United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Omar Awad is a prisoner in the custody of the Connecticut
Department of Correction at Garner Correctional Institution
(“Garner”) in Newtown, Connecticut. Proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis, on September
18, 2018, he filed a civil complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against 27 listed individuals and state agencies, and
nearly 200 unidentified “John Doe” defendants for
violating his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and
unusual punishment. Doc. #1. The 27 listed defendants are the
University of Connecticut Health Center Correctional Managed
Health Care (“CMHC”), the Director of CMHC,
“UConn Hospital, ” the Director of “UConn
Hospital”, Department of Correction (“DOC”)
Commissioner Scott Semple, the DOC, Manson Youth Institution
(“MYI”), MYI Warden John Alves, MYI Deputy Warden
Danielle Borges, MYI Deputy Warden Thomas Hunt, MYI
Lieutenant David Wojcik, MYI Lieutenant DeJackome, MYI
Correctional Officer Achu, MYI Correctional Officer Brian
Larson, MYI Correctional Officer Karlson, MYI Correctional
Officer Carnemolla, MYI Correctional Officer Rivera, MYI
Doctor Gerald Velletta, University of Connecticut Doctor
Freston, the Director of the MYI Medical Unit at MYI, Carl
Robinson Correctional Institution (“Carl
Robinson”), a doctor at Carl Robinson, the Medical
Director at Carl Robinson, Cheshire Correctional Institution
(“Cheshire”), Cheshire Doctor Ricardo Ruiz, the
Medical Director at Cheshire, and inmate Alberto Flores.
has also filed motions for the appointment of counsel, Doc.
#3, requesting a preliminary injunction, Doc. #4, and to
amend his in forma pauperis application, Doc. #9.
For the following reasons, I will dismiss Awad's
complaint in part without prejudice, reserve decision on the
preliminary injunction pending responses from certain
defendants, deny the motion for appointment of counsel
without prejudice, and deny the motion to amend the in
forma pauperis application as moot.
following facts are alleged in the complaint and are accepted
as true only for purposes of this initial ruling. On March 3,
2016, at approximately 4:30 p.m., Awad was sitting and eating
dinner in Block A Wing of H Cottage at MYI when inmate Flores
assaulted him. Doc. #1 at 10 (¶ 1). Flores approached
Awad from his right side and hit him, causing him to fall out
of his seat and onto the floor. Ibid. (¶ 2).
Awad suffered injuries to his head and neck, including a
fracture to his nose, and lost consciousness for a short
period of time. Id. at 10-11 (¶¶ 3-4).
regained his consciousness, Officer Achu dragged Awad across
the room while face down on the floor and pressed his knee
onto Awad's back, causing him pain and shortness of
breath. Id. at 11 (¶¶ 5-7). Achu, who
weighed twice as much as Awad, put all his weight on
Awad's back, even though Awad was not resisting.
Ibid. (¶¶ 8, 10). Awad asked Achu to ease
the pressure he was applying to his back because he could not
breathe, but Achu laughed and said, “If you can talk,
you can breath[e].” Ibid. (¶ 9).
Meanwhile, Awad's nose continued to bleed from the
assault by Flores. Ibid. (¶ 10).
held Awad down, Officer Karlson applied handcuffs to
Awad's wrists. Id. at 12 (¶ 12). Lieutenant
Wojcik, Officer Rivera, and Officer Carnemolla also responded
to the scene. Ibid. (¶ 13). Awad told Wojcik
and the other officers that he was too dizzy to stand up and
walk and requested a wheelchair, but after ten to fifteen
minutes of lying on the floor bleeding from his nose, the
officers forced him to stand up and walk to the medical unit
at MYI. Id. at 12-13 (¶¶ 14-18, 22-25).
in the medical unit, Awad spoke with a doctor who informed
him that lying face down on the floor while bleeding from his
nose placed him at a greater risk of developing permanent
damage to his nose. Id. at 13 (¶ 20). Nurse
Valentukonis recorded Awad's injuries and referred him to
the University of Connecticut Health Center
(“UConn”) for further evaluation. Id. at
13-14 (¶¶ 25-26).
p.m., Awad was sent to the emergency room at UConn.
Id. at 14 (¶ 27). He was experiencing blurry
vision, nausea, neck and back pain, dizziness, anxiety, pain
in his face, and other ailments. Ibid. (¶¶
28-29). The emergency room physician confirmed that
Awad's nose was broken and that he had tissue swelling
and a deviated septum. Ibid. (¶ 30). The
physicians prescribed Awad medication. Ibid. The
physicians informed Awad that his nose was too swollen for
them to set it back in place. Id. at 15 (¶ 33).
They instructed him to schedule a follow-up appointment with
an Ear, Nose, and Throat (“ENT”) specialist to
return within six to ten days. Ibid. They informed
Awad that MYI officials would be aware of this instruction.
at UConn also instructed Awad to apply ice to his injury for
20 to 30 minutes every two to three hours over the next
several days. Id. at 14 (¶ 31). They also
instructed him to elevate his head using pillows until the
swelling in his nose subsided. Ibid.
arrived back at MYI, the nurses there refused to provide Awad
with ice and his pain medication for several days.
Id. at 14-15 (¶ 32). Instead, officials placed
Awad in segregation where he did not have any pillows to
elevate his head or access to his pain medication.
Ibid. Dr. Velletta placed a request to schedule an
appointment with the ENT specialist on March
Id. at 15-16 (¶ 34, 37). The appointment would
first need to be reviewed by CMHC's Utilization Review
Committee (“URC”), which ultimately denied the
appointment on March 31. Id. at 16-17 (¶¶
35, 37-38). As a result, Awad continues to suffer from pain
in his nose and difficulty breathing because his nose was not
aligned correctly. Id. at 17 (¶ 39).
March 22, 2016, Awad was transferred to Carl Robinson.
Ibid. (¶ 40). There, he was denied further
treatment for his nose and continued to experience pain.
Ibid. Awad was transferred from Carl Robinson to
Cheshire on August 16, 2016. Ibid. (¶ 41). At
Cheshire, Awad was treated by Dr. Ruiz and several nurses.
March 15, 2017, Awad finally met with an ENT specialist at
UConn for his nose. Id. at 18 (¶ 43). The
specialist informed Awad that realigning his nose would be a
very long and painful procedure; he would have to break his
nose again, cut it open, and obtain cartilage from another
part of his body to properly set it in place. Ibid.
(¶ 44). He told Awad that, had he come earlier, the
procedure would have been much easier. Ibid. (¶
45). The specialist said that the resources for fixing
Awad's nose were not available at UConn and that prison
officials would have to refer plaintiff to an outside clinic.
Ibid. (¶ 46). Despite making several trips to
UConn, prison officials refused to permit Awad to go to an
outside clinic for the operation. Id. at 19 (¶
February to May of 2017, Dr. Ruiz stopped prescribing pain
medication for Awad. Ibid. (¶ 48). This caused
Awad to suffer from constant excruciating pain, and nurses
refused to help Awad. Ibid. Awad is now incarcerated
at Garner and continues to suffer pain in his nose because of
defendants' failure to procure proper treatment for his
condition. Id. at 19-20 (¶ 49).
names Flores in connection with his assault, Achu and Karlson
in connection with the use of excessive force against him,
and Karlson, Wojcik, Rivera, Carnemolla, Velletta, and Ruiz
for acting with deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. He also mentions Department of Correction
Commissioner Scott Semple in passing as having signed
administrative policies. Id. at 17 (¶ 38), and
appears to claim that that the URC, a division of CMHC,
exercised deliberate indifference by denying Dr.
Velletta's request for a follow-up ENT appointment.
Id. at 16-17 (¶¶ 35, 38). He does not,
however, name any of the other defendants in his factual
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review a
prisoner's civil complaint against a governmental entity
or governmental actors and “identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint-(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” If the prisoner is proceeding pro se,
the allegations of the ...