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Gregory Edison v. Geo Group

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 3, 2013

GREGORY EDISON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
GEO GROUP, INC., MANAGEMENT & TRAINING CORP (MTC) INC., AND DOES 1-50,
DEFENDANTS
GREGORY EDISON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, GEO GROUP, INC., MANAGEMENT & TRAINING CORP (MTC) INC., AND DOES 1-50,
DEFENDANTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Sheila Oberto

RELATED CASES

ORDER VACATING JANUARY 7, 2013 HEARINGS, JANUARY 28, 2013 ORDER REFERRING PENDING MOTIONS TO DISMISS TO HEARINGS, AND MARCH 4, 2012 HEARING

Plaintiff was a federal prisoner at Taft Correctional Facility ("Taft"). Plaintiff alleges that entities running Taft violated state and federal law while Plaintiff was incarcerated there. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that Defendants were negligent by housing Plaintiff at a location known for Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis), failing to properly mitigate Plaintiff's exposure to Valley Fever, and neglecting to appropriately treat Plaintiff's Valley Fever, after Plaintiff contracted it.

For unknown reasons, Plaintiff has filed a total of three actions concerning these events.*fn1

The various Defendants in these actions have now filed motions to dismiss and set these motions to dismiss for several different hearing dates. The court's understanding of the three cases is set forth below:

Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO, is proceeding on Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint, filed on November 14, 2012. In 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO, Plaintiff names the United States of America, the GEO Group, and Management & Training Corporation ("MTC") as Defendants. Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO alleges a negligence cause of action against the United States of American, pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, for Defendants' failure to provide Plaintiff with a safe and habitable prison and for the United States of American's failure to operate and maintain Taft in a safe and habitable condition. Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO also alleges that the United States of American breached its duty of care under 18 U.S.C. § 4042(a). Finally, Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO alleges that the GEO Group and MTC were negligent in failing to provide, operate, and maintain a safe and habitable prison.

Case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO was originally filed in the Kern County Superior Court on October 9, 2012. This action names the GEO Group and MTC as Defendants. Case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO alleges Defendants were negligent for failing to provide a safe and habitable prison and Defendants were negligent in their use of the premises. As with Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO, Case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO is also based on allegations that Taft is located on a site immersed in the airborne spores that case Valley Fever and Defendants failed to implement preventative measures to protect Plaintiff from the infection he now carries. Because Defendants and Plaintiff are citizens of different states, on November 26, 2012, Defendants removed Case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO to this court.

Case 1:12-cv-2026 AWI SKO was filed on December 13, 2012. Case 1:12-cv-2026 AWI SKO names the United States of America, the GEO Group, and MTC as Defendants. Case 1:12-cv-2026 AWI SKO alleges a negligence cause of action against the United States of American, pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, for the United States of America's failure to provide inmates with a safe and habitable prison and for the United States of American's failure to operate and maintain prison facilities in safe and habitable conditions. Case 1:12-cv-2026 AWI SKO also alleges the United States of American breached its duty of care under 18 U.S.C. § 4042(a). Finally, case 1:12-cv-2026 AWI SKO alleges the GEO Group and MTC were negligent in failing to provide, operate, and maintain a safe and habitable prison.

As stated above, multiple motions have been filed in Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO and Case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO.*fn2 In Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO: Defendant GEO Group has filed a motion to dismiss set for hearing on January 7, 2013; Defendant United States of America has filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction set for hearing on March 4, 2013; and, Defendant MTC has set a motion to dismiss for hearing on January 28, 2013. In Case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO: Defendant GEO Group filed a motion to dismiss set for hearing on January 7, 2013; and, Defendant MTC has set a motion to dismiss for hearing on January 28, 2013.

The court has reviewed the five pending motions in Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO and case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO. The pending motions all concern whether Plaintiff has exhausted relevant administrative remedies and whether the complaints' allegations about Taft's conditions state a claim for negligence. Because these cases and the pending motions concern prison conditions, the court finds that these motion should be referred to Magistrate Judge Sheila Oberto pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 72 for the entry for Findings and Recommendations.

Accordingly, it is HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The five pending motions to dismiss in Case 1:12-cv-1654 AWI SKO and Case 1:12-cv-1933 AWI SKO are REFERRED to Magistrate Judge Sheila Oberto;

2. The hearing dates before the undersigned on January 7, 2013, January 28, 2013, and March 4, 2012 are VACATED;

3. In the event Magistrate Judge Sheila Oberto desires to hold a hearing on some or all of the pending motions, Magistrate Judge Sheila Oberto's Chambers will contact the parties and set a hearing date at Magistrate Judge Sheila Oberto's convenience.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE


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