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Lucien-Calixte v. David

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 16, 2019

Sandra Lucien-Calixte, Plaintiff,
Neal David and Town of Stoughton, Defendants.


          Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge

         This case involves claims by Sandra Lucien-Calixte (“plaintiff” or “Lucien-Calixte”) that defendant Police Officer Neal David (“Officer David”) and defendant Town of Stoughton (“the Town”) (collectively, “defendants”) wrongfully caused her arrest and prosecution.

         This Court previously allowed defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings without prejudice and allowed plaintiff leave to amend her complaint (Docket Entry No. 30). Plaintiff filed her First Amended Complaint on August 22, 2018 (Docket Entry No. 33).

         In her First Amended Complaint, plaintiff asserts violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and M.G.L. c. 12 § 11I, as well as a common law claim of malicious prosecution. Pending before the court is defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff avers that she lived with and provided “round the clock care” for her aunt, Marie Belfort-Bois (“Belfort-Bois”). In January, 2013, Belfort-Bois suffered a stroke and was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital (“the Hospital”). While at the Hospital, where she was fed intravenously, Belfort-Bois suffered from several medical conditions, including bed sores and low body temperature. In March, 2013, Belfort-Bois was placed in hospice care, but she survived and was returned to plaintiff's care in June, 2013. In July, 2013, Carmel Duversonne (“Ms. Duversonne”), a Home Health aide, began periodically visiting Belfort-Bois to assist plaintiff with her care.

         Lucien-Calixte, a registered nurse and trained pulmonary therapist, handled the majority of Belfort-Bois' care after June, 2013. Belfort-Bois was housed in a makeshift hospital room set up in the basement of plaintiff's home.

         On February 16, 2014, plaintiff summoned emergency medical help for Belfort-Bois. A first responder found Belfort-Bois dehydrated and with low oxygen saturation. She was readmitted to the Hospital. After triaging and tending to Belfort-Bois, Nurse Perdigao called the Stoughton Police Department to report what she believed to be “troubling” health concerns. Nurse Perdigao reported that Belfort-Bois was dehydrated, had serious bed sores, low body temperature, a soiled diaper and dirty catheter and feeding tubes. Nurse Perdigao also submitted a written Elder Abuse Mandated Reporter Form.

         Officer David responded to the call and began a police report that ultimately served as the initial charging document. Plaintiff contends that that report attributes the following statements to Ms. Duversonne which Ms. Duversonne never made: 1) that Belfort-Bois was receiving below average care, 2) that the basement in which Belfort-Bois slept was “very cold, ” 3) that Belfort-Bois was sleeping in an unfinished basement and 4) that Ms. Duversonne complained about Belfort-Bois' condition to her supervisor and asked to be taken off of her case. Plaintiff alleges that Ms. Duversonne's grand jury testimony directly contradicts those statements.

         On February 21, 2014, Officer David applied for charges against Lucien-Calixte for elder abuse and neglect based on his police report. That same day, a magistrate issued a warrant and Lucien-Calixte was arrested.

         On March 4, 2014, Officer David amended his report to include an additional interview with Dr. Kesselman, Belfort- Bois' treating physician. In his amended report, Officer David attributed the following statement to Dr. Kesselman:

I asked Dr. Kesselman in his professional opinion if [Belfort-Bois'] case was a case of neglect? Dr. Kesselman stated [Belfort-Bois'] situation was definitely a case of neglect.

         Plaintiff contends that Dr. Kesselman never expressed such an opinion but instead suggested Belfort-Bois' conditions were due to natural causes.

         Plaintiff also alleges that Officer David concealed Belfort-Bois' medical records, which established that the health problems that concerned medical staff at the Hospital began before plaintiff was charged with Belfort-Bois' care.

         A grand jury indicted Lucien-Calixte in June, 2014, and she was charged and arraigned in Superior Court the following month. After a trial in 2017, Lucien-Calixte was acquitted of all criminal charges.

         Plaintiff seeks damages for her legal fees, emotional distress and loss of income as a result of her besmirched reputation as a nurse. She also seeks punitive damages and requests that this Court enjoin Officer David from filing false reports and order him to submit to further police training.

         Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint specifically alleges that 1) defendants deprived her of clearly established and well settled constitutional rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 2) the Town maintained improper policies and customs for its law enforcement officers in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 3) defendants violated the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, M.G.L. c. 12 § 11I and 4) Officer David maliciously prosecuted plaintiff.

         II. Motion to Dismiss

         A. Standard of Review

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In considering the merits of a motion to dismiss, the Court may only look to the facts alleged in the pleadings, documents attached as exhibits or incorporated by reference in the complaint and matters of which judicial notice can be taken. Nollet v. Justices of Trial Court of Mass., 83 F.Supp.2d 204, 208 (D. Mass. 2000), aff'd, 228 F.3d 1127 (1st Cir. 2000).

         Furthermore, the Court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Langadinos v. Am. Airlines, Inc.,199 F.3d 68, 69 (1st Cir. 2000). If the facts in the complaint are sufficient to state a cause of action, a ...

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