United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE
HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KATO United States Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiffs Paul Adams, Phillip L.
Dorsey, and Ezequiel Monarrez (“Plaintiffs”),
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
have filed a Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”)
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section
1983”) alleging defendants Daren Plumlee, Carlos
Martinez, Trinidad Rodriguez (“Individual
Defendants”), California Correctional Institution
(“CCI”), and Does 1-10 (collectively
“Defendants”) violated their Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights. As discussed below, the Court
dismisses the TAC with leave to amend.
24, 2016, Plaintiffs constructively filed a complaint
pursuant to Section 1983 against defendants Jeffrey Beard and
K. Holland, in both their individual and official capacities,
CCI, and CDCR. Dkt. 1 at 3. The complaint alleged defendant
CCI and CDCR exposed inmates to dangerous levels of asbestos
in violation of their Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Id. at 3, 5, 8.
August 15, 2016, Plaintiffs constructively filed a Notice of
Proposal of First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”) against defendants Jeffrey Beard, K.
Holland, and Jerry Brown, in their individual and official
capacities, CCI, and CDCR. Dkt. 18 at 3-4. The FAC alleged
(1) prisoners are being exposed to airborne asbestos
particles; and (2) prisoners are forced to drink and bathe in
water contaminated by human feces. Id. at 1-48. On
November 1, 2016, the Court dismissed the FAC with leave to
amend. Dkt. 30.
January 12, 2017, Plaintiffs constructively filed a Second
Amended Complaint (“SAC”) against defendants CDCR and
CCI. Dkts. 36 and 36-1. Plaintiffs alleged CCI and CDCR are
subjecting Plaintiffs to an environment “invested with
air born asbestos particles, ” thereby demonstrating a
deliberate indifference to inmates' health. Id.
On March 15, 2017, the Court dismissed the SAC with leave to
amend for failure to state a claim. Dkt. 37.
April 5, 2017, Plaintiffs constructively filed the instant
TAC against defendant CCI and the Individual Defendants in
their individual and official capacities. TAC at 7-8. In
the TAC, Plaintiffs raise Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment
claims against all Defendants. Id. at 11-14.
OF THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT
claim Defendants have exposed Plaintiffs to dangerous levels
of asbestos and forced them to drink contaminated drinking
water. Id. at 11. As a result of Defendants'
actions, Plaintiffs allege “mental and emotional
injury, ” and “imminent foreseeable health
injuries, ” and “long term life threatening
injury.” Id. at 31.
claim defendant CCI “violated Plaintiffs rights to a
reasonable safe and healthy environment at CCI, on Yards I
and II, by failing to prevent unreasonable exposure to
asbestos” and engaging in asbestos “clean up
[that] were illegal.” Id. at 19, 28.
Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged, around April or May 2016,
CCI staff members began construction in Willard Hall housing
unit, which involved “knocking out an entire wall
infested with asbestos material and . . . remov[ing] asbestos
contaminated floor tiles, without providing warnings to the
inmate occupants in the building.” Id. at 18.
Plaintiffs allege defendant CCI failed to “seal off the
area of the construction” and instead used fans
“which blew all of the Particles into the corners of
the entire housing unit[, ] thus, exposing [Plaintiffs] to
asbestos directly.” Id. at 19. Ultimately,
Plaintiffs claim defendant CCI has failed to ensure that
“asbestos removal and disposal is properly and legally
performed [and] that asbestos exposure is limited by proper
testing.” Id. at 30.
CONTAMINATED WATER CLAIMS
allege the water at CCI is contaminated with lead, arsenic,
and human feces such that “it poses a health risk to
human life.” Id. at 25-27. According to
Plaintiffs, Inmate Dorsey informed them CCI's water
“had human waste in it, among other toxic contaminants
such as Arsenic and LED.” Id. at 22.
claim Defendants are each responsible for CCI's water
contamination. As to defendant CCI, Plaintiffs allege
defendant CCI is aware of the contaminated water because it
“warns Employees and Officers to NOT HANDLE OR DRINK
THE CCI INSTITUTION WATER AT CCI YARDS I AND II.”
Id. at 25. Plaintiffs allege defendant CCI
“hire[s] incompetent employees who knowingly represent
false reports and fabricat[e] test results” and who are
not “certified, qualified, and licensed to perform the
job.” Id. at 29-30. Specifically, Plaintiffs
allege defendant CCI hired the Individual Defendants to
“falsify the records in order to evade the fact that
the water [at CCI] is harmful for any and all human use,
contact, and ingestion.” Id. at 23, 27.
Plaintiffs allege defendant CCI “cannot afford to Place
real Water treatment employees at CCI water treatment Plant
because the Legal Officials would declare that the water is
not safe[, ] [a]nd that Yards I and II would have to be
closed down.” Id. at 23.
the Individual Defendants, Plaintiffs allege they are
“jeopardizing inmate INHABITANTS health and safety on a
daily basis . . . by operating a Water Treatment Plant and
Waste Water Plant and Plant Ops. . . . [and] preforming such
practices without proper state certification, licenses, and
qualifications . . . in violation of State and Federal laws
and regulations.” Id. at 9.
allege defendant Plumlee, who is a “free staff
member/employee hired by CCI as a supervisor, Engineer of
Plant Ops.” has a “duty to supervise the
employees at Water and Waste Water Treatment
Facilities” for CCI. Id. at 38. Plaintiffs
claim defendant Plumlee “allowed his subordinates to
operate without a license and [state] certifications”
and failed “to adequately train and supervise his
employees [Trinidad and Rodriguez].” Id. at 8,
35, 36. Plaintiffs further allege defendant Plumlee knows
“that high levels of Arsenic[, ] lead[, ] and human
feces exists in the water and that [defendant Rodriguez]
pollutes the water supply, tainting the water for the
Plaintiffs and for all inmates on Yards I and II at
CCI.” Id. at 34.
allege defendant Rodriguez, who is a “free staff
member/employee hired by CCI as the Waste Water Supervisor,
at California Correctional Institution, ” is
responsible for “illegally dump[ing] HSI Mobile
Compressor Oil into the spray fields . . . which contaminates
the drinking water on yards I and II at CCI.”
Id. at 8, 22.
Plaintiffs allege defendant Martinez, who is a “free
staff member/employee hired by CCI to run the Water Treatment
Plant at California Correctional Institution” and who
is responsible for taking water samples at CCI to send them
out for testing, is not a certified water operator,
“has failed his last two water state exams, ” and
“falsifies water test results.” Id. at
8, 14, 22, 27, 41. Plaintiffs allege defendant Martinez
“know[s] the water [is] tainted on Yards I and
II” and that he falsifies test results by taking water
samples “from Yards III and IV where the water is
clean.” Id. at 40. Plaintiffs allege
defendants Plumlee and Martinez “fabricate the records
on a regular basis.” Id. at 23, 42.
REQUESTS FOR RELIEF
result of their alleged injuries from both the asbestos
exposure and water contamination, Plaintiffs seek (1) $520,
000 in compensatory damages; (2) $150, 000 in punitive
damages; (3) a declaratory judgment defendants violated
Plaintiff's constitutional rights and falsified test
results regarding air and water quality at CCI; and (4) an
injunction evacuating and shutting down CCI yards I and II,
ordering asbestos material removed, and removing the
Individual Defendants from their government offices.
Id. at 15-16. Additionally, Plaintiffs seek to have
their case designated as a class action. Id. at