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Francis v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 22, 2017

FREDDIE FRANCIS, JR. Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          CHARLES F. EICK UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          S. JAMES OTERO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         For the reasons discussed below, the First Amended Complaint is dismissed with leave to amend. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A(b)(2).

         BACKGROUND

         On February 15, 2017, Plaintiff, a federal prisoner confined at the United States Prison at Coleman, Florida (“USP Coleman”), filed this action pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). On March 3, 2017, the Court issued an “Order Dismissing Complaint with Leave to Amend.” On May 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint.

         Plaintiff's claims arise out his 2013-16 incarceration at the United States Prison at Victorville, California (“USP Victorville”) (see Complaint, ECF Dkt. No. 1, pp. 11, 21).[1] Defendants are the United States and five USP Victorville medical officials: (1) J. Esquetini, MLP (mid-level practitioner); (2) Dr. Snell, M.D.; (3) Dr. Quinn, M.D.; (4) MLP W. Wolverton; and (5) Ms. L. Singh, AHSA (apparently an administrator). Plaintiff sues the individual Defendants in their individual capacities only.

         SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

         I. The Original Complaint

         The Complaint was not a model of clarity. Plaintiff appeared to allege that the individual Defendants were deliberately indifferent to an asserted staph infection and vein problem in Plaintiff's left leg and to Plaintiff's alleged coronary artery blockage (see id., p. 13). Plaintiff also appeared to allege that the individual Defendants were negligent in failing to treat Plaintiff properly (see id.).

         Plaintiff alleged that, while at USP Victorville, Plaintiff was diagnosed with four blocked arteries (id.). Defendants allegedly were told of this diagnosis (id., p. 14). Plaintiff allegedly suffers from unstable angina, shortness of breath and a low heart rate (id., p. 13). The individual Defendants allegedly were aware of Plaintiff's heart problems (id.). The individual Defendants allegedly did not treat Plaintiff for his pain, blocked arteries, chest pains and damaged nerves in his left leg (id.). The individual Defendants allegedly did not want to send Plaintiff to an outside hospital because of the cost and because of Plaintiff's alleged status as a maximum custody inmate (id.).

         Plaintiff alleged that the individual Defendants told Plaintiff that they would not perform EKGs every time Plaintiff experienced chest pain, although Defendants assertedly knew that Plaintiff had once had a heart attack (id.). In April 2014, Plaintiff allegedly saw Defendant Esquetini who with “the others” assertedly refused to do anything about Plaintiff's chest pain “for months” (id., pp. 20, 21). Plaintiff also allegedly saw Esquetini concerning a small cut on Plaintiff's leg (id., p. 21). Esquetini allegedly said he would send Plaintiff something for the cut, but never did so (id.). Another MLP allegedly took over and discovered that Plaintiff had a staph infection in the leg and prescribed something for it “which Esquetini should have did [sic] a month earlier” (id.). Esquetini allegedly took eight months to send Plaintiff to outside doctors to determine what was wrong with Plaintiff's leg (id.). It took “them” 21 months before Plaintiff was sent to an outside hospital regarding his leg problems (id., p. 20). Defendants' alleged failure to provide medical care for Plaintiff's chest pains and shortness of breath assertedly caused Plaintiff further harm, and Plaintiff allegedly now faces further injury or death (id., p. 12).

         Plaintiff allegedly was transferred to USP Coleman in March of 2016 (id., p. 20). Upon arrival at USP Coleman, pus assertedly was running down Plaintiff's leg, which was swollen (id.). Officials at USP Coleman allegedly determined that the leg was still infected and diagnosed cellulitis (id.). Plaintiff saw an “expert cardiologist” at USP Coleman, Dr. Negron, who purportedly told Plaintiff that: (1) Plaintiff assertedly will experience heart failure due to his heart condition; (2) the doctor assertedly could not place any stents in the right coronary artery and if the doctor performed surgery on the left coronary artery, which allegedly has 80% blockage, Plaintiff assertedly probably would not survive; and (3) even if Plaintiff survived an operation Plaintiff allegedly probably would die in his sleep (id., 9).

         Although it was somewhat unclear, Plaintiff also appeared to allege that Defendants failed to treat Plaintiff's claimed problems with his liver, kidney, hip, knee, ankle and shoulder, as well as his alleged Hepatitis-C condition (id., p. 15). Plaintiff also alleged, in conclusory fashion, that Defendants purposefully denied Plaintiff medical care because Plaintiff would not drop “torts & administrative remedies claims against them” (id., p. 6).

         Plaintiff sought damages in an uncertain amount. Plaintiff also sought an “emergency injunction” to order the federal Bureau of Prisons ...


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