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Farley v. Raso

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 12, 2014

ANTHONY DALE FARLEY, Plaintiff, V. RASO; et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

SUSAN ILLSTON, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Anthony Dale Farley filed this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, complaining about the medical treatment he received at Correctional Training Facility ("CTF") and California State Prison - Solano ("CSP-Solano"). Defendants now move for summary judgment on Farley's claims. Farley has filed an opposition, and defendants have filed a reply. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted and judgment entered in defendants' favor.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted:

On March 6, 2012, Farley had a diagnostic ultrasound of his abdomen. Docket # 1-2 at 25. The exam indicated that Farley had tense abdominal ascites and problems breathing. Id. While at Mercy Hospital of Bakersfield, a dietician noted that Farley was at nutritional risk because he had low platelets and had end stage liver disease. Id. at 30. Prior to Farley's transfer to CTF, Farley was diagnosed with End Stage Liver Disease ("ESLD") with cirrhosis. Javate Decl. at ¶ 9.

Defendant V. Raso was the Chief Deputy Warden of CTF. Defendant Dr. Javate was a medical doctor at CTF. Defendant Dr. Molina was a medical doctor at CTF. Defendant Dr. Bright was the Chief Medical Executive. Defendant G. Ellis was the Chief Executive Officer of the Prison Health Care Services at CTF. Defendant Dr. McAlpine was a medical doctor of the Prison Health Care Services at CTF. Defendant G. Swarthout was the Warden of CSP-Solano, and defendant J. Jow was a registered dietician at CSP-Solano.

On June 14, 2012, Dr. Javate prescribed Farley a therapeutic diet, i.e., hepatic diet. Docket # 1-1 at 7. A hepatic diet "is used to help promote and maintain nitrogen balance and to promote liver regeneration while preventing exacerbation of the metabolic derangements commonly found in liver disease." Molina Decl., AGO-MED 176. During that visit, Farley showed Dr. Javate that Farley was spitting, coughing, and vomiting blood from his mouth. Docket # 1-1 at 7. Blood was also coming from Farley's rectum. Id. Dr. Javate looked Farley's mouth and told plaintiff that the blood may be from loose teeth. Opp. at 7. Farley's vital signs were at acceptable levels, and Dr. Javate did not find any indication of internal bleeding. Javate Decl. at ¶ 7. Dr. Javate ordered that Farley obtain an EGD[1] due to internal bleeding of the esophageal varices. Docket # 1-1 at 8. Dr. Javate did not find that an emergency EGD was warranted. Javate Decl. at ¶ 7. Instead, Dr. Javate counseled Farley about avoiding foods high in sodium, and began the process of transferring Farley to a prison that had a nutritionist and could provide a higher level of care. Id. Dr. Javate believed that a dietician would be beneficial for Farley to provide additional nutritional information. Id. That same day, Dr. Bright approved the request for a hepatic diet and EGD. Docket # 1-1 at 8.

On June 21, 2012, and June 22, 2012, Farley filled out a sick call slip because he was having abdomen pain, bleeding of the esophageal varices and had not received the prescribed hepatic diet. Id. The sick call slips were not answered. Id. Farley believed that he was ingesting his own blood. Id.

On June 23, 2012, Farley was admitted to Natividad Medical Center for diarrhea and green stools. Opp. at 11. On June 25, 2012, Farley was discharged with a diagnosis of diarrhea and cirrhosis with portal hypertension. Id.; Maiorino Decl, AGO-MED 032. On June 27, 2012, Dr. Javate examined Farley upon his return to CTF, and affirmed that Farley's vital signs were still at acceptable levels, and there was no medical evidence of internal bleeding. Javate Decl. at ¶ 8. Farley's hemoglobin laboratory test results on June 22, 2012, were substantially similar to Farley's hemoglobin laboratory test results on May 18, 2012. Id. Dr. Javate submitted another request for an EGD, but based on the examination results, concluded there was no need for an emergency EGD. Id.

On July 2, 2012, Farley filled out another sick call slip with complaints of abdomen pain and not receiving the hepatic diet. Docket # 1-1 at 8-9. On July 11, 2012, Farley saw Dr. Molina. Molina Decl. at ¶ 7. Dr. Molina observed that, although Farley reported that his pain was a 9 or 10, on a scale of 1 to 10, Farley's abdominal exam was basically benign and soft, with normal bowel sounds. Id. Dr. Molina found that Farley exhibited no objective signs of acute pain, and noticed that Farley conversed comfortably and moved without difficulty. Id. Dr. Molina prescribed medication for treatment of chronic pain. Id. Dr. Molina ordered an abdominal ultrasound and EGD. Id. at ¶¶ 9, 11; Docket # 1-1 at 9. Dr. Molina felt that an ultrasound would determine whether Farley's abdominal pain was caused by a tumor or ascites.[2] Molina Decl. at ¶ 9. Dr. Bright approved and granted the request. Docket # 1-1 at 9.

On July 23, 2012, Dr. Molina examined Farley for abdominal pain. Opp. at 12; Molina Decl. at ¶ 11. Dr. Molina did not have the ultrasound results yet, and because Farley was showing increased weight and swelling, Dr. Molina was concerned that Farley may have increased abdominal pressure from ascites which could be relieved by paracentesis. Id. Therefore, Dr. Molina referred Farley to Natividad Medical Center Emergency Room for evaluation. Id. At the emergency room, Farley's ultrasound showed no fluid buildup or ascites Id.; Opp. at 12. Farley was prescribed diuretics. Id.; Molina Decl. at ¶ 11. On July 24, 2012, Dr. Molina increased the diuretics, recommended Farley for a transfer to a different prison that could accommodate a hepatic diet, and requested a nutritional consultation. Id. at ¶ 12; Opp. at 12.

That same day, Chief Deputy Warden V. Raso issued a modification order directing that Farley be rehoused in the central infirmary immediately. Docket # 1-1 at 9. This order was based on the fact that plaintiff was prescribed a hepatic diet. Id. The order stated that plaintiff shall be accommodated with the proper diet while housed at CTF in the infirmary until Farley was transferred to another institution. Id. These orders were not followed. Id. Instead, Dr. Bright, the "Chief Medical Executive" of CTF, completed the modification by requesting the medical services that Farley first have a consultation with a certified dietician. Id. at 35. Further, the accommodation for housing was modified pursuant to Dr. Bright's orders that Farley could remain at CTF-South pending the consultation. Id. Farley was to be taken back to classification for possible transfer to CSP-Soledad. Id.

On July 27, 2012, Farley's administrative appeal at the second level of review was granted in part and denied in part. Id. at 23-24. The response explained that Farley was not yet given a hepatic diet because the prison was not equipped to prepare such a diet. Id. at 23. The response also acknowledged that Dr. Javate had ordered that Farley be placed on a hepatic diet, which was low protein and low sodium. Id. However, Farley had not yet completed a follow up consultation with a nutritionist or dietician. Id. After the prison discovered that Farley had not received a consultation, Dr. Bright initiated the order for Farley to receive a consultation as well as to transfer Farley to CSP-Solano as soon as possible so that Farley could receive his special medical diet. Id. Dr. Bright also concluded that Farley was healthy enough to receive a non-hepatic diet until his transfer on August 1, 2012. Id.

On August 1, 2012, Farley was received at CSP-Solano. Maiorino Decl., AGO-MED 079-080. On August 6, 2012, Farley was seen by a medical doctor at CSP-Solano, who noted that Farley seemed more interested in receiving pain ...


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