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Michael B. Williams v. H. Brar

April 11, 2012

MICHAEL B. WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
H. BRAR, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL (Docs. 1, 6, 7)

FIRST SCREENING ORDER (1) DISMISSING DEFENDANTS (2) DISMISSING WIDODO AND AHLIN, AND FREEMAN, CLAIM AGAINST DEFENDANTS BRAR AND WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Michael B. Williams, a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on August 18, 2011. "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).

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 survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Plaintiff's Claims

A. Claims Against Defendants Brar and Freeman - Medical Care

1. Allegations

Plaintiff is currently detained at Coalinga State Hospital (CSH) and he brings this action against CSH Executive Director Pam Ahlin; Dr. H. Brar, a contract nephrologist; Imgrid Freeman, Dr. Brar's nurse and assistant; and Rudy Widodo, a psychiatric technician at CSH. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his rights under the United States Constitution relating to his medical care and disciplinary proceedings instituted against him. Plaintiff seeks damages, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and the appointment of counsel.

Plaintiff alleges that he had heart bypass surgery on January 26, 2008, and medical officials at CSH put him on ferrous sulfate, 325 mg., twice a day "without his informed consent." (Comp., ¶14.) Over the next thirty-two months, Plaintiff developed serious medical problems, including abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and kidney damage, which Plaintiff blames on a higher than normal ferrous sulfate dosage. Plaintiff also suffered from chronic, spasmodic lower back pain, which his health care providers determined was arthritis and for which they provided different prescription medications.

On December 3, 2010, Defendants Brar and Freeman interviewed Plaintiff for the stated purpose of discontinuing those medications which were having the most adverse effect on Plaintiff's kidneys. Plaintiff alleges that neither Defendant Brar nor Defendant Freeman mentioned the high dose of iron he was taking, which Plaintiff believes was causing devastating damage to his kidneys and serious side effects such as pain in his kidneys and lower extremities, and a back-up of body waste. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants should not have continued him on the higher than recommended dose of ferrous sulfate without his informed consent, because they knew or should have known that it would cause him to develop cardiac disease and/or increase his risk of developing cirrhosis, heart failure, kidney failure, or death due to overdose.

On January 10, 2011, Defendant Freeman tried to schedule another nephrology follow-up appointment for Plaintiff, but he declined the appointment because by ...


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