United States District Court, Eastern District of California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT DOCKET 401
RALPH R. BEISTLINE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
I. PENDING MOTION
At Docket 40 Defendants S. Lopez, L. DiLeo, and M. Biter have moved for summary judgment in their favor. Plaintiff Steve Mattson has opposed the motion and Defendants have replied. The Court, being fully advised in the premises, submits this matter for decision on the moving and opposing papers without oral argument.
II. BACKGROUND/ISSUES PRESENTED
In his Amended Complaint, Mattson contends that Defendants have denied him adequate pain management medication and refused to order appropriate diagnostic testing (an MRI). In response, Defendants contend that Mattson has been provided with all medically necessary treatment. Because the parties are familiar with the facts underlying this case and they are for the most part undisputed, the Court recites them herein only to the extent necessary to understand this decision.
According to his medical records, Mattson suffers from several medical conditions, including hepatitis C, upper gastrointestinal symptoms, hypertension, and chronic low back pain (a narrowing of the L4-5 disc and mild scoliosis). Prior to his transfer to Kern Valley State Prison ("KVSP"), Mattson was housed at Corcoran State Prison. While housed at Corcoran, Mattson's back pain was treated with methadone and morphine. After his transfer to KVSP Mattson's pain was treated with Nortrlptyline, Carbrunazepine, Trileptal, Tegretol, Meloxicam, and Tylenol. In addition, Mattson was provided a ground floor cell with a bottom bunk, a walker, orthopedic shoes, a mobility vest, and limitations were placed upon his work assignments and other activities.
In his opposition to the motion, Mattson submits five issues he contends are issues of material fact.
1. Whether the plaintiffs past drug use is sufficient enough to deny adequate pain medication for his serious back pain. State records will show Plaintiff has not had a dirty drug test in 15 years. No drug test has been given to the plaintiff to support the defendants claim of drug addiction.
2. Whether the pain medication provided to plaintiff Mattson is sufficient enough to subdue the chronic lower back pain he suffers from daily.
3. Whether Dr. DiLeo used sound perfessional [sic] medical judgment when he rescinded the permanent chrono for orthopedic shoes 92 days after he approved it.
4. Whether Dr. DiLeo use[d] medical professional judgment when he increased the length of time for "no prolonged sitting" from 1 hour to 2 hours knowing the pain the plaintiff suffers from prolonged sitting.
5. Whether Dr. DiLeo intentionally disregarded the risk of harm and injury to plaintiff Mattson by denying appropriate accommodations, such as a back brace for added support and othopedic [sic] shoes as plaintiff has requested numerous times and was denied as indicated on all the 602 appeal responses included as Exhibit D 1-4.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Summary judgment is appropriate if, when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law. Support and opposition to a motion for summary judgment is made by affidavit made on personal knowledge of the affiant, depositions, answers to interrogatories, setting forth such facts as may be admissible in evidence. In response to a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the opposing party must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. The issue of material fact required to be present to entitle a party to proceed to trial is not required to be resolved conclusively in favor of the party asserting its existence; all that is required is that sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial. In order to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists a nonmoving plaintiff must introduce probative evidence that establishes the elements of the complaint.Material facts are those which may affect the outcome of the case. A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party. "Credibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge, [when] he is ruling on a motion for summary judgment." The evidence of the non-moving party is to be believed and all justifiable inferences are drawn in his favor. The moving party has the burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact; therefore, he bears the burden of both ...