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Uribe v. T. Perez

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 18, 2017

CESAR URIBE, Plaintiff,
v.
T. PEREZ, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          ALKA SAGAR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Cesar Uribe (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at the California Institute for Men (CIM) in Chino, California, filed this pro se civil action in San Bernardino County Superior Court on February 11, 2016. Plaintiff seeks relief, in relevant part, for the violation of his federal constitutional rights, which are redressable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Complaint names as Defendants: (1) Louie Escobell, CEO; (2) Muhammad A. Farooq, CMO; (3) Larry Maldonado, CHSA II; (4) Jose Serrano, CNE; (5) J. Christofferson, SRN II; (6) Tim Perez, Warden; (7) B. LeMaster[], Associate Warden; (8) Captain R. Franco; (9) Lieutenant C.T. Stansbury; (10) Lieutenant D. Williams; and (11) DOES 1-20.

         Plaintiff states that DOES 1-5 were, during the relevant time, employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) as Chief Executive Officers, Chief Medical Officers or Executives, or Health Services Administrators, or supervisors of medical staff at CIM. (Compl. 5). Plaintiff further states that DOES 6-10 and 11-20 were at all relevant times employed by CDCR and were the commanding officers of CIM Facility A. (Compl. 6). Plaintiff also states that DOES 11-15 were responsible, along with DOES 1-5, for ensuring that all CIM medical and custodial staff, including medical care contractors, complied with ethical, professional, and applicable laws. (Compl. 6). Defendants are sued in their individual and official capacities. (Id.).

         Defendants J. Serrano, L. Maldonado, L. Escobell, B. LeMaster, M. Farooq, C. Stansbury, J. Christofferson, D. Williams and T. Perez (“Defendants”) filed a notice of removal on March 23, 2017, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). (Docket Entry No. 2).

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment right “to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the California and U.S. Constitutions” (Compl. 11) when they engaged in conduct that was “intentional, and/or was done with reckless disregard for, and/or deliberate indifference toward, plaintiff's rights” (Compl. 7) which led to Plaintiff contracting the “norovirus on or about December 12, 2014 and suffer[ing] all of its symptoms”. (Compl. 9).

         Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants are civilly liable in torts for (1) “Intentional” conduct (Compl. 4, 11-12); and (2) General Negligence (Compl. 4, 13-16) and that Defendants are liable for violations of California Civil Code §§ 52.1(b) and 52(a). (Compl. 11).

         Plaintiff requests declaratory relief against Defendants Perez, LeMaster[], Escobell, Farooq, and DOES 1-5. (Compl. 12). Specifically, Plaintiff seeks, in part, a judgment declaring that Defendants' policies, practices, acts and omissions violate his rights. (Id.). Plaintiff further requests (1) “[p]ermanent injunctive relief prohibiting defendants from continuing to engage in the specific unlawful practices complained of”; (2) $50, 441 of general damages; (3) $25, 000 of punitive damages; (4) statutory damages as allowed by law, “including statutory and treble damages under California Civil Code §§ 52 and 52.1”; (5) attorneys' fees and costs; (6) the costs of suit; and (7) such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper. (Compl. 18).

         The Court has screened the Complaint as prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. For the reasons discussed below, the Court DISMISSES Plaintiff's Complaint WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.[1]

         PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff alleges that, while he was an inmate at CIM, Defendants' actions and, where applicable, inactions caused him to contract the norovirus. (Compl. 5-10). Plaintiff alleges that CIM is a “High Risk Medical” (“HRM”) facility at which he was housed in dorm A8. (Compl. 8). He claims that on or about “November of 2014, HRM inmates at CIM Facility A, dorm A6, contracted norovirus.” (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants not only “failed to give dorm A6 inmates medical care and treatment”, they “knowingly moved infected dorm A6 inmates to other non-infected dorms”, including A8, compelling non-infected inmates to live with infected inmates and allowing infected inmates to share dining spaces and medical clinics, among other areas, with non-infected inmates. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to provide dorm A8 inmates with “latex gloves, facial masks, or the necessary chemicals to protect themselves from exposure to” the norovirus. (Id.). Plaintiff claims that on or about December 12, 2014, he contracted norovirus and “suffered all of its symptoms including but not limited to an immediate unforeseen and sudden onset queazyness, nausea, persistent vomiting, stomach cramps and pain, muscle pain, body aches, fever, persistent diarrhea, and weight loss, for approximately a week . . .” (Compl. 9).

         Plaintiff alleges that as a “direct and proximate result” of Defendants' acts and omissions, he “suffered injuries in the form of, but not limited to, pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress”. (Compl. 9).

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Congress mandates that district courts initially screen civil complaints filed by prisoners seeking redress from a governmental entity or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A court may dismiss such a complaint, or any portion thereof if the court concludes that the complaint: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such ...


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