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Quiroga v. Green

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 17, 2014

MANUEL QUIROGA, Plaintiff,
v.
GREEN, Defendant.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DEFENDANT GREEN'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Document 43)

DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Manuel Quiroga ("Plaintiff") is a California state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. This action proceeds on Plaintiff's September 17, 2012, First Amended Complaint against Defendant Barry Green for violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment[1] on April 16, 2014.

After the time for filing an opposition had passed, the Court ordered Plaintiff to file an opposition, or a statement of non-opposition, within thirty days. The order notified Plaintiff that if he failed to do so, the motion would be decided without his input.

Plaintiff filed his opposition on September 8, 2014.[2]
Defendant did not file a reply.
The motion is submitted upon the record without oral argument. Local Rule 230(l).

I. LEGAL STANDARD

Any party may move for summary judgment, and the Court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) (quotation marks omitted); Washington Mutual Inc. v. U.S ., 636 F.3d 1207, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). Each party's position, whether it be that a fact is disputed or undisputed, must be supported by (1) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including but not limited to depositions, documents, declarations, or discovery; or (2) showing that the materials cited do not establish the presence or absence of a genuine dispute or that the opposing party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1) (quotation marks omitted). The Court may consider other materials in the record not cited to by the parties, but it is not required to do so. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3); Carmen v. San Francisco Unified School Dist ., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001); accord Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz ., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th Cir. 2010).

Defendant does not bear the burden of proof at trial and in moving for summary judgment, he need only prove an absence of evidence to support Plaintiff's case. In re Oracle Corp. Securities Litigation , 627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986)). If Defendant meets his initial burden, the burden then shifts to Plaintiff "to designate specific facts demonstrating the existence of genuine issues for trial." In re Oracle Corp. , 627 F.3d at 387 (citing Celotex Corp. , 477 U.S. at 323). This requires Plaintiff to "show more than the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence." Id . (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc ., 477 U.S. 242, 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986)).

In judging the evidence at the summary judgment stage, the Court may not make credibility determinations or weigh conflicting evidence, Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc. , 509 F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks and citation omitted), and it must draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and determine whether a genuine issue of material fact precludes entry of judgment, Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach , 657 F.3d 936, 942 (9th Cir. 2011) (quotation marks and citation omitted), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 1566 (2012). The Court determines only whether there is a genuine issue for trial, and Plaintiff's filings must be liberally construed because he is a pro se prisoner. Thomas v. Ponder , 611 F.3d 1144, 1150 (9th Cir. 2010) (quotation marks and citations omitted).

II. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, California. The events at issue occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP").

On June 16, 2008, Plaintiff underwent surgery on his right shoulder. In August 2008, Plaintiff received morphine for severe pain and shoulder damage.

Plaintiff alleges that his surgery was unsuccessful, and that his shoulder was severely swollen, painful and had decreased mobility. Another surgery was indicated and he was given morphine for pain.

On July 30, 2009, Plaintiff was "booked" for another surgery and continued to receive morphine for pain. ECF No. 8, at 4.

On August 11, 2010, while Plaintiff was in severe pain and waiting for the surgery, Defendant Green discontinued Plaintiff's morphine without any explanation. Plaintiff alleges that this caused him ...


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