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Chavez v. Doe

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 23, 2019

J. DOE #1, et al., Defendants.



         I. BACKGROUND

         Gilberto Chavez (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On October 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action, which is now before the court for screening. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. (ECF No. 1.)


         The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that the action or appeal fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         A complaint is required to contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). While a plaintiff’s allegations are taken as true, courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). To state a viable claim, Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.


         Plaintiff is a state prisoner presently incarcerated at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California. The events at issue in the Complaint allegedly occurred at Avenal State Prison in Avenal, California, when Plaintiff was incarcerated there in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Plaintiff names as defendants J. Doe #1 (Jane Doe, Kitchen Supervisor) and Does #2-12 (ASP Medical Staff) (collectively “Defendants”).

         Plaintiff allegations follow:

Plaintiff entered Avenal State Prison (ASP) in 2012. By August 2013, Plaintiff was assigned to work as a cook in the kitchen.

         On August 3, 2013, while he was working in the kitchen, Plaintiff told his supervisor, defendant Jane Doe #1 (whose first name is Celina) that he needed someone to help him lift some heavy bags of rice. Jane Doe #1 failed to provide Plaintiff with assistance to lift the bags of rice, so Plaintiff tried to lift them by himself. As soon as he lifted the first bag Plaintiff heard a popping sound and felt pain in his right shoulder. Jane Doe #1 witnessed the event and asked Plaintiff if he was hurt. Plaintiff replied that yes, he was hurt, and Jane Doe #1 just went to her office without doing anything about Plaintiff’s injury. After a while, that same day, Plaintiff felt increased pain in his shoulder so he went to Jane Doe #1’s office and told her that he could not keep working because of the pain. She told Plaintiff that she didn’t have enough workers and she would not allow Plaintiff to leave work to tend to his injury. Jane Doe #1 failed to send Plaintiff to the clinic to have his injury evaluated by medical staff. As a result, Plaintiff suffered prolonged severe pain.

         On many occasions since August 4, 2013, Plaintiff told defendant Jane Doe #1 that he could not work due to the pain in his right shoulder, and because his doctor had restricted him from lifting more than two pounds of weight with his right arm. However, Jane Doe #1 did not allow Plaintiff to stop working, instead she accommodated him by allowing him to do different jobs in the kitchen such as table wiper and line server. But soon after, Jane Doe #1 had Plaintiff working as a cook again and doing heavy lifting.

         As a result of Jane Doe #1’s deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s serious medical needs, Plaintiff suffered severe pain for months and on November 2, 2013, while lifting a heavy pot of beans in the kitchen, ruptured the long head of the bicep muscle (tendon) in his right arm.

         On multiple occasions since August 4, 2013, Plaintiff requested medical treatment for the injuries in his right arm and shoulder. CDCR’s medical staff at ASP, defendants Does #2-12, failed to provide adequate medical treatment, including surgery to repair the torn tendon in Plaintiff’s right arm. As the result of Does #2-12’s deliberate indifference, Plaintiff has been suffering constant severe ...

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