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Boyd v. C.F.G Health System L.L.C

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 23, 2019

JAMES EDWARD BOYD, Plaintiff,
v.
C.F.G. HEALTH SYSTEM, L.L.C., Defendant.

          OPINION

          ROBERT B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, James Edward Boyd, is a prisoner currently incarcerated at South Woods State Prison, in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the reasons stated in this Opinion, the Court will dismiss Plaintiffs complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court will construe the allegations of the complaint as true for the purpose of this Opinion. Plaintiff names only C.F.G. Health System, L.L.C., as a Defendant in this matter. This case arises from Plaintiffs medical treatment while detained at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, for complications arising from his catheter needs. According to the complaint, Plaintiff, a paraplegic with incontinence issues, received four catheters per week, despite complaining to staff that he uses eight catheters per day. (ECF No. 1-2, at 1). After hearing Plaintiffs complaints, certain staff members, including an unknown doctor, advised Plaintiff to rinse and reuse the catheters.

         Plaintiff states, however, that “water hot enough to sterilize the catheters [was] not available” and that he contracted a urinary tract infection as a result. Id. Staff issued thirty days of pain medication to Plaintiff but denied him pain medication for an unspecified amount of time thereafter. Id. Plaintiff then contracted a second urinary tract infection and met with “Dr. Cheryl” for evaluation. At that meeting, Plaintiff requested “closed system catheters, because they would keep infection risk low, ” and some type of therapy for his legs. Id. Dr. Cheryl advised that the specialized catheters were too expensive and denied his request for leg therapy “because it won't do anything for [him] and it would be a waste of money.” Id. Plaintiff also saw a mental health doctor, who prescribed him Zoloft, Benadryl, and Zyprexa for his post-traumatic stress disorder. Plaintiff claims that those drugs caused him to gain weight in the subsequent two months.

         Thereafter, in May of 2016, Plaintiff contracted a third urinary tract infection and sought medical treatment. As a result of those examinations, unnamed doctor found sugar in Plaintiffs urine on two occasions and placed him on diabetic treatment protocol. Due to these catheter and prescription drug issues, Plaintiff contends that doctors diagnosed him as a type II diabetic in September of 2016.

         At an unspecified time afterwards, Plaintiff received a different suppository than he normally uses, and it failed to perform its unspecified intended function. Presumably as a result, Plaintiff then found blood in his stool and diaper and complained to medical staff, but the staff did nothing in response.

         In February of 2017, Plaintiff developed a fever or 103.8 degrees, and medical staff provided him with Tylenol. Sometime after, “Plaintiffs scrotum split open oozing a discharge that smelled like feces, and his scrotum was the size of a grapefruit. After 3 days or so Plaintiff was giv[en] an I.V., and was on it for 2 days until Plaintiff started discharging the same fluid from his lower back.” (ECF No. 1-2, at 2).

         Officials then transported Plaintiff to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, where he discovered that his colon had burst. Feces had seeped through his body, deteriorating his flesh and contaminating his heart and bloodstream, which required intravenous antibiotics for forty-five days. Plaintiff had to undergo two surgeries to remove the deteriorated flesh and repair his colon. Officials transferred Plaintiff to a rehabilitation center on February 18, 2017, and then ultimately to South Woods State Prison, where he currently resides. Plaintiff does not allege that he filed any grievances with regard to any of the events above.

         Plaintiff now ostensibly raises Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims against C.F.G. alleging that its employees 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.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         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 elements of a cause of action will not do.'” 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim, [1] the complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter” to show that the claim is facially plausible. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). “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 [alleged] misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Moreover, while courts liberally construe pro se pleadings, “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) (citation omitted).

         III. ...


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