United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. DOOLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 7, 2019, the Plaintiff, Kareem Jamar Durham, a
prisoner currently confined at the Bridgeport Correctional
Center (“BCC”) in Connecticut, brought a civil
action pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
multiple Connecticut Department of Correction
(“DOC”) officials in their individual and
official capacities: Warden Amonda Hannah,  Lieutenant
Durant, Officer Tardiff, Officer Saas, Frank Doe, Dr. Tung,
Officer Callands, and an unspecified number of medical
officials at BCC. Compl. (DE#1). The Plaintiff is suing the
Defendants for violating his Eighth Amendment protection
against cruel and unusual punishment by acting with
deliberate indifference to his safety and/or medical needs.
Id. at ¶ 9. He is also raising claims of
negligence and violations of administrative regulations.
See Id. at ¶¶ 9-10. The Plaintiff seeks
damages and injunctive relief in the form of a transfer to
another facility where he can receive adequate mental health
treatment. Id. at p.5. On February 11, 2019,
Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel granted the
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
See Order No. 7. For the following reasons, his
complaint is dismissed in part.
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 2, 2019, at approximately 7:23 p.m., the Plaintiff
was in the dayroom of Unit 38B-6 for his recreation period.
Compl. ¶ 1. There, he became involved in a verbal
altercation with another inmate named Frank Chimble.
Id. Chimble threatened and hurled racial insults at
the Plaintiff. Id. After the altercation, the
Plaintiff was placed in administrative detention.
January 9, the Plaintiff was sent back to Unit 38B-6. Compl.
¶ 1. When he arrived, Chimble and other inmates started
insulting and yelling at him through the doors, stating that
they “were going to kill [him] when they catch
[him].” Id. While the Plaintiff was in his
cell, the inmate in the adjacent cell squirted urine under
his door. Id. The harassment caused the Plaintiff to
have suicidal thoughts and fear for his life. Id.
That afternoon, he spoke with a correction official and told
him that he wanted to refuse housing because he feared for
his safety. Id. Afterward, he was placed in
administrative detention. Id.
couple of days later, while in administrative detention,
Lieutenant Durant, Officer Tardiff, and Officer Saas called
the Plaintiff to the counselor's office. Compl. ¶ 2.
There, the Plaintiff explained that he feared for his life
and “begged” the officials for help. Id.
He also explained that the other inmates in Unit 38B-6 had
been harassing him and causing him to develop suicidal
thoughts. Id. However, the Defendants told him that
he could either continue to refuse housing and receive
disciplinary reports or go back to his housing unit and
“deal with the bull.” Id. The Plaintiff
remained in administrative detention, and his suicidal
thoughts became more severe. Id.
January 16, at approximately 9:07 a.m., the Plaintiff was
informed that he was being transferred back to Unit 38B-6.
Compl. ¶ 3. He told the official on duty that he feared
for his safety and refused the housing assignment.
Id. As a result, the Plaintiff received a Class A
disciplinary report. Id. Later that evening, he
spoke with Frank Doe in the mental health unit and told him
that he was “feeling like committing suicide”
because he was not receiving any assistance from BCC
supervisors. Id. Afterward, he was placed on
behavioral observation status (“BOS”) in the
mental health unit. Id.
on BOS, the Plaintiff informed Frank Doe and Dr. Tung that
his mental health was poor and that he would rather die
before going back to Unit 38B-6, but none of the correction
officials were taking him seriously. Compl. ¶¶ 3-4.
He submitted several written requests indicating that he
would commit suicide if officials sent him back to his
housing unit. Id. at ¶ 4. Doe and Tung
eventually stopped meeting with the Plaintiff, which caused
his PTSD, anxiety, and depression to increase. Id.
The Plaintiff began having nightmares about being killed in
Unit 38B-6. Id. He wrote multiple letters to Warden
Hannah, his captain, and the deputy warden, but he did not
receive any responses. Id.
January 29, the Plaintiff was informed that he was being
transferred back to administrative detention, which caused
him to panic. Compl. ¶ 5. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on
January 31, the Plaintiff attempted suicide after realizing
that he was being forced to choose between being punished for
refusing housing or fearing for his safety. Id. He
stopped Officer Callands and told him that he had ingested
ten sleeping pills and was about to take six more pills.
Id. at ¶ 6. The Plaintiff then took the pills
and drank a bottle of deodorant in Callands' presence.
Id. Callands did not immediately call a code, but he
did make a phone call. Id. Five minutes later, the
Plaintiff passed out after he no longer could endure his
stomach pains. Id. Sometime between 1:00 p.m. and
1:15 p.m., he felt officers lift him off the floor.
Id. He remembers Callands tapping on his door
approximately fifteen minutes before the other officers
next day, the Plaintiff woke up and was unable to eat because
of his stomach pains. Compl. ¶ 7. He believes that he
should have been taken to a hospital. Id. The
Plaintiff continues to experience suicidal thoughts while
confined at BCC. Id. at ¶ 8.
Plaintiff claims that the Defendants violated his Eighth
Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment by
acting with deliberate indifference to his safety and/or
medical needs. Compl. ¶ 9. He is also suing the