neck, and back. Ibid. (¶ 24). When he regained consciousness, he was handcuffed on a stretcher. Id. at 9 (¶ 25).

         After suffering the seizure, Milner was given his anti-seizure medication, although still not the correct dosage. Nurse Joe could not tell him why he had been denied his medication all day. Ibid. (¶ 26). When Milner asked whether he was aware that missing medication could trigger seizures, Nurse Joe became agitated and said that he would file a false report stating that Milner had faked the seizure. Ibid. (¶ 27). No. treatment was provided for Milner's injuries. Instead, medical staff laughed at him. Ibid. (¶ 28).

         Milner alleges that the nurses failed to follow Correctional Managed Health Care protocol, which required an assessment of injuries. No. one determined the severity of his seizure. Id. at 10, (¶ 29). He was not examined by a doctor or a neurologist. Ibid. (¶ 30). Nurse Joe ordered that he be placed, naked and alone, in a cold cell with no amenities or outside window. No. medical treatment was provided. Ibid. (¶ 31). The next morning, he was given clothes and told to return to his housing unit. Id. at 11 (¶ 35).

         Milner filed this complaint on May 29, 2018. On July 5, 2018, he moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. On November 26, 2018, he filed a notice of ...

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