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Ferrera v. Fisher

United States District Court, S.D. New York

April 1, 2014

OSCAR BAIDE FERRERA, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN FISHER, et al., Defendants.

OPINION & ORDER

PAUL A. ENGELMAYER, District Judge.

Oscar Baide Ferrera, an inmate at Sing Sing Correctional Facility who is proceeding pro se, alleges that the defendants, current and former employees of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"), were deliberately indifferent to injuries that he sustained in 2002 and 2004 while incarcerated. Defendants move to dismiss, arguing primarily that Ferrera's claims should be dismissed under res judicata and as time-barred. For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss is granted.

I. Background[1]

A. Factual Allegations

In September 2002, while Ferrera was incarcerated, he was injured falling down the stairs and while playing soccer. Compl. at 2, 4. In 2002 or 2004, Ferrera was raped by a male inmate. Id. at 4; Am. Compl. at 2. These events caused injuries to Ferrera's face, tongue, brain, stomach, throat, and testicles. Compl. at 4. Ferrera's sperm function is now "dying for sever[e] lack of oxygen." Id. The Complaint summarizes: "He force[d] me to have sex with h[i]m, now I have a problem." Id.

The Complaint alleges that defendants have denied Ferrera proper medical treatment for the past 12 years. Id. at 4. It further alleges that, when Ferrera tried to pursue administrative remedies, he was beaten up. Id. Separately, it alleges that corrections officers violated the privacy rights of prisoners by putting cameras in their cells and controlling the prisoners with speakers made by Microsoft. Id. at 4-5.

Ferrera represents that he is mentally ill and has been assigned to Sing Sing's psychiatric ward. See Dkt. 64. In addition to his Complaint and Amended Complaint, Ferrera has sent the Court many letters, in which he has shared his concerns regarding his physical and mental health, conditions of confinement, appetite, sexual function, and his sadness at being imprisoned. See Dkts. 9-20, 22-24, 27-38, 40, 48-50, 52-56, 62-63, 69-72, 74-86.

B. The 2006 Lawsuit

In 2006, Ferrera brought a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against 21 corrections personnel and entities, four of whom are defendants here. Ferrera v. Fisher, No. 06 Civ. 1158 (LTS) (GWG), 2008 WL 4443920 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2008), appeal dismissed, No. 09-0070-pr (2d Cir. July 16, 2010) (" Ferrera I "). He alleged that prison medical personnel had acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs, some stemming from his fall down the stairs and his soccer injury, and that corrections officers had used excessive force against him. Id. After cataloguing Ferrera's extensive ailments and course of treatment, Judge Swain granted summary judgment to defendants on Ferrera's deliberate indifference claim, concluding that defendants were "anything but reckless in their evaluation and treatment of Plaintiff." Id. at *2-*8, *13. Judge Swain also held that Ferrera had failed to exhaust the administrative remedies for his excessive force claim. Id. at *15.

C. The 2012 Lawsuit

In 2012, Ferrera brought a pro se lawsuit under § 1983 against six corrections personnel, five of whom are defendants here, alleging that they acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs arising from his fall in 2002. Ferrera v. Koinigsman, No. 12 Civ. 378 (LAP) (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 13, 2012), appeal dismissed, Nos. 12-3848 and 12-4242 (2d Cir. Jan. 22, 2013), Dkt. 4 (" Ferrera II "). On February 15, 2012, Chief Judge Preska sua sponte dismissed the Complaint, on the grounds that it raised the same claims as Ferrera I, and was therefore barred by res judicata. Id. at 2. Chief Judge Preska also noted that, if the Complaint was not barred by res judicata, it appeared to be outside the statute of limitations. Id. at 2 n.1.

D. The Instant Action

On April 11, 2013, Ferrera brought this pro se lawsuit under § 1983 against seven or more corrections personnel. Dkt. 3. The Complaint alleges that defendants behaved with deliberate indifference to Ferrera's medical needs arising from the fall and soccer injury he suffered in 2002 and the rape he suffered in either 2002 or 2004. Compl. at 3-4. It also alleges that defendants used "draconian tactic[s]" and violated Ferrera's rights under the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution. Id. For relief, Ferrera requests that the Court grant the appeals in his previous lawsuits; order treatment and surgery; and award damages of $30 to $50 million. Id. at 5.

On June 12 and 19, 2013, Ferrera requested pro bono counsel. Dkt. 10, 16. On July 2, 2013, the Court denied those requests without prejudice. Dkt. 20. On July 9, 2013, Ferrera again requested pro bono counsel. Dkt. 23. On July 12, ...


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