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Elmer andres Rivas v. M. Adonis

December 12, 2011

ELMER ANDRES RIVAS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. ADONIS, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UNDER SECTION 1983 (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

Screening Order

I. Screening Standard

Plaintiff Elmer Andres Rivas, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on December 10, 2010. On January 5, 2011, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint as a matter of right. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a).

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

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). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences." Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). To state a viable claim for relief, Plaintiff must set forth factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Eighth Amendment Medical Care Claim

A. Summary of Claim

Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, brings this action against Warden James A. Yates, Chief Medical Officer F. Igbinosa, Physician Assistant Clinician E. Brown, Registered Nurse M. Griffin,*fn1 and Licensed Vocational Nurse M. Adonis for violating his rights under the Eighth Amendment while he was incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison.

Plaintiff alleges that he was seen by Defendant Brown on January 12, 2010, for an ear infection and ringing in his ear. Defendant Brown treated Plaintiff without reviewing his medical file, misdiagnosed Plaintiff's illness, and prescribed ear drops to which Plaintiff suffered a reaction that caused severe pain and hearing loss.

On January 15, 2010, Plaintiff sought emergency medical care, but Defendant Adonis refused to see him. Plaintiff was unable to speak with Defendant Adonis directly regarding his medical needs and he was forced to relay information through a correctional officer. Defendant Adonis, through the correctional officer, told Plaintiff that medical staff was too busy to see him and he would be seen on January 18, 2010. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Adonis failed to exercise reasonable care in determining whether Plaintiff's condition constituted an emergency.

Plaintiff was finally seen on January 22, 2010, but he endured severe pain and hearing loss in the interim, and he continues to suffer from ear infections, hearing loss, and ringing in his ears.

B. Legal Standard

To maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based on prison medical treatment, an inmate must show deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 295 (1976)) (quotation marks omitted). The two-part test for deliberate indifference requires the prisoner to show (1) a serious medical need by demonstrating that failure to treat a prisoner's condition could result in further significant injury or the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, ...


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