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Miller v. Winchelle

United States District Court, N.D. New York

December 18, 2014

SEAN R. MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHELLE WINCHELLE, et al., Defendants.

SEAN R. MILLER, Plaintiff, pro se.

JAMES E. CULLUM, ESQ., Attorney for Defendant Rodenmayer.

JOHN D. ASPLAND, ESQ., Attorney for Defendant Winchelle.

WILLIAM A. SCOTT, ESQ., Attorney for Defendant Winchelle.

REPORT-RECOMMENDATION

ANDREW T. BAXTER, Magistrate Judge.

This matter has been referred for Report and Recommendation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b) and Local Rules N.D.N.Y. 72.3(c), by the Honorable David N. Hurd, United States District Judge. In this pro se civil rights complaint (Dkt. No. 1)[1], plaintiff alleges that, while he was in the custody of the Washington County Jail, the defendants denied him constitutionally adequate medical care.

Presently before this court is defendant Winchelle's motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim, [2] pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 29). Plaintiff has responded to this motion, and defendant Winchelle has replied. (Dkt. Nos. 39, 40). For the following reasons, this court recommends that defendant Winchelle's motion to dismiss be denied.

I. Facts and Contentions

Plaintiff asserts that following his arrival at the Washington County Jail on May 5, 2013, defendant Winchelle informed him that his seizure medication would not be filled "due to no recent seizure activity." (Compl. at 6).[3] However, according to plaintiff, he had "several seizures" the day he was placed in jail. ( Id. ). Two months later, on July 12, 2013[4] plaintiff was sent to the emergency room for an unrelated issue. ( Id. ). While at the hospital, plaintiff had multiple seizures. ( Id. ). After being released from the hospital, plaintiff had another seizure in the parking lot, causing him to fall. ( Id. ). This fall resulted in an abrasion to his face. ( Id. ). After returning to the Jail, plaintiff contends he was placed in his cell for three days where he had six more seizures. ( Id. ). A "code blue" was called during this time, and Nurse Winchelle came down to his cell and checked his vitals, but left without "seeing if [he] was alright or not." ( Id. ). Despite multiple requests, plaintiff claims he was denied his medication throughout this time. According to plaintiff he had to argue with the medical staff to allow him to see a doctor and to receive his seizure medication.[5]

II. Motion to Dismiss

To survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is "plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "[T]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, " do not suffice. Id. (citing Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 555). Plaintiff's factual allegations must also be sufficient to give the defendant "fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).

When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citations omitted); Int'l Audiotext Network, Inc. v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Co., 62 F.3d 69, 71 (2d Cir. 1995). The court must heed its particular obligation to treat pro se pleadings with liberality. Phillips v. Girdich, 408 F.3d 124, 128 (2d Cir. 2005); Tapia-Ortiz v. Doe, 171 F.3d 150, 152 (2d Cir. 1999) ( per curiam ).

For the reasons discussed below, the court concludes that plaintiff has stated a plausible claim against defendant Winchelle for deliberate indifference to plaintiff's serious medical needs, and that ...


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