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Adams v. California Correctional Institution

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 15, 2017

PAUL ADAMS, et al., Plaintiffs,


          HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KATO United States Magistrate Judge



         Plaintiffs[1] Paul Adams, Phillip L. Dorsey, and Ezequiel Monarrez (“Plaintiffs”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, have filed a Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”) alleging defendants California Correctional Institution (“CCI”) and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) (collectively “Defendants”) violated their First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. As discussed below, the Court dismisses the SAC with leave to amend[2].



         On July 24, 2016, Plaintiffs constructively filed[3] a complaint pursuant to Section 1983. Dkt. 1. Plaintiffs sued defendants Jeffrey Beard and K. Holland, in both their individual and official capacities, CCI, and CDCR. Id. at 3.

         On August 15, 2016, Plaintiffs constructively filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”)[4] against defendants Jeffrey Beard, K. Holland, and Jerry Brown, in their individual and official capacities, CCI, and CDCR. Dkt. 18 at 3-4. In the FAC, Plaintiffs alleged: (1) prisoners are being exposed to airborne asbestos particles, id. at 1-27; and (2) prisoners are forced to drink and bathe in water contaminated by human feces, id. at 28-48. On November 1, 2016, the Court dismissed the FAC with leave to amend. Dkt. 30.

         On January 12, 2017, Plaintiffs constructively filed the SAC[5]. Dkts. 36 and 36-1. In the SAC, Plaintiffs only raise claims against Defendants CDCR and CCI. Id. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege (1) CCI and CDCR are subjecting Plaintiffs to an environment “infested with air born asbestos particles, ” thereby demonstrating a deliberate indifference to inmates' health and safety; (2) CCI and CDCR are knowingly administering “tainted drinking water to the prison inmate population”; and (3) CCI is conspiring with medical providers to misdiagnose inmates to conceal the “tainted drinking water, ” which represents a deliberate indifference “to the serious medical needs of the inmate population.” Dkt. 36 at 14, 29; Dkt. 36-1 at 5, 12, 19.




         Plaintiffs allege “THE VICINITY OF CCI IS INFESTED WITH AIR BORN ASBESTOS PARTICLES . . . [a]nd untrained ‘asbestos teams' are performing asbestos clean ups in violations of the OSHA regulations and formulating an even more dangerous atmosphere.” Dkt. 36 at 14. Further, Plaintiffs allege the “[i]nmates and employees are not given protective equipment, or placed on reasonable notice, that the Asbestos is being ‘CLEANED UP' and that the asbestos would become air born due to the cleanup.” Id. at 15. Plaintiffs claim defendant CDCR specifically “knows that asbestos exist at California Correctional Institution . . . as it has established a bylaw/policy that requires its employees to sign asbestos waivers, while concealing that fact from prison inmates.” Id. at 29.


         Plaintiffs allege the prison drinking water is contaminated with “human waste, and large amounts of arsenic, ” thereby making CCI a “dangerous environment.” Dkt. 36-1 at 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21. Plaintiffs claim “CCI knows the water is tainted, and all employees, officers, and staff members of CCI, are warned to not drink or handle the facility drinking water because it is tainted.” Id. at 10, 17. Plaintiffs further allege that because of the water condition, “employees, receive free bottled water, as to where the prison inmates [do] not.” Id. Additionally, Plaintiffs claim they have suffered symptoms like: frequent dizzy spells, short term memory loss/memory lapses, bloated stomachs, frequent headaches, and abdominal pain. Id. at 6, 13, 20.

         Furthermore, Plaintiffs allege defendant CCI “conspired with the medical providers, to misdiagnose, medical conditions related to illnesses from the drinking water . . . to conceal the fact that the water is dangerously tainted with human waste and arsenic.” Id. at 21. Plaintiffs claim the “Medical providers on these above facilities at CCI deliberately misdiagnose inmates with these symptoms, and tell inmates that they are feeling these symptoms because [they] are not drinking enough water.” Id. 6, 13, 20. According to Plaintiffs, however, “drinking more water increases the symptoms.” Id.


         As a result of their alleged injuries from both the asbestos exposure and water contamination, Plaintiffs seek (a) at “minimum” $1, 000, 000 in compensatory damages and $5, 000, 000 in punitive damages awarded to each Plaintiff, (b) an order requiring an immediate evacuation of CCI and a lifetime of limitless medical treatment, and (c) a declaratory judgment ...

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