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Lear v. Corcoran State Prison

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 31, 2019

RODERICK WILLIAM LEAR, Plaintiff,
v.
CORCORAN STATE PRISON, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BE GRANTED; PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BE DENIED; PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS BE DENIED; AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER BE DENIED ECF NOS. 55, 62, 59, 70

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in this civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on plaintiff's claims against defendant Mansour for medical deliberate indifference and against California State Prison, Corcoran (“CSPC”) for damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). This case is before the court on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, ECF Nos. 55, 62, and on plaintiff's motions for (1) a temporary restraining order, ECF Nos. 59, 70, and (2) sanctions, ECF No. 64.[1] For the reasons set forth below, I recommend that the court grant defendants' motion and deny plaintiff's motions.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         Summary judgment is appropriate where there is “no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). An issue of fact is genuine only if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable fact finder to find for the non-moving party, while a fact is material if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         Each party's position must be supported by (1) citing to particular portions of materials in the record, including but not limited to depositions, documents, declarations, or discovery; or (2) showing that the materials cited do not establish the presence or absence of a genuine dispute or that the opposing party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1) (quotation marks omitted). The court may consider other materials in the record not cited to by the parties, but it is not required to do so. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3); Carmen v. San Francisco Unified School Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001); see also Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th Cir. 2010).

         “The moving party initially bears the burden of proving the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). To meet its burden, “the moving party must either produce evidence negating an essential element of the nonmoving party's claim or defense or show that the nonmoving party does not have enough evidence of an essential element to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion at trial.” Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Fritz Cos., Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000). If the moving party meets this initial burden, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party “to designate specific facts demonstrating the existence of genuine issues for trial.” In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig., 627 F.3d 376, 387 (citing Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323). The non-moving party must “show more than the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence.” Id. (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252). However, the non-moving party is not required to establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor; it is sufficient that “the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” T.W. Electrical Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec. Contractors Assoc., 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).

         The court must apply standards consistent with Rule 56 to determine whether the moving party has demonstrated there to be no genuine issue of material fact and that judgment is appropriate as a matter of law. See Henry v. Gill Indus., Inc., 983 F.2d 943, 950 (9th Cir. 1993). “[A] court ruling on a motion for summary judgment may not engage in credibility determinations or the weighing of evidence.” Manley v. Rowley, 847 F.3d 705, 711 (9th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted). The evidence must be viewed “in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party” and “all justifiable inferences” must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. Orr v. Bank of America, NT & SA, 285 F.3d 764, 772 (9th Cir. 2002); accord Addisu v. Fred Meyer, Inc., 198 F.3d 1130, 1134 (9th Cir. 2000).

         II. STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS

         Plaintiff is an inmate at CSPC. Defendant Dr. Mansour saw plaintiff and provided him with medical care from November 2015 to May 2016. See ECF No. 55-4 at 2-4, 7.

         Plaintiff had a laminectomy surgery on April 21, 2015, to address his diagnosis of right foot drop. Plaintiff reported a fall to his primary care physician on July 7, 2015, indicating that he fell while trying to climb bus steps. Plaintiff had follow-up medical visits on July 16, August 19, and October 27, 2015. Plaintiff had a follow-up MRI exam on July 13, 2015. During plaintiff's October 27, 2015 visit, plaintiff asked to exchange his walker for a cane, and his request was granted.

         Plaintiff has had various accommodations at CSPC, including a bottom bunk, lower tier, lifting restrictions, a walker or cane, a back brace, and waist chain chronos. See, e.g., ECF No. 79 at 2. Plaintiff sought additional accommodation in the form of transportation other than the bus to his medical appointments because he has had painful falls while attempting to climb the steps up to the bus. See Id. Plaintiff submitted his grievance to CSPC and appealed it through the administrative process, and he was denied the transport accommodation at every level.

         Defendant Mansour first saw plaintiff on November 20, 2015, for a first-level appeal interview regarding transportation other than a bus. Defendant Mansour reviewed plaintiff's medical charts and noted that plaintiff's mobility was improving. Defendant Mansour noted that plaintiff had existing mobility accommodations. For these reasons, defendant Mansour felt additional accommodations were not needed at that time. ECF No. 55-4 at 2, 7.

         Plaintiff has been transported by means other than the bus to some of his medical appointments, including by medical van, wheelchair, and golf cart. ECF No. 55-5 at 21. However, because plaintiff was in the Security Housing Unit (“SHU”), officers did not always have access to a medical van for transport. See Id. Plaintiff was always able to get to his medical appointments.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Deliberate Indifference to ...


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