Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

JOYNER v. GREINER

March 28, 2002

BILLY JOYNER, PLAINTIFF,
V.
CHARLES GREINER, DR. MAW AND DR. J. PERILLI, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMAHON, District Judge.

DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT

Defendants Charles Greiner, Dr. Maw and Dr. Perilli, by their attorney, Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General of the State of New York, move to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Their motion is granted.

Plaintiff, who was at all relevant times an inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS")*fn1 brings this action against defendants, seeking monetary relief in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars, for the alleged deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition during the period September 27, 1999 through the spring of 2000, while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility ("Sing Sing").

Defendants move to dismiss this complaint on the grounds that: (1) plaintiff has failed to state a claim against Doctor Maw of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs upon which relief can be granted; (2) plaintiff has failed to allege the personal involvement of defendants Superintendent Greiner and Doctor Perilli in the alleged constitutional violation; and (3) defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. All grounds asserted have merit.

Statement of the Case

Plaintiff alleges that on or about September 27, 1999, while incarcerated at Sing Sing, he was experiencing severe pain in his lower back which radiated into his buttock and lower leg. Plaintiff was issued Motrin for his pain. See, Complaint, Section IV. According to plaintiff, he continued to experience this pain and continued taking his pain medication. Id. During this period of time, plaintiff saw the physician's assistant on numerous occasions and had x-rays taken. Id. He also saw Dr. Maw on one occasion and received physical therapy. Id.

Despite the continuous medical care he received, plaintiff claims that defendants denied him adequate medical treatment and were deliberately indifferent to his pain and suffering and serious medical needs. In support of his claim, plaintiff states that when Doctor Maw examined him, he advised him that there was nothing wrong with his back and that the pain he was experiencing was being caused by muscle spasms. Id. Doctor Maw submitted plaintiffs name for physical therapy which plaintiff received. Id. Plaintiff also alleges that he wrote to Doctor Perilli, the head physician at Sing Sing, who replied that there was nothing he could do unless plaintiff could show that he had a disc problem. Id. According to plaintiff, he filed a grievance regarding his medical needs which was denied and subsequently affirmed on appeal by Superintendent Charles Greiner. Id.

ARGUMENT

POINT I

PLAINTIFF FAILS TO STATE A DELIBERATE INDIFFERENCE TO SERIOUS MEDICAL NEED CLAIM AGAINST DR. MAW

A. Standard of Review

In determining a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must accept the factual allegations in the complaint as true. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 10, 101 S.Ct. 173, 176, 66 L.Ed.2d 163 (1980), see also, Watson v. McGinnis, 964 F. Supp. 127, 129 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). Pro se complaints, like the one involved here, "are held `to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers . . .'" Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9, 101 S.Ct. 173, 176, 66 L.Ed.2d 163 (1980) (quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 595, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972)). Thus, a pro se complaint "should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." 449 U.S. at 10, 101 S.Ct. at 176. See also, Soto v. Walker, 44 F.3d 169, 173 (2d Cir. 1995).

However, dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper "if the complaint lacks an allegation regarding an element necessary to obtain relief . . ." 3 Moore's Federal Practice, § 12.34[4][a], pg. 12-72 (1997). Thus, the duty to liberally construe a plaintiffs complaint is not the equivalent of a duty to re-write it for him. Id. at § 12.34[1][b], pg. 12-60.

As detailed below, plaintiff has failed to allege facts tending to establish that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. Therefore, plaintiff fails to state a claim for an ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.