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Smith v. Tootell

United States District Court, N.D. California

August 12, 2014

JERRY SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
E. TOOTELL, et. al., Defendants.

ORDER OF SERVICE; DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO FILE DISPOSITIVE MOTION OR NOTICE REGARDING SUCH MOTION; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK

EDWARD J. DAVILA, District Judge.

Plaintiff, a state prisoner at San Quentin State Prison, filed the instant civil rights action in pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Subsequently, he filed two separate complaints against similar Defendants stating claims arising out of a common nucleus of events. (See C 14-01438 EJD (PR) & C 14-02567 EJD (PR).) In the interest of judicial economy and efficiency, the Court ordered the matters consolidated under the above captioned case. Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket No. 3.)

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See id. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't , 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins , 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

B. Plaintiff's Claims

In Case No. 14-01159 EJD (PR), Plaintiff claims that he has been having "dizziness/lightheadeness/hot flashes" throughout his life. He asserts that in 2013, he saw Defendant Dr. D. Reyes who referred him to hematology. After he was evaluated by hematology services in July 2013, it was recommended that he be referred to an endocrinologist for a formal evaluation for "possibility of primary or secondary hypogonadism and... for possible hormon[e] replacement." Plaintiff claims that Defendants E. Tootell, Dr. Reyes, and L. D. Zamora were all made aware of his condition, and did not make the referral to an endocrinologist. (Compl. at 3.)

In Case No. 14-01438 EJD (PR), Plaintiff claims that his dizzy spells started to bring more discomfort than usual since August 2013. He claims he informed Defendant Nurse DeLaCruz "for months" about having a "ringing in [his] inner ear" in the morning and getting "dizzy/lightheaded" when he tried to sit up. Plaintiff also informed Defendant Supervising Nurse M. Ogron on October 3, 2013, about his discomfort on some nights and of being unable to sleep due to dizziness. Plaintiff states that he was told that Defendant E. Tootell is aware of his situation. Plaintiff claims to have dizzy spells and hot flashes daily. (Compl. at 3.)

Lastly, in Case No. 14-02567, Plaintiff claims that a couple of times in early August 2013, he got lightheaded while walking and had to sit down. He sent Defendant Nurse DelaCruz three inmate medical requests, and was finally seen by her on August 9, 2013. Plaintiff informed her that his dizzy spells and lightheadedness had gotten worse, to which she stated, "You look fine to me now." Plaintiff then sent Defendant E. Tootell a request for an interview, complaining of Nurse DelaCruz's indifference to his medical needs. (Compl. at 3.)

Liberally construed, Plaintiff's complaints against these San Quentin State Prison medical officials state cognizable claims under the Eighth Amendment for their deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. See Estelle v. Gamble , 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).

CONCLUSION

For the reasons stated above, the Court orders as follows:

1. The Clerk of the Court shall mail a Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons, two copies of the Waiver of Service of Summons, a copy of the complaints in all three matters, all attachments thereto, and a copy of this order upon Defendants E. Tootell, Dr. D. Reyes, L.D. Zamora, Nurse M. Ogren, and Nurse J. DelaCruz at San Quentin State ...


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