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Gomes v. Boone

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 6, 2019

MORGAN MARIE GOMES, Plaintiff,
v.
NICK BOONE; RICHARD WILLIAMS; PLACER COUNTY PROBATION OFFICE; and Does 1 through 20, Defendant.

          ORDER

          TROY L. NUNLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants Nick Boone, Richard Williams, and Placer County Probation Office's (collectively, “Defendants”) Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 35.) Plaintiff Morgan Marie Gomes (“Plaintiff”) opposes Defendants' motion. (ECF No. 41.) For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. (ECF No. 35.)

         I. Factual and Procedural Background[1]

         Defendant Boone, a probation officer, arrested Plaintiff for a probation violation on July 17, 2013. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 1.) At the time of her arrest, Plaintiff admitted to officers that she was under the influence of drugs. (ECF No. 35-3 at 6.) Plaintiff has Type I diabetes, but she did not have her insulin pump attached to her body at the time of arrest. (ECF No. 48-1 at ¶ 2.) Prior to booking, Defendant Boone took Plaintiff to Auburn Faith Hospital (“AFH”) for medical clearance. (ECF No. 48-1 at 9 ¶ 5.) Upon her release from AFH, Plaintiff's blood sugar level was 391.[2] (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 6.)

         Plaintiff was booked into Placer County Juvenile Detention Facility (“JDF”) around 4:00 PM on July 17, 2013. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 7.) Plaintiff's blood sugar level at the time of booking was 347. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 8.) Probation staff gave Plaintiff ten units of insulin shortly thereafter. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 10.)

         Around 1:30 AM, Plaintiff vomited. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 11.) Probation staff tested Plaintiff's blood sugar at 3:05 AM and found her blood sugar level to be 444. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶¶ 13, 25.) The supervising officer called the California Forensic Medical Group (“CFMG”) to report Plaintiff's increasing blood sugar level. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 13.) Probation staff then placed Plaintiff on “Welfare Safety Checks.” (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 15.) Although the standard at JDF is to check patients every fifteen minutes, a JDF supervisor directed Defendant Williams, a JDF employee, to check Plaintiff every five minutes. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶¶ 16-17.)

         Per CFMG's orders, probation staff transported Plaintiff back to AFH for further medical evaluation around 7:05 AM on July 18, 2013. (ECF No. 48-1 ¶ 18.) Plaintiff remained in the hospital for four days until she was discharged on July 22, 2013. (ECF No. 41 at 13.)

         On July 17, 2015, Plaintiff brought two causes of action against Defendants: (1) cruel and unusual punishment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 (“section 1983”); and (2) agency liability under section 1983. (ECF No. 1.)

         II. Standard of Law

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving party demonstrates no genuine issue as to any material fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157 (1970). Under summary judgment practice, the moving party always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis of its motion, and identifying those portions of “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file together with affidavits, if any, ” which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). “[W]here the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file.” Id. at 324 (internal quotations omitted). Indeed, summary judgment should be entered against a party who does not make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.

         If the moving party meets its initial responsibility, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue as to any material fact actually does exist. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 585-87 (1986); First Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968). In attempting to establish the existence of this factual dispute, the opposing party may not rely upon the denials of its pleadings, but is required to tender evidence of specific facts in the form of affidavits, and/or admissible discovery material, in support of its contention that the dispute exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The opposing party must demonstrate that the fact in contention is material, i.e., a fact that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986), and that the dispute is genuine, i.e., the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id. at 251-52.

         In the endeavor to establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not 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.” First Nat'l Bank, 391 U.S. at 288-89. Thus, the “purpose of summary judgment is to ‘pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial.'” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587 (quoting Rule 56(e) advisory committee's note on 1963 amendments).

         In resolving the summary judgment motion, the court examines the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with any applicable affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); SEC v. Seaboard Corp., 677 F.2d 1301, 1305-06 (9th Cir. 1982). The evidence of the opposing party is to be believed, and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the facts pleaded before the court must be drawn in favor of the opposing party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. Nevertheless, inferences are not drawn out of the air, and it is the opposing party's obligation to produce a factual predicate from which the inference may be drawn. Richards v. Nielsen Freight Lines, 602 F.Supp. 1224, 1244-45 (E.D. Cal. 1985), aff'd, 810 F.2d 898 (9th Cir. 1987). Finally, to demonstrate a genuine issue that necessitates a jury trial, the opposing party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. “Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no ‘genuine issue for trial.'” Id. at 587.

         III. ...


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