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Gibson v. Vanjani

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 5, 2017

ARTHUR LEE GIBSON, Plaintiff,
v.
VANJANI, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE DOCKET NO. 1

          EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Arthur Lee Gibson, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, filed this pro se prisoner's civil rights action seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His complaint is now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In his complaint, Mr. Gibson alleges the following: Mr. Gibson has hepatitis C, and was told as far back as 2011 or 2012 that he qualified for treatment but that treatment would be deferred until a new hepatitis C medication was released. That new medication, Harvoni, was later released. Dr. Vanjani told Mr. Gibson on April 7, 2016, that Mr. Gibson no longer qualified for Harvoni for his hepatitis C. Dr. Rowe and Dr. Tootell thereafter agreed with Dr. Vanjani, and denied the Harvoni treatment for Mr. Gibson.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of 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 which 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 Id. at § 1915A(b). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         Deliberate indifference to an inmate's serious medical needs violates the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual punishment. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1057 (9th Cir. 2004). To establish an Eighth Amendment claim on a condition of confinement, such as medical care, a prisoner-plaintiff must show: (1) an objectively, sufficiently serious, deprivation, and (2) the official was, subjectively, deliberately indifferent to the inmate's health or safety. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994).

         The complaint alleges that Drs. Vanjani, Rowe, and Tootell have refused to provide Mr. Gibson with treatment for his hepatitis C -- treatment that is both available and necessary. Liberally construed, the complaint states a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim against the three doctors for deliberate indifference to Mr. Gibson's medical needs.

         IV. CONCLUSION

         1. The complaint states a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim against Dr. Vanjani, Dr. Rowe, and Dr. Tootell.

         2. The Clerk shall issue a summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, the summons, a copy of the amended complaint and a copy of all the documents in the case file upon the following defendants, ...


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