United States District Court, S.D. California
ESTATE OF GERARDO CRUZ-SANCHEZ, by and through his successor-in-interest Paula Garcia Rivera, et al., Plaintiffs,
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' AMENDED MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. NO.
ANTHONY J. BATTAGLIA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendants' amended motion for
summary judgment. (Doc. No. 107.) Plaintiff filed a response
to Defendants' motion. (Doc. No. 108.) On December 20,
2018, the Court held a hearing on the instant motion. Based
on the arguments presented in the briefing as well as at the
hearing, the Court GRANTS in part and
DENIES in part Defendants' amended
motion for summary judgment.
instant matter revolves around the arrest, incarceration and
eventual death of Gerardo Cruz-Sanchez. (See
generally Doc. No. 83.) Mr. Cruz-Sanchez was
incarcerated at the Otay Mesa Detention Center
(“OMDC”). (Id. ¶ 1.) CoreCivic
contracts with the United States to provide detention
services at OMDC. (Doc. No. 107-1 at 6.) CoreCivic provides
support to facilitate the delivery of healthcare services.
(Id. at 8.) CoreCivic has a “sick call”
process where between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. every morning,
if a detainee wishes to be seen they sign the “Sick
Call Request Log.” (Id.) If a detainee has
trouble reading or writing, an officer can assist.
(Id.) Healthcare staff is also available seven days
a week, twenty-four hours a day in the event of an emergency.
February 4, 2016, Mr. Cruz-Sanchez was assigned to the J-Pod
at OMDC. (Doc. No. 108 at 11.) On February 11, 2016, Mr.
Cruz-Sanchez had an intake assessment and reported no medical
problems. (Id. at 12.) On February 12, 2016, Mr.
Cruz-Sanchez was seen regarding pain in his upper eye lid.
(Id.) On February 14, 2016, Mr. Cruz-Sanchez was
seen by a nurse regarding a headache, sore throat, cough and
nasal congestion for two days. (Id.) No chest x-ray
was ordered nor did the nurse refer him to a licensed
physician for further examination. (Id.) On February
16, 2016, Mr. Cruz-Sanchez saw another nurse complaining that
he had a cough, body aches, and sore throat for one week.
(Id.) He reported his pain level as a 9 out of 10.
(Id.) Again neither a chest x-ray was ordered nor
was Mr. Cruz-Sanchez referred to a licensed physician.
(Id.) On February 17, 2016, Mr. Cruz-Sanchez saw a
physician's assistant regarding the same symptoms.
(Id.) However, again a chest x-ray was not ordered
nor was he referred to a licensed physician. (Id.)
On February 26, 2016, an emergency call was made for Mr.
Cruz-Sanchez. (Id. at 16.) The other detainees
reported that Mr. Cruz-Sanchez was coughing up blood.
(Id. at 17.) Mr. Cruz-Sanchez was then brought to
the medical clinic and seen by a doctor. (Id.) The
doctor then called 911 and Mr. Cruz-Sanchez was transported
to the hospital. (Id.) On February 29, 2016, Mr.
Cruz-Sanchez passed away from pneumonia. (Id. at
on Plaintiffs' allegations between February 21st and
February 26th, Mr. Cruz-Sanchez began coughing up blood.
(Id. at 14-16.) Alejandro Chavez, Mr.
Cruz-Sanchez's cellmate, pleaded with Officer Landin to
give Mr. Cruz-Sanchez medical care. (Id.) Landin
responded to Mr. Chavez's pleas by accusing Mr.
Cruz-Sanchez and Mr. Chavez of being homosexual and stating
they there would be no help unless Mr. Cruz-Sanchez was
dying. (Id. at 15.) On February 26, 2016, Plaintiffs
allege that Mr. Cruz-Sanchez could not get out of bed and
that his sheets were soaked in blood. (Id. at 17.)
Mr. Chavez helped Mr. Cruz-Sanchez sit on a table to clean
his sheets. (Id.) Mr. Cruz-Sanchez continued to
cough up blood onto the table. (Id. at 18.) Landin
observed this scene and proceeded to get very angry that Mr.
Cruz-Sanchez was getting the table dirty with blood.
(Id. at 19.)
Rivera filed her complaint on March 22, 2017. (Doc. No. 1.)
On May 3, 2017, Ms. Rivera filed an amended complaint. (Doc.
No. 5.) Ms. Rivera was then granted leave to amend her
complaint on October 4, 2017. (Doc. No. 40.) Ms. Rivera's
second amended complaint was filed on October 5, 2017. (Doc.
No. 41.) Shortly thereafter, the Government filed its motion
to dismiss or motion for summary judgment. (Doc. No. 43.) On
April 17, 2018, the Honorable Judge Roger T. Benitez recused
himself from the instant case. (Doc. No. 65.) On July 2,
2018, this Court granted the United States' motion to
dismiss. (Doc. No. 74.) On August 7, 2018, the Court granted
leave to file third amended complaint. (Doc. No. 83.) On
August 7, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their third amended
complaint (“TAC”). (Doc. No. 83.) Defendants
United States, Landin, and CoreCivic answered the TAC on
August 21, 2018. (Doc. Nos. 84, 85.) On September 14, 2018,
Defendants Landin and CoreCivic filed the instant motion.
(Doc. No. 107.)
judgment is appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56 if the moving party demonstrates the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact and entitlement to judgment as a
matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986). A fact is material when, under the governing
substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.
seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of
establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. The moving party can
satisfy this burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence
that negates an essential element of the nonmoving
party's case; or (2) by demonstrating the nonmoving party
failed to establish an essential element of the nonmoving
party's case on which the nonmoving party bears the
burden of proving at trial. Id. at 322-23.
“Disputes over irrelevant or unnecessary facts will not
preclude a grant of summary judgment.” T.W. Elec.
Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809
F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).
the moving party establishes the absence of a genuine issue
of material fact, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to
set forth facts showing a genuine issue of a disputed fact
remains. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 330. When ruling
on a summary judgment motion, a court must view all
inferences drawn from the underlying facts in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587
seek summary judgment on all claims that Plaintiffs have
sought in their TAC.
Bane Act ...