United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING THEREGENTS' MOTION FOR
SUMMARYJUDGMENT ON PLAINTIFFS' CLAIMSAGAINST JAVIST AND
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed his complaint for damages against The Regents of the
University of California, Danielle Dass, Charlene Williams,
Gregory Sokolov, and Andrea Javist (together, the “JPS
Defendants”) as well as the County of Sacramento and
three county deputies (“County”). Id.
Plaintiff alleges that he suffered injuries caused by
Defendants' medical negligence and deliberate
indifference toward his constitutional rights while he was
detained in the county jail. Id.
County, and the JPS Defendants filed separate motions for
summary judgment. JPS Defendants Mot. for Summ. J.
(“JPS Defendants Mot.”), ECF No. 32; County Mot.
for Summ. J. (“County Mot.”), ECF No. 33. On
November 5, 2019, the Court held a hearing on both
motions. Minutes for November 5, 2019 Hearing, ECF No. 44.
hearing, the Court granted the County's motion in its
entirety. The Court denied the JPS Defendants' motion for
summary judgment on Plaintiff's medical negligence claim
and Section 1983 claims against Dass and Williams. The Court
also took the JPS Defendants' motion for summary judgment
on Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against Sokolov and
Javist under submission. For the reasons stated below, the
Court now GRANTS summary judgment on this claim against
Javist and Sokolov.
pled a section 1983 claim against Sokolov and Javist, arguing
their failure to provide adequate mental health treatment to
inmates constituted a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Compl. ¶ 27. Plaintiff's opposition to the JPS
Defendants' summary judgment motion appears to conflate a
section 1983 municipal liability with a section 1983 claim
against public officials acting in their individual capacity.
JPS Defendants Opp'n at 16. To the extent Plaintiff is
asking the Court to recognize a respondeat superior theory of
municipal liability, that request is denied. Neither
municipalities nor public officials acting in their official
capacity can be held vicariously liable under section 1983.
Keates v. Koile, 883 F.3d 1228, 1242 (9th Cir.
2018). Because Plaintiff's complaint names Sokolov and
Javist as defendants in their individual capacity, the Court
treats his section 1983 claims against them as resting on a
theory of individual, supervisor liability. Id.
Supervisory officials violate section 1983 when they are (1)
personally involved in a constitutional deprivation, or (2)
if there is a “sufficient casual connection between the
supervisor's wrongful conduct and the constitutional
violation. Rodriguez v. Cty. of Los Angeles, 891
F.3d 776, 798 (9th Cir. 2018).
Defendants argue “there is no evidence [Javist and
Sokolov] had any personal involvement in the alleged
deprivation of [Plaintiff's] mental health care, ”
because they never saw Plaintiff. JPS Defendants Reply at 7.
Plaintiff does not dispute this. See generally JPS Defendants
Opp'n at 15-19. Thus, neither Dr. Javist nor Ms. Sokolov
can be “liable for any personal involvement in the
deprivation of [Plaintiff's] constitutional
[violation]....” Redman v. San Diego, 942 F.2d
1435 (9th Cir. 1991) (finding the defendant could not be
liable for any personal involvement when he was not
“personally appraised” of the harm plaintiff was
not personally involved, a supervisor “may be liable in
his individual capacity for his own culpable action or
inaction in the training, supervision, or control of his
subordinates; for his acquiescence in the constitutional
deprivation; or for conduct that showed a reckless or callous
indifference to the rights of others.” Rodriguez, 891
F.3d at 798. “[A] plaintiff must show the supervisor
breached a duty to plaintiff which was the proximate cause of
the injury.” Starr v. Bacca, 652 F.3d 1202,
1207 (9th Cir. 2011). A plaintiff can satisfy the causation
element by showing a supervising defendant “set in
motion a series of acts by others or by knowingly refus[ing]
to terminate a series of acts by others, which [the
supervisor] knew or reasonably should have known would cause
others to inflict a constitutional injury.” Starr, 652
F.3d at 1207-08.
alleges the “absence of any real mental health
treatment options [under the supervision of Sokolov and
Javist] caused him to decompensate during his incarceration,
and ultimately led him to attempt suicide.” JPS
Defendants Opp'n at 18. Defendant argues Javist and
Sokolov could not have caused Plaintiff's injuries
because “they did not breach a duty to Plaintiff which
was the proximate cause of the injury. …[Plaintiff]was
not their patient and they owed him no duty.” JPS
Defendants Reply at 7. The Court agrees.
never established that Dr. Sokolov and Ms. Javist owed him a
duty. Further, Plaintiff did not present any expert evidence
concluding that Dr. Sokolov and Ms. Javist caused his suicide
attempt or prevented him from receiving mental health care
during his detention. Plaintiff relies on the testimony of
witness Dr. Bruce Gage to support his causation conclusion.
JPS Opp'n 18-19. But as Defendants correctly point out,
Dr. Gage never reaches a causation conclusion. JPS Defendants
Reply at 7.
cause is a question of fact for the jury, only if it is
possible “to raise a reasonable inference that the act
complained of was the proximate cause of the injury.”
Rexall Drug Co. v. Nihill,276 F.2d 637, 645 (9th
Cir. 1960). Without evidence supporting Plaintiff's
conclusion of causation, a jury cannot raise a reasonable
inference as to that issue. Rather, a jury would be left to
speculate. Accordingly, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate
that there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to the
element of causal ...