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Marshall v. Lightener

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 25, 2019

CHARLES MARSHALL, Plaintiff,
v.
RACHAEL LIGHTNER, et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          JANET C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The plaintiff, Charles Marshall (“Marshall”), incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, has filed a Complaint (Doc. No. 1) pro se under section 1983 of title 42 of the United States Code. Marshall sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2). On March 15, 2019, the court granted Marshall's application. Order (Doc. No. 6).

         The Complaint names seven defendants: Supervisor Rachael Lightner, Nurse Practitioners Jennifer Jerome and Kevin McCrystal, and Drs. Naqvi, LaFrance, OHolloran, and Omprakash Pillai. Marshall contends that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Marshall seeks damages as well as declaratory and injunctive relief.

         Under section 1915A of title 28 of the United States Code, the court must review prisoner civil complaints and dismiss any portion of a 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In reviewing a pro se complaint, the court must assume the truth of the allegations, and interpret them liberally to “raise the strongest arguments [they] suggest[ ].” Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007). Although detailed allegations are not required, a 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.” Twombly, 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 Am., 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). However, notwithstanding this liberal interpretation, a pro se complaint will not survive dismissal unless the factual allegations meet the plausibility standard. See, e.g., Fowlkes v. Ironworkers Local 40, 790 F.3d 378, 387 (2d Cir. 2015).

         II. ALLEGATIONS

         On February 21, 2012, while confined at Cheshire Correctional Institution, Marshall experienced abdominal discomfort. Compl. at ¶ 1. He wrote to the medical unit about bowel blockage. Id. Marshall was prescribed laxatives. Id. He was transferred to MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution on March 23, 2013. Id.

         On December 2, 2013, Marshall was again experiencing abdominal pain. Id. at ¶ 2. Dr. Naqvi called him to the medical unit for blood work. Id. On December 9, 2013, Marshall again complained of abdominal pain. Id. at He was called to the medical unit for x-rays and was again given laxatives. Id. at ¶ 3. On December 22, 2013, Dr. Naqvi ordered another x-ray. Id. at ¶ 4. On January 1, 2014, Marshall learned that the x-ray showed his colon was filled with stool. Id. at ¶ 5.

         Marshall does not allege that he again complained of abdominal pain until September 2014. Id. at ¶ 6. On September 3, 2014, Dr. OHolloran conducted an abdominal examination and ordered a stool specimen. Id. On September 17, 2014, Marshall returned to the medical unit for a follow-up examination. Id. at ¶ 7. On September 25, 2014, a nurse told Marshall that the Utilization Review Committee (“URC”) was reviewing Dr. OHolloran's request that Marshall undergo a colonoscopy. Id. at ¶ 8. On May 18, 2015, Marshall went to the UConn Medical Center for a colonoscopy consultation. Id. at ¶ 9.

         On June 8, 2015, Marshall saw Dr. Pillai about his complaints that his abdominal pain was affecting his posture, back, and hip. Id. at ¶ 10. Dr. Pillai ordered another stool sample and x-ray. Id. Two days later, Marshall was called to the medical unit for blood work. Id. at ¶ 11.

         On July 6, 2015, Marshall was called to the medical unit for a gastrointestinal consult and URC review. Id. at ¶ 12. On July 15, 2015, Marshall returned to the UConn Medical Center for another colonoscopy consult. Id. at ¶ 13. On September 6, 2015, Marshall underwent colonoscopy prep in the medical unit and, on September 9, 2015, went to the UConn Medical Center for the colonoscopy. Id. at ¶¶ 14-15. On November 24, 2015, Nurse Practitioner McCrystal called Marshal to the medical unit and told him that the colonoscopy results were normal. Id. at ¶ 16.

         On January 20, 2016, Marshall went to the medical unit complaining of severe abdominal pain. Id. at ¶ 17. The doctor ordered an x-ray which showed stool blockage. Id. On February 2, 2016, Marshall had a consultation with Dr. LaFrance who ordered several laxatives. Id. at ¶ 18. The following day, Marshall was called to the medical unit for bloodwork. Id. at ¶ 19.

         On April 21, 2016, Marshall was seen in the mental health unit. Id. at ¶ 20. His abdominal issues were causing him to experience stress and fear that he was suffering from cancer or some other long-term damage that would be nonreversible if not caught early. Id.

         On May 10, 2016, Dr. LaFrance conducted a follow-up examination for Marshall's abdominal issues, bloating, and pain and discomfort affecting his back. Id. at ¶ 21. On June 5, 2016, Dr. LaFrance conducted a follow-up on Marshall's complaints of abdominal pain. Id. at ΒΆ 22. Dr. LaFrance told Marshall that ...


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