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Manson v. Furey

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 19, 2019

JAMES MANSON, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD FUREY, et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          STEFAN R. UNDERHILL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, James Manson (“Manson”), currently confined at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, filed this complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and his First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances. He names three defendants: Health Services Administrator Richard Furey, Deputy Warden Snyder, and Dr. Freston. Manson seeks damages and medical care from a specialist. Manson's complaint was received on June 3, 2019, and his motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on June 10, 2019.

         Under section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, I must review prisoner civil complaints and dismiss any portion of the 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. Although detailed allegations are not required, the 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 plausible 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).

         I. Allegations

         On February 14, 2019, Manson submitted a formal complaint against the defendants complaining that they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in that they failed to notify him of treatments, cures, and follow-up care for his medical condition. ECF No. 1, ¶ 1. Manson suffers from a Helicabacter Pylori AG infection that causes him severe pain. Id., ¶ 2.

         Manson has submitted requests to each of the defendants. He did not receive responses to many of his requests. Deputy Warden Snyder responded to one request by referring the matter to Health Services Administrator (“HSA”) Furey. HSA Furey did not respond until Manson filed a Health Services Review Grievance. Id., ¶ 3. His response of “No Further Action” was not in compliance with Department of Correction Administrative Directive 9.6. Id., ¶ 4. Dr. Freston, Manson's treating physician at the time, did not respond to Manson's many attempts to contact him. Id., ¶ 5.

         Manson's infection causes him pain, interferes with his sleep, limits his recreation and work performance, and causes weight loss. Id., ¶ 9. Manson has not been provided answers and information regarding ongoing treatment for his condition. A medical records staff person gave Manson a document stating that he had been cured, but a nurse told him about ongoing screening and treatment because the infection could spread to other parts of his body. Id., ¶ 10.

         II. Analysis

         Manson asserts claims for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs and interference with his right to petition for redress of grievances. Id., ¶ 6.

         A. Deliberate Indifference to a Serious Medical Need

         Manson alleges that the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need because they have not provided him information about his condition.

         Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs occurs when an official knows that an inmate faces a substantial risk of serious harm and disregards that risk by failing to take reasonable measures to abate it. Harrison v. Barkley, 219 F.3d 132, 137-38 (2d Cir. 1998) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994)). To state a claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, Manson must allege facts showing both that his medical need was serious and that the defendants acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind. See Smith v. Carpenter, 316 F.3d 178, 184 (2d Cir. 2003) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 492 U.S. 97, 105 (1976)).

         Objectively, the alleged deprivation must be “sufficiently serious.” Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991). The condition must be “one that may produce death, degeneration, or extreme pain.” See Hathaway v. Coughlin, 99 F.3d 550, 553 (2d Cir. 1996) (internal quotation marks omitted). Subjectively, the defendants must have been actually aware of a substantial risk that Manson would suffer serious harm as a result of their conduct. See Salahuddin v. Goord, 467 F.3d 263, 280-81 (2d Cir. 2006).

         Manson alleges that his infection causes pain and weight loss and interferes with his sleep and ability to exercise and work. In the inmate request attached to the Complaint, Manson states that he has suffered from the condition for six years. ECF No. 1 at 11. Although courts have determined that an H. pylori infection is not a serious medical need, for purposes of this ruling, I will assume that Manson's condition is sufficiently serious. See Robinson v. Edwards, 2016 WL 1889900, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. July 5, ...


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