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Ferguson v. Steinhaus

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 5, 2017

GEORGE EDWARD FERGUSON, Plaintiff,
v.
S. STEINHAUS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF DISMISSAL

          JON S. TIGAR United States District Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, a California prisoner incarcerated at the Correctional Training Facility (CTF), filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging claims for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs against two CTF doctors. The Court identified various deficiencies in plaintiff's complaint and dismissed it with leave to amend. Plaintiff has filed an amended complaint (FAC), in which he no longer names the doctor defendants but instead names two CTF nurses as defendants. The FAC is now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         BACKGROUND

         The following allegations are taken from the FAC:

         On November 5, 2015, while in class, plaintiff began experiencing severe abdominal pain and vomiting. His instructor directed him to return to his housing unit. His housing unit floor officer then directed plaintiff to report to Central Medical. Defendant Nurse Steinhaus attended to plaintiff and conducted a physical plan. Nurse Steinhaus then consulted with CTF Dr. Mindoro by telephone. Dr. Mindoro ordered a gastrointestinal (GI) cocktail and instructed plaintiff to drink extra fluids, consume light chicken soup, and place a sick call request if symptoms did not resolve by the next morning.

         Plaintiff's abdominal pain continued for two more days. On November 7, 2015, he returned to Central Medical, where he was examined by defendant Nurse Mandich. Nurse Mandich consulted with CTF Dr. Branch by telephone. Plaintiff was again given a GI cocktail along with intravenous fluids for dehydration and medication for his diarrhea.

         On November 9, 2015, plaintiff returned to Central Medical where he was examined by CTF Dr. Sweet. Dr. Sweet ordered x-rays, which showed gallstones. Plaintiff was transported to Natividad Medical Center for surgery.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only “ ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.' ” Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 1974.

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person ...


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