Huckabee v. Medical Staff at CSATF et al

Filing 199

ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS DISMISSING Certain Claims and Defendants 195 , signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 4/17/17: This action is REFERRED back to the assigned magistrate judge for further proceedings consistent with this order. (Hellings, J)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ANTHONY CRAIG HUCKABEE, 12 13 14 15 No. 1:09-cv-00749 DAD-BAM (PC) Plaintiff, v. MEDICAL STAFF AT CSATF, et al., Defendants. ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS DISMISSING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS (Doc. No. 195) 16 17 18 Plaintiff Anthony Craig Huckabee, a state prisoner, proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action filed on April 28, 2009. (Doc. Nos. 1, 6.) 19 On January 10, 2017, the assigned magistrate judge granted defendants’ request for 20 screening of plaintiff’s fifth amended complaint and issued findings and recommendations 21 recommending that this action proceed on plaintiff’s claim alleged in his fifth amended complaint 22 for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment against 23 defendants Wu, McGuiness, Enenmoh, Jeffreys, and Jimenez in their individual capacities and 24 that all other claims and defendants be dismissed from this action. (Doc. No. 195.) Those 25 findings and recommendations were served on plaintiff and all defendants appearing in this action 26 and contained notice that any objections thereto were to be filed within fourteen (14) days after 27 service of the findings and recommendations. (Id. at 16.) Plaintiff filed timely objections to the 28 findings and recommendations on February 9, 2017. (Doc. No. 10.) 1 1 In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(c), the undersigned has 2 conducted a de novo review of the case, including plaintiff’s objections. Plaintiff’s primary 3 objection to the pending findings and recommendations is the magistrate judge’s conclusion that 4 plaintiff has failed to state a claim against defendant Dr. Nguyen for deliberate indifference to his 5 serious medical need based on Dr. Nguyen’s alleged refusal to refer plaintiff to an 6 ophthalmologist. Plaintiff argues that, given all of the information provided in his file, in the 7 report from a contract optometrist, and plaintiff’s statements regarding his vision, pain, and fear 8 of going blind, Dr. Nguyen must have been deliberately indifferent in not referring him to an 9 ophthalmologist. (Doc. No. 10 at 2.) As noted in the pending findings and recommendations, Dr. Nguyen’s alleged refusal to 10 11 refer plaintiff to an ophthalmologist based on the optometrist’s recommendation and instead 12 renew plaintiff’s glaucoma medications amounts to nothing more than a disagreement between 13 medical providers regarding the appropriate course of treatment and is not sufficient to support a 14 claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. “A difference of opinion between a 15 physician and the prisoner—or between medical professionals—concerning what medical care is 16 appropriate does not amount to deliberate indifference.” Snow v. McDaniel, 681 F.3d 978, 987 17 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing Sanchez v. Vild, 891 F.2d 240, 242 (9th Cir. 1989)), overruled in part on 18 other grounds in Peralta v. Dillard, 744 F.3d 1076, 1082-83 (9th Cir. 2014); Wilhelm v. Rotman, 19 680 F.3d 1113, 1122 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing Jackson v. McIntosh, 90 F.3d 330, 332 (9th Cir. 20 1986)). 21 Plaintiff also objects to the magistrate judge’s determination that the allegations of 22 plaintiff’s fifth amended complaint failed to link Dr. Nguyen to plaintiff’s failure to receive his 23 renewed medication. Plaintiff contends that magistrate judge recognized that a primary care 24 physician, such as Dr. Nguyen, is charged by the relevant regulations with following up with a 25 patient’s treatment, including the renewal and dispensing of medications. (Doc. No. 196 at 3; 26 Doc. No. 195 at 14.) Having reviewed plaintiff’s objections and the allegations of his fifth 27 amended complaint, the undersigned agrees that plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to 28 support a claim that Dr. Nguyen was responsible for the renewal and dispensing of medications 2 1 pursuant to regulation. The relevant portion of the findings and recommendations reflect 2 plaintiff’s allegations that Dr. Nguyen agreed to renew plaintiff’s medications and a primary care 3 provider is responsible for following up with the inmate-patient until a specialist appointment 4 occurs. (Doc. No. 195 at 13, 14; Doc. No. 193 at 24, ¶ 41.) Moreover, in his fifth amended 5 complaint plaintiff alleged that Dr. Nguyen was to “deliver medically necessary heath care 6 services” and “treat the identified medical condition with quality medical care.” (Doc. No. 193 at 7 25, ¶ 54.) As found by the magistrate judge, plaintiff’s fifth amended complaint failed to include 8 factual allegations linking Dr. Nguyen to the alleged failure to renew plaintiff’s medications. As 9 recommended by the assigned magistrate judge, plaintiff’s claim against Dr. Nguyen will be 10 dismissed from this action. 11 In his objections, plaintiff also challenges the recommendation of the magistrate judge that 12 his claims of emotional distress and those brought under the continuing violations doctrine be 13 dismissed. Plaintiff represents that he is not seeking to present state law claims or to extend the 14 time to include new defendants in this action. Rather, plaintiff asserts that he was merely using 15 these purported claims “to illustrate the pain, anguish and distress caused plaintiff by these 16 defendants over the last 17 years. And to show that the defendants listed, violated plaintiff 17 beyond the time frame set by this court.” (Doc. No. 196 at 3.) In this regard, plaintiff’s 18 objections provide no basis upon which the undersigned could disagree with the findings and 19 recommendations. 20 For all of the reasons set forth above: 21 1. The findings and recommendations (Doc. No. 195) issued on January 10, 2017, are 22 adopted in full; 2. This action shall proceed on plaintiff’s claim for deliberate indifference to serious 23 24 medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment brought against defendants Wu, McGuiness, 25 Enenmoh, Jeffreys, and Jimenez as alleged in his fifth amended complaint (Doc. No. 193); 3. All other claims and defendants are dismissed from this action based on plaintiff’s 26 27 failure to state claims upon which relief may be granted; and 28 ///// 3 1 4. This action is referred back to the assigned magistrate judge for further proceedings 2 consistent with this order. 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 Dated: April 17, 2017 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?