United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Demontae Waters, a prisoner currently incarcerated at the
Bridgeport Correctional Center, has filed a pro se
civil rights complaint against Defendants Dr. Vicki
Bloomberg, Lt. Saas, and Nurse Andrea presumably for
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Doc. 1
("Compl.") at 1, 5-7. For the following reasons set
forth in this initial review order, the Court will allows his
claims to proceed against Dr. Bloomberg and Nurse Andrea.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review a
prisoner's civil complaint and dismiss any portion that
"(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."
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)-(2) (2012).
Although highly detailed allegations are not required, the
complaint "must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on
its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The complaint must provide
"more than the unadorned,
Id. "A pleading that offers 'labels and
conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'"
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will
[ultimately] . . . be a context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663-64. When
"well-pleaded factual allegations" are present,
"a court should assume their veracity and then determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief." Id. at 679. Factual disputes do not
factor into a plausibility analysis under Iqbal and
all allegations contained in the complaint are assumed to be
true, this tenet is 'inapplicable to legal
conclusions.'" LaMagna v. Brown, 474
Fed.Appx. 788, 789 (2d Cir. 2012) (quoting Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678). See also Amaker v. New York State Dept.
of Corr. Servs., 435 Fed.Appx. 52, 54 (2d Cir. 2011)
(same). Accordingly, the Court is not "bound to accept
conclusory allegations or legal conclusions masquerading as
factual conclusions." Faber v. Metro. Life Ins.
Co., 648 F.3d 98, 104 (2d Cir. 2011) (quoting Rolon
v. Henneman, 517 F.3d 140, 149 (2d Cir. 2008) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Consequently, "[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555).
respect to pro se litigants, it is well-established
that "[p]ro se submissions are
reviewed with special solicitude, and 'must be construed
liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest arguments
that they suggest.'" Matheson v. Deutsche Bank
Nat'l Tr. Co., 706 Fed.Appx. 24, 26 (2d Cir. 2017)
(quoting Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470
F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (per curiam)). See also
Sykes v. Bank of Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir.
2013) (same); Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90,
101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude
for pro se litigants); Boykin v. KeyCorp.,
521 F.3d 202, 214 (2d Cir. 2008) ("A document filed
pro se is to be liberally construed and a pro
se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held
to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.") (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007)); Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed
Defendant, 537 F.3d 185, 191 (2d Cir. 2008) (declaring
that where the plaintiff proceeds pro se, a court is
"obliged to construe his pleadings liberally")
(quoting McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d 197, 200
(2d Cir. 2004)); Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639
(2d Cir. 2007) ("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.").
being subject to liberal interpretation, a pro se
plaintiff's complaint still must "state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Mancuso v.
Hynes, 379 Fed.Appx. 60, 61 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Therefore, even in a
pro se case, "threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice." Chavis v.
Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). Nor may the Court
"invent factual allegations" that the plaintiff has
not pleaded. Id.
Demontae Waters currently requires a colostomy bag due to a
gunshot wound sustained on May 24, 2018. Compl. at 10-11. He
has continually experienced "extreme pain,"
presumably due to complications regarding his colostomy bag.
Compl. ¶¶ 1-3.
February 2019, he informed Nurse Andrea and Dr. Vicki
Bloomberg of this pain and that he felt this pain on a daily
basis. Id. However, he alleges the Defendants
ignored his complaints and exacerbated his condition,
resulting in "unbearable" pain that increases
throughout the day every day. Compl. ¶¶ 4-6. He was
sent to St. Vincent's Hospital in March 2019 according to
a medical history chart stating that it was an emergency
hospital trip for "[l]ower abdominable pain becoming
severe." Compl. at 11. He continues to have ongoing
lower stomach and back pain. Id. ¶ 15.
allegations regarding a reverse colostomy surgery are
somewhat unclear, but the Court understands the facts to be
as follows: Dr. Bloomberg had confirmed that Plaintiff was
scheduled for the surgery to remove his temporary colostomy
bag in February 2019, but she has since denied him permission
to do the surgery. Id. ¶¶ 8-11. In fact,
Plaintiff had even signed releases for Bridgeport Hospital
for the surgery. Id. Timeliness of surgery matters
because delay makes the surgery harder to do successfully.
Id. ¶ 10.
addition, Nurse Andrea refused to empty his colostomy bag in
February, March, and April, allowing his bag to remain full
for three days at a time. Id. ¶¶ 1, 4-10.
alleges that on May 1, 2019, Lt. Saas placed him in the
segregation unit for an altercation that Plaintiff claims he
was not involved in. Id. ¶ 12. Segregation is
"hardly ever cleaned," meaning that it poses a
health and safety risk for someone in Plaintiff's
condition. Id. ¶¶ 12-13. The Court infers
from this allegation that the segregation unit's