United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
Kenya Brown is a prisoner at Cheshire Correctional
Institution, a Connecticut Department of Correction facility.
He has filed a complaint pro se and in forma
pauperis against medical personnel at Cheshire, alleging
that they have been deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs and interfered with the grievance process.
Based on my initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, I conclude that Brown's complaint should proceed
against defendants Ruiz, Koslawy, Lavetc, and McClain.
complaint names seven defendants, Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, Dr.
Monica Farinella, Nurse Cindy Lavetc, APRN Maria Koslawy,
Nurse Stephanie McClain, and Nurse Nicole
Karabesto.The following allegations are accepted as
true for the purposes of the Court's initial review.
May 2016, Brown has been incarcerated at Cheshire
Correctional Institution where Dr. Ruiz and APRN Koslawy
currently provide his care. Doc. #1 at 3 (¶ 4). Brown
has yearly examinations by an endocrinologist and a
neuro-ophthalmologist to monitor his diagnosis of pituitary
adenoma. Id. at 3-4 (¶¶ 6, 11). At each
exam from 2016 to 2018 Brown was given a regimen, including
blood work, an MRI, and medication, but Dr. Ruiz, APRN
Koslawy, and Nurse Lavetc failed to follow the regimen.
Ibid. (¶¶ 7, 12). Brown believes that in
2016 the specialists prescribed a certain dosage of calcium
that he has yet to receive. Id. at 3 (¶ 8).
Brown has not received an annual MRI from 2016 through 2018.
Id. at 4 (¶ 10). Brown experiences continuing
headaches, fatigue, lack of calcium, depression from chemical
imbalance, and skin issues. Doc. #1 at 4 (¶¶ 14).
2018, the neuro-ophthalmologist wrote to Dr. Ruiz with
concerns about the lack of monitoring of Brown's
condition. Ibid. (¶ 15). Brown has submitted
numerous medical grievances to Nurse McClain requesting
medication prescribed by the specialists. Id. at 5
(¶ 17). Brown alleges that Nurses Karabesto and McClain
intentionally withheld or diverted Brown's grievances to
create the false perception that he would be scheduled to see
the doctor. Id. at 6 (¶¶ 21-22).
June 2016 through June 2018, Brown has had to rely on Dr.
Ruiz and Nurse Koslawy for medical care and to write the
prescriptions recommended by the specialists. Id. at
8 (¶ 29). Although they were aware of the
recommendations, they did not implement them. Id. at
8-9 (¶¶ 32-34). Nurse Lavetc ignored Brown's
need for calcium supplements to address fatigue. Id.
at 9 (¶¶ 35-36).
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 complaint must be read liberally to
raise the strongest arguments that they suggest. See
Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010).
recent years, the Supreme Court has set forth a threshold
“plausibility” pleading standard for courts to
evaluate the adequacy of allegations in federal court
complaints. A complaint must allege enough facts-as distinct
from legal conclusions-that give rise to plausible grounds
for relief. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Notwithstanding the
rule of liberal interpretation of a pro se
complaint, a pro se complaint may not survive
dismissal if its factual allegations do not meet the basic
plausibility standard. See, e.g., Fowlkes v.
Ironworkers Local 40, 790 F.3d 378, 387 (2d Cir. 2015).
itemizes ten legal claims as follows: (1) denial of medical
care, (2) inadequate medical care, (3) failure to supervise,
(4) failure to intervene, (5) denial of treatment, (6)
interference with medical judgment, (7) failure to carry out
medical orders, (8) delay of access to treatment, (9) denial
of medical needs by not efficiently responding to grievances,
and (10) policy and customs. I understand these claims in
substance to allege that defendants violated the Eighth
Amendment by being deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs and that they violated the First Amendment by
failing to respond to grievances and interfering with his
Indifference to Serious Medical Needs
Eighth Amendment prohibits prison officials from being
deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of
prisoners in their custody. See Estelle v. Gamble,
492 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). A prisoner who claims deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need must satisfy two
requirements. First, there is an objective requirement-that
the prisoner's medical need was sufficiently serious
(i.e., that the prisoner suffered from an urgent
medical condition involving a risk of death, degeneration, or
extreme pain). See Spavone v. N.Y. State Dep't of
Corr. Servs., 719 F.3d 127, 138 (2d Cir. 2013); Hill
v. Curcione, 657 F.3d 116, 122 (2d Cir. 2011). Second,
there is a subjective requirement: that the defendant have
acted recklessly (i.e., with an actual awareness of
a substantial risk that serious harm to the prisoner would
result from the defendant's action or non-action).
See Spavone, 719 F.3d at 138.
not enough to allege simple negligence or negligent medical
malpractice; instead, a prisoner must show that the defendant
acted with the equivalent of a criminally reckless state of
mind with respect to the prisoner's medical needs.
See Hilton v. Wright, 673 F.3d 120, 122-23 (2d Cir.
2012); Collazo v. Pagano, 656 F.3d 131, 135 (2d Cir.
2011) (per curiam). As with any § 1983 claim, a
defendant must be personally involved in an ...