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Pratt v. City of New York

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 14, 2013

ANTHONY PRATT, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, ET AL., Defendants

Page 315

Anthony Pratt, Plaintiff, Pro se, New York, NY.

For Dora B. Schriro, Commissioner Department of Corrections, Warden Cripp, Mr. Himmons, Director of Asbestos Control Unit of C-95, Correction Officer Scott, Badge # 4048, Ms. Elizabeth Landen, I.G.R.C. Representative, The City of New York, Defendants: Caleb Charles Hagopian, NYC Law Department, New York, NY.

OPINION

John G. Koeltl, United States District Judge.

Page 316

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The plaintiff, Anthony Pratt, a prisoner currently incarcerated in the Watertown Correctional Facility, brings this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking damages and injunctive relief for claims arising from his alleged exposure to asbestos while being held in the Anna M. Koss Center (" AMKC" ) on Rikers Island. The plaintiff brings this action against the City of New York, Commissioner of Corrections Dora B. Schriro, AMKC Warden Robert Cripps, AMKC Director of Asbestos Control Norman Hemmings, AMKC Correction Officer Preston Scott, and AMKC Inmate Grievance Resolution Committee Supervisor Elizabeth Landan (collectively, the " defendants" ). The defendants move to dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

I.

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the allegations in the complaint are accepted as true, and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in the plaintiff's favor. McCarthy v. Dun & Bradstreet Corp., 482 F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir. 2007). The Court's function on a motion to dismiss is " not to weigh the evidence that might be presented at a trial but merely to determine whether the complaint itself is legally sufficient." Goldman v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1067 (2d Cir. 1985). The Court should not dismiss the complaint if the plaintiff has stated " enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). " A claim has facial plausibility when the 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). While the Court should construe the factual allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, " the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in the complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions." Id.

When presented with a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court may consider documents that are referenced in the complaint, documents that the plaintiff relied on in bringing suit and that are either in the plaintiff's possession or that the plaintiff knew of when bringing suit, or matters of which judicial notice may be taken. See Taylor v. Vt. Dep't of Educ., 313 F.3d 768, 776 (2d Cir. 2002); Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 153 (2d Cir. 2002).

Page 317

When faced with a pro se complaint, the Court must " construe [the] complaint liberally and interpret it to raise the strongest arguments that it suggests." Chavis v. Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010) (brackets and internal quotation marks omitted). " Even in a pro se case, however, ... threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, although the Court is " obligated to draw the most favorable inferences" that the complaint supports, it " cannot invent factual allegations that [the plaintiff] has not pled." Id.; see Benavides v. Grier, No. 09 Civ. 8600, 2011 WL 43521, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 6, 2011); see also Barnes v. Pozzi, 2012 WL 3155073, No. 10 Civ. 2554, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2012).

II.

The following factual allegations set forth in the Amended Complaint are accepted as true for the purposes of this motion to dismiss unless otherwise noted. As of October 2011, the plaintiff was incarcerated in the AMKC. (Am. Compl. at 3.) He alleges that most of the AMKC pipes and the AMKC ceiling heating system are deteriorating due to roof leaks. (Am. Compl. at 3.) Leaking water captures small asbestos particles (" friable asbestos" ) from the deteriorated pipes and heating system and brings the friable asbestos into the AMKC dormitory. (Am. Compl. at 3.) The friable asbestos is also blown throughout the dormitory by the ceiling heating system. (Am. Compl. at 3.) The plaintiff was able to identify this asbestos contamination because " he is a licen[s]ed asbestos remover and ...


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