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Martinez v. Adams

June 28, 2010

STEVEN C. MARTINEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DERRAL G. ADAMS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

On February 3, 2010, Defendants Derral G. Adams, Edgar Clark, M.D., Jeffrey Neubarth, M.D., Cheryl Schutt, R.N., and Laura Schaper, R.N. ("Defendants") filed the present motion to dismiss the complaint of Plaintiff Steven C. Martinez ("Plaintiff" or "Martinez"). The motion was referred to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 302. The matter was heard on June 25, 2010, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. David A. Carrasco appeared on behalf of Defendants. Ken I. Karan appeared telephonically on behalf of Plaintiff.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed this civil rights action on December 2, 2009.

On February 3, 2010, Defendants filed the instant motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims as insufficiently plead and barred by failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

On May 8, 2010, Plaintiff filed his opposition. Defendants filed a reply on May 14, 2010.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is incarcerated at California State Prison - Corcoran ("CSPC"). He is a quadriplegic and an insulin dependent diabetic. He generally alleges that he is a victim of abuse and negligence.

Defendant Derral G. Adams ("Warden Adams") is the CSPC warden. Defendant Edgar Clark, M.D. ("Dr. Clark"), is Plaintiff's primary care physician and the Chief Medical Health Officer/Health Care Manager at CSPC. Defendant Jeffrey Neubarth, M.D. ("Dr. Neubarth"), is Plaintiff's primary care physician at CSPC.

Defendant Cheryl Schutt, R.N. ("Nurse Schutt") is Director of Nursing at the Acute Care Hospital ("ACH") at CSPC. Defendant Laura Schaper, R.N. ("Nurse Schaper") is a supervising nurse at ACH.

Individualized Allegations

Warden Adams

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Adams "received multiple written reports of medical neglect and abuse." When Warden Adams investigated, his policy was to make "misleading and false statements claiming that no neglect and abuse was taking place." His statements also were a policy to "cover up medical neglect and abuse" and his failure to hold persons accountable was "a policy of turning a blind eye to constitutional deprivations." Complaint ¶ 103.

Dr. Neubarth

On an unspecified date, Dr. Neubarth "did not act to protect Mr. Martinez's health and safety by failing to have the necessary training and skill to address Mr. Martinez's medical condition," was negligent and provided care below the standard. Complaint ¶ 88.

At an unspecified time, Dr. Neubarth "failed to provide a plan of care that addressed all of the complications facing Mr. Martinez, failed to consult with specialists to determine an appropriate care plan and to monitor Mr. Martinez's systems subject to complications due to his quadriplegia and mellitus diabetes, failed to act on recommendations from specialists, [and] failed to provide necessary adaptive devices to accommodate his disabilities." Complaint ¶ 88.

At unstated times, Dr. Neubarth "received numerous reports of medical neglect and abuse" and "hundreds of grievances filed by Plaintiff." Dr. Neubarth had a duty to review and investigate the grievances. Dr. Neubarth's policy was to make "misleading and false statements claiming that no neglect and abuse was taking place." Additionally, his statements were a policy to "cover up medical neglect and abuse" and his failure to hold persons accountable was "a policy of turning a blind eye to constitutional deprivations." Complaint ¶ 104.

Dr. Clark

On an unspecified date, Dr. Clark "disregarded Mr. Martinez's complaints about abdominal pain and breathing problems. Only when another doctor stepped in did Mr. Martinez receive treatment. Mr. Martinez had to be transported to an emergency room to treat the neglected conditions." Complaint ¶ 87.

At unstated times, Dr. Clark "received numerous reports of medical neglect and abuse" and "hundreds of grievances filed by Plaintiff." Dr. Clark had a duty to review and investigate the grievances. Dr. Clark's policy was to make "misleading and false statements claiming that no neglect and abuse was taking place." Additionally, his statements were a policy to "cover up medical neglect and abuse" and his failure to hold persons accountable was "a policy of turning a blind eye to constitutional deprivations." Complaint ¶ 104.

Nurses Schutt and Schaper

Nurses Schutt and Schaper "knew or should have known" that nurses they supervised were abusing, neglecting and failing to carry out Plaintiff's medical and nursing plan, and were "retaliating against Mr. Martinez when he exercised his rights to be free of unlawful punishment and abuse and neglect and when he complained." Nurses Schutt and Schaper "failed to properly train" their staff and breached their "duties to Mr. Martinez by failing to take action to prevent or intervene against or report abuse and neglect by nurses." Nurses Schutt and Schaper "implemented or ratified policies that allowed the deprivations, or... turned a blind eye" ...


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