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Mora v. Hughes

United States District Court, W.D. New York

February 27, 2017

OSCAR MORA, Plaintiff,
v.
W. HUGHES, Deputy Supt. of Security; J. RAO, Medical Doctor, and A. HAYNES, Registered Nurse, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          ELIZABETH A. WOLFORD United States District Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Oscar Mora ("Plaintiff), pro se and incarcerated at Attica Correctional Facility ("Attica"), brings this action against three Attica employees-W. Hughes ("Hughes"), Deputy of Security; J. Rao ("Dr. Rao"), a doctor; and A. Haynes ("Haynes"), a nurse (collectively, "Defendants")-pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Dkt. 1). Dr. Rao moves to dismiss the complaint against him pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Dkt. 15-1). For the reasons discussed below, the Court denies Dr. Rao's motion.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Factual Background

         The following facts are drawn from Plaintiffs complaint. (Dkt. 1).

         Plaintiff has been incarcerated at Attica from 2008 until the present, including all times relevant to this action. (Id. at ¶ 4). He suffers from "Brittle Type 1" Diabetes, which is "the most severe category of Type 1 Diabetes." (Id. at ¶ 17). Those who suffer from Brittle Type 1 Diabetes "require constant readings of their blood sugar so as to not go into shock or even die." (Id.). Additionally, "Type 1 Diabetics can experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), " either of which "can cause plaintiff to have seizures, coma, or even death." (Id. at ¶ 18).

         On June 28, 2011, after several "severe" episodes of hypoglycemia, Plaintiff met with Dr. Rao to discuss whether Plaintiff required a glucometer in his cell. (Id. at ¶ 20). Dr. Rao agreed that Plaintiff needed a glucometer but claimed "it [would] likely be denied by [the] administration." (Id.).

         On April 5, 2012, Plaintiff was brought to the emergency room in a wheelchair because of an episode of low blood sugar. (Id. at ¶ 19).

         On June 26, 2012, Plaintiff met with Dr. Rao for a second time regarding Plaintiffs need for a glucometer in his cell. (Id. at ¶20). Dr. Rao agreed that Plaintiff needed the device but advised him to write to Hughes. (Id.). Plaintiff then wrote a letter to Hughes, requesting approval for the glucometer. (Id.). Hughes denied Plaintiffs request, citing security concerns. (Id.).

         On October 10, 2012, Plaintiff sent Hughes another written request for a glucometer, contending that "the Federal Bureau of Prisons allows certain inmates that ha[ve] diabetes to have glucose meters and lancets to allow these prisoners to better maintain their blood sugar levels." (Id. at 21). Two days later, Hughes denied this request. (Id.).

         Throughout 2012 and 2013, Plaintiff experienced several episodes of hypoglycemia, abnormal blood sugar, and related side effects. (See Id. at ¶¶ 22-28). For example, on November 29, 2012, he had a hypoglycemic episode and was found unconscious in his cell. (Id. at ¶ 22). On July 21, 2013, he suffered from headaches and vomiting and was taken to the emergency room, where he discovered that "his blood sugar was at a dangerous level of 403." (Id. at ¶ 23). On December 29, 2013, Plaintiff had a hyperglycemic episode, but medical staff failed to respond; in particular, "Haynes was on duty but failed to assess and administer insulin for [P]laintiff, stating to [an] officer on duty, 'I'm not going up there unless he's having a reaction.'" (Id. at ¶ 27).

         Plaintiff filed two grievances concerning his medical care. The first was filed on November 18, 2013, and the second was filed on January 9, 2014, against Haynes for allegedly inadequate medical care. (Id. at ¶¶ 10, 29). The Superintendent denied each grievance. (Id. at ¶ 11). Plaintiffs subsequent appeals of those denials were also denied. (Id. at¶¶ 12-13).

         Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff claims that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiffs serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Id. at ¶¶ 32-34). Plaintiff claims that Dr. Rao's failure to advocate in favor of allowing Plaintiff to have a glucometer constituted deliberate indifference to Plaintiffs serious medical needs. (Id. at ΒΆ 33, 7). Plaintiff seeks an ...


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