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Jandres v. Armor Health Care Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

March 31, 2014

ARMOR HEALTH CARE INC.; DR. K; P.H. SMITH; OFFICER EVANS, Badge # 210; MR. CARLOS, Orthopedic Specialist; and MS. PEG, Nurse, Defendants.

William Jandres, pro se Federal Correctional Institute Fairton, New Jersey, for Plaintiff.

John J. Doody, Esq., Suzanne E. Aribakan, Esq. Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, New York, New York, for Armor Defendants.

Ralph J. Reissman, Esq., Nassau County Attorney's Office, Mineola, NY, Officer Evans.


JOANNA SEYBERT, District Judge.

Currently before the Court is a motion to dismiss this consolidated action filed by defendants Theodora Kay-Njemanze, M.D. s/h/a Dr. K ("Dr. K"); Physician Assistant Rochelle Teague-Smith s/h/a P.H. Smith ("P.A. Smith"); Carlos Montero, Orthopedic Specialist s/h/a Mr. Carlos ("Dr. Montero, " and together with Dr. K and P.A. Smith, the "Individual Armor Defendants"); and Armor Correctional Health Services of New York, Inc. ("Armor, " and together with the Individual Armor Defendants, the "Armor Defendants"). For the following reasons, the Armor Defendants' motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.


I. Procedural Background

Pro se plaintiff William Jandres ("Plaintiff") initially commenced the instant action on June 21, 2012 under Docket Number 12-CV-3132. The Court subsequently granted Plaintiff in forma pauperis status pursuant to his motion, but sua sponte dismissed his complaint with leave to re-plead. (See Docket Entry 6.) On September 4, 2012, Plaintiff filed the Amended Complaint.

Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a separate action before this Court under Docket Number 12-CV-4984. On November 21, 2012, the Court consolidated Plaintiff's two actions, finding that the cases involved common questions of law and fact. (See Docket Entry 11.)

II. Factual Background

Plaintiff seeks to recover against the Armor Defendants and additional defendants "Ms. Peg, " "Nurse Greg, "[2] and Officer Evans (collectively "Defendants")[3] for an alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, asserting that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs while housed at the Nassau County Correctional Center ("NCCC").

Plaintiff alleges that on March 28, 2011, when he arrived at NCCC, he was experiencing neck, back, and left shoulder pain. (Am. Compl. at 6.) Plaintiff thus "put in a few sick call sheets to the Nassau County Medical Center... requesting an evaluation of [his] injuries." (Am. Compl. at 6.) His sick call sheets were denied, however, purportedly because Nassau County Medical Center's contract with NCCC was about to expire. (Am. Compl. at 6.)

Thereafter, on August 10, 2011, Plaintiff slipped and fell on a wet floor while walking accompanied by Officer Evans. (Am. Compl. at 7.) Officer Evans filled out an injury report and sent Plaintiff to the "new care provider, " Armor. (Am. Compl. at 7-8.) Officer Evans, however, did not report the incident to his supervisors or send Plaintiff to an outside hospital. (Am. Compl. at 7.) Later that day, Plaintiff provided the injury report to the "doctors and nurses" and advised them that his back, neck, left shoulder, and right knee were all causing him "severe pain." (Am. Compl. at 9.) The doctors and nurses "dismissed it lightly, saying it was normal to be sore after a fall." (Am. Compl. at 9.) Plaintiff requested an MRI, but was told that Armor or its insurance would not pay for it. (Am. Compl. at 9-10.)

On two subsequent occasions, a nurse told Plaintiff that he would be seen by a doctor. (Am. Compl. at 10.) However, Plaintiff did not see a doctor until November 22, 2011. (Am. Compl. at 10.) At that time, the doctor diagnosed Plaintiff with arthritis, but denied Plaintiff's requests for X-rays or MRIs because, she said, Armor's insurance would not cover it. (Am. Compl. at 10-11.) The doctor informed Plaintiff that she would arrange for Plaintiff to see an orthopedic specialist. (Am. Compl. at 11.)

On December 1, 2011, Plaintiff began physical therapy and, "a couple of months later" Plaintiff was examined by orthopedic specialist, Dr. Montero. (Am. Compl. at 11.) Dr. Montero sent Plaintiff for an MRI of his back and left shoulder, but not for an MRI of Plaintiff's knee as Plaintiff had also requested. (Am. Compl. at 12.) The MRI revealed a bulging disc of Plaintiff's left shoulder and "an impingement & downslope of the acromian [sic]." (Am. Compl. at 12.) Plaintiff's physical therapy continued for a few additional weeks. (Am. Compl. at 13.) Moreover, Plaintiff's knee "kept popping out, " but Plaintiff's requests for an MRI of the knee were denied. (Am. Compl. at 12.) According to Plaintiff, Dr. Montero informed him that Armor would not allow for an MRI of the knee because it "cost[s] too much money." (Am. Compl. at 12.)

On June 18, 2012, Plaintiff met with P.A. Smith to discuss "all of the sick sheets" that Plaintiff filled out. (Compl. at 6.) Plaintiff told P.A. Smith that he was in pain, that the left side of his body was numb, that he was having severe headaches, and that his "right knee kept popping out of place simply by walking." (Compl. at 6.) P.A. Smith acknowledged that Plaintiff had a bulging disc, impingement, and downslope of the left shoulder, but advised him that there was nothing she could do except provide Plaintiff with Naproxin because "Armored Company Insurance would not cover any of [Plaintiff's] treatment." (Compl. at 6.)

The next day, Plaintiff was taken to the health clinic by wheel chair after reporting severe headaches and dizziness. (Compl. at 7.) At the health clinic, Plaintiff met with two "Jane Does" who work for "Armor Correctional Inc. and the County of Nassau." (Compl. at 7.) "[T]he two ladies ...

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