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Seymore v. Department of Corr. Services

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 18, 2014



JOHN G. KOELTL, District Judge.

The plaintiff, Maurice Seymore, alleges that he was injured while incarcerated at the George Motchan Detention Center ("GMDC") on Rikers Island. Seymore brings this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated when he was subjected to unsafe and inhumane living conditions and inadequate medical treatment at GMDC. Seymore alleges that he slipped and fell at the facility as a result of unsafe conditions. He alleges that he received inadequate medical treatment for his injuries and that the living conditions at the facility were inhumane. Seymore brings his suit against the following defendants: Dora Schirro, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction ("DOC"); DOC Associate Commissioner Erik Berliner; GMDC Warden J. Davis; GMDC Grievance Coordinator Mimms; GMDC employees Bilardi, Moss, Altshuler, Arol, and Halperin; and the City of New York.[1]

The defendants move to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons explained below, the defendants' motion is granted and the plaintiff's claims are dismissed with prejudice.


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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (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 (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 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) (citation 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 . (citation 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 also Bowden v. Duffy, No. 13 Civ. 717, 2014 WL 338786, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 30, 2014).


The following factual allegations set forth in the plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint are accepted as true for purposes of this motion to dismiss.


On May 26, 2010, the plaintiff was transferred to GMDC as a pre-trial detainee. (Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") at 9.)[2] On August 2, 2010, the plaintiff slipped and fell while cleaning the GMDC bathroom. (SAC at 9, 30.) The plaintiff alleges that this accident occurred because the bathroom floor contained potholes and was improperly tiled with the same material as the bathroom walls, because the bathroom ceiling was leaky, and because prison officials supplied him with improper footwear. (SAC at 9, 13, 19, 30.)


After the plaintiff's accident, he received immediate assistance from a GMDC nurse, who placed the plaintiff in a neck brace before transferring him to Elmhurst hospital. (SAC at 10, 32.) The plaintiff alleges that this neck brace was put on improperly and that, consequently, he had difficulty breathing until it was removed. (SAC at 10.)

The plaintiff claims that prison officials provided him with incorrect pain medication to respond to the pain from his fall. (SAC at 34.) The plaintiff was provided with Tylenol/Codeine #3 but claims that ...

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