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Aluya v. Management & Training Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 27, 2017

JOSEPH USUNUBU ALUYA, Plaintiff,
v.
MANAGEMENT & TRAINING CORPORATION, and DOES 1-9, Defendants. DEMOND HAMMOND, Plaintiff,
v.
MANAGEMENT & TRAINING CORPORATION, and DOES 1-9, Defendants. BRUCE DWIGHT SUTTON, Plaintiff,
v.
MANAGEMENT & TRAINING CORPORATION, and DOES 1-9, Defendants.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT RE PREMISES LIABILTIY (DOC. NOS. 80, 81, 86, 87, 88, 89)

         In three separate but similar cases, Joseph Usunubu Aluya, Demond Hammond, and Bruce Dwight Sutton (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) make claims against Defendant Management & Training Corporation (“MTC”) after allegedly contracting Valley Fever while inmates at Taft Correctional Institution (“TCI”), which is operated by MTC. This Court previously granted MTC's Motion for Summary Judgment as to all Plaintiffs (Doc. No. 72), but the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the Plaintiffs' cases to this Court. Doc. No. 83.

         When remanding the cases, the Ninth Circuit noted that: “The district court did not address the adequacy of the warnings in light of its conclusion that the inmates' failure to present evidence that TCI experienced higher infections rates than the surrounding community precluded liability.” Id. at 3. Therefore the Ninth Circuit ordered that: “On remand, the court should consider in the first instance whether there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether MTC breached its duty to warn as a possessor of land.” Id.

         Pursuant to the Amended Further Scheduling Order issued on January 12, 2017 (Doc. No. 86), the parties have submitted supplemental briefing addressing the adequacy of the warnings in regards to whether MTC breached its duty to warn inmates about Valley Fever as a possessor of land. For the reasons that follow, MTC's motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' individual claims for premises liability will be denied as to all Plaintiffs.

         RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND[1]

         A. Plaintiff Joseph Usunubu Aluya (“Aluya”)

         It is undisputed that pamphlets addressing Valley Fever were available in the waiting area of the medical department, and through medical staff. Doc. No. 50-3; JSUMF 20. It is undisputed that while at TCI, Aluya saw a small piece of paper posted with the word “cocci” or “coccidiodimycosis” written on it. Doc. No. 81 at 6.

         MTC states that “all inmates are given a pamphlet and a fact sheet[2] about Valley Fever during the Admissions and Orientation Process at Taft.” Doc. No. 80 at 3. Aluya does not recall receiving any information about Valley Fever during the Admissions and Orientation Process. Doc. No. 80 at 3.

         B. Plaintiff Demond Hammond (“Hammond”)

         It is undisputed that pamphlets addressing Valley Fever were available in the waiting area of the medical department, and through medical staff. Doc. No. 57-3; JSUMF 20. It is undisputed that Hammond was warned by staff not to go outside when it was windy. JSUMF 31. It is also undisputed that when Hammond was at TCI, he saw a pamphlet about Valley Fever posted on the wall in the medical area. JSUMF 32.

         MTC states that “all inmates are given a pamphlet and a fact sheet about Valley Fever during the Admissions and Orientation Process at Taft.” Doc. No. 86 at 3. Hammond does not recall receiving any information about Valley Fever during the Admissions and Orientation Process. Doc. No. 87 at 3.

         C. Plaintiff Bruce Dwight Sutton (“Sutton”)

         It is undisputed that pamphlets addressing Valley Fever were available in the waiting area of the medical department, and through medical staff. Doc. No. 60-3; JSUMF 20. It is undisputed that Sutton was warned by staff not to go outside when it was windy. JSUMF 34.

         MTC states that “all inmates are given a pamphlet and a fact sheet about Valley Fever during the Admissions and Orientation Process at Taft.” Doc. No. 88 at 3. Sutton denies receiving any information about Valley Fever during the Admissions and Orientation Process. Doc. No. 91 at 2.

         D. Expert Report ...


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