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Aviles v. Rodriguez

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

November 4, 2019

JOSE AVILES, Plaintiff,
v.
NICK RODRIGUEZ, et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          STEFAN R. UNDERHILL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Jose Aviles (“Aviles”) is incarcerated at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution (“Corrigan-Radgowski”). He has filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., against Warden Nick Rodriguez, Deputy Warden Derrick Molden, Captain Brian Jackson, Captain/Unit Manager Gregorio Robles, Dr. Gerard G. Gagne, Dr. Mark A. Frayne and Mental Health Social Worker William J. Longo. For the reasons set forth below, the complaint is dismissed in part.

         I. Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must review prisoner civil complaints and dismiss any portion of the 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. 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 grounds upon which they are based and to demonstrate a plausible right to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. 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).

         II. Facts

         Prior to July 2018, Aviles had been housed at Northern Correctional Institution (“Northern”) for months on both administrative segregation status and special needs status. See Compl. at 6-7 at ¶ 14. During that time, Aviles suffered from borderline personality disorder and anti-social personality disorder and did not receive meaningful mental health care from Dr. Frayne, Dr. Gagne or Social Worker Longo. See Id. Aviles often informed Dr. Gagne and Social Worker Longo that his indefinite confinement at Northern on both administrative segregation status and special needs status caused him to feel depressed and that he would try to hurt himself if he were not transferred to general population. See Id. at 7 ¶ 15. Neither Dr. Gagne, nor Social Worker Longo made any attempts to facilitate Aviles's transfer to another facility. See id.

         In the weeks leading up to July 9, 2018, Aviles exhibited delusional thoughts and/or behavior. See Id. at 7-8 ¶ 16. He believed that correctional officers were putting medication in his food and throwing rocks at the outside of his cell window. See Id. He informed Drs. Gagne and Frayne, Social Worker Longo, Captain Robles, Warden Rodriguez and Deputy Warden Molden about his delusional thoughts/observations. See Id. at 7-8 ¶¶ 16, 18. The defendants did not send Aviles to Garner Correctional Institution to be evaluated to determine whether his confinement on both administrative segregation status and special needs status was exacerbating his mental health disorders. See Id. at ¶ 17.

         On July 8, 2018, Aviles cut his leg. See Id. at 7 ¶ 16. On July 9, 2018, Aviles attempted to commit suicide because of “family issues” and his long-term confinement on administrative segregation status and special needs status. See Id. at 7 ¶¶ 14, 16. He cut his neck, wrist, chest and arms with a pen that he had flattened and sharpened to a “razor's edge.” See Id. at ¶ 16. In response to that attempt to harm himself, Social Worker Longo ordered that Aviles be transferred to the medical infirmary at Northern and placed him in a cell on behavior observation status. See Id. at 9 ¶ 19. In the infirmary, a nurse cleaned Aviles's lacerations, applied an antibiotic ointment and covered the lacerations with either steri-strips or bandages. See Id. at ¶ 25. An officer strip-searched Aviles prior to placing him in the behavior observation cell. See Id. at 9 ¶ 19. Prison officials prepared a report documenting the incident. See Id. at 28-38 (Copy of Incident Report - NCI 2018-07-005).

         That evening, Aviles still felt suicidal and extremely anxious and threatened to harm himself. See Id. ¶ 20. Mental health officials consulted with a nurse from Carl Robinson Correction Institution regarding Aviles's condition and the nurse ordered that Aviles receive a dose of Benadryl and an injection of Thorazine. See id.

         On July 10, 2018, Aviles noticed a piece of metal on the floor next to the toilet in his cell in the infirmary. See Id. at ¶ 21. The piece of metal was a broken razor blade. See Id. Aviles used the broken razor to cut himself. See Id. at 10 at ¶ 22. A nurse treated Aviles for two lacerations. See Id. Prison officials prepared a report documenting the incident. See Id. at ¶¶ 65-67, 69-71 (Copy of Incident Report - NCI 2018-07-017).

         Prison officials issued Aviles a disciplinary report associated with his attempt to harm himself on July 9, 2018, and another disciplinary report associated with his attempt to harm himself on July 10, 2018. See Id. at ¶ 24. Social Worker Longo dismissed the first report and Deputy Warden Molden dismissed the second disciplinary report. See id.

         After prison officials released Aviles from the medical infirmary and returned him to his housing unit, he began to file multiple grievances regarding the two incidents in which he attempted to harm himself. See Id. at 11-14 ¶¶ 25-31. The plaintiff also sent written requests to Captain Jackson to preserve video footage of the incident that had occurred on July 9, 2018 and the incident that had occurred on July 10, 2018. See Id. at 14 ¶ 32. When Aviles spoke to Captain Jackson about the videotape preservation requests, he denied having received the requests and directed Aviles to re-submit the requests. See Id. On October 10, 2018, Aviles filed a grievance regarding the video preservation requests. See Id. Warden Rodriguez denied the grievance on the ground that Aviles had not submitted any requests to preserve the video footage to the incidents that had occurred on July 9, 2018 and July 10, 2018. See Id. at 14-15 ¶ 33.

         III. Discussion

         Aviles asserts claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety and mental health needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment and a claim that the defendants violated his rights under the ADA. Aviles sues the defendants in both their individual and official capacities. He seeks declaratory and injunctive relief from the defendants in their official capacities and monetary damages from the defendants in their individual capacities.

         A. ...


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