United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. DOOLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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. 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 ¶¶ 29-31. Eventually,
Dr. Blumberg ...