Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bjerkhoel v. Scharffenberg

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 19, 2016

ROBERT B. SCHARFFENBERG, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff Brandon E. Bjerkhoel, a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on April 11, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff’s complaint is before the Court for screening. Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction in this case. (ECF No. 8.) No other parties have appeared in the action.


         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)), and 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 citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of 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). 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), but nevertheless, the mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting the plausibility standard, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.


         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at California State Prison in Corcoran, California (“CSP-Corcoran”) where this claim arose. He brings this action against Dr. Robert G. Scharffenberg and Physician’s Assistant C. Ogbuehi (“Defendants”), both employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) at CSP-Corcoran, in their personal and official capacities. Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his right to be free from inhumane conditions of confinement under the Eighth Amendment by denying him adequate medical treatment for his Hepatitis C virus (“HCV”).

         Plaintiff’s allegations may be summarized as follows:

         Plaintiff has HCV and stage 1 cirrhosis of the liver. Left untreated, HCV can lead to severe cirrhosis, liver cancer, and the need for a liver transplant. Furthermore, individuals with HCV face a higher risk of developing insulin resistance and heart disease.[1] In January 2014, Plaintiff began to experience pain in his joints, tiredness, cramps, flu-like symptoms, darkening of the urine, and extreme pain. He also began to experience depression and anxiety.

         When Plaintiff sought help from the medical staff[2], he was told he did not qualify for treatment under CDCR policy because he would soon be eligible for parole and because CDCR only approved treatment for prisoners who had advanced to stage 3 or 4 cirrhosis. Plaintiff believes stage 3 or 4 cirrhosis is indicative of liver cancer. Plaintiff believes if he were to wait until stage 3 or 4 for treatment, he will have already suffered irreversible liver damage.

         On March 14, 2014, Dr. Scharffenberg examined Plaintiff in response to a 602 Plaintiff filed. Plaintiff told Dr. Scharffenberg he was “still having abdominal pain due to Hep C” and wanted treatment. Dr. Scharffenberg did not prescribe pain medication, nor start a treatment course for HCV. Dr. Scharffenberg told Plaintiff that the “guidelines for treatment should change, ” at which point Plaintiff might be able to receive treatment.

         Plaintiff believes he is not receiving treatment because of its high cost. He states one 12 week course of treatment costs $94, 500.00 and 24 weeks costs $189, 000.00. He states there is no medical reason why he cannot receive treatment.

         Plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring Defendants to provide Plaintiff with medication to treat his HCV and pain. Plaintiff also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

         IV. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.