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Thomas Cavner v. Erica Weinstein

November 8, 2011

THOMAS CAVNER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERICA WEINSTEIN, M.D.,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 55)

Plaintiff is a civil detainee proceeding pro se in this civil rights action. The parties have consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff has opposed the motion.*fn1

I. Procedural History

This action was initiated by civil complaint filed on February 2, 2007. Plaintiff names as defendants Chief Medical Officer Dr. Erica Weinstein and Executive Director Thomas Voss, employees of the California Department of Mental Health at Coalinga State Hospital. The events that give rise to this lawsuit occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Coalinga. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Weinstein "failed or refused, after repeated complaints by the Plaintiff, to provide any medical attention for documented medical problems that Plaintiff was experiencing." (Compl. p.3.)

On May 18, 2007, an order was entered, finding that the complaint stated a cognizable claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Weinstein and Voss for failure to provide Plaintiff with adequate medical treatment in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. On February 11, 2011, an order was entered, dismissing Defendant Voss from this action on the ground that Plaintiff failed to provide information to enable the U.S. Marshal to effect service of process. On April 1, 2011, Defendant Weinstein file the motion for summary judgment that is before the Court. Plaintiff filed opposition to the motion on May 12, 2011, and Defendant filed a reply on May 26, 2011.

II. Claims

Plaintiff specifically alleges that on October 27, 2005, he was received at Coalinga State

Hospital from Atascadero State Hospital. Plaintiff explained that he was "in need for a replacement denture, broken glasses, and also attention for an injury received as a result of the transportation officers placing the handcuffs to tight on his left wrist." (Compl. p. 6.) Plaintiff was assured by "level of care staff" that he would be treated. Id. Plaintiff alleges that for "the next several months," he tried, without success, to receive treatment for his medical problems.

A. Dental Treatment

Plaintiff alleges that he was not seen by a dentist until November 30, 2006. Plaintiff alleges that he was seen on three separate occasions. Impressions for dentures were taken and a broken denture was repaired and returned to Plaintiff. The repaired dentures broke within a week. During that same week, the new dentures needed adjustment. When Plaintiff attempted to get an appointment, the dental assistant told Plaintiff not to wear the dentures if they did not fit.

B. Optical Treatment

Plaintiff was seen by the optometrist at Coalinga State Hospital. The optometrist determined that Plaintiff needed one contact lens to compensate for his vision disability. Plaintiff was advised that "the hospital" does not furnish contact lens, although Plaintiff was provided a contact lens at Atascadero.

C. Wrist Treatment

Plaintiff alleges that his wrist was injured by transportation staff while being transported to Coalinga. Although Plaintiff alleges that the injury was not intentional, he does allege that he had to wait an unreasonable amount of time to receive treatment. Plaintiff was seen on three separate occasions. On the third visit, X-rays were taken. In November of 2006, after the third visit, Plaintiff was informed that he suffered a fractured wrist. Plaintiff was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who advised Plaintiff that there was no break, and that he suffered an injury to the tendon. The doctor advised Plaintiff ...


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