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Felder v. Lakshmi

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 11, 2015

ANTHONY FELDER, Plaintiff,
v.
LAKSHMI, et al., Defendants.

ORDER FINDING CERTAIN CLAIMS COGNIZABLE AND DISMISSING REMAINING CLAIMS

DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Anthony Felder is an inmate at the Kings County Jail. He is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action, filed on March 3, 2014. Pursuant to Court order, he filed a First Amended Complaint on August 14, 2014. He names Dr. Narayan, Dr. McLoughlin and R.N. Starr as Defendants.[1]

I. SCREENING STANDARD

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious, " that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that... the action or appeal... fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Id . (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

Section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead , 580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los Angeles , 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Jones v. Williams , 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). Plaintiff's allegations must link the actions or omissions of each named defendant to a violation of his rights; there is no respondeat superior liability under section 1983. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-77; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz. , 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton , 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones , 297 F.3d at 934. Plaintiff must present factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

II. ALLEGATIONS IN COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Kings County Jail in Hanford, California. The events occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Avenal State Prison ("ASP").

Plaintiff contends that after he was beaten and struck repeatedly by ISU Correctional Officers, Defendant Narayan, the Chief Psychiatrist at ASP, ordered the injection of Haldol and Benadryl. At the time, Plaintiff was shackled with waist chains, leg irons and strapped down to a gurney. Defendant Narayan then turned Plaintiff over to ISU Correctional Officers for an "illegal interrogation" to induce a confession. Plaintiff contends that the Haldol caused an allergic reaction and permanent twitch in his nerves and neck. He also contends that he was left with nightmares and psychiatric problems by the misdiagnosis and injection.

Plaintiff argues that the injection was performed without proper testing or clearance by the Warden, and without a court order. Rather, he believes that he was injected solely to induce a confession.

Defendant R.N. Starr, under the advice and orders of Defendant Narayan, injected the drugs into both arms, while Plaintiff was shackled and strapped to the gurney. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Starr could see that Plaintiff was not a threat to himself or others, but he injected him nonetheless.

Finally, Plaintiff contends that Defendant McLoughlin, a psychiatrist at ASP, failed to respond to Plaintiff's medical needs. While he was strapped to the gurney and being injected, Plaintiff begged Defendant McLoughlin to stop Defendant Starr from injecting the drugs. Plaintiff also told Defendant McLoughlin that he was in serious pain and that he didn't know why he was being tortured. Instead, Defendant McLoughlin just stood there and relied on faulty advice and the "pressure of others." ECF No. 7, at 5.

Plaintiff also contends that Defendant McLoughlin knew that the restraints were highly unusual and unnecessary for a mental health "triple CMS" under doctors' care. ECF No. 7, at 6. He believes that Defendant McLoughlin knew the risks and side effects of the drugs.

Based on these allegations, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He also ...


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