United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE AND
MOTION TO DISMISS DOE DEFENDANTS [ECF NO. 6]
Cynthia Bashant United States District Judge.
September 15, 2016, Plaintiffs Diana Alba, Samantha Hammond,
Gwenyth Peniche, and the Estate of Jaime Morris initiated
this action against Imperial County, Imperial County
Sheriff's Office, California Forensic Medical Group,
Sheriff Raymond Loera, Prabhdeep Singh, twenty Doe
Sheriff's Deputies, and twenty Doe employees of
California Forensic Medical Group. (Compl., ECF No. 1.)
Plaintiffs allege various claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
including unconstitutional medical staff policies and
practices, unconstitutional jail staff policies and
practices, and failure to train and/or supervise.
(Id. ¶¶ 131-46.)
November 4, 2016, Defendants Imperial County, Imperial County
Sheriff's Office, and Sheriff Loera moved to strike
portions of Plaintiffs' Complaint under Rule 12(f) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and to dismiss the twenty
Doe Sheriff's Deputies and twenty Doe employees of
California Forensic Medical Group under Rule 12(b)(6).
(Defs.' Mot., ECF No. 6.) Plaintiffs oppose. (Pls.'
Opp'n, ECF No. 8.)
Court finds this motion suitable for determination on the
papers submitted and without oral argument. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 78(b); CivLR 7.1(d)(1). For the reasons set forth
below, the Court DENIES Defendants' motion to strike
portions of the Complaint, and DENIES Defendants' motion
to dismiss Doe Defendants.
arrested Jaime Morris on August 29, 2015, for possessing drug
paraphernalia and providing false statements to an officer.
(Compl. ¶¶ 70-71.) Police transported Morris to
Imperial County Jail (“ICJ”) shortly after her
arrest. (Id. ¶ 72.) ICJ contracts its medical
services to California Forensic Medical Group
(“CFMG”). (Id. ¶ 15.) Upon arrival,
Morris allegedly informed ICJ and CFMG that she was a heroin
addict, and had been using heroin and methamphetamine daily.
(Id. ¶¶ 73-74, 77.) While ICJ and CFMG
took Morris's vital signs on the day of her arrest, the
Complaint alleges that she never saw a physician, nor was
given any medical treatment, during her time at ICJ.
(Id. ¶¶ 87, 91-93.)
was arrested on a Saturday, and by the following Monday,
August 31, 2015, she was suffering from heroin withdrawal.
(Compl. ¶ 99.) Plaintiffs allege that fellow inmates
could hear Morris moaning in her cell, that Morris repeatedly
complained to correctional officers that she needed medical
attention, and that correctional officers ignored her
requests. (Id. ¶¶ 100-02.) At 5:00 p.m. on
August 31, 2015, a correctional officer noticed that Morris
appeared unresponsive, and medical officials transported her
to the hospital. (Id. ¶¶ 111-13.) Hospital
staff pronounced her dead upon arrival. (Id. ¶
mother Diana Alba, in her personal capacity and as
successor-in- interest to Morris's estate, along with
Morris's two daughters Samantha Hammond and Gwenyth
Peniche, commenced this action against
Defendants. (Compl. ¶ 7.) Defendants Imperial
County, Imperial County Sheriffs Office, and Sheriff Loera
(collectively, “County Defendants”) now move to
strike paragraphs 21-46, 55-58, and exhibits B and C of the
Complaint under Rule 12(f). (Defs.' Mot. 5:4-5.) The
Court summarizes these portions of the Complaint below.
21-46 of the Complaint can be summarized as follows:
• Three separate civil grand juries have questioned
and/or criticized CFMG's policies, procedures, and
practices in providing medical care to inmates. State
Department of Justice statistics demonstrate that the CFMG
population adjusted rate for drug overdose deaths is 50%
higher than other county jails. (Compl. ¶¶ 22-23.)
• CFMG was a defendant in a class-action filed on behalf
of inmates in Monterey county jails. In that lawsuit, an
expert physician evaluated CFMG's practices and
procedures and issued a report finding that clinical care was
inadequate, that staffing levels were insufficient, and that
drug withdrawal syndromes were managed by officers and nurses
without physician oversight. (Id. ¶¶
• Based on the report referenced in paragraphs 24-35,
the federal magistrate judge granted a motion for a
preliminary injunction against CFMG, and CFMG later agreed to
settle the lawsuit. Despite the settlement, CFMG and Imperial
County made no changes to the way CFMG provided medical care
at ICJ. Further, the medical services provided by CFMG in
Imperial County suffer from many of the same deficiencies as
did the services provided in Monterey County Jail.
(Id. ¶¶ 36-46.)
55-58 detail the following:
• In 2011, Marcia Dau died while in the care of ICJ and
CFMG, during which time she was suffering from withdrawal
from benzodiazepines. Following her death, her Estate filed
and settled a wrongful death claim against CFMG and Imperial
County, after which neither CFMG nor Imperial County revised