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Saidock v. Carrington-McClain

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

September 16, 2019




         Procedural History

         On March 11, 2019, Plaintiff, Daniel Saidock, a pretrial detainee confined at the Bridgeport Correctional Center (“BCC”), filed a complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against three Department of Correction (“DOC”) medical officials for acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs: Nurse Tanesha Carrington-McClain, Dr. Vicki Blumberg, and Dr. Susannah Tung. Saidock v. McClain, No. 3:19-CV-368 (VLB). The Court, Bryant, J., dismissed the complaint because it was clear on the face of the complaint and attached exhibits that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. See id., Initial Review Order (DE#14) at 11.[1] On August 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant action against the same three defendants and one additional defendant: Dr. George L. Bozzi. Compl. (DE#1). He claims that he has properly exhausted his administrative remedies with respect to all four defendants and is restating his claim for deliberate indifference to medical needs. Id. at 6, 18-20. Plaintiff also filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief and a motion for appointment of counsel. Id. at 25-16; Mot. for Appointment of Counsel (DE#3). On August 28, 2019, Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis. See DE#7. For the following reasons, the Court will dismiss the Complaint in part.

         Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court 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. Although detailed allegations are not required, the complaint must include sufficient facts to afford the Defendant 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). Plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic, 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 America, 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).


         In March of 2012, Plaintiff underwent three surgeries for a total removal of his colon. Compl. ¶ 1. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, toxic megacolon, and septic shock. Id. Two years later, he underwent two additional surgeries, which removed his rectum and part of his small intestine. Id. at ¶ 2. He was then diagnosed with enterocolitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Id. at ¶ 3.

         In January 2016, after he was remanded to DOC custody, Plaintiff underwent surgery for an inflamed hernia which was caused by MRSA. Compl. at ¶ 4. After the surgery, Plaintiff lost a lot of weight, and the inflammation returned nine months later. Id. at ¶ 5. In late October 2016, he complained to Dr. Blumberg, who initially did not offer him any treatment. Id. Two days later, however, Plaintiff was unable to stand or walk because of the extreme pain caused by the inflammation, and Dr. Blumberg sent him to the emergency room at UConn Health Care Center (“UConn”). Id. at ¶ 6.

         Plaintiff underwent minor surgery at UConn, and it was determined that the inflammation was caused by MRSA. Compl. ¶ 7. He was fed intravenously with a low residue diet for seven days and experienced extreme weight loss. Id. at ¶¶ 8-9. A low residue diet is necessary for individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (“IBS”), ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's Disease. Id. at ¶ 42. Plaintiff was released back to BCC on November 10, 2016. Id. at ¶ 10.

         Rather than continuing his low residue diet at BCC, Nurse Carrington-McClain and Dr. Blumberg issued Plaintiff a high protein meal tray. Compl. ¶ 10. Both Defendants told Plaintiff that they did not have the ability to issue him a low residue diet. Id. Plaintiff explained to them that he was unable to eat most of the food on the tray and that he could not digest any fruits, vegetables, processed meats, or other high-fiber foods. Id. Nurse Carrington-McClain told him to just pick through the tray and eat what he could, but Plaintiff could not eat anything on the tray. Id. at ¶¶ 10-11.

         Plaintiff wrote a request to Dr. Blumberg and verbally informed her how important it was for him to receive a low residue diet. Compl. ¶ 12. He also spoke with some kitchen employees, who told him that there was a low residue diet available at BCC. Id. at ¶¶ 12-13. Plaintiff submitted another written request to Nurse Carrington-McClain and asked her to call the kitchen regarding the diet. Id. at ¶ 13. Nurse Carrington-McClain later responded that she had spoken with kitchen staff, which confirmed that there was no low residue diet available. Id.

         Plaintiff has been deprived of a low residue diet for over two and one-half years, despite numerous written requests. Compl. ¶¶ 14-15. At times, he tried to eat some of the food on the regular meal tray, but he became ill and ended up vomiting or defecating multiple times per day. Id. at ¶¶ 20-22. He was forced to purchase his own food through the commissary. Id. at ¶ 23.

         At one point, the kitchen supervisor at BCC came to Plaintiff's cell and told him that he could receive a low residue diet if medical staff would only approve it for him. Compl. ¶ 17. The supervisor memorialized his statement in a response to a written inmate request. Id.; Pl.'s Ex. C-12 (DE#1 at 31).

         Plaintiff continued to ask medical to approve a low residue diet for him, but Nurse Carrington-McClain told him that he “just ha[d] to deal with it. This is jail.” Compl. ¶ 27. After two and one-half years of being denied a low residue diet, Plaintiff began filing grievances and seeking legal action against Nurse Carrington-McClain and Dr. Blumberg. Id. at ΒΆΒΆ 29-31. Eventually, Dr. Blumberg ...

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