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Roberts v. C-73 Medical Director

United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 13, 2015

KENO ROBERTS, Plaintiff,
v.
C-73 MEDICAL DIRECTOR, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

GREGORY H. WOODS, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, appearing pro se, filed this case on July 7, 2014 under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, alleging, as relevant here, that he received constitutionally inadequate medical care while incarcerated on Rikers Island. See Dkt. No. 1. He sued various persons and entities, including Dr. Kara Greenwald, who treated him for approximately 10 days at Bellevue Hospital. On January 16, 2015, Dr. Greenwald filed a motion to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim. See Dkt. Nos. 34-37.

Pursuant to a December 17, 2014 scheduling order, and as discussed during a telephone conference with all parties earlier that day, plaintiff's opposition to Dr. Greenwald's motion to dismiss was due February 16, 2015. See Dkt. No. 28. Plaintiff did not file an opposition or otherwise respond to Dr. Greenwald's motion by the February 16, 2015 deadline. On May 28, 2015, still having received no response, the Court issued an order notifying plaintiff that if he did not respond to Dr. Greenwald's motion by June 18, 2015-four months after the original due date-the Court would decide the motion without his opposition. See Dkt. No. 42. On June 24, 2015, the Court received a letter from plaintiff dated June 12, 2015, responding to other issues raised in the Court's May 28, 2015 order. See Dkt. No. 45. As plaintiff did not respond to or otherwise address Dr. Greenwald's motion in that letter, the Court has decided the motion without plaintiff's input. For the reasons outlined below, defendant Dr. Greenwald's motion to dismiss the complaint is GRANTED. Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint within 30 days.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings two claims: one alleging denial of adequate medical care and one alleging excessive force. The latter is not relevant to the current motion because it does not involve Dr. Greenwald. As to the former, plaintiff first alleges that he was wrongfully prescribed the medication Simvastatin, which caused him to develop Type 2 Diabetes. See Compl., Dkt. No. 1, at 4; Brief, Dkt. No. 1-1, at 4-5.[1] After taking Simvastatin as prescribed, on February 8, 2013, plaintiff alleges he "almost died when his blood sugar levels escalated causing plaintiff to go into shock, whereas, he was immediately rushed to Elmhurst General Hospital near death." Brief at 3; see also Compl. at 4. "From Elmhurst General plaintiff was rushed to Bellevue Hospital because the sugar level continued to go out of control[ ]...." Brief at 4.

It was at Bellevue Hospital that plaintiff was placed under Dr. Greenwald's care. See Brief at 6. She treated him from February 13 through 23, 2013. See id. Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Greenwald "failed to provide plaintiff with adequate medical care and treatment, as well as grossly failed to prescribe adequate medications, because of such, plaintiffs medical conditions as well as the blood sugar levels could not be stabilized...." Id. Plaintiff further alleges that he requested to see a specialist[2] but that Dr. Greenwald denied this request until a point when his physical condition had worsened. See Brief at 6, 7. Once he saw the specialist, plaintiff says he was prescribed medication and given dietary instructions. See Brief at 7. Despite being scheduled to see the specialist "on a regular basis, " plaintiff alleges that Dr. Greenwald still "failed to prescribe any kind of medication for plaintiff that could control his blood sugar levels, [and] because of such, plaintiff's blood sugar level became so out of control[ ] that it got erratic, and thereafter, was never stabilized." Id.

Upon his discharge from Bellevue, plaintiff was treated at the North Infirmary Command ("NIC") for three days, where he alleges the staff "failed to provide him with insulin, medication(s) and the appropriate diet." Brief at 5, 7. Plaintiff claims that at Bellevue, as well as at Rikers, Elmhurst, and the NIC, "defendants... failed grossly to provide plaintiff with not only adequate medical care and treatment; but failed to provide him with adequate medication and an adequate diet sufficient enough to meet hi[s] medical needs, that being sugar diabetes." Brief at 13.

Plaintiff alleges that he has suffered serious and long-lasting effects from the allegedly inadequate medical care he received. See, e.g., Compl. at 5 (defendants' actions "[caused] irreparable injury and lif[e] long medical treatment, care and medication to keep his now diabetes under control"); Brief at 5 ("Since plaintiff was diagnosed with type two diabetes, his medical conditions continue[ ] to increas[e], get worse, and pose a direct and immediate threat to plaintiffs life, [and] mental state of being...."); Brief at 6 ("As a result of defendants individual[ ] and or collective actions, plaintiff is still to date... living with irreparable injury, harm, pain and suffering as a result of having [ ] type 2 diabetes...."). Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Greenwald's actions were a cause of these effects:

Because of inadequate medical care and treatment, plaintiff continued to experience other diabetes or diabetic problems, that defendant Greenwald failed to treat, as well as her medical team failed to treat, because of such, plaintiffs medical conditions continued to get worse, and worse, his pain got greater and greater, and both [went] untreated.
This caused plaintiff prolong[ed] pain, suffering, and continuing health problems....

Brief at 7.

III. LEGAL STANDARDS

a. Motion to ...


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