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Beaver v. Dippert

United States District Court, N.D. New York

September 6, 2017

HORACE BEAVER, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
DR. DIPPERT, et al., Defendants.

          HORACE BEAVER, JR. Plaintiff, pro se

          DECISION AND ORDER

          MAE A. D'AGOSTINO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pro se plaintiff Horace Beaver ("Plaintiff") commenced this civil rights action asserting claims arising out of his confinement in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS") at Groveland Correctional Facility ("Groveland C.F."). By Decision and Order filed on June 30, 2017 (Dkt. No. 7) (the "June Order"), this Court granted Plaintiff's IFP application and reviewed the sufficiency of the Complaint in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. On the basis of that review, the Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Dkt. No. 7 at 10. In light of his pro se status, Plaintiff was afforded an opportunity to submit an Amended Complaint. See Dkt. No. 7 at 10. Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. Dkt. No. 10 ("Am. Compl.").

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The legal standard governing the dismissal of a pleading for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915A(b) was discussed at length in the June Order and it will not be restated in this Decision and Order. See Dkt. No. 7 at 2-4. The Court will construe the allegations in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint with the utmost leniency. See, e.g., Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (holding that a pro se litigant's complaint is to be held "to a less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.").

         III. JUNE ORDER and SUMMARY OF AMENDED COMPLAINT

         In the original Complaint, plaintiff alleged that defendants Dr. Dippert ("Dippert"), Dr. Dar ("Dar"), Dr. Moffatia ("Moffatia") and Dr. John Doe ("John Doe") were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. See Compl, generally. In the June Order, the Court dismissed the claims holding that Plaintiff failed to establish that Defendants were personally involved in any constitutional deprivation. See Dkt. No. 7 at 5-6. The Court also reasoned that even if Plaintiff had established personal involvement on the part of any defendant, the Eighth Amendment medical indifference claims were subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim. See Id. at 8-9.

         In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff adds the following new defendants: C.O. Bryant ("Bryant"), Sergeant Cozmac ("Cozmac"), Superintendent Cronin ("Cronin"), and the Groveland C.F. Medical Department.[1] See Am. Compl. at 1. The Amended Complaint does not include any claims against Dar, Moffatia, Dr. Dur, or John Doe.[2]

         On January 8, 2016, while Plaintiff was walking in front of the officer's desk in Dorm C-3, he slipped and fell due to water on the floor. Am. Compl. at 4. Bryant and Cozmac were at the desk at the time Plaintiff fell but were talking and "not paying attention." Id.; Dkt. No. 10-1 at 2. No "wet floor" or warning signs were posted in the area. Id. Cozmac sent Plaintiff to the medical department for complaints of pain to his knee. Id. X-rays were taken. Id.; Dkt. No. 10-1 at 2.

         Following the incident, Plaintiff did not receive any further treatment for his knee despite his repeated complaints that his knee was "giving out" due to pain. Am. Compl. at 6; Dkt. No. 10-1 at 1. Several months later, Plaintiff fell and hit his head on a locker when his knee "gave out." Am. Compl. at 5.

         Plaintiff was transferred to a different facility and filed a grievance asking for an MRI of his knee.[3] Am. Compl. at 4. One year later, Plaintiff underwent an MRI that revealed "tears" requiring surgery. Id.; Dkt. No. 10-1 at 2. Nerve testing also revealed a degenerative disk, a herniated disk, and nerve damage in Plaintiff's right leg. Dkt. No. 10-1 at 1.

         Construed liberally, the Amended Complaint contains the following causes of action: (1) Eighth Amendment condition of confinement and failure to protect claims against Bryant, Cozmac, and Cronin; (2) Eighth Amendment claims against the Groveland C.F. Medical Department and Dippert; (3) negligence claims; and (4) discrimination/equal protection claims against the Groveland Medical Department and Dippert. See Am. Compl. and Dkt. No. 10-1, generally. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. See Id. at 5.

         IV. ANALYSIS

         A. Claims Against "Medical ...


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