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Dorrough v. Chinnapa

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 24, 2016

MICHAEL REED DORROUGH, Plaintiff,
v.
N. CHINNAPA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING THIS ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF COULD BE GRANTED ORDER THAT THIS ACTION COUNT AS A STRIKE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(G).

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On October 16, 2015, Plaintiff filed a consent to proceed before a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (ECF No. 6.) Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's June 17, 2016, first amended complaint, filed in response to the May 17, 2016, order dismissing the original complaint with leave to amend. (ECF No. 9.)

         I.

         SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         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 on which relief may be granted, " or that "seek monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)(citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences." Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009)(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010)(citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" is not sufficient, and "facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II.

         COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) at California State Prison Solano, brings this action against Defendant correctional officials employed by the CDCR at Corcoran State Prison, where the events at issue occurred. Plaintiff names the following individual Defendants: Nareddy Chinnapa, M.D.; Huu Nguyen, M.D.; Wayne Ulit, M.D. Plaintiff claims that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         Plaintiff's allegations stem from his diagnosis of high cholesterol, and the alleged failure of Defendants to provide Plaintiff with the treatment regimen that Plaintiff believes is appropriate. The Court dismissed the original complaint in this action because Plaintiff failed to allege facts sufficient to state a claim for relief under section 1983. Specifically, in the order dismissing the original complaint, the Court noted that although Plaintiff sincerely believed that he suffered from a dangerous medical condition that was not being adequately addressed by Defendants, he did not allege any facts indicating that any of the Defendants knew of an objectively serious medical condition, and chose a course of treatment in conscious disregard of that risk.

         In the first amended complaint that is now before the Court, Plaintiff alleges that he was first diagnosed with high cholesterol in 1996 while in CDCR custody. Since then, Plaintiff has been treated with medication. Plaintiff was transferred to Corcoran State Prison in 2007. Plaintiff alleges that during his time at Corcoran, up to the filing of the complaint on October 1, 2015, his cholesterol level has been "dangerously high." (ECF No. 10, p. 5.) Plaintiff alleges that the only treatment that Defendants have been willing to consider is medication. Specifically, Plaintiff has been prescribed Atorvastatin. Plaintiff alleges that the Atorvastatin has been ineffective in lowering his cholesterol. Plaintiff has advised Defendants that he has a family history of heart disease.

         Plaintiff alleges that, at some point, Defendant Chinnapa ordered lab tests "as a result of Plaintiff requesting it, and those results showed that Plaintiff's cholesterol was very high." (Id.) Defendant Chinnapa interviewed Plaintiff regarding the test results, and advised Plaintiff that "his cholesterol was fine." (Id.)

         On February 8, 2013, another blood test was ordered by Defendant Nguyen. Plaintiff alleges that the test results showed that Plaintiff's cholesterol levels were even higher. Plaintiff was interviewed by Dr. Nguyen, who advised Plaintiff that his cholesterol levels were under control, and that the medication he had been prescribed was effective. Dr. Nguyen ordered another blood test on June 6, 2013. Plaintiff alleges that the test results again showed that his cholesterol levels were ...


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