United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER RE AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO
28 U.S.C. § 1915A
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Junior Jumpp Holness is in the custody of the Connecticut
Department of Correction (“DOC”). He has filed an
amended complaint pro se and in forma
pauperis seeking relief against numerous prison
officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. After an initial
review of the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, I conclude that his claims may proceed against some of
the named defendants and shall be dismissed as to the other
initially filed this action on October 23, 2018. Doc. #1. I
issued an initial review order on April 24, 2019. Doc. #9;
Holness v. Gagne, 2019 WL 1789907 (D. Conn. 2019).
Holness has now filed an amended complaint, Doc. #47, which
is the subject of this additional initial review order.
names twenty-five defendants in his amended complaint: Gerard
G. Gagne, Jr., MD, and Richard B. Fisher, DDS; dental
assistant Sandra Menders; RNs Janine M. Brennan, Beth A.
Shaw, Stephanie H. Fraser, Nikia M. Henderson, and Kayla
Lozada; nursing supervisor Kara J. Phillips; APRN Margaret
Wallace; CN James Peek; CNS Diane Fritz; wardens Stephen
Faucher and Anthony Corcella; deputy warden Ronald Cotta;
Lts. Koniecko and Nichols; correction officer Savoie;
director of psychiatric services Craig Burns; LPCs Michele J.
Binezewski and Stacy Torpey; LCSWs Patricia G. Placido and
Matthew N. Eggen; FOIA liaison Wright; and counselor Michelle
King. All except Burns, who works for the DOC,
allegedly work at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center
(“Corrigan”). Doc. #47 at 2-5.
Holness's original complaint, this filing, while labeled
a single amended complaint, actually contains two factual
sections. The first section, id. at 6-11, recounts
verbatim allegations from his original complaint about
incidents at Corrigan in fall 2018, Doc. #1 at 5-10. The
second section, which begins at paragraph one again, alleges
incidents at Corrigan in spring 2019. Doc. #47 at 12-19.
Holness seeks monetary damages from the defendants in their
individual capacities and injunctive relief from the
defendants in their official capacities in the form of
appropriate medical, mental health, and dental treatment.
Id. at 1, 20.
has also filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief,
Doc. #59, alleging violations of his rights that occurred in
first section of the amended complaint realleges from
Holness's original complaint incidents that occurred at
Corrigan in September and October 2018. Pursuant to its first
initial review order, the Court permitted Holness's claim
for damages and equitable relief to go forward against Gagne,
Brennan, Faucher, and Burns. See Holness, 2019 WL
1789907 at *1-*2.
second section of the amended complaint further alleges the
following facts, which I accept as true for purposes of this
March 15, 2019, Holness was transferred from Hartford
Correctional Center back to Corrigan, where he is currently
held. Doc. #47 at 12. On March 26, April 15, May 23, and May
25, Holness wrote to Dr. Fisher, a dentist, and his assistant
Menders requesting immediate treatment of his chronic tooth
pain, for which he had been on the dental waiting list since
2018, as well as treatment of his tooth filling, which
recently had fallen out and caused bleeding. Ibid.
Each time, Fisher and Menders told him that he was still on
the waiting list. Ibid. Holness still had not been
seen by the time he filed his amended complaint in June 2019.
3, Holness reported chest pain to a correction officer and
Lt. Koniecko. Id. at 13. After Koniecko told Holness
he “was not going to be seen by medical” and the
two briefly argued, he and the correction officer escorted
Holness to medical services, where RNs Fraser and Henderson
evaluated him. Ibid. After Holness told them that he
had been “[constantly] hearing voices telling me to do
stuff” and “had swallowed a [sharp] blade,
” they called mental health services. Ibid.
Holness then saw LPC Binezewski, who told him that he would
“get nothing from mental health because he's suing
Dr. Gagne, [who] told [mental health staff] not to give
[Holness] anything.” Ibid. Upon learning of
Holness's suicidal thoughts, Binezewski said she would
place him on behavioral observation status (BOS) rather than
suicide watch, and that he would not “get any hot meal,
” but instead “all bag meal[s, ] cold bologna
[for] all meals.” Ibid.
was subsequently placed in a restrictive housing unit (RHU)
and strapped to the bed for hours. Ibid. While he
kept telling nurses Fraser, Henderson, Lozada, and Peek, who
checked on him every fifteen minutes, that he “was in
pain in the belly area due to the swallowing of that sharp
blade, ” they ignored his requests for an x-ray or
transfer to the hospital, and gave him nothing to ease the
pain. Id. at 13-14. When Lozada asked Holness what
he had swallowed, correction officer Savoie mocked,
“[H]e swallowed my cock.” Id. at 14.
APRN Wallace, the attending clinician, was told about the
nurses' indifference to Holness's pain, but did
nothing. Ibid. Lts. Koniecko and Nichols were told
about his pain and Savoie's misconduct, but also did
nothing. Ibid. Nichols brought Holness a sandwich
with a piece of hair in it. Ibid.
4, when Holness told LCSW Eggen about his suicidal thoughts
and asked for help, Eggen replied before walking off,
“Mr. Jumpp, I think that's your best idea right
now. Do everyone here a favor [and] kill yourself.
You['re] a [fucking] piece of shit.” Id.
at 15. Holness then told Savoie that there was blood
in his feces and that he needed medical attention, to which
Savoie replied, “You['re] not getting shit. Kill
yourself, [scum] bag.” Ibid.
was released from the RHU on May 6. Ibid. In the two
weeks following May 10, he made several written requests to
nursing supervisors concerning the lack of medical attention
during his confinement as well as his ongoing pain and
bleeding, which were answered by nursing supervisor Fritz.
Id. at 15-16. In the meantime, from May 10 to May
15, Holness thrice wrote to FOIA liaison Wright requesting
video preservation of incidents on May 3 through May 6, among
others. Id. at 19. Wright denied those requests.
15, Holness was seen by APRN Wallace, who ordered an x-ray
and “[Maalox] liquid” for him, but not pain
medication. Id. at 16. Later that day, Holness told
CNS Fritz about his pain, to which she replied,
“You['re] suing one of mine, Dr. Gagne, right? So,
I am not going to do anything to help you or get you up to
medical.” Ibid. Holness had an abdominal x-ray
on May 16 that showed the swallowed blade in his stomach, but
medical staff refused to treat him or send him to the
hospital for surgery. Ibid.
17, Holness was again placed in an RHU for having suicidal
thoughts, although Eggen put him on BOS instead of suicide
watch. Id. at 18. The next day, LPC Torpey came to
see Holness after learning that he had been banging his head
against a window and wall, and was bleeding. Ibid.
Holness told Torpey that “the voice” kept telling
him to kill himself. Ibid. She replied, “I am
not going to do anything for you, because I am not a doctor.
You are hit [sic] until Monday [May 20].”
second x-ray on May 21 showed the blade had “passed,
” but Holness still bled when passing stools.
Id. at 16. He wrote to medical services on May 23
requesting to be seen for said bleeding and stomach pain.
Id. at 17. On May 24, Holness told nursing
supervisor Phillips that he was “in chronic pain and
still bleeding a little” and that he had “been on
[the] sick call list since March 2019” but had never
been seen. Ibid. Phillips replied before walking
off, “You [are] right, and [there's] a reason [for]
that. Also, you will never get seen. You [will] get
nothing. Mr. Jumpp, kill yourself.” Ibid. On
May 23 and 24, Holness also complained to warden Corcella and
deputy warden Cotta about all the mistreatment he had
received, to which they replied, “Dude, you['re]
suing . . . Dr. Gagne. What do you expect?”
Id. at 19.
26 or 27, Holness told RN Shaw that he needed his inhaler.
Id. at 17. Shaw told Holness that he would
get nothing. Ibid. Without an inhaler, Holness had
to use his sleep apnea machine (“CPAP”) to ease
the tightness in his chest. Ibid.
28, when LCSW Placido and LPC Torpey were told about
Holness's continuing suicidal thoughts, they told the
correction officer at his cell, “Call us back if he
hang[s] up [sic]. We [are] not going to do anything
until [he] actually carries out such.” Id. at
18. The same day, mental health counselor King told Holness
that he needs to “grieve stuff” because she is
“not going to process [his] stuff.”
Ibid. King also said, “You get nothing. So,
you can stop. And the next time [you] try to kill [your]self,
[you] should actually be successful on doing this.”
17, 2019, Holness filed a motion for preliminary injunctive
relief, Doc. #59, alleging the following facts.
11, correction officer Wright “influenced”
another correction officer to “shake down”
Holness's cell, during which the officer ripped up
Holness's family photos. Id. at 2. Afterwards,
when Wright and two correction officers came to escort
Holness back to his cell from the recreation yard, Wright
told Holness that “he was going to leave his handcuffs
on loosely, so he could come out of them and allow him to
engage in a physical fist fight with them.”
Ibid. Wright did handcuff him loosely.
Ibid. Holness, carried away by his known mental
health problems, grabbed an extension cord and swung at the
officers, injuring none. Ibid. As all three officers
took Holness down to the floor, Wright grabbed and tried to
break his finger. Ibid. Holness was transported to
UConn Hospital the next morning. Ibid. RN Henderson
ordered an x-ray of Holness's right hand and gave him
Ibuprofen due to right-digit swelling. Doc. #64 at 6.
the July 11 incident, warden Corcella assigned the same
officers to Holness's unit on July 16. Doc. #59 at 3.
During his evening tour, Wright told Holness “it's
not over, ” leaving him in fear of being assaulted or
framed. Ibid. The officers also took away
Holness's CPAP, telling him they were told to do so in an
email from the Attorney General's office. Ibid.
In an attached response to one of Holness's grievances, a
prison official concedes that the Attorney General authorized
the daily removal of his CPAP from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Id. at 5.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review a
prisoner's civil complaint against a governmental entity
or governmental actors and “identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the compliant, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint-(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” If the prisoner is proceeding pro se,
the allegations of the complaint must be read liberally to
raise the strongest arguments that they suggest. See
Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010).
Supreme Court has set forth a threshold
“plausibility” pleading standard for courts to
evaluate the adequacy of allegations in federal court
complaints. A complaint must allege enough facts-as distinct
from legal conclusions-that give rise to plausible grounds
for relief. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Notwithstanding the
rule of liberal interpretation of a pro se
complaint, a complaint may not survive dismissal if its
factual allegations do not meet the basic plausibility
standard. See, e.g., Fowlkes v. Ironworkers
Local 40, 790 F.3d 378, 387 (2d Cir. 2015).