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Priest v. Corizon Health

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 11, 2015

CORIZON HEALTH, et al., Defendants.


DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Hollis Edward Priest, III ("Plaintiff") is an inmate in the Fresno County Jail proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his complaint on October 21, 2014. He names Corizon Health and LVN Vivian Tagoe as Defendants.[1]


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.


Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Fresno County Jail. He states that he has been incarcerated for almost three months and has been denied medical attention.

On the day of his arrest, Plaintiff states that he was in an accident that caused several injuries, including head trauma. He alleges that his injuries were ignored and he did not receive any medical treatment.

At one point, he was sent to medical after a number of verbal complaints. However, the nurse on duty (who, based on an exhibit, was Defendant Tagoe), "ensued a verbal debate which eventually led to complete refusal of treatment" for a large infection on his stomach. ECF No. 1, at 3-4. Based on an inmate grievance attached to his complaint, Plaintiff saw Defendant Tagoe on August 17, 2014, for an infection. From the moment he was on the medical table, Defendant Tagoe began questioning Plaintiff about his drug usage. Plaintiff told her that he had been clean for five months, but Defendant Tagoe told him that the infection was from drug use. After several attempts to explain that he had several open wounds from a car accident on the day of his arrest, Defendant Tagoe made no attempt to begin treatment. ECF NO. 1, at 7.

Plaintiff states that he has also been trying to be seen, for three months, for "venous angioma, " a condition that can cause an aneurism. He alleges that he has not been seen by a doctor and has not received medical care.

Plaintiff also has nerve/tendon damage in his left thumb from a work injury. He has made numerous requests for medical attention, but he has been neglected.

According to an October 3, 2014, inmate grievance, Plaintiff states that he has not been called to see a doctor even though he has made 12 requests. ECF No. 1, at 8. It appears that he has seen nurses several times. ECF No. 1, at 15.

In an October 4, 2014, grievance, Plaintiff states that he has been trying to see mental health for nearly two months to address depression, anxiety, claustrophobia and audio/visual hallucinations. ECF No. 1, at 9. Plaintiff ...

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