United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. Dooley United States District Judge
se Plaintiff, John Weatherwax
(“Weatherwax”), currently incarcerated at the
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
(“MacDougall-Walker”) brings this civil rights
complaint against Warden Kristine Barone, Deputy Warden
Jeannotte, Captain Claudio and Nurse Jane Doe. He claims that
in June 2019, the defendants failed to protect him from
assault by his cellmate and/or were deliberately indifferent
to his medical needs thereafter, all in violation of the
Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment. Upon initial review, the complaint is dismissed
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
December 6, 2018, a judge in the Connecticut Superior Court
for the Judicial District of Hartford, sentenced Weatherwax
to a total effective term of imprisonment of four years.
See State v. Weatherwax, No.
HHD-CR18-0175641-T. On December 17, 2018, prison officials at
Hartford Correctional Center transferred Weatherwax to the
Walker Building at MacDougall-Walker. Compl., ECF No. 1, at 2
¶ 3. On April 26, 2019, prison officials in the Walker
Building transferred Weatherwax to the MacDougall Building.
Id. ¶ 4.
20, 2019, Weatherwax sent an inmate request to Warden Barone
and Deputy Warden Jeannotte indicating that his cellmate had
made threatening and violent statements and gestures towards
him. Id. at 4 ¶ 13. On June 23, 2019,
Weatherwax spoke to staff members working in his housing unit
about his cellmate's threats and requested a cell change.
Id. ¶ 14.
24, 2019, Weatherwax submitted an inmate request to Captain
Claudio seeking to speak to her about his concerns for his
safety due to his cellmate's threats and mental health
issues and history of violence within the Department of
Correction. Id. ¶ 15. On June 25, 2019,
Weatherwax's cellmate threatened to break
Weatherwax's legs if he did not stop acting in a
“suspect” manner and mentioned that he had broken
another inmate's leg during his confinement at Osborn
Correctional Institution. Id. ¶ 16.
Weatherwax's cellmate continued to threaten to harm
Weatherwax until June 30, 2019. Id. ¶ 17.
28, 2019, Weatherwax informed a lieutenant in his housing
unit about his cellmate's threats and sought to be moved
to another cell. Id. ¶ 18. The lieutenant
indicated that he and other staff members were aware of the
situation and that an email had been sent to Warden Barone
and Deputy Warden Jeannotte regarding the matter.
Id. The lieutenant informed Weatherwax that Warden
Barone and Deputy Warden Jeannotte would decide whether to
move him to a different cell. Id.
30, 2019, at 12:40 a.m., Weatherwax's cellmate kneed,
kicked, punched, elbowed and choked Weatherwax, slammed his
face into the bunk and tried to break his leg. Id.
at 5 ¶¶ 19-20. The assault occurred in
Weatherwax's cell and continued for about twenty-five
minutes until a correctional officer called a code to summon
other officers to the scene. Id. ¶¶ 19,
suffered the following injuries: blurry vision, pain in his
jaw, a headache, bruised and painful ribs, difficulty
breathing, swelling, bleeding and bruising to his face, a
bloody nose and lacerations to his cheek. Id. ¶
23. Nurse Jane Doe assessed, evaluated and provided treatment
for some of Weatherwax's injuries but did not assess or
treat his bruised and painful ribs. Id. ¶ 24.
She suggested that he submit a separate request to have his
ribs evaluated. Id. at 6 ¶ 25.
officials placed Weatherwax in the restrictive housing unit
and issued him a disciplinary report for fighting.
Id. ¶ 26. Weatherwax was successful in
challenging the report and prison officials released him from
the restrictive housing unit on August 5, 2019. Id.
¶ 27. Upon his release, Weatherwax sought treatment for
his bruised and painful ribs. Id. ¶ 28. An
x-ray confirmed that Weatherwax's ribs were broken.
Id. ¶ 29. ...