Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Alexis v. Sessions

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 10, 2018

VINCENT P. ALEXIS, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFF SESSIONS, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          ROBERT B. KUGLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, Vincent Alexis, is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at FCI Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a civil complaint pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). (See ECF No. 1). Plaintiff has also requested a preliminary injunction. (Id. at 19). For the reasons stated in this opinion, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim and deny Plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Court will construe the allegations of the complaint as true for the purpose of this opinion. Plaintiff names the following individuals and entities as Defendants: (1) Jeff Sessions, United States Attorney General; (2) Mark Inch, Director of the Bureau of Prisons; (3) Charles E. Samuels, Jr., former director of the Bureau of Prisons; (4) Doctor Carvajal, Regional Director of the Bureau of Prisons; (5) Mr. Smith, Acting Warden/Assistant Warden, FCI Fort Dix; (6) Jose Santana, Director of the Designation and Sentence Computation Center of the Bureau of Prisons; (7) Deborah Schult, Medical Director of the Bureau of Prisons; (8) Ian Connors, Administrator of the Bureau of Prisons; (9) J.L. Norwood, Regional Director of the Bureau of Prisons; (10) Mr. Hollingsworth, former Warden, FCI Fort Dix; (11) Mr. Ortiz, Warden/former Warden of FCI Fort Dix; (12) Mr. Travers, Health Service Administrator, FCI Fort Dix; (13) Mr. Wilk, Health Service Administrator, FCI Fort Dix; (14) Doctor Newland, Clinical Director, FCI Fort Dix; (15) Doctor Ravi Sood, FCI Fort Dix; (16) Sam Syjongtian, Physician's Assistant, formerly employed at FCI Fort Dix; (17) P. Tyas, Physician's Assistant, FCI Fort Dix; (18) Christina Mello, Physician's Assistant, FCI Fort Dix; (19) T. Hoey, Emergency Medical Technician, FCI Fort Dix; (20) Saint Francis Medical Center; (21) John Doe #1, Lieutenant/Operations Lieutenant, FCI Fort Dix; (22) John Doe #2, Medical Doctor/Radiologist, Saint Francis Medical Center; (23) John Doe #3, Nurse, FCI Fort Dix; and (24) John & Jane Doe(s).

         This case arises from Plaintiff's medical treatment while incarcerated at FCI Fort Dix, for his septic sinus infection and chronic Lyme disease. (ECF No. 1). According to the complaint, Plaintiff became ill with a septic sinus infection on March 19, 2014. (Id. at 21). Plaintiff, who holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine (Id. at 32), alleges that he sought treatment for the infection, but through a series of misdiagnoses, delays, and refusals to send him to the hospital, his infection remained untreated, until it significantly worsened. (Id. at 21-26).

         Prison officials ultimately sent Plaintiff to Defendant Saint Francis Medical Center on March 22, 2014, where his diagnostic tests revealed that a bacterial infection had spread through his body. (Id. at 26). In order to gain control over the sepsis, hospital physician Dr. Samir Undavia performed sinus surgery to remove the infection sites and establish drainage on March 27, 2014. (Id. at 27). Dr. Undavia encountered tremendous inflammation and observed that the “case became very difficult given how much necrotic tissue was everywhere, ” as a result of the earlier misdiagnoses and delays in Plaintiff's treatment. (Id.).

         While recovering at the hospital, on March 31, 2014, both of Plaintiff's lungs collapsed, requiring hospital staff to install emergency chest tubes. (Id. at 27-28). Plaintiff contends that the staff member negligently positioned the chest tubes, which required a second procedure to reposition those tubes. (Id. at 28). The repositioning failed and required Plaintiff to undergo major thoracic surgery. (Id.). The hospital discharged Plaintiff on May 5, 2014. (Id. at 29).

         According to Plaintiff, from the date of his discharge until September 15, 2015, prison officials and medical staff misdiagnosed his residual sinus issues and Lyme disease, withheld medical documents, and negligently failed to prescribe antibiotics on a number of occasions. (Id. at 29-50). Additionally, Plaintiff takes issue with the staff's failure to schedule some of his post-surgery follow-ups with Dr. Undavia, instead “negligently” scheduling him to meet with other ear, nose, and throat specialists. (Id.).

         In response to those failures, Plaintiff filed his grievances and appeals thereof, on November 6, 2014, November 20, 2014, January 12, 2015, and March 5, 2015, amending his appeal each time to include new alleged failures of prison officials and medical staff. He received a response to each of those appeals on November 17, 2014, January 6, 2015, February 25, 2015, and September 7, 2015, from a number of the Defendant wardens, directors, and administrators, who ultimately concluded that Plaintiff received proper and adequate medical care and treatment and denied the appeals. (ECF No. 1, at 33, 38, 41, 49).

         Plaintiff finally met with Dr. Undavia for his first post-operative check on November 9, 2015 but contends that prison officials and medical staff unnecessarily delayed two of four subsequent meetings with Dr. Undavia. (Id. at 50-55). During those meetings, Dr. Undavia recommended that Plaintiff undergo a second surgery to alleviate his residual sinus and related issues. (Id. at 54-55). Dr. Undavia performed the second surgery on May 4, 2017. (Id. at 56).

         Although the second surgery alleviated some of Plaintiffs afflictions, he alleges that he still experiences difficulty draining his sinuses, trouble sleeping, and nosebleeds. Additionally, he experiences significant pain and restrictions on activity, as a result of the thoracotomy after his first sinus surgery. (Id. at 60-61).

         Plaintiff now raises[1] Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims against the individual Defendants, alleging that the Defendants knew of his serious medical needs and refused to provide proper treatment, delayed necessary medical treatment, prevented him from receiving medical treatment, or some combination of the three.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Standard for Sua Sponte Dismissal

         District courts must review complaints in civil actions in which a plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). District courts may sua sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, is malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See Id. According to the Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, “a pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.