Estate of Mark Anthony Scott et al v. County of Sacramento et al

Filing 66

ORDER signed by Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. on 11/13/2014 GRANTING defendant Caryl Skerritt's 46 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (Marciel, M)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 9 10 11 12 Estate of MARK ANTHONY SCOTT, deceased, by and through MARY SCOTT, TINA SCOTT, REGINA ALLEN, and KIM NZIBO as Successors in Interest; MARY SCOTT, Individually; TINA SCOTT, Individually; REGINA ALLEN, Individually; and KIM NZIBO, Individually, 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 No. 2-13-cv-00024-GEB-KJN ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT SKERRITT’S PARTIAL MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT Plaintiffs, v. COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO; Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department Sheriff SCOTT JONES; Sacramento County Main Jail Commander Captain ROSEANNE RICHAEL; Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department Chief of Correctional and Court Services JAMIE LEWIS; Sacramento County Main Jail Chief of Correctional Health Services AARON BREWER; Sacramento County Jail Systems Medical Director ROBERT PADILLA, MD; Sacramento County Main Jail Director of Nursing with Correctional Health Services PAM HARRIS; Sacramento County Main Jail Watch Commander, Lieutenant GEORGE McKEEL (#11); Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department JAMES TIDWELL (#897); Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department Deputy DAVID PANTOJA (#2615); Sacramento County Sheriff‟s 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 Department Deputy KEN BECKER (#931); Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department Deputy MICHAEL MATRANGA (#572); Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department Sergeant MICHAEL XIONG (#71); Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department Sergeant SCOTT HUFFORD (#41); CARYL SKERRITT, RN, and DOES 1 through 40, inclusive, 7 Defendants. 8 Defendant 9 Caryl judgment Skerritt two summary 11 against her 12 specifically, 13 Skerritt was deliberately indifferent to decedent Mark Scott‟s 14 serious medical need, and the portion of claim five in which 15 Plaintiffs 16 Government Code Section 17 action to summon medical care for Mark Scott. federal allege First claim that one Skerritt the three Amended in is claims for partial Plaintiffs of moves 10 in on (“Skerritt”) Complaint which alleged (“FAC”); Plaintiff liable under alleges California 845.6 for her failure to take reasonable 18 Plaintiffs allege in the FAC that “[t]his action stems 19 Mark Scott‟s death at the Sacramental County Main Jail on January 20 6, 2012.” (FAC ¶ 3, ECF No. 6.) I. 21 A 22 of party LEGAL STANDARD seeking demonstrating summary material 25 (1986). 26 substantive 27 Thrifty Oil Co. v. Bank of Am. Nat‟l Trust & Sav. Ass‟n, 322 F.3d 28 1039, 1046 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, “A fact law, is it v. „material‟ could affect 2 a Catrett, when, the genuine initial 24 Corp. of the burden Celotex absence bears 23 fact. the judgment 477 under outcome issue of U.S. 317, 323 the governing of the case.” 1 Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). 2 If a movant satisfies its “initial burden,” “the 3 nonmoving party must set forth . . . „specific facts showing that 4 there is a genuine issue for trial.‟” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. 5 Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass‟n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987) 6 (quoting 7 cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by 8 citing to particular . . . material in the record . . . or 9 showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or 10 presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot 11 produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Rule 56(c)(1). 12 Summary 13 favorable to the nonmoving party, and all reasonable inferences 14 must be drawn in favor of that party.” Sec. & Exch. Comm‟n v. 15 Todd, 642 F.3d 1207, 1215 (9th Cir. 2011) (citing Johnson v. 16 Paradise Valley Unified Sch. Dist., 251 F.3d 1222, 1227 (9th Cir. 17 2001)). former judgment Rule 56(e)). “evidence “A must party be asserting viewed in that the a light 18 23 Any party opposing a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication [must] reproduce the itemized facts in the [moving party‟s] Statement of Undisputed Facts and admit those facts that are undisputed and deny those that are disputed, including with each denial a citation to the particular... document relied upon in support of that denial. 24 If most Further, Local Rule 260(b) prescribes: 19 fact 20 21 22 the nonmovant does not “specifically . . . 25 [controvert duly supported] facts identified in the [movant‟s] 26 statement of undisputed facts,” the nonmovant “is deemed to have 27 admitted the validity of the facts contained in the [movant‟s] 28 statement.” Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 527 (2006). A district 3 1 court has “no independent duty „to scour the record in search of 2 a genuine issue of triable fact.‟” Simmons 3 Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Keenan v. 4 Allan, 91 F.3d 1275, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996)). 5 II. v. Navajo Cnty., UNCONTROVERTED FACTS 6 The following facts are either uncontroverted in the 7 summary judgment record under Local Rule 260(b), or considered 8 uncontroverted since they are undisputed. 9 Skerritt was working as a registered nurse at the 10 Sacramento County Main Jail on January 6, 2012, the date on which 11 Mark Scott died. (Pls.‟ Resp. & Opp‟n Skerrit‟s SUF (“SUF”) ¶ 13, 12 ECF No. 51.) While on duty that day, she received a call from a 13 Sacramento County Sheriff‟s Department Deputy who “told Skerritt 14 that Scott complained that he was sick and vomiting.” (SUF ¶ 31.) 15 After accessing Scott‟s electronic medical records, Skerrit told 16 the deputy that Scott “probably should fill out a kite so he 17 could see a nurse at some point.” (Id. ¶¶ 21, 23.) “Skerritt 18 understood that the kite would be picked up in ordinary course 19 that 20 placement on nurse‟s sick call.” (Id. ¶ 24.) 21 did not see anything in the chart that indicated to her that an 22 episode of vomiting was a sign of an emergent or urgent issue, 23 she advised the deputy to also tell the inmate to drink water to 24 replenish his fluids lost.” (Id. ¶ 25.) 25 day and would “Scott was be reviewed sick and by a vomiting registered nurse for “Since. . .Skerritt blood . . .” Pls.‟ 26 Separate Stat. Disputed Facts) ¶ 20, ECF No. 53.) The deputy did 27 not tell Skerritt that Scott‟s vomitus contained blood. (SUF ¶ 28 37.) 4 1 No one condition at the during jail After 4 home to inform Skerritt that Scott had passed away. (Id. ¶ 30.) Deliberate ¶ 31.) Skerritt‟s shift ended, a co-worker contacted her at Skerritt‟s A. (Id. about 3 6 shift. again Scott‟s III. work Skerritt 2 5 her contacted DISCUSSION Indifference to Serious 7 Skerritt Needs in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 8 Medical seeks summary judgment on Plaintiffs‟ 9 deliberate indifference claim, arguing that no reasonable jury 10 could find she had knowledge Scott was suffering from a “serious 11 medical need,” since “an episode of vomiting, standing alone, 12 does 13 assessment.” (Mot. & Mem. P&A ISO Def.‟s Mot. Partial Summ. J. 14 (“Mot.”) 5:7-10, ECF No. 46-1.) not call for nor require emergent care or urgent 15 Plaintiffs counter it is disputed whether Skerritt was 16 “deliberately indifferent [to Scott‟s medical needs, since she 17 did] not . . . obtain information from . . . Scott [before] 18 choosing not to see him,” notwithstanding 19 [Scott‟s] vomit” and the blood was “an indicator of a serious 20 emergent medical need . . . .” (Pls.‟ Mem. P&A Opp‟n Def. Mot. 21 Partial Summ. J. (“Opp‟n”) 7:2-7, ECF No. 49.) that “[b]lood [was] in 22 The elements of the deliberate indifference claim at 23 issue require Plaintiffs to prove that Scott had a (1) serious 24 medical need and (2) that Skerritt‟s response to that need was 25 deliberately indifferent. Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 26 (9th Cir. 2006). A medical need is “serious” when “failure to 27 treat it will result in „significant injury or the unnecessary 28 and wanton infliction of pain.‟” Peralta v. Dillard, 744 F.3d 5 1 1076, 1081 (9th Cir. 2014.) 2 To act with deliberate indifference, “the [medical 3 provider] must both be aware of facts from which the inference 4 could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, 5 and... draw the inference.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 835 6 (1994). Deliberate indifference “requires more than ordinary lack 7 of due care for [a] prisoner‟s interest[] and safety.” Id. “A 8 prison [medical provider] is deliberately indifferent . . . [to 9 an inmate‟s serious medical condition] only if the [provider] 10 knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health and 11 safety.‟” 12 Toguchi v. Chang, 391 F.3d 1051, 1057 (9th Cir. 2004)). 13 Colwell Here, v. the Bannister, 763 uncontroverted F.3d facts 1060, do 1066 not (quoting show that 14 Skerritt was aware of the serious medical condition Scott had, 15 and therefore, she “did not provide constitutionally deficient 16 treatment by failing to address a [condition] of which she was 17 not aware.” Rouster v. Cnty. of Saginaw, 749 F.3d 437, 449 (6th 18 Cir. 2014)(stating even if the “best medical practices” were not 19 followed, 20 indifference if [the medical provider] did not know that [the 21 inmate‟s] stomach [problem] was caused by a serious ailment.”). 22 23 24 25 this “is Therefore, not necessarily Skerritt‟s evidence summary of judgment deliberate motion on Plaintiffs‟ deliberate indifference claim is granted. B. Failure to Summon Medical Care Skerritt also seeks summary judgment on Plaintiffs‟ 26 claim that she is liable for her failure to summon medical care 27 for Scott, arguing the record is devoid of evidence from which a 28 reasonable inference could be drawn that she knew or had reason 6 1 to know Scott suffered from an “obvious and serious” medical 2 condition. (Mot. 6:20-26.) 3 Under California Government Code Section 845.6, “a 4 public employee is liable for injury proximately caused by the 5 failure of the employee to furnish or obtain medical care for a 6 prisoner in h[er] custody . . . if the employee knows or has 7 reason to know that the prisoner is in need of immediate medical 8 care and [s]he fails to take reasonable action to summon such 9 medical care.” “Liability under section 845.6 is limited to 10 serious and obvious medical conditions requiring immediate care.” 11 Watson v. State, 21 Cal. App. 4th 836, 841 (1993). 12 Plaintiffs counter the summary judgment motion arguing 13 that Skerritt “knew that blood in vomit . . . is frequently an 14 indicator of a serious emergent medical need.” (Opp‟n 15:11-18.) 15 Whether or not Skerritt knows that blood in vomit could be an 16 indicator of a serious and obvious medical condition is not the 17 issue. 18 knowledge 19 Skerritt is entitled to summary judgment. The uncontroverted Scott was vomiting 20 IV. 21 facts demonstrate blood. (SUF ¶ Skerritt 37.) had no Therefore, CONCLUSION For the reasons stated above, Skerritt‟s motion for 22 partial summary judgment in GRANTED. 23 Dated: November 13, 2014 24 25 26 27 28 7

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