United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. Dooley United States District Judge
se Plaintiff, Thomas Tanner (“Tanner”),
currently incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MacDougall-Walker”) brings this
civil rights complaint against Dr. Frankie Cuevas and Dental
Assistant A. Duffy. He claims that the defendants have been
deliberately indifferent to his medical needs, specifically,
his need for a new partial denture. For the reasons set forth
below, the complaint is dismissed in part.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the court must review prisoner
civil complaints against governmental actors and
“dismiss ... any portion of [a] 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.” Id. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A
claim has facial plausibility when a plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A
complaint that includes only “‘labels and
conclusions,' ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action' or ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement, '” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts still have an obligation to interpret
“a pro se complaint liberally, ” the
complaint must include sufficient factual allegations to meet
the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
August or September 2015, Dr. Cuevas repaired Tanner's
partial lower denture. Compl., ECF No. 1, at 9 ¶ 7; Ex.
A at 31. On November 24, 2015, Tanner's partial lower
denture cracked and went down the toilet. Id.; Ex. A
at 32. Dr. Cuevas instructed Tanner to fill out a lost
property form. Id. Prison officials did not approve
Tanner's request for a new partial lower denture.
Id. at 9 ¶ 7; Ex. A at 32.
September 2017, Tanner sent an inmate request to the Dental
Department claiming that he needed a new partial lower
denture. Id. at 9 ¶ 8. On January 28, 2018,
Tanner sent a second inmate request to the Dental Department
seeking a new partial lower denture. Id. ¶ 9.
On January 30, 2018, Albert Beuscher, DMD, examined Tanner
because Tanner's upper denture needed to be adjusted.
During the examination, Dr. Beuscher adjusted Tanner's
upper denture and noted that two teeth, numbers 22 and 27,
showed decay and needed to be filled. Id. During the
visit, Tanner informed Dr. Beuscher that his lower denture
had been cracked since 2015, he had been getting painful
sores and he could not eat properly. Id. at 10
March 20, 2018, Dr. Cuevas examined Tanner and filled the
cavities identified by Dr. Beuscher. Id. ¶ 10;
Ex. C at 36. When Tanner returned to his cell, he put his
lower denture in, but it did not fit properly due to the new
fillings in teeth numbers 22 and 27. Id. That
afternoon, Dr. Cuevas adjusted the fillings so that the lower
partial denture would fit properly. Id. At that
time, Dr. Cuevas allegedly stated that he would submit a
request to have Tanner's cracked lower denture repaired.
September 24, 2018, Tanner submitted an inmate request to the
Dental Department indicating that he needed to be seen by the
dentist because his partial lower denture had broken.
Id. ¶ 11. On May 17, 2019, Tanner submitted an
inmate request to the Dental Department indicating that he
needed a new partial lower denture and he considered it to be
an urgent matter. Compl. at 10 ¶ 12.
25, 2019, Tanner filed a grievance seeking to be seen by the
dentist because he needed a new partial lower denture.
Id. ¶ 13; Ex. 4 at 19. On July 31, 2019, Dr.
Cuevas examined Tanner and noted that he was not wearing his
lower partial denture. Id. at 11 ¶ 18; Ex. 4 at
19. Id. Tanner informed Dr. Cuevas that the partial
lower denture had broken and that he had sent the pieces of
the denture to his family. Id. Tanner refused to
request a family member to mail the pieces of his partial
lower denture to Dr. Cuevas to enable him to attempt to
repair the denture. Id. at 11-12 ¶ 18. Tanner
believed that he was entitled to a new partial denture.
Id. at 12 ¶ 18.
September 3, 2019, Dr. Cuevas informed Tanner that he had
been approved to receive a new partial lower denture and that
he would be seen in the Dental Department when it was his
turn. Id. at 12 ¶ 22; Ex. 11 at 30. As of the
filing of the ...