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Mark Meza v. Solano County Custody Division/Medical

January 7, 2011

MARK MEZA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SOLANO COUNTY CUSTODY DIVISION/MEDICAL, ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marsha J. Pechman United States District Judge

ORDER ON MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND MOTION TO AMEND

The above-entitled Court, having received and reviewed

1. Plaintiff's Motion to Amend (Dkt. No. 31), Defendant Kadevari's Response (Dkt. No. 35), Defendants' Stanton and Norris' Opposition to Motion to Amend (Dkt. No. 36), Plaintiff's Reply (Dkt. No. 41)

2. Defendant Dr. Kadevari's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. No. 37), Plaintiff's Response (Dkt. No. 46), Reply to Plaintiff's Response (Dkt. No. 49)

3. Defendants' Stanton and Norris' Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. No. 40), Plaintiff's Response and Objection (Dkt. No. 43), Reply to Plaintiff's Response (Dkt. No. 48) and all attached declarations and exhibits, makes the following ruling:

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion to amend is DENIED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' motions for summary judgment are GRANTED and this matter is DISMISSED with prejudice.

Background

Plaintiff, who is an amputee, was arrested on March 31, 2007 -- in the course of the arrest he was tasered, wrapped and had his shoulder dislocated. He was taken to an emergency room where he was treated and released to the police. Upon being booked into jail, his leg prosthesis was removed and retained and Plaintiff was given a wheelchair.

Plaintiff was in custody at the Solano County Jail approximately 18 months. The Court will not reproduce in its entirety the lengthy chronology of appointments, examinations, treatments and surgery which charts the jail's response to the medical conditions (right shoulder, prosthesis and right knee) which form the focus of Plaintiff's complaint. These chronologies can be found as attachments to both of Defendants' summary judgment motions. Dkt. Nos. 37-2 and 40-2.*fn1 Reviewing the chronology, the Court counts a total of 33 separate events -- contacts with medical facilities to make appointments or to follow up on previous visits, appointments for examinations or testing, and actual medical procedures (surgery, fitting for prosthesis) -- over the course of the year and a half Plaintiff was incarcerated in Solano County.

During his time in Solano County jail, Plaintiff filed 11 grievances related to his medical treatment. All were denied, but in only one instance did he follow through with an appeal of the denial to the next administrative level. Another undisputed fact is that Defendant Tom Norris, whom Plaintiff names as the "Chief Medical Officer" of the Solano County Jail, is in fact a nurse with no authority to authorize or order treatment. Decl. of Norris, Dkt. No. 40-8.

Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate when it is demonstrated that there is no genuine dispute of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. FRCP 56(a). The movant always bears the initial responsibility of informing the Court of the basis for the motion and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, discovery responses and affidavits which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The party moving for summary judgment may also carry its initial burden by showing that the opposing party lacks sufficient evidence to carry its ultimate burden at trial. Id. at 323-325. A complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the non-moving party's case renders all other facts immaterial. Id. at 323.

If the moving party meets its initial responsibility, the burden shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine dispute of fact actually does exist. Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 585-587 (1986). If the non-movant fails to properly address an assertion of fact, the ...


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