United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE
DONATO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Manuel Arreola has sued the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”), Warden
R. Grounds, Dr. R. Bright, Dr. Moon, Officer J.
Lower-Brodersen, and Officer J. Cruz for claims arising out
of medical care while he was incarcerated in the California
state prison system. Dkt. No. 1-9. Each individual is sued in
his official and individual capacity. Id. ¶ 9.
Defendants have filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings
for Arreola's second cause of action, which alleges
violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”) under 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Dkt. No. 8.
The motion is granted with leave to amend.
the complaint is not entirely clear on a number of points,
the salient allegations are that on July 10, 2013, Arreola
went to the San Joaquin General Hospital for a
“femoral-to-femoral arterial bypass” while housed
at the Salinas Valley State Prison (“SVSP”). Dkt.
No. 1-9 ¶ 14. A stent was placed inside his left femoral
artery, “tunneled under his skin above his groin,
” and connected to his right femoral artery.
Id. The vascular surgeon instructed Arreola
“not to bend at the waist … or do any activity
that would constrict the blood flow to his right leg in the
femoral area for at least three to four weeks.”
19, 2013, Officers Cruz and Lower-Brodersen, Correctional
Officers at SVSP, arrived at the hospital to drive Arreola
back to prison in a passenger van. Id. ¶¶
18, 20. Arreola told the officers that he needed transport in
an ambulance, and that his surgeon had warned about severe
complications if he did not comply with the movement
restrictions. Id. ¶¶ 20-21. Officer Cruz
said they “had not been given such orders, ” and
they made Arreola get in the van because they were “due
back to work at 6:00 a.m. the following day.”
Id. ¶¶ 20-25. Arreola was in a seated
position for four hours before the group stopped, for some
unexplained reason, at the Corcoran State Prison.
Id. ¶¶ 25-26. During this time, the
incision on his left leg reopened and he “developed a
large, golf-ball-sized lump” under the incision on his
right leg. Id. ¶ 26.
Corcoran, Arreola was taken to the prison infirmary and put
on a gurney. Id. ¶ 27. Officer Cruz then moved
Arreola into a holding cell to wait for hospital staff.
Id. ¶ 29. “Despite outward signs of pain
and distress, [Arreola] was left to lie down on the concrete
floor” of the holding cell until he was transferred to
“the Acute Care Hospital.” Id.
¶¶ 30-31. Arreola went back to the San Joaquin
General Hospital on July 23, 2013, in an ambulance.
Id. ¶ 38.
weeks later, Officers Molar and Johnson arrived at the
hospital to return Arreola to SVSP. Id. ¶ 41.
He again told the officers that he was “not supposed to
sit up or bend at the waist for long periods at a
time.” Id. After reviewing his records and
transportation instructions, the officers found no transport
restrictions noted and they transferred him in a regular
vehicle. Id. Arreola was in a seated position for
nine hours, and when he arrived at the prison, his
“entire right leg was numb and swollen.”
Id. ¶¶ 41-42. From September 2013 until
his release from prison on August 14, 2014, his symptoms
worsened and he developed “severe muscle stiffness and
tightness in his right leg.” Id. ¶ 44.
His right leg was amputated on June 30, 2015. Id.
filed this action pro se in Monterey County Superior Court in
July 2014, while he was an inmate. Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 1; Dkt.
No. 1-9 ¶ 12. In December 2015, after being released
from custody and retaining a lawyer, he filed an amended
complaint for negligence. Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 3; Dkt. No. 1-8.
In May 2016, the Superior Court granted Arreola's motion
to file a second amended complaint and he amended to add
claims for violations of the ADA and deliberate indifference
to serious medical needs under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt.
No. 1 ¶ 4; Dkt. No. 1-9. On June 9, 2016, defendants
removed the case to this court. Dkt. No. 1.
current motion, all of the defendants seek dismissal of the
ADA claim. Dkt. No. 8. That claim, however, is directed only
to CDCR, Dkt. No. 1-9 at 13, and this order resolves the
motion on that basis.
motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(c) challenges the legal sufficiency of the
claims asserted in the complaint. “The principal
difference between motions filed pursuant to Rule 12(b) and
Rule 12(c) is the time of filing. Because the motions are
functionally identical, the same standard of review
applicable to a Rule 12(b) motion applies to its Rule 12(c)
analog.” Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine, Inc.,
867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989); see also Lyon v.
Chase Bank USA, N.A., 656 F.3d 877, 883 (9th Cir. 2011).
To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must allege
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Judgment on the pleadings is therefore appropriate when,
taking all the allegations in the complaint as true, the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Dunlap v. Credit Prot. Ass'n, L.P., 419 F.3d
1011, 1012 n.1 (9th Cir. 2005).
gravamen of the ADA claim is that the bypass left Arreola
disabled within the meaning of the ADA and that CDCR
discriminated against him “by failing to reasonably
accommodate his disability during transportation and
temporary housing on July 19, 2013.” Dkt. No. 1-9
¶¶ 60, 76. Defendants urge dismissal of the ADA
claim because Arreola's “[t]emporary recovery from
vascular surgery is not a qualifying disability” and
because he has not alleged exclusion from services or
discrimination on the basis of a disability. Dkt. No. 8 at
state an ADA claim under Title II, Arreola must allege facts
plausibly showing that: (1) he is an individual with a
disability, (2) he is otherwise qualified to participate in
or receive the benefit of some public entity's services,
programs, or activities, (3) he was either excluded from
participation in or denied the benefits of the public
entity's services, programs, or activities, or was
otherwise discriminated against by the public entity, and (4)
such exclusion, denial of benefits, or discrimination was by
reason of his disability. McGary v. City of
Portland, 386 F.3d 1259, 1265 (9th Cir. 2004). A
qualifying “disability” is “(A) a physical
or mental impairment that ...