United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. DOOLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 26, 2019, the Plaintiff, Da-Quane Adams, a prisoner
currently confined at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MWCI”) in Suffield, Connecticut,
brought a civil action pro se under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against the State of Connecticut and three Connecticut
Department of Correction (“DOC”) medical
officials: Dr. Omprakash Pillai, Dr. Syed Naqvi, and Nurse
Shanya G. Compl. (DE#1). The Plaintiff seeks damages and
injunctive relief against the Defendants for violating his
Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual
punishment. Id. at p.16. On March 6, 2019,
Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel granted the
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
See Order No. 6. For the following reasons, his
complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
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. Notwithstanding, “[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).
February 25, 2014, the Plaintiff was suffering from extreme
knee pain. Compl. ¶ 3. He alerted the correction
officers in his unit, one of whom called the medical unit for
assistance. Id. The official in the medical unit
informed the Plaintiff that he had to submit a written
request to be evaluated by medical personnel. Id.
Because the Plaintiff was suffering from extreme pain, he
asked two other inmates to transport him via wheelchair to
the unit phone so that he could make an emergency call to his
family. Id. After speaking to his family, one of his
relatives called the facility to request emergency medical
attention for the Plaintiff. Id. Medical staff then
evaluated the Plaintiff, determined that the pain and
swelling in his knee was severe, and transported him to the
UConn Health Center for treatment. Id. at ¶ 4.
at the UConn Health Center, doctors diagnosed the Plaintiff
with a swollen left knee and noted a prior diagnosis of
septic arthritis as shown by a previous x-ray conducted at
MWCI. Compl. ¶ 5. The Plaintiff informed the doctor at
UConn that his pain was unbearable and requested an MRI of
his knee because an x-ray does not show the nature of the
problem. Id. at ¶¶ 5-6. The doctors at
UConn gave the Plaintiff wooden crutches, an ace wrap for his
knee, and Motrin for his pain. Id. at ¶ 6.
next day, the Utilization Review Committee
(“URC”) reviewed a request submitted by Dr. Naqvi
regarding the Plaintiff's condition. Compl. ¶ 7. Dr.
Naqvi had diagnosed the Plaintiff with arthritis.
Id. A second review on March 7, 2014 determined that
the Plaintiff should continue to see an orthopedist for the
“musculoskeletal issue” in his knee. Id.
at ¶ 9. The URC's report indicated that the
Plaintiff was suffering from medial joint-line pain in his
knee, but there was no orthopedist follow-up scheduled.
Id. at ¶¶ 9-10. The x-rays referenced in
the report showed no significant bone or soft tissue
abnormalities. Id. at ¶ 10. The URC did not
comment on whether an MRI was needed. Id. at
13, 2014, the Plaintiff was again evaluated by UConn medical
personnel. Compl. ¶ 11. The report generated from that
appointment explained that the Plaintiff had medial-sided
left knee pain caused by a motor vehicle accident in 2012 and
a basketball injury in October 2013. Id. The
Plaintiff had informed the medical unit that the motor
vehicle accident in 2012 was the source of his knee injury.
Id. at ¶ 12. The report also referenced x-rays
which showed no fractures or dislocations in the
Plaintiff's knee. Id. at ¶ 11. Medical
officials continually referred the Plaintiff for x-rays even
though the Plaintiff insisted that he needed an MRI.
Id. at ¶ 12. That same day, plans were made for
an MRI to be conducted on the Plaintiff's left knee.
Id. at ¶ 13.
10, 2014, a patient information form was completed in
preparation for the plaintiff's MRI. Compl. ¶ 14.
Before the MRI, the Plaintiff's medical records showed
inter-medial joint line pain in his left knee and
intermittent symptoms of swelling, pain, and fever.
Id. at ¶ 15.
Plaintiff received his MRI on July 28, 2014. Compl. ¶
16. The results showed posterior scarring on a joint ligament
near the Plaintiff's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Id. A final report on the results was generated the
next day indicating a concern for a possible meniscal tear.
Id. The Plaintiff continues to experience swelling
and chronic pain in his knee to this day. Id.
Plaintiff was not provided with any medication on July 28,
2014, despite his complaint of severe pain. Compl. ¶ 17.
He discussed the medical reports with Nurse Shayna G. at MWCI
and informed her that he had severe pain in his knee.
Id. at ¶ 18. However, Nurse Shayna stated in
her clinical report that the Plaintiff had no acute distress
and did not complain of any pain. Id. Approximately
one week later, the Plaintiff discussed his MRI results and
his referral to an orthopedist for surgery with Barbara
LaFrances, another medical official. Id. at ¶
27, 2016, after several back-and-forth with MWCI staff, the
Plaintiff filed a grievance because he had not been scheduled
for surgery for his knee condition. Compl. ¶ 20. The
official who responded to his grievance stated that he was
scheduled for an appointment with a physician. Id.
at ¶ 21. The Plaintiff appealed the response on July 14,
2016. Id. at ¶ 22. The same official told him
that he “had nothing to gain” by filing a
grievance. Id. at ¶ 23.
25, 2016, the Plaintiff sent a written request to medical
asking why he had not been by a physician and stating that he
was still experiencing pain and swelling in his knee. Compl.
¶ 24. Nurse Gina Burns ...