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Anthony Craig Huckabee v. Medical Staff At Csatf

September 28, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge



I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Anthony Craig Huckabee ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently pending before the Court is the First Amended Complaint, filed July 27, 2010. (ECF No. 15.)

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 "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted," or that "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the Court looks to the pleading standard 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. 554, 555 (2007)).

Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). "[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.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (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. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. "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. Complaint Allegations

Plaintiff is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is incarcerated at the California Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility in Corcoran. Plaintiff has open angle glaucoma and has been prescribed eye drops to treat the condition since 1998.

On July 30, 2003, Defendant Gonzales wrote a referral for ophthalmology that was denied by Defendant Bhatt. On October 8, 2003, Defendant Garcia wrote a referral that was denied by Defendant Bhatt. On August 4, 2004, Plaintiff requested an ophthalmology referral, and Defendant Wu denied the request but referred Plaintiff to optometry. In October 2004, Defendants Bhatt and Wu denied Plaintiff's request for an ophthalmology consultation. First Amended Compl. 3, ECF No. 21.*fn1

On April 27, 2005, with the knowledge that pressure was increasing in Plaintiff's eye, Defendant Wu prescribed eye drops that were half the strength of the prior medication. (Id.) Plaintiff submitted prescription renewal requests to Defendants Jeffreys and Jiminez, and his medication was not renewed. Plaintiff submitted a grievance due to the failure to renew his medication on July 21, 2005. (Id. at 21-22.) Plaintiff was without his medication for three months. When Plaintiff's eyes were examined on February 7, 2006, it was discovered the pressure in his left eye had increased. Defendants Wu and McGuinnness denied the request for a referral to ophthalmology. On February 28, 2006, Plaintiff appealed Defendant Nguyen's treatment of Plaintiff and Defendant Nguyen's refusal to refer Plaintiff to ophthalmology. (Id. at 22.)

On May 22, 2006, Plaintiff's vision had changed, and Defendant McGuinness denied an ophthalmology referral. On May 25, July 27, and August 18, 2006, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Salmi who referred him for an urgent ophthalmology consult. Defendant McGuinness denied the referrals. (Id.)

In September 2006, Plaintiff lost vision in his left eye. On September 15, 2006, Plaintiff was taken for an emergency exam and was seen by Defendant Yaplee who prescribed eye drops and recommended a laser procedure. (Id. at 4, 22.) After treatment by Defendant Yaplee, Plaintiff's pressure began to drop. On November 14, 2008, Defendant Yaplee performed laser surgery on Plaintiff and there was no beneficial effect. On March 29, 2010, Defendant Rachid performed surgery on Plaintiff and there was no beneficial effect. (Id. at 23.) Following the surgery, Plaintiff had headaches, nausea and irritation to the eye. (Id. at 24.)

Plaintiff brings this action naming 41 defendants and 100 Does claiming deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Plaintiff alleges that, due to the failure to treat and delay in treating his ...

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