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SONDS v. ST. BARNABAS CORRECTIONAL HEALTH SERVICES
May 21, 2001
REGINALD SONDS, PLAINTIFF,
ST. BARNABAS HOSPITAL CORRECTIONAL HEALTH SERVICES; THE CITY OF NEW YORK; SUMPTER, CAPTAIN NO. 1370; JOHNSON, CORRECTION OFFICER NO. 14488; OCASIO, CORRECTION OFFICER NO. 14100; PARKS, CORRECTION OFFICER NO. 14373; POWELL, CORRECTION OFFICER NO. 4316; DR. ROBERT, RIKER'S ISLAND; ADOLESCENT RECEPTION DETENTION CENTER; DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; AS INDIVIDUALS IN THEIR OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL CAPACITIES, THE STATE OF NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMAHON, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT
Two separate grounds exist for dismissal of the civil rights
claim asserted by plaintiff against the moving defendants, either
of which is sufficient to justify granting such relief.
First, the complaint must be dismissed because the plaintiff
has admitted that he failed, prior to commencing this lawsuit, to
avail himself of institutional administrative procedures in order
to raise his claim that he was deprived of necessary medical
treatment. Decisional law makes it plain that a failure to
exhaust administrative remedies, as required by the Prison
Litigation Reform Act, mandates dismissal of a complaint.
Second, plaintiff fails to state a claim for relief under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, because Plaintiff's injury does not qualify as
"serious" under the objective prong of the "deliberate
indifference" test. Furthermore, as to defendant St. Barnabas,
plaintiff fails to allege deliberate indifference, since he
admits that he received medical attention from the physicians
affiliated with defendant.
The following factual allegations, drawn from the four corners
of the complaint, are deemed true for purposes of evaluating this
motion to dismiss.
At approximately 4:00 PM on July 11, 1998, plaintiff injured
his finger in a cell door at the Rikers Island Adolescent
Reception Detention Center, where he was being held. According to
the complaint, skin was ripped off his finger, leaving it
"bleeding, red and burning." The complaint alleges that Plaintiff
filled out an injury report, and that he was allowed to go to the
clinic at approximately 7:00 PM. Plaintiff was given a tetanus
shot and his finger was bandaged.
The following day, July 12, plaintiff removed the bandage from
his finger. The skin peeled off. Plaintiff thereafter went back
to the clinic, where he received a second treatment, the nature
of which is not specified.
Although it is not entirely clear, it seems that plaintiff is
alleging that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
medical needs in the following ways: a medical officer did not
come to his cell immediately to treat his injury; there was a
delay in taking plaintiff to the clinic; plaintiff's wound was
not stitched; and plaintiff's finger was not x-rayed to ascertain
whether he suffered from "internal bleeding or damages." The
complaint does not contain any allegation of permanent disability
due to the injury to plaintiff's finger.
1. Plaintiff has not exhausted his administrative remedies.
The plaintiff admits in his complaint that, prior to
instituting this lawsuit, he failed to resort to institutional
administrative procedures in order to protest the fact that he
was allegedly denied proper medical care. This fact compels
dismissal of the complaint.
Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), an inmate is
required to exhaust all available administrative remedies before
bringing suit on a federal ...