United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
PAUL OETKEN, United States District Judge
Paul Grimmett, proceeding pro se, brings this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he was
denied dental care while incarcerated at Manhattan Detention
Center (“MDC”). Specifically, he alleges that
Allan Matthew, D.D.S., and Dr. Sharma, M.D., the MDC Site
Medical Director, were deliberately indifferent to
Grimmett's serious dental condition and related ear pain
and hearing loss in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution. He further
alleges municipal liability under § 1983 on the part of
Corizon Medical Associates of New York
(“Corizon”). Grimmett also raises state medical
malpractice and negligence claims against all Defendants.
Defendants move to dismiss Grimmett's second amended
complaint (“SAC”) pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow,
Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.
filed this lawsuit in September 2015. (Dkt. No. 2.) He filed
a first amended complaint (“FAC”) in April 2016
and named as defendants the City of New York, Corizon, Dr.
Matthew, Dr. Sharma, and Acting MDC Warden Cooper. (Dkt. No.
38.) On August 12, 2016, the Honorable Analisa Torres
dismissed the FAC, but granted Grimmett leave to file a
second amended complaint against Dr. Matthew and Dr. Sharma.
(Dkt. No. 56.)
November 18, 2016, Grimmett filed his SAC against Defendants
Corizon, Dr. Matthew, and Dr. Sharma. (Dkt. No. 61.) The SAC
asserts claims under § 1983 for deliberate indifference
to Grimmett's serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, along with state medical
malpractice and negligence claims. Defendants have moved to
dismiss the SAC pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 73.) The
motion is fully submitted. The case was reassigned to the
undersigned on April 5, 2017.
was first incarcerated at MDC in June 2013. (SAC ¶¶
2, 9, 11.) On July 2, 2013, Grimmett had a dental appointment
with Dr. Matthew. (Id. ¶ 27.) During this
appointment, Grimmett told Dr. Matthew that, before he was
arrested, his personal dentist had recommended “a full
mouth extraction” of all his teeth due to preexisting
dental problems. (Id. ¶¶ 8, 28.) Grimmett
alleges that, at the time of this appointment, he had
“swollen gums that were already infected, ” along
with “dental caries and badly decayed teeth, ”
and that Dr. Matthew saw these conditions. (Dkt. No. 83 at
36.) Dr. Matthew examined Grimmett's mouth and told him
he “would put [him down] for all of the necessary work
that needs to be done.” (SAC ¶ 29; see
also Dkt. No. 83 at 35; SAC Ex. G at 56.) Grimmett
alleges that Dr. Matthew intentionally omitted the real facts
of Grimmett's condition from Grimmett's medical
records so that Dr. Matthew could avoid providing further
treatment. (Dkt. No. 83 at 36.) The medical records from the
initial visit do not mention infection or the need for
extraction, though they do indicate “swollen
gums” and some “bone loss.” (SAC Ex. G at
56.) Grimmett alleges that Dr. Matthew never scheduled the
follow-up treatment he promised. (SAC ¶ 147.)
the initial appointment, Grimmett sent “numerous”
dental slips to Dr. Matthew and to the dental department but
received no response for approximately three months.
(Id. ¶ 30.)
October 5, 2013, Grimmett went to the infirmary because he
was in “agonizing pain from an abscess in [his]
mouth.” (Id. ¶¶ 31-32.) A nurse
directed him to Dr. Sharma. (Id. ¶ 34.) When
Grimmett asked for amoxicillin and ibuprofen to help control
the pain and treat the infection, Dr. Sharma told him that
there was no one available to administer any medication.
(Id. ¶¶ 35-36.) Grimmett then asked Dr.
Sharma to examine his mouth, but the doctor refused.
(Id. ¶ 37.) Grimmett described his condition to
Dr. Sharma, who replied that he would have to report to sick
call to be seen. (Id. ¶ 38.) Grimmett alleges
that, despite the doctor's representations to the
contrary, Dr. Sharma in fact had “all the keys to the
cabinet to provide ‘emergency medication.'”
(Dkt. No. 83 at 47.)
days later, on October 7, 2013, Grimmett went to sick call
and explained to a physician assistant (“PA”)
that his mouth was in “agonizing pain” and that
he could not “hear anything out of [his] left
ear.” (SAC ¶¶ 39-40.) He explained that he
had been experiencing that level of pain for the past two
days. (Id. ¶ 46.) The PA told Grimmett that he
had a tooth abscess, prescribed him medication for the pain
and infection, and generated dental and ENT referrals.
(Id. ¶¶ 42-44; id. Ex. G at 59.)
went back to sick call the next day because he had not
received his pain medication (SAC ¶¶ 47-48), and
again on October 11 because the ibuprofen and penicillin were
not helping his toothache (id. ¶¶ 49, 52).
He was prescribed a new regimen of medications, which
included Augmentin and Tylenol with codeine. (Id.
¶¶ 53-55; id. Ex. G at 61-62.)
October 24, 2013, Mariane Molfetas, D.D.S., a non-party to
this lawsuit, extracted two of Grimmett's teeth. (SAC
¶ 64; id. Ex. G at 70.) On December 13, 2013, a
hearing aid for Grimmett was approved (SAC ¶ 68;
id. Ex. G(2) at 7), and he received the hearing aid
on January 21, 2014 (SAC ¶ 73; id. Ex. G(2) at
11-13). Grimmett was then transferred to Downstate Reception
Center, where a nurse told him that he could have a full
extraction once he got to his “primary facility.”
(SAC ¶¶ 75, 78.) On September 12, 2014, after
Grimmett was transferred to Auburn Correctional Facility,
where he would stay for at least six months, an oral surgeon
extracted his lower teeth. (Id. ¶¶ 82, 83,
90-93.) A month later, after Grimmett had completed a course
of amoxicillin for an infection in his upper gums, his upper
teeth were removed. (Id. ¶¶ 94-95.) As of
May 2015, Grimmett was being fitted for dentures.
(Id. ¶¶ 103-04.)