United States District Court, D. New Jersey
VINCENT P. ALEXIS, Plaintiff,
JEFF SESSIONS, et al., Defendants.
B. KUGLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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.
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 &
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).
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
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).
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.
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).
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).
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).
now raises 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.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Standard for Sua Sponte Dismissal
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