United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. Dooley United States District Judge
plaintiff, Reginald Reese (“Reese”), is
incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MacDougall-Walker”). He initiated
this action by filing a civil rights complaint against Drs.
Omprakash Pillai, Edgar Cory and Augustus Mazzocca, Physician
Assistant (“PA”) Kevin McCrystal and Health
Services Administrator (“HSA”) Rikel
Lightner.He claims that the defendants were
deliberately indifferent to his knee injuries and pain from
those injuries during his confinement at MacDougall-Walker.
For the reasons set forth below, the complaint is dismissed
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the court must review
prisoner civil complaints against governmental actors and
“dismiss ... any portion of [a] complaint [that] is
frivolous, malicious, or 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.” Id. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A
claim has facial plausibility when a plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A
complaint that includes only “‘labels and
conclusions,' ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action' or ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement, '” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts still have an obligation to interpret
“a pro se complaint liberally, ” the
complaint must include sufficient factual allegations to meet
the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
July 27, 2012, while at MacDougall-Walker, Reese injured his
left knee playing basketball. See Compl. at 8 ¶
1. Medical Staff members provided Reese with ice and
medication for his pain symptoms. See Id. In the
months following the injury, Reese submitted multiple
requests to the medical department to be seen and to be
referred for an MRI because his knee was swollen and painful.
See Id. On October 27, 2012, Reese sent a request to
HSA Lightner indicating that medical staff at
MacDougall-Walker had not been responsive to his medical
needs. See id.
November 26, 2012, Reese underwent an MRI of his left knee.
See Id. ¶ 2 & at 27, 29. On October 30,
2012, Reese sent a request to Dr. Pillai complaining about
his knee and ankle. See Id. Dr. Pillai did not
respond to this request. See Id. On December 6,
2012, Reese sent a request to Dr. Naqvi seeking to meet with
him to discuss the results of the MRI and the type of surgery
he would undergo. See Id. Reese did not meet with
Dr. Naqvi before he underwent surgery on January 3, 2013 to
repair torn cartilage in his left knee. See Id. at 9
¶ 2 & at 29.
January 15, 2013, Reese wrote to Dr. Pillai on January 15,
2013 to inform that he had experienced swelling and pain in
his knee when he tried to walk on it. See Id. On
March 20, 2013, Reese submitted a request to the medical
department seeking pain medication because his pain returned
when he attempted to “rehab” his knee. See
Id. Some months after the surgery, Reese discovered that
State of Connecticut Administrative Directive 8.1 required
that medical staff members provide inmates with physical
therapy, which he did not receive. See id.
a half years later, on June 8, 2015, Reese re-injured his
left knee. See Id. ¶ 3. Medical Staff members
provided Reese with crutches and a small box of Motrin.
See Id. Dr. Pillai saw Reese a month and a half
after he re-injured the knee. See Id. During the
appointment, Reese asked for a referral for an MRI to
determine the nature of the injury to his knee. See
Id. On April 14, 2016, Reese wrote to PA McCrystal
because he was experiencing severe pain in his knee and asked
why the request for an MRI was denied. See Id.
January 6, 2017, Reese underwent surgery on his left knee to
repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. See Id. at
11 ¶ 8 & at 38. After the surgery, Reese experienced
pain in his left knee and spasms in his left leg. See
Id. at 10 ¶ 5. During the period from January 23,
2017 to March 14, 2018, Reese submitted multiple requests to
HSA Lightner, Dr. Pillai and PA McCrystal to be treated for
post-surgery symptoms. See Id. at 10-13 ¶¶
4-16. He sought physical therapy, a knee brace and pain
medication. See id.
March 16, 2018, Reese underwent arthroscopic surgery on his
left knee. See Id. at 13 ¶ 18. On March 19,
2018, Reese sent Dr. Pillai a request informing him that
neither the medical providers at the University of
Connecticut Health Center (“UCONN”) or the
medical staff at MacDougall-Walker had provided him with
physical therapy. See Id. ¶ 17. On March 29,
2018, Reese sent a request to Dr. Pillai because he had a big
lump on his left knee and it felt warm. See Id.
¶ 19. Dr. Pillai did not respond to the request or
examine Reese. See Id. In April 2018, Reese wrote to
HSA Lightner, Dr. Pillai and PA McCrystal complaining that
his knee was painful and that no one had provided him with
physical therapy or pain management. See Id. at
13-14 ¶¶ 20-22. On May 3, 2018, Reese underwent
physical therapy for his left knee at UCONN. See Id.
at 14 ¶ 24.
early June 2018, Reese wrote to PA McCrystal seeking a bottom
bunk pass because he was unable to climb to the top bunk due
to the injury to his left knee. See Id. at 14-15
¶ 27. On September 21, 2018, Reese wrote to Dr. Pillai
and to Dr. Naqvi because he was not sure which physician was
his treating physician. See Id. ¶ 32. Reese
explained that his left knee was still painful and the
medication prescribed to him did not alleviate the pain.
See Id. at 15-16 ¶ 32. In ...