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Meyers v. Chen

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 22, 2017

EVERETT LEE MEYERS, Plaintiff,
v.
C.K. CHEN, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DEFENDANT CHEN'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BE GRANTED [ECF NO. 27]

         Plaintiff Everett Lee Meyers is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Currently before the Court is Defendant Chen's motion for summary judgment, filed December 6, 2016.

         I.

         RELEVANT HISTORY

         This action is proceeding against Defendant C.K. Chen for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.

         Defendant Chen filed the instant motion for summary judgment on December 6, 2016. Plaintiff did not file an opposition. Indeed, on January 26, 2017, defense counsel filed a declaration in lieu of a formal reply because no opposition was filed. (ECF No. 30.) Therefore, pursuant to Local Rule 230(1), the motion is deemed submitted for review without oral argument.

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Any party may move for summary judgment, and the Court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) (quotation marks omitted); Washington Mut. Inc. v. U.S., 636 F.3d 1207, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). Each party's position, whether it be that a fact is disputed or undisputed, must be supported by (1) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including but not limited to depositions, documents, declarations, or discovery; or (2) showing that the materials cited do not establish the presence or absence of a genuine dispute or that the opposing party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1) (quotation marks omitted). The Court may consider other materials in the record not cited to by the parties, but it is not required to do so. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3); Carmen v. San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001); accord Simmons v. Navajo Cnty., Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th Cir. 2010).

         In judging the evidence at the summary judgment stage, the Court does not make credibility determinations or weigh conflicting evidence, Soremekun, 509 F.3d at 984 (quotation marks and citation omitted), and it must draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and determine whether a genuine issue of material fact precludes entry of judgment, Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, 657 F.3d at 942 (quotation marks and citation omitted).

         III.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Summary of Plaintiff's Complaint

         According to the allegations of the first amended complaint, Plaintiff was in a physical altercation on the Delta yard at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) on September 14, 2013. Plaintiff was seriously injured during the altercation and sustained extensive damages to his shoulder. Plaintiff was immediately taken to an outside hospital emergency room at Delano Regional Medical Center in Delano, California.

         While hospitalized, Plaintiff was in excruciating pain and discomfort, and x-rays were performed. Plaintiff contends the x-rays were inadequately misread, and medical staff at KVSP deliberately denied him adequate medical treatment for his shoulder injury.

         Plaintiff subsequently filed an appeal complaining of the severe pain which deprived him from sleep for several weeks because Dr. Chen denied Plaintiff pain medication and medical treatment.

         On December 2, 2013, Plaintiff received a new x-ray of his right shoulder.

         On January 15, 2014, Plaintiff was examined by a qualified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. David Smith, who examined the x-rays and discovered that Plaintiff had a third degree AC separation on his right shoulder and had been suffering from untreated excruciating pain caused by Dr. Chen's misconduct.

         Dr. Smith informed Plaintiff that he was recommending that Plaintiff undergo repair of the acromioclavicular separation and would schedule surgery and pain management.

         On April 3, 2014, Plaintiff was interviewed by Dr. Chen, and Plaintiff was informed that Dr. Chen was denying surgery because “he didn't care for the special orthopedic surgeon, ” despite Dr. Chen's agreement that Plaintiff was in need of surgery. Dr. Chen indicated that pursuant to policy, he could not grant Plaintiff surgery to repair acromioclavicular separation. Plaintiff contends that Dr. Chen had no authority to deny such surgery. Dr. Chen also denied Plaintiff stronger pain medication, despite the recommendation for pain management.

         B. Defendant's Statement of Undisputed Facts[1]

         1. Plaintiff Everett Myers (P-34039) is an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) who is currently incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) in Delano, California. (ECF No. 9.)

         2. At all times relevant to the allegations in this case, Plaintiff was housed at ...


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