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Varney v. Many

United States District Court, S.D. New York

April 14, 2015

KENNETH VARNEY, Plaintiff,
v.
JOANNE MANY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

VINCENT L. BRICCETTI, District Judge.

Plaintiff Kenneth Varney, proceeding pro se, brings this Section 1983 prisoner civil rights action alleging defendant Joanne Many, a corrections counselor at Fishkill Correctional Facility ("Fishkill"), was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and intentionally discriminated against him as a hearing impaired inmate.

Now pending is defendant's unopposed motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"). (Doc. #23). For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.

The Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

BACKGROUND

In deciding the pending motion, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the SAC, and draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor.

Plaintiff alleges he suffers from a hearing impairment. (SAC § II-D). On May 18, 2013, [1] plaintiff allegedly met with defendant, his assigned corrections counselor, and requested reasonable accommodations for his hearing impairment. Plaintiff alleges defendant knew of his hearing impairment, but refused to provide him accommodations. (Id.). Plaintiff allegedly never received any accommodations for his hearing impairment while incarcerated at Fishkill, and states as a result, he has lost his hearing entirely. (Id. §§ II-D, III).

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court evaluates the sufficiency of the operative complaint under the "two-pronged approach" announced by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). First, plaintiff's legal conclusions and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, " are not entitled to the assumption of truth and are thus not sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Id. at 678; Hayden v. Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 161 (2d Cir. 2010). Second, "[w]hen there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the allegations in the complaint must meet a standard of "plausibility." Id. at 678; Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 564 (2007). A claim is facially plausible "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. at 678. "The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id.

Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court must construe his submissions liberally and interpret them "to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (per curiam) (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." Chavis v. Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted). Nor may the Court "invent factual allegations" plaintiff has not pleaded. Id.

II. Section 1983 Claim

To assert a viable Section 1983 claim for constitutionally inadequate medical care based on a violation of the Eighth Amendment, plaintiff must allege "acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to serious medical needs." Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). To do so, plaintiff must plead facts showing (i) the alleged deprivation of medical care is objectively, sufficiently serious, and (ii) the official in question acted with a "sufficiently culpable state of mind." Salahuddin v. Goord, 467 F.3d 263, 280 (2d Cir. 2006).

Even assuming plaintiff's alleged hearing loss is sufficiently serious to satisfy the objective prong of the deliberate indifference test, the SAC does not plausibly allege defendant ...


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