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Ryan Stevens v. James Yates

March 29, 2012

RYAN STEVENS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES YATES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 9)

AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 22, 2010, Plaintiff Ryan Stevens, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 6.)

On July 5, 2011, Plaintiff voluntarily amended his pleading. (ECF No. 9); Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is now before the Court for screening.

II. 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, malicious," or 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). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

III. SUMMARY OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

The First Amended Complaint identifies the following individuals as Defendants in this action: (1) James Yates, Warden, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP); (2) John Doe Construction Company; (3) F. Igbinosa, Health Care Manager, PVSP; (4) Coalinga State Hospital; (5) J Walker, Chief, California Health Care Services; (6) Dr. Duenas, PVSP; (7) Dr. Benyamin, PVSP; (8) Dwight Winslow, M.D., Statewide Medical Director; (9) Robin Dezember, Chief Deputy Secretary Correctional Health Care; (10) Nadim Khoury, M.D., Chief Deputy Clinical Services; (11) Terry Hill, M.D., Chief Medical Officer California Prison Health Care; (12) Rick Johnson, CCII HCPO Division of Health Care Services; (13) J Clark Kelso, Federal Receiver; (14) L.D. Zamora, Chief California Prison Health Care Appeals;

(15) Anthony S. Lonigro, Chief Executive Officer Health Care Services; (16) Dr. Taher Dour; (17) A. Nesbit, PVSP Health Care Appeals Coordinator; (18) H. Martinez, PVSP Health Care Appeals Coordinator; (19) Warden Trimble; and (20) "known and unknown Defendants."

Plaintiff alleges the following:

On January 12, 2006, Plaintiff was diagnosed with Valley Fever and spent most of that year suffering from it. (Compl. at 5.) PVSP is located in an area highly endemic to Valley Fever. At the time Plaintiff became infected, Coalinga State Hospital was being built adjacent to PVSP. Valley Fever spores were released into the air as construction disturbed the otherwise dormant spores. Plaintiff was infected by breathing spores into his lungs. (Id. at 5, 6.)

PVSP was unprepared to treat Plaintiff's infection; he and other prisoners were initially misdiagnosed. (Id. at 6.) Valley Fever is "an incurable fungal parasite that can reactivate at any time . . . ." (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff continues to experience chronic pain in his left lung and breathing difficulties. (Id.)

The parties who sold the land where PVSP now sits, those that purchased the land, "and the John Doe construction company that built this prison were aware that this was a highly endemic area [for Valley Fever] . . . ." (Id. at 9.) These individuals disregarded the fact that inmates would become sick and, in some cases, die. (Id.)

On September 9, 2010, PVSP medical staff implemented a program whereby "medication and treatment" were removed from inmates' possession. (Id. at 12.) During the implementation of this program Plaintiff "was accused of drug seeking." (Id.) Over a period of time Plaintiff was denied necessary medical treatments (surgery, MRI, analgesic medication, and a back brace) on the grounds that they were "'not medically indicated.'"

(Id. at 12.)

Plaintiff asserts that the aforementioned conduct violated his Eighth Amendment right ...


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