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Hansen v. CAL/PIA

November 15, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge


Plaintiff Gary Hansen ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time of the events alleged in his complaint, Plaintiff was in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") and incarcerated at Avenal State Prison in Avenal, California. Plaintiff is suing under Section 1983 for the violation of his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff names CAL/PIA, David Schomacher, Franegovich, Dr. Kent Yamaguchi, and Dr. Rains as defendants ("Defendants"). For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff's complaint fails to state any cognizable claims for relief. The Court further finds that the deficiencies in Plaintiff's claims are not curable by further amendment and will recommend that Plaintiff's claims be dismissed with prejudice.

I. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).

In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the Court uses the same pleading standard used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Id. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

II. Background

A. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed the original complaint in this action on September 17, 2009. (Doc. #1.) The Court screened Plaintiff's original complaint on March 19, 2010. (Doc. #8.) The Court found that Plaintiff's original complaint failed to state any claims upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff was given leave to file an amended complaint within thirty (30) days that cured the deficiencies in his claims. Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint on April 23, 2010. (Doc. #10.) This action proceeds on Plaintiff's first amended complaint.

B. Factual Background

Plaintiff alleges that he injured his hand while working in the "CAL/PIA*fn1 Furniture Factory at Avenal State Prison." Plaintiff vaguely contends that Defendants failed "to abide by the state and federal constitutional amendments guaranteeing health and saf[e]ty . . . and the code of safe practices . . . adopted by contract defendants" (Am. Compl. 4, ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff also vaguely alleges that Defendants "knowingly and deliberately violated by[sic] changing policy and calously[sic] creating and sending a severely hazzardous[sic] work order containing operations of extreme high risk, and certain mortal danger, expecting someone to be hurt, resulting in severe and permanent injury to Plaintiff." (Am. Compl. 4, ECF No. 10.)

More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he received an order to work in the mill area at the CAL/PIA furniture factory and operate a table saw to "cut a blind dado." (Am. Compl. 5, ECF No. 10.) While operating the table saw, Plaintiff cut his fingers. Plaintiff vaguely contends that Defendant Schumacher "failed to train Plaintiff in health and saf[e]ty standards so Plaintiff could protect himself when other safeguards failed." (Am. Compl. 5, ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Franegovich violated safety policies by instructing Plaintiff to "process one item before contacting Defendant . . . to inspect machine set up." (Am. Compl. 6, ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff contends that Franegovich ordered Plaintiff "to perform physical labor beyond his strength." (Am. Compl. 6, ECF No. 10.)

Plaintiff also contends that the medical treatment he received for his injury was constitutionally deficient. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Rains "left severed fingers stitched onto hand at extreme deformed 30E angel[sic] away from hand, and loose bones and tendens[sic] unsecurly[sic] packed into finger with no support, then the hand was wrapped to the elbow in a caste[sic]." (Am. Compl. 7, ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Yamaguchi failed to correct Defendant Rains' errors and failed to train staff about quality medical care. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Yamaguchi intentionally denied and delayed Plaintiff's surgery for over a year.

III. Discussion

A. Equal Protection ...

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