United States District Court, S.D. California
WILLIAM Q. HAYES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matters before the Court are the Motion to Dismiss filed by
Defendant Sangha (ECF No. 40), the Report and Recommendation
issued by the Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 44), and the
Objection filed by Plaintiff (ECF No. 45).
September 12, 2016, Ruben Gomez (“Plaintiff”), a
state prisoner currently incarcerated at Centinela State
Prison (“CEN”) in Imperial, California, and
proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Raymond Madden, CEN
Warden, and A. Sangha, CEN Chief Medical Officer. ECF No. 1.
December 14, 2016, the Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion
to Proceed IFP, denied his Motion to Appoint Counsel, and sua
sponte DISMISSED his Complaint for failing to state a claim
upon which relief could be granted. ECF No. 5.
was granted forty-five (45) days leave to file an amended
pleading in order to correct the deficiencies of pleading
identified in the Court’s Order. Id. at 11-12.
Plaintiff failed to comply with the Court’s Order. On
February 17, 2017, the Court dismissed the entire action.
January 24, 2018, Plaintiff filed a “Motion to Reopen
Case” which the Court granted. ECF Nos. 10, 11.
March 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”). ECF No. 12. The Court dismissed
Plaintiff’s FAC for failing to state a claim upon which
relief could be granted. ECF No. 13.
25, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint
(“SAC”). ECF No. 14. The Court dismissed claims
against Defendants Madden and Lewis for failing to state a
claim upon which relief could be granted. ECF No. 15. The
Court directed the Clerk of the Court to terminate these
Defendants from the Court’s docket and to issue a
summons as to Defendants Sangha and Mani. Id.
March 20, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint
(“TAC”), the operative proceeding in this case,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF No. 38. Plaintiff
alleges that while he was incarcerated at Centinela State
Prison (“Centinela”), Defendants Chief Medical
Officer Sangha and Ophthalmologist Dr. Mani violated his
rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and
committed negligence and gross negligence pursuant to state
alleges that, in 2007, while incarcerated at Ironwood State
Prison Plaintiff began receiving medical treatment for
keratoconus, a gradual change in the shape of the cornea.
Id. at 4. Plaintiff alleges that he was fitted with
contact lenses. Id. However, Plaintiff alleges that
in his case, where the change in corneal shape is so severe,
contact lenses could lead to further damage and a corneal
transplantation is recommended. Id. Plaintiff
alleges that he continued to receive treatment while
incarcerated at Ironwood State Prison from 2007 to 2010.
alleges that on or about February 10, 2011, he was
transferred to Centinela. Id. at 5. Plaintiff
alleges that on August 12, 2011, he began treatment with
Defendant Dr. Mani. Id. Plaintiff alleges that from
2011 to 2015, Dr. Mani continued to refit him for new contact
lenses. Id. Plaintiff alleges that the course of
treatment authorized, supervised, known, and approved by
Defendant Sangha. Id. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants were aware of his severe keratoconus and acted
with deliberate indifference towards his condition which
caused him, and continues to cause him, severe pain and
alleges that on or about December 10, 2014, he initiated the
Patient Inmate Health Care Appeal. Id. at 6.
Plaintiff alleges that on or about February 20, 2015, he
filed a second appeal. Id. Plaintiff alleges that on
or about September 14, 2015, California Correctional Health
Services (“CCHS”), Deputy Director, J. Lewis
denied his appeals and stated that all administrative
remedies had been exhausted. Id. Plaintiff alleges
that Lewis’s letter states that no intervention at the
Director’s Level of Review is necessary because
Plaintiff’s medical condition has been evaluated and
Plaintiff is receiving treatment deemed medically necessary.
Id.; ECF No. 38-5 at 9. Plaintiff alleges that in
2016, he was recommended a bilateral cornea transplant after
further consultations. Id.; ECF No. 38-6 at 4.
April 5, 2019, Defendant Sangha filed a motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim. ECF No. 40. Defendant Sangha
contends that Plaintiff fails to state a claim because
Plaintiff fails to allege facts sufficient to show that the
claims in this case are timely and there are no allegations
that Sangha was personally involved in the alleged actions
against Plaintiff. Id. Sangha contends that he
cannot be held liable for the wrongdoing of other staff at
Centinela solely based on his supervisory position.
Id. Pursuant to the state law negligence claims,
Sangha contends that ...