United States District Court, D. New Jersey
L. WOLFSON U.S. CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.
Vaughn Suber (“Plaintiff”) has filed a pro
se Complaint alleging violations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 arising from the
alleged failure to provide adequate medical care while he was
incarcerated as a pretrial detainee at Ocean County
Correctional Facility. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at
Northern State Prison. The Court previously granted
Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma
pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1-3 & 4.)
law requires this Court to screen Plaintiff's Complaint
for sua sponte dismissal prior to service, and to
dismiss any claim if that claim fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
and/or to dismiss any defendant who is immune from suit.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); § 1915A.
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 the standard for dismissing a complaint
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Schreane v. Seana, 506 Fed.Appx. 120, 122 (3d Cir.
2012). 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).
se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Glunk v.
Noone, 689 Fed.Appx. 137, 139 (3d Cir. 2017).
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).
Complaint asserts the following relevant facts in the
“Statement of Claims”:
I was injured while playing basketball which resulted in a
broken pinky finger: (right hand). This injury required
surgery and a subsequent second corrective surgery.
Defendant 1 failed to ensure the proper medical treatment of
injured detainee which delayed medical assistance and
ultimately required two surgeries and irreparable damage.
(ECF No. 1, Complaint at 3.) According to the Complaint, the
injury occurred on July 29, 2018. (Id. at 4.) The
Complaint further asserts that Plaintiff
was never rendered same day medical treatment but was
provided pain relievers. [S]everal days after injury,
[Plaintiff] received an x-ray which revealed a broken finger.
On 8-20-18 [Plaintiff] was taken to have surgery to repair
the broken finger and scheduled therapy which [Plaintiff]
never received while in Ocean County Jail which resulted in
irreparable damage requiring second surgery.
(Id. at 4.) Plaintiff also appears to assert that
the first surgery caused “irreparable damage”
that required the second surgery. (Id.) Plaintiff
seeks damages for his injuries. (Id.)
on these facts, Plaintiff asserts that the Defendant Sandra
J. Mueller, the Warden of Ocean County Correctional Center,
and Defendant Denise Margino, who is not otherwise
identified, violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment
right to adequate medical care and brings these claims
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To state a § 1983 claim
for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, a
prisoner must plead facts indicating: (1) a serious medical
need; and (2) conduct on the part of each prison official
that constitutes deliberate indifference to that
need. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 106 (1976); Natale v. Camden Cnty. Corr.
Facility, 318 F.3d 575, 582 (3d Cir. 2003).
medical needs include previously diagnosed conditions
requiring treatment or those that are so obvious that a lay
person would recognize the necessity for doctor's
attention, and those conditions which, if untreated, would
result in “unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain,
” lifelong handicap, or permanent loss. Monmouth
County Correctional Institutional Inmates v. Lanzaro,
834 F.2d 326, 347 (3d Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 486
U.S. 1006 (1988).
indifference requires proof that the particular defendant:
“ knows of and  disregards an excessive risk to
inmate health or safety.” Natale, 318 F.3d at
582 (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837
(1994)). In this context, “deliberate
indifference” is a subjective standard. Bistrian v.
Levi, 696 F.3d 352, 367 (3d Cir. 2012). The official
“must actually have known or been aware of the
excessive risk to inmate safety” and it is “not
sufficient that the official should have known of the
risk.” Id. Courts have found deliberate
indifference where an official: “(1) knows of a
prisoner's need for medical treatment but intentionally
refuses to provide it; (2) delays necessary medical treatment
based on a nonmedical reason; or (3) prevents a prisoner from
receiving needed or recommended treatment.” Rouse
v. Plantier, 182 ...