Tenore v. Goodgame et al

Filing 75

ORDER signed by Senior Judge William B. Shubb on 3/7/14 ORDERING that the FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS filed 2/6/14 67 are ADOPTED in full; and Defendants' MOTION for Summary Judgment 44 is DENIED as to Defendants Tseng and Goodgame and GRANTED as to defendants Smith, Heffner and Heatley.(Mena-Sanchez, L) (Main Document 75 replaced on 3/7/2014) (Mena-Sanchez, L).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MICHAEL TENORE, 12 13 14 No. 2:11-cv-1082 WBS CKD P Plaintiff, v. ORDER NATHANAEL GOODGAME, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed this civil rights action seeking relief 18 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 19 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. 20 On February 6, 2014, the magistrate judge filed findings and recommendations herein 21 which were served on all parties and which contained notice to all parties that any objections to 22 the findings and recommendations were to be filed within fourteen days. Both plaintiff and 23 defendants have filed objections to the findings and recommendations. 24 In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Local Rule 304, this 25 court has conducted a de novo review of this case. Having carefully reviewed the entire file, the 26 court finds the findings and recommendations to be supported by the record and by proper 27 analysis. 28 In his objections, plaintiff concedes summary judgment is proper as to defendants Smith 1 1 and Heffner, but contends that summary judgment is improper as to Dr. Heatley, who plaintiff 2 claims knew of the scabies outbreak in the prison and had received plaintiff’s requests for further 3 medical assistance. However, the undidputed evidence shows Dr. Heatley only treated plaintiff 4 for unrelated conditions and, therefore, does not support a causal connection between any acts or 5 omissions and plaintiff’s injury. Plaintiff also requests an extension of time for further discovery 6 and an order to compel the production of certain documents. These requests may be addressed by 7 the magistrate judge. 8 9 Defendants raise three objections to the findings and recommendations. First, defendants contend that the magistrate judge improperly relied upon inadmissible evidence and treated 10 plaintiff’s allegations as fact despite defendants’ evidence to the contrary. Many of the 11 statements defendants object to, however, are the magistrate judge’s characterization of the facts 12 or factual inferences, rather than inadmissible items of evidence from plaintiff. The other factual 13 objections are not central to the court’s analysis and the court will reject these objections as moot. 14 Second, defendants object to the magistrate judge’s analysis of plaintiff’s deliberate 15 indifference claim against Dr. Tseng and Nurse Goodgame--in particular the determination that 16 Tseng and Goodgame “(possibly) knew and disregarded plaintiff’s risk of having scabies when 17 other treatments proved ineffective.” However, viewing the facts in the light most favorable to 18 plaintiff, such an inference is reasonable given that the record supports findings that plaintiff 19 constantly raised the issue of scabies to no avail, there may have been a scabies outbreak in the 20 prison at the time, and the various treatments plaintiff received were ineffective until he received 21 scabies medication. Nurse Goodgame’s comment that the reason plaintiff did not receive relief 22 “could be [his] attitude” further raises a factual dispute as to defendants’ knowledge and 23 motivation. See Jackson v. McIntosh, 90 F.3d 330, 332 (9th Cir. 1996) (stating that a plaintiff 24 can support a claim of deliberate indifference by showing that a physician’s treatment decision 25 was motivated by something other than medical judgment). 26 Finally, defendants object based on their contention that Dr. Tseng and Nurse Goodgame 27 are entitled to qualified immunity. To the contrary, courts hold that a determination that triable 28 issues remain as to deliberate indifference precludes summary judgment on the ground that 2 1 defendants could reasonably have believed their conduct did not violate clearly established law. 2 Jackson, 90 F.3d at 332; see also Albers v. Whitley, 743 F.2d 1372, 1376 (9th Cir. 1984) (noting 3 that deliberate indifference and qualified immunity are “mutually exclusive”), rev’d on other 4 grounds, 475 U.S. 312 (1986). 5 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 6 1. The findings and recommendations filed February 6, 2014 are adopted in full; and 7 2. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 44) is denied as to defendants 8 Tseng and Goodgame and granted as to defendants Smith, Heffner and Heatley. 9 Dated: March 7, 2014 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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