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Currytto v. Fury

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 30, 2019

KEVIN W. CURRYTTO, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD FUREY et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

          Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge

          Plaintiff Kevin W. Currytto is a prisoner in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Correction. He has filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging in principal part that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious mental health needs. For the reasons set forth below, I will dismiss the complaint in part and allow certain claims to proceed against two defendants.

         Background

          Plaintiff is a sentenced prisoner at Osborn Correctional Institution. His amended complaint names the following defendants: PRN Brian Bracci, Correctional Officer Greaves, Correctional Officer Hutton, Dr. M. Frayne, Dr. Gaw, Dr. Leonard Santassico, Health Services Administrator Richard Furey, LPC Matthew Clarke, Nurse/Health Services Grievance Coordinator Sharon Beckford, Parole Officer Roman, Social Worker Kevin Powers, Warden G. Wright, and six John Doe Correctional Officers.[1]

         The following allegations from the complaint are accepted as true for purposes of the Court's initial review. Currytto has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and delusional disorder, and is “sometimes considered to be schizoaffective.” Doc. #10 at 7. Specifically, he has a “traumatic history” with the police spanning 25 years; his delusions, which typically concern police activity, provoke schizoaffective responses. Id. at 8.

         Prior to September 26, 2017, Currytto was under the care of Dr. Leonard Santassico at Walker Correctional Institution. Ibid. Dr. Santassico became concerned about Currytto's mental health after Currytto began suffering paranoid delusions. Ibid. Accordingly, Dr. Santassico raised Currytto's medical needs score from level 3 to level 4 and arranged for Currytto's transfer to Osborn. Ibid.

         Once he was transferred to Osborn on September 26, 2017, Currytto was admitted to the G-Block Mental Health Unit under the care of Dr. Gaw and Dr. M. Frayne. Id. at 7. During his time in G-Block, Currytto met with Clarke for several therapy sessions. Ibid. On or about December 17, 2017, Currytto's medical needs score was lowered to a level 3 and he was transferred to general population and assigned to Clarke's caseload. Ibid. Currytto was to be “closely monitored” and provided with outpatient health services, including meetings with a mental health professional at least once every 30 days. Id. at 8-9.

         Clarke met with Currytto for a therapy session on December 22, 2017, and he told Currytto that he would be called to individual and group therapy sessions. Id. at 9. Clarke then appeared at Currytto's mental health parole sentencing hearing on January 10, 2018. Id. But then from January 10 to May 1, 2018, Clarke provided no treatment to Currytto; he did not create a treatment plan for Currytto and did not schedule or call Currytto to individual or group therapy sessions. Ibid. To make matters worse, Clarke falsely indicated on Currytto's medical file that he had provided treatment to Currytto on January 15, 2018, March 5, 2018, April 6, 2018, and April 10, 2018. Id. at 10. According to Currytto, Dr. Gaw and Dr. Frayne failed to adequately supervise Clarke during this time and thereby contributed to the mental health deterioration Currytto suffered due to his lack of treatment. Id. at 10-11.

         On April 24, 2018, Currytto received copies of his medical records and discovered Clarke's falsification of his mental health record. Id. at 12. On the same day, Currytto reported Clarke to the Warden's Office for failing to provide treatment and falsifying his medical records. Ibid. On April 26, 2018, Warden Wright informed Currytto that a copy of Currytto's report would be passed along to Furey. Id. at 43. Furey did not interview Currytto, investigate, or “otherwise respond administratively” to the report. Id. at 12.

         Currytto also filed an inmate grievance against Clarke. Ibid. On April 30, 2018, Currytto met with Dr. Frayne to discuss his grievance. Id. at 13. At this grievance review meeting, Currytto told Dr. Frayne that he felt his therapeutic relationship with Clarke had broken down, and that he no longer wished to be treated by Clarke. Ibid. According to Currytto, Dr. Frayne treated him as a “problematic inmate” for filing the inmate grievance. Id. at 12. Currytto had secured video evidence to show that he was not released from his housing unit at the dates and times Clarke had indicated they met for therapy sessions, and he informed Dr. Frayne that he had this evidence in his possession. Id. at 13-14. However, Dr. Frayne was “disinterested” and “indifferent.” Id. at 14. Dr. Frayne took no action to correct Currytto's record, investigate or discipline Clarke, or mend the therapeutic relationship between Currytto and Clarke. Ibid. He also took no action to secure alternate means of treatment for Currytto given what Currytto felt to be the irreparable breakdown in the therapeutic relationship between himself and Clarke. Id. at 15. Instead, Dr. Frayne disposed of Currytto's grievance by indicating that “no further action” was required. Id. at 14.

         On May 1, 2018, pursuant to Dr. Frayne's referral, Currytto was called down to the mental health unit to meet with Clarke for treatment. Id. at 14. Currytto told Clarke that he no longer wished to meet with him due to Clarke's falsification of his record. Id. at 16. Clarke responded that he had “see[n]” Currytto in the main hallway of Osborn. Currytto challenges the accuracy of this statement, contending that he had only seen Clarke once in the hallway. Ibid. Currytto felt that his mental health was deleteriously affected by this session. Ibid. On May 1, 2018, he filed a second grievance against Dr. Frayne for failing to investigate Currytto's first grievance and to provide Currytto with treatment, and against Clarke. Id. at 16-17.

         According to Currytto, RN Beckford and Furey were responsible for overseeing the grievance system. Id. at 17. He claims they were “deliberately indifferent” in their management of the grievance system, and that their failures to correct the system, which in turn prevented the proper and timely investigation of his complaints, prevented him from receiving timely medical treatment. Id. at 18-19.

         On June 6, 2018, Clarke called Currytto to G-Block for a treatment session. Id. at 19. Currytto again informed Clarke that he no longer wished to receive treatment from him. According to Currytto, Dr. Frayne and Clarke were “attempting to create the impression that [he] was suffering delusions” regarding his complaints about them both. Id. at 20. All of this caused Currytto's mental health to further deteriorate, and he had “numerous schizoaffective/delusional clashes” with Osborn staff members. Ibid. Officers Hutton and Greaves contacted G-Block with their concerns about Currytto's mental health. Id. at 21. Subsequently, Kevin Powers, a social worker, interviewed Currytto and took him onto his own caseload on July 11, 2018, at which point Currytto began receiving medical treatment once more. Ibid.

         Furey disposed of Currytto's May 1 complaint without investigation on September 21, 2018. Id. at 22. Although Currytto was supposed to be closely monitored, he received an outpatient healthcare response on only five occasions between January 10, 2018 and July 11, 2018 (January 10, 2018, April 30, 2018, May 1, 2018, June 6, 2018, July 11, 2018). Id. at 23. Moreover, Currytto received no mental health treatment between January 10, 2018, and May 1, 2018. Ibid. Although Clarke attempted to resume treatment on May 1, 2018, and again on June 6, 2018, Currytto no longer wished to be in his care due to the breakdown in the therapeutic relationship. Ibid.

         Discussion

          Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review a prisoner's civil complaint against a government 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).[2]

         In 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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 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).

         Currytto alleges claims for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for First Amendment retaliation, for Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, and for Fourteenth Amendment denial of due process and equal ...


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