United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO RANDOMLY ASSIGN A
DISTRICT JUDGE TO THIS ACTION FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
REGARDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION (ECF No. 1.)
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Robert Anthony Escareno (“Plaintiff”) is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Screening Requirement and Standard
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against
an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion
thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§
complaint must 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).
survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially
plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow
the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret
Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer
possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not
sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short
of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572
F.3d at 969.
Plaintiff's Section 1983 Action
is currently housed at the California Substance Abuse
Treatment Facility (“CSATF”) in Corcoran,
California, where the events in the complaint are alleged to
have occurred. Plaintiff names Warden Stu Sherman as the sole
asserts a single claim for cruel and unusual punishment in
violation of the Eighth Amendment and alleges as follows:
CSATF has a serious and longstanding problem in its Facility
A Dining Hall. Water continuously leaks from the ceiling
during rain, causing saturated ceiling tiles to disintegrate
and mold to form along the walls and ceiling area. Plaintiff
asserts that there is no dispute about this fact and
references an attached order regarding a Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus from Kings County Superior Court Judge Donna
Tarter dated June 4, 2019.
further alleges that mold in particular has been a
longstanding problem in the Facility A Dining Hall. In
February 2017, the California Department of Public Health
conducted an environmental health survey at CSATF. The report
found, among other things, that the Facility A Dining Hall
had “[s]ignificant deterioration of ceiling tiles,
” as well as evidence of water intrusion. The Facility
A Dining Hall had “evidence of
mold-like-substances.” (ECF No. 1 at 3.) In July 2017,
the Office of Appeals Examiners investigating staff also
observed mold in the “B” section of the Facility
A Dining Hall.
also alleges that beginning in February 2018, Plaintiff began
to experience coughing, red, itchy, watery eyes, a stuff nose
and sore throat. Those conditions flared-up when Plaintiff
entered the dining hall to consume his meals twice a day.
Plaintiff was seen by Nurse Practitioner (“NP”)
Ernest Ziegler on April 9, 2018. Plaintiff described to NP
Ziegler how every time he enters the dining hall, he
experiences the same symptoms. NP Ziegler prescribed
Plaintiff nasal spray and eye drops and told Plaintiff that
he would have a follow-up appointment with a doctor for
“mold spore management.” (Id. at 4.)
February 11, 2019, Plaintiff's primary treating
physician, Dr. Ryan Kim, testified at an evidentiary hearing
before Superior Court Judge Donna Tarter that “daily
exposure to the inside of a building with extensive leaks
from water contaminated with mold & bird feces poses a
risk of illness.” (Id.) Dr. Kim further
testified that exposure to mold would aggravate seasonal
allergy symptoms, which Plaintiff has had since 2015. Since
Plaintiff started experiencing mold spore allergy symptoms
and seasonal allergy symptoms while in the dining hall,
Plaintiff, approximately 30 different times, had to forego
his evening meals because he did not want to deal with
worsening symptoms during the night when he was sleeping.
asserts that as a result of Defendant Sherman forcing him to
consume his meals in an environment with massive water
intrusion, which caused and created the moldy condition,
Plaintiff contracted a mold spore allergy and his seasonal
allergies were aggravated by the moldy conditions in the
dining hall. Additionally, on 30 different occasions,
Plaintiff had to go to ...