United States District Court, S.D. New York
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
GREGORY H. WOODS, United States District Judge
September 10, 2015, the New York and Presbyterian Hospital
s/h/a the New York Presbyterian - Columbia University Medical
Center (“NYPH”) sent a Mobile Crisis Team to
Plaintiff Ramon Mejia's apartment in the Bronx. The
Mobile Crisis Team entered Plaintiff's home with
Plaintiff's consent, investigated, left, and then called
the New York City Police Department to have Plaintiff removed
from his home. After an hour-long encounter with police
officers at his apartment, Plaintiff was forcibly taken from
his apartment and transported to the North Central Bronx
Hospital, where he was involuntarily interned for six days.
Plaintiff filed this matter pro se, bringing claims
against the NYPH and various other defendants for violations
of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(“Section 1983”) and alleging state law claims
that include false arrest, slander, negligence, and medical
malpractice. The NYPH has moved to dismiss Plaintiff's
claims against it. Because the NYPH is not a
“person” under Section 1983, Plaintiff's
Section 1983 claims against the NYPH are dismissed.
Plaintiff's state law claims against the NYPH are also
is a sixty-five-year-old disabled man of Latino and Caribbean
descent. Third Amended Complaint (ECF No. 66)
(“TAC”) ¶ 1, 28. Members of the New York City
Police Department (“NYPD”) called the NYPH and
“ordered” that a Mobile Crisis Team be sent to
evaluate Plaintiff at his home “because they were
frustrated with complaints that Plaintiff had made to
them.” Pl.'s Opposition to Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No.
73) (“Pl.'s Opp.”) at 2. On or about
September 10, 2015, at approximately 9:30 a.m., a Mobile
Crisis Team consisting of Ms. Davis and an unidentified male
escort (John Doe Male Escort) came to Plaintiff's
apartment in the Bronx. TAC ¶ 3-4; Pl's Opp. at 2.
Ms. Davis identified herself as a social worker from Columbia
Presbyterian Hospital. TAC ¶ 4. Ms. Davis and her escort
asked to inspect Plaintiff's apartment for housing code
violations, and Plaintiff invited them inside. Id.
While inside the apartment, the crisis team
“investigat[ed] Plaintiff and his home, ”
Pl.'s Opp. at 2, but Ms. Davis “was dismissive of
Plaintiff's housing problems, ” TAC ¶ 4. After
Plaintiff instructed Ms. Davis and the male escort to
“leave and never come back, ” they left
Plaintiff's apartment. TAC ¶ 4.
alleges on information and belief that Ms. Davis and her male
escort called the police. TAC ¶ 5. Plaintiff alleges
that “[n]othing that they told the police would have
justified the police coming to Plaintiff's apartment,
” that Plaintiff “had not engaged in any behavior
to justify the police coming to the apartment, ” and,
therefore, anything that Ms. Davis and her escort told the
police “would have been false.” Id. The
police arrived approximately fifteen minutes later, and
twelve unidentified officers (John Doe Police Officers Nos. 1
through 12) “began banging on Plaintiff's door
demanding to talk to” him. TAC ¶ 6. The officers
also “demanded that Plaintiff stand directly
behind” the closed front door, which Plaintiff refused
to do. Id.
point, Plaintiff heard a “loud noise, ” and
“something was used on the outside of the door to blow
the peephole” out. TAC ¶ 7. The peephole
“ricocheted around the apartment, ” and an
“open hole was left where the peephole object was
previously.” Id. Plaintiff observed “red
dots on the wall opposite the door that appeared to be from a
laser sight on a gun.” TAC ¶ 8.
still refused to open the door for police, and “never
consented” to the police's entry into his home. TAC
¶ 10. Plaintiff asserts that he “never threatened
anyone, ” “never committed any visible crime
while inside his apartment, ” and “never caused
any disturbance of any kind inside his apartment.”
Id. Yet, the twelve police officers, led by
Detective McDonagh, “caus[ed] a disturbance at
Plaintiff's door” for approximately one hour, then
broke the door down and entered dressed in full riot gear.
TAC ¶ 11.
inside the apartment, one of the officers, “who was
tall and large, ” placed Plaintiff in handcuffs and
“pushed” him out the door. TAC ¶ 12.
Plaintiff had an injured foot and struggled to go down the
stairs. Id. While he was descending the steps,
Plaintiff was “pushed very roughly” by Officers
Madeline Cruz and Mildred Rodriguez. TAC ¶ 13. This
caused Plaintiff to “stumble and lose balance.”
Id. Despite Plaintiff's request that Officers
Cruz and Rodriguez “please stop pushing very roughly,
” the officers continued to push him down the six
flights of stairs. Id. Plaintiff sustained an injury
to his right foot in the process. Id.
officers escorted Plaintiff to an ambulance outside, and two
emergency medical technicians (“EMTs”)
transported Plaintiff to North Central Bronx Hospital. TAC
¶ 14. A uniformed police officer accompanied them to the
hospital, and, at the hospital, “police were
Plaintiff's arrival at the North Central Bronx Hospital,
hospital staff asked Plaintiff for his name, address, and
date of birth. TAC ¶ 17. Plaintiff provided the
requested information, and his responses were recorded on a
computer. Id. The staff asked Plaintiff nothing
about his medical condition, whether he was injured, whether
he had any allergies, or the reason for his presentment at
the hospital. Id. Hospital staff instructed
Plaintiff to remove any personal property from his pockets
and person and logged those items on a written form.
was then taken to the psychiatric unit located on the
thirteenth floor. TAC ¶ 16-17. There, Plaintiff's
handcuffs were removed, but he was told that he was not free
to leave. TAC ¶ 16. Plaintiff observed that the hospital
contained “many armed uniformed police officers,
” TAC ¶ 17, and the doors has “code systems,
” TAC ¶ 18. “[T]his was not a regular
hospital.” TAC ¶ 17.
was instructed to sit in a waiting area while his room was
being prepared. Id. An unidentified doctor, John Doe
Doctor No. 1, then ordered Plaintiff “forcibly
hospitalized” without performing “an independent
assessment.” Id. Dr. Mark A. Schear ordered
Plaintiff to be “forcibly” medicated without
“an independent evaluation.” TAC ¶ 21.
Despite Plaintiff's objections, he was held down by John
Doe Officer No. 14, John Doe Nurse No. 1, and other hospital
staff and was given an injection of Risperdal by a nurse.
remained in the hospital from September 10, 2015 to September
16, 2015. TAC ¶ 20. During his internment, Plaintiff was
forced to take pills prescribed by Dr. Schear. John Doe
Orderly No. 1 regularly told Plaintiff he had to take the
pills, and John Doe Nurse No. 5 warned Plaintiff that if he
did not take the pills, the nurse would report that to her
supervisor, who would then send nurses to “physically
force Plaintiff to take the pills.” TAC ¶ 23.
Plaintiff was also subjected to mandatory blood draws. TAC
¶ 27. Plaintiff made numerous requests to be released
from the hospital, but he was told that only the in-house
psychologist or Dr. Schear could authorize his release. TAC
¶ 22. On September 16, 2015, Plaintiff was released into
the care of his sisters. TAC ¶ 24.
alleges that as a result of these incidents, he sustained
injuries to his right foot that still cause him pain, as well
as back injuries. TAC at 5, ¶ 13. Plaintiff also alleges
that he suffers from nightmares, for which he needs sleep
disorder treatment, and paranoid anxiety at the sight of
police officers in public areas. TAC at 5. Plaintiff seeks
damages in the amount of $100, 000, 000. Id.
initiated this action on December 15, 2016. ECF No. 2.
Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis on January 17, 2017. ECF No. 3.
January 26, 2017, the Court sua sponte dismissed
Plaintiff's claims against the Civil Court of the City of
New York, Bronx County, the Health and Hospitals Corporation,
its unidentified employees, Dr. Schear, Ari Benedict, Sergio
Anagunbla, the New York City Police Department
(“NYPD”), the 50th Precinct, and the
“NYCEMS.” ECF No. 5. The Court granted Plaintiff
leave to replead his claims against the Health and Hospitals
Corporation, its unidentified employees, Dr. Schear, Ari
Benedict, and Sergio Anagunbla. Id. The Court also
directed NYPH counsel and the Corporation Counsel of the City
of New York to ascertain the identity of the unidentified
individual defendants. Id.
February 27, 2017, the NYPH filed an answer to the complaint.
ECF No. 13. On March 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed a first
amended complaint. ECF No. 17. On April 6, 2017, after
obtaining leave of court, Plaintiff filed a second amended
complaint. ECF No. 27. On June 16, 2017, Defendants City of
New York and Madeline Cruz filed an answer to the second
amended complaint. ECF No. 51.
30, 2017, the NYPH filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's
second amended complaint. ECF No. 53. On July 19, 2017, the
Court granted Plaintiff leave to file a third amended
complaint for the purpose of naming individual defendants
that the City of New York had identified pursuant to the
Court's Valentin order. ECF No. 65. Plaintiff
filed his third amended complaint on July 28, 2017. ECF No.
66. The Court granted the NYPH's request to deem its June
30, 2017 motion to dismiss to be a motion to dismiss the
third amended complaint. ECF No. 70. On August 15, 2017,
Plaintiff filed his opposition to the NYPH's motion to
dismiss. ECF No. 73. On August 25, 2017, the NYPH filed its
reply. ECF No. 74.
September 8, 2017, Defendants New York City Health and
Hospitals Corporation s/h/a North Central Bronx Hospital, New
York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and Dr. Schear
moved to dismiss Plaintiff's third amended complaint. ECF
No. 77. Plaintiff opposed that motion on October 5, 2017, and
Defendants filed a reply on October 19, 2017. ECF Nos. 83,
88. Only the NYPH's motion is presently before the Court.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). It is not enough for a
plaintiff to allege facts that are consistent with liability;
the complaint must “nudge” claims “across
the line from conceivable to plausible.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “To survive
dismissal, the plaintiff must provide the grounds upon which
his claim rests through factual allegations sufficient
‘to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.'” ATSI Commc'ns, Inc. v. Shaar Fund,
Ltd., 493 F.3d 87, 98 (2d Cir. 2007) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
whether a complaint states a plausible claim is a
“context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The court must
accept all facts alleged in the complaint as true and draw
all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Burch v. Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc., 551 F.3d
122, 124 (2d Cir. 2008) (per curiam). However,
‛[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.' A complaint must therefore contain more than
‘naked assertion[s] devoid of further factual
enhancement.' Pleadings that contain ‘no more than
conclusions . . . are not entitled to the assumption of