United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
PAUL OETKEN, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Andrew Vail alleges that he was denied medical treatment
while being incarcerated after informing prison authorities
that he had swallowed two AA batteries and various components
of a radio. He eventually underwent two endoscopies to remove
the foreign objects, which had become lodged in his
gastrointestinal tract. Vail brings suit under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against the social worker who initially denied
him treatment, the social worker's supervisor, and two
municipal defendants. Defendants have moved to dismiss. For
the reasons that follow, the motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
following facts are taken from the operative complaint (Dkt.
No. 43 (“Compl.”)) and are assumed true for
purposes of this motion to dismiss.
15, 2018, Plaintiff Andrew Vail (proceeding pro se)
was incarcerated at the Anna M. Kross Center, or AMKC, on
Rikers Island. (Compl. ¶¶ 3, 5, 23.) He began
experiencing anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. (Compl.
¶ 23.) He requested mental health treatment, but his
request was ignored. (Id.) On May 17, Vail swallowed
two AA batteries and various components of a Sony radio in
order to obtain the attention of mental health services.
(Compl. ¶ 26.) He was taken to the AMKC mental health
clinic, where he was seen by Defendant Lionel Brown, a social
worker. (Compl. ¶ 28.) Brown “became brusque,
abrupt and borderline hostile” and left to speak to his
supervisor, Defendant Beth LaGrange. (Compl. ¶ 30.)
Moments later, he returned and sent Vail back to his cell.
(Compl. ¶ 31.) Vail alleges that Brown “lied to
and omitted information from LaGrange about [Vail's]
swallowing objects, or [that] Brown and LaGrange together
made the decision to ignore [Vail's] admission of
swallowing objects.” (Compl. ¶ 31.)
returning to his cell, Plaintiff began coughing up blood and
experiencing extreme pain. (Compl. ¶ 33.) On May 20, he
was taken to the AMKC clinic. (Compl. ¶ 37.) There, an
X-ray revealed that he had foreign objects lodged in his
stomach and esophagus. (Compl. ¶ 38.) Vail underwent two
endoscopies to remove the objects. (Compl. ¶ 40.)
brings suit against both Brown and LaGrange under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for deliberate indifference to his medical needs
in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Compl. ¶¶
49-54.) Vail also asserts several state-law tort claims.
(Compl. ¶¶ 44-48, 55-69.) In addition, Vail brings
corresponding claims against two municipal entities: the City
of New York and New York City Health and Hospitals
Corporation. (Compl. ¶¶ 49-69.) Vail seeks
compensatory and punitive damages, as well as declaratory
relief. (Compl. ¶¶ 70-73.) Defendants have
collectively moved to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a
plaintiff must plead sufficient factual allegations “to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). A claim is plausible if the well-pleaded factual
allegations of the complaint, presumed true, permit the court
to “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
[a] plaintiff proceeds pro se, as in this case, a
court is obliged to construe h[er] pleadings liberally,
particularly when [she] allege[s] civil rights
violations.” McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d
197, 200 (2d Cir. 2004). But “even pro se plaintiffs
asserting civil right claims cannot withstand a motion to
dismiss unless their pleadings contain factual allegations
sufficient to raise a ‘right to relief above the
speculative level.'” Jackson v. NYS Dep't
of Labor, 709 F.Supp.2d 218, 224 (S.D.N.Y. 2010)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 55).
brings § 1983 claims and state-law tort claims against
Brown and LaGrange. Vail also brings § 1983 claims
against the municipal entities. Defendants have moved to
dismiss all claims except the § 1983 claim against
Brown. Each set of claims is discussed in turn.
Section 1983 Claims
move to dismiss the § 1983 claims against LaGrange and
the municipal defendants, leaving only the ...