United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DANIEL M. SPOSITI, Plaintiff,
DR. HELEN REYCHECK et al., Defendants.
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Daniel M. Spositi, was detained at the Atlantic
County Jail, in Mays Landing, New Jersey, when he commenced
this action. He is proceeding pro se with a civil rights
complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This Court
previously granted Mr. Spositi leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (ECF No. 7.)
Court must now review the complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e) to determine whether it should be dismissed as
frivolous or malicious, for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or because it seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from suit. For the
following reasons, the § 1983 claim will be dismissed as
against defendant CFG Health Systems LLC, but the remainder
of the complaint will be permitted to proceed.
allegations of the complaint will be construed as true for
the purposes of this opinion. The complaint names as
defendants CFG Health Systems LLC (“CFG”), the
healthcare services provider for the Atlantic County Jail, as
well as two doctors allegedly employed by CFG, Dr. Helen
Reycheck and Dr. Bagchai. (Compl., ECF No. 1.)
Spositi explains that he is a veteran of Operation Iraqi
Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn
and, consequently, that he suffers from post-traumatic stress
dis (“PTSD”), major depressive disorder, and
survivor guilt. (Id. at 6.) To treat these
conditions, Mr. Spositi had been prescribed Zoloft and, to
aid in sleeping, trazodone. (Id.) Mr. Spositi
alleges that he explained these circumstances to Dr. Reycheck
on February 29, 2016, but that she told him he would
“have to see her boss” sometime after March 4,
2016 (apparently for approval of his prescriptions).
(Id.) Mr. Spositi asserts that Dr. Reycheck told him
that if he wanted better treatment he should stay out of
Spositi further alleges that he explained the same
circumstances to Dr. Bagchai on approximately March 12, 2016.
(Id.) He contends that Dr. Bagchai prescribed
Mirtazapine in place of both the Zoloft and the trazodone,
despite Mr. Spositi informing him that a prior prescription
of Mirtazapine had been discontinued as ineffective and
negatively impacting Mr. Spositi's blood
pressure. (Id. at 6-7.) Although Dr.
Bagchai allegedly told Mr. Spositi that they would follow up
in a month, Mr. Spositi alleges that, at the time he prepared
the complaint, six weeks had passed without another meeting.
Spositi alleges that he thus lacked any treatment for his
condition for thirty days, and that the change in
prescriptions left him “to suffer flashbacks and face
severe survival guilt, depression and extreme anxiety.”
(Id. at 4.) He seeks compensatory damages for these
injuries. (Id. at 5.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. 104-134,
§§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (Apr. 26,
1996) (“PLRA”), district courts must review
complaints when the plaintiff is proceeding in forma
pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The PLRA
directs district courts to sua sponte dismiss claims that are
frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
is the same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).” Schreane
v. Seana, 506 F. App'x 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012) (per
curiam). That standard is set forth in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). To survive the
Court's screening for failure to state a claim, the
complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter to
show that the claim is facially plausible.” Fowler
v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009)
(internal quotation marks omitted). “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.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also Fair Wind
Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d
Cir. 2014). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555).
pleadings, as always, will be liberally construed. See
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam);
Glunk v. Noone, 689 F. App'x 137, 139 (3d Cir.
2017) (per curiam). Nevertheless, “pro se litigants
still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to
support a claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina,
Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013).