United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tolentino, a Pennsylvania state prisoner, filed this 42
U.S.C. § 1983 complaint alleging that Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment rights with regard to the
medical treatment prescribed for Tolentino's
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other ailments.
(Doc. 1). Tolentino's claim stretches across several
years and generally relates to prison officials either
refusing to treat Tolentino, changing his medications, or
refusing to believe his professed symptoms. (Id.).
Tolentino has also filed a motion to proceed in forma
pauperis and, for screening purposes, that motion will
be granted. (Doc. 11)
was diagnosed with PTSD in 2013 and prescribed Klonopin and
Sinequan to treat his symptoms. (Doc. 1 at 19).
Tolentino's PTSD manifested with symptoms of extreme fear
and anxiety, sleep deprivation, racing thoughts, and
difficulty concentrating. (Id. at 19-20). Several
times in 2013 or 2014 unnamed nurses dispensed the wrong
medication, causing Tolentino to collapse and injure himself.
(Id. at 19). Nevertheless, the prescribed
medications improved Tolentino's condition until Klonopin
was abruptly discontinued by Nurse Vilhaldel in 2014, which
caused a consistent “downward spiral” in
Tolentino's mental health. (Id.).
February 2018, Tolentino began to meet with Dr. Xue.
(Id. at 12). When Tolentino began to cry during a
meeting, Xue offered to place Tolentino in a psychiatric
observation cell, and later informed a nurse that Tolentino
was “playing a game to get Klonopin.”
(Id.). In March 2019, Xue refused to alter
Tolentino's medication regimen and, in April 2019, Xue
began asking Tolentino about his criminal and educational
background, purportedly for the purpose of falsifying
Tolentino's medical records. (Id. at 13-14).
2019, Nurse Cousins adjusted Tolentino's medications and
prescribed psychotropic drugs, despite Tolentino informing
her that such medications had been tried in the past and had
proven ineffective. (Id. at 20). Cousins also
allegedly informed Tolentino that she believed he was
addicted to Klonopin. (Id. at 21). In June 2019,
Tolentino began suffering from an anxiety attack that
required medication. (Id. at 21-22). Cousins
recognized the need to treat Tolentino, but falsely stated
that she did not have any fast-acting medications and instead
prescribed different medications. (Id. at 22). In
July 2019 Cousins again adjusted Tolentino's medications
and provided a new medication that would take four to six
weeks to take effect. (Id. at 24).
2019, Ms. Baldauf examined Tolentino and correctly identified
the issue that was bothering him, but “refused to order
adequate medicine to treat the underlying symptom of severe
anxiety.” (Id. at 22). After refusing to meet
with Tolentino for more than one week, Baldauf again refused
to treat Tolentino and began forwarding sick call slips to
Cousins. (Id. at 23).
2019, Nurse Amanda Flasher attempted to provide Tolentino
with powdered medication, but Tolentino requested pills
instead. (Id.). Flasher stated that she needed to
speak with her supervisor, and later informed Tolentino that
the supervisor instructed her not to give any medication to
Tolentino, thereby depriving Tolentino of his diabetes, heart
burn, cholesterol, and psychiatric medications.
(Id.). It was not until several hours later-after
Tolentino suffered from an anxiety attack-that other prison
officials provided Tolentino with his medications.
(Id. at 23-24).
Court has a statutory obligation to conduct a preliminary
review of pro se complaints brought by plaintiffs who proceed
in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
This obligation requires that the Court dismiss a complaint
if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. Id. § 915(e)(2)(B)(ii). To determine
whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief, this
Court must “accept all factual allegations in the
complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor.” Alpizar-Fallas v.
Favero, 908 F.3d 910, 914 (3d Cir. 2018).
initial matter, the Court notes that it is clear from the
face of the complaint that some incidents underlying
Tolentino's claim are barred from consideration by the
applicable statute of limitations. “The statute of
limitations applicable to § 1983 claims in Pennsylvania
is two years.” Wisniewski v. Fisher, 857 F.3d
152, 157 (3d Cir. 2017). “A § 1983 cause of action
accrues when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the
injury upon which his action is based.” Id. at
157-58 (brackets and internal quotation marks omitted).
Tolentino filed this complaint, at the earliest, on July 17,
2019,  and the statute of limitations would
therefore bar consideration of any events that occurred prior
to July 17, 2017. Any allegations related to improper
treatment in 2013 or 2014 (Doc. 1 at 19-20), are therefore
barred by the statute of limitations and will be dismissed.
court further concludes that several Defendants must be
dismissed because Tolentino has failed to allege any personal
involvement in the events described in the complaint. First,
Mr. Suto and Correct Care are named as defendants in the
caption of the case, but the “complaint does not
mention these defendants at all, ” and they must
therefore be dismissed from this action. Green v. New
Jersey, 625 Fed.Appx. 73, 76 (3d Cir. 2015). Second, the
only allegation against Mr. Diehl is that he “told
[Tolentino] that staff believe[d] [he was] med
seeking.” (Doc. 1 at ...