The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Carlos T. Bea U.S. Court of Appeals
Order re 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Complaint
Plaintiff Julius Anderson ("Anderson"), a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against various California Medical Facility officials: Officers Towne and Zepeda; Sergeants Swan, Harris, Gilliam, and Brida; Associate Warden Fandi; Warden Veal; Building Trades Plant Operations Supervisor I Prior; and Building Trades Plant Operations Head Supervisor II O'Connor. Anderson alleges that sharp, broken tiles in the entrance to the shower in his housing unit created a substantial risk of serious harm and that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to that risk. Thus, Anderson states an Eighth Amendment claim for cruel and unusual punishment. The Court GRANTS Anderson's in forma pauperis motion, and ORDERS the amended complaint, and the summons thereon, served on defendants Towne, Zepeda, Swan, Harris, Gilliam, and Brida. However, the Court DISMISSES with leave to amend Anderson's claims against Fandi, Veal, Prior, and O'Connor, for failure to state a claim. The Court also DISMISSES with leave to amend Anderson's various state law claims for failure to state a claim.
Anderson filed his complaint on October 20, 2008. (Docket No. 1.) The case was assigned to a magistrate judge and then a district court judge before being reassigned on December 23, 2008, to Judge Carlos T. Bea of the Ninth Circuit, who sits by designation. (Docket No. 8.) Anderson filed a fifth amended complaint ("amended complaint") on September 29, 2009.*fn1 (Docket No. 15.)
Anderson's amended complaint alleges as follows. Anderson is confined in the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California. (Compl. 4.*fn2 ) He "has a severe musculoskeletal disability from a neurological impairment in the cervical and lumbar spine." (Id. at Ex. B.). "He has ongoing cervical radiculopathy symptoms associated with poor hand grip and weakness in both hands. He cannot lift, push, or pull more than one-half pound. . . . It is difficult, if not impossible, for him to move around out of his wheelchair or bed or to sit or stand." (Id.)
On September 8, 2006, he "discovered floor damage at the entrance to the H-2 shower." (Id. 13.) The "damage was an uneven depression with sharp broken tiles around the borders of the shower floor entrance." (Id.) He "showed the dangerous flooring . . . to officers Towne and Zepeda on a continuing bases [sic]." (Id.) Anderson also "continually made request[s] to Officers Towne and Zepeda to initiate a work order to have the damage repaired." (Id.) The "request[s] were uneventful." (Id.)
Between September 2006 and 2008, Anderson "made numerous request[s] for repair to Sergeants' [sic] Swan, Harris, Gilliam, and Brida." (Id.) Anderson "on a number [of] occasions told and showed Sergeants Swan, Harris, Gilliam, and Brida the damaged shower floor p[r]ior [to] plaintiff's injury." (Id.)
On October 15, 2007, Anderson "arrived at the bathroom/shower entrance door in his wheelchair." (Id.) As he entered the shower, he "tripped and fell, due to the damaged shower entrance floor." (Id. at 14.) When he fell, he "injured his left knee, head, and ear that began bleeding from cuts received on sharp broken floor tiles." (Id.) Anderson "was in great pain, shock and unable to get off the floor." (Id.)
Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), a federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity, or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. § 1915A(b)(1)--(2); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Pro se pleadings must, however, be liberally construed. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam).
On October 2, 2008, Anderson requested in forma pauperis status. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), Anderson filed an adequate affidavit in support of his in forma pauperis motion, along with a certified copy of his prison trust account statement. (Docket No. 2.) ...