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Vallen v. Plan

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 14, 2017

BARRY VALLEN, Plaintiff,

          For Plaintiff: Barry Vallen, pro se

          For Defendants: Lori L. Pack, Esq.


          Joanna Seybert, U.S.D.J.

         Currently pending before the Court in this section 1983 action is a motion filed by Dr. Roger Beau Plan (“Dr. Plan”), Dr. Bilal Khan (“Dr. Khan”), and Dr. Leoncia Carlotta (“Dr. Carlotta” and collectively “Defendants”) to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Docket Entry 20). For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is GRANTED.


         The Court assumes familiarity with the factual and procedural background of this case, which is set forth in its Memorandum and Order dated February 4, 2016. See Vallen v. Plan, No. 15-CV-0703, 2016 WL 482026 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 4, 2016).

         Briefly, Plaintiff is a patient at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center (“Pilgrim”) and commenced this action on February 9, 2015. (Compl., Docket Entry 1.) He alleged that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs in connection with a severe back injury. (Compl. ¶ IV.) Specifically, he alleged that Defendants, after determining that he was addicted to certain pain medications, decided to stop prescribing those medications. (Compl. ¶ IV.) He further maintained that he would be in “unbearable” pain without the pain medications. (Compl. ¶ IV.) He sought $75, 000 from Dr. Plan, $25, 000 from Dr. Khan, and $25, 000 from Dr. Carlotta to compensate him for the alleged violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. (Compl. ¶ V.) Additionally, he sought injunctive relief directing Defendants “to end the lowering of [his] medications” and to allow him to see “an outside psychiatrist-psychologist[, ] medical doctor[, ] and social worker trained in treated trauma.” (Compl. ¶ V.) On August 11, 2015, Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Docket Entry 10.)

         On February 4, 2016, this Court granted Defendant's motion in part. Vallen, 2016 WL 482026, at *4. The Court held that Plaintiff's claims for monetary damages against Defendants in their official capacities were barred by sovereign immunity and dismissed those claims. Id. at *3. The Court further held that Plaintiff's Complaint failed to state a claim and dismissed the Complaint with leave to amend. Id. at *4. While Plaintiff may have disagreed with the course of treatment, the Court found that the allegations were insufficient to state a deliberate indifference claim. See id. at *4.


         On April 22, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. Plaintiff makes similar allegations in his Amended Complaint, including that: (1) Defendants were “deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff['s] [p]sychiatric and medical need[s];” (2) Plaintiff suffers from a deteriorating “hip condition” which is “well known to Defendants;” (3) Plaintiff “never asked for narcotics . [and] would rather have had bed rest;” (4) Defendants and nurses teased Plaintiff; (5) “Due to the Staff[']s deliberate infliction and wanton and vicious abuse of [Plaintiff] . . . Plaintiff even with the medications could not leave a psychological and physical state of pain;” and (6) “Defendants were obviously together in a sufficiently culpable state of mind, not being kind or even trying to be kind to Plaintiff.” (Am. Compl. at 1-3)[2] (emphasis in original.) Plaintiff contends that he has “silently suffered with vicious and wanton infliction [of pain]” and requests that the Court order an evaluation by an outside doctor as soon as possible. (Am. Compl. at 4.) Finally, he states that he intends to proceed against Defendants in their individual capacities in light of the Court's prior ruling. (Am. Compl. at 5.) The Court construes the Amended Complaint as seeking unspecified monetary damages against Defendants and an order directing that Defendants allow him to be examined by an outside doctor.


         Defendants move to dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Specifically, they argue that Plaintiff's allegations fail to state a claim for deliberate indifference to his medical needs. (Defs.' Br., Docket Entry 20-2, at 2-3.) Alternatively, they argue that the Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. (Defs.' Br. at 3-6.) Defendants also request an order precluding Plaintiff from filing additional lawsuits against Pilgrim, or members of its staff, without permission of this Court. (Defs.' Br. at 6-7.)

         I. Legal Standard

         Rule 12(b)(6) provides that dismissal is appropriate if the complaint fails “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007). A claim is 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. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). Although the Court must accept all allegations in the Amended Complaint as true, this tenet is “inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Id. Thus, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not ...

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