United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART COUNTY
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND RE:
DKT. NO. 62
PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
County of Alameda (“the County”), Gregory J.
Ahern, Carol Burton, Bobbie Cook, Kim Curtis, Hayley Holland,
Nicholas Lagorio, and Joshua Pape's (together, the
“County Defendants”) motion to dismiss came on
for hearing before this court on November 20, 2019.
Plaintiffs appeared through their counsel, Jamie Goldstein.
Defendants appeared through their counsel, Denise
Billups-Slone and Amy Rothman. Having read the papers filed
by the parties and carefully considered their arguments and
the relevant legal authority, and good cause appearing, the
court hereby rules as follows, for the following reasons and
for the reasons stated at the hearing.
lawsuit is brought by the survivors of Logan Masterson (the
“decedent”), who committed suicide while an
inmate at the Santa Rita Jail. The court has previously
recounted the factual allegations in some detail in an order
granting an earlier motion to dismiss. See Dkt. 59.
decedent was arrested for “various charges” and
brought to Santa Rita Jail on April 4, 2018. He was initially
placed in a safety cell on suicide watch, but suicide watch
was discontinued, and he was moved to an isolation cell. He
remained in the isolation cell until his self-inflicted
hanging death on April 6, 2018.
Tiffany Masterson (in her personal capacity, and as executor
of decedent's estate), and her minor children, Bentley,
Bella, Hailey, and Chloe Masterson (through their respective
guardians ad litem), assert eight claims against the County
of Alameda; Sheriff Gregory Ahern; Deputy Nicholas Lagorio;
Sergeant Joshua Pape; Carol Burton, Interim Director of the
Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Agency
(“BHCS”); Social Worker Kim Curtis; Therapist
Hayley Holland; Therapist Bobbie Cook (Curtis, Holland, and
Cook are the “BHCS Providers”); and the
California Forensic Medical Group (“CFMG”) and
three of its nurses, Savitha Quadros, Jane Mwangi, and
Melynda Logan (the three nurses are the “CFMG
operative causes of action asserted in the First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”) are: (1) 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
Failure to Provide Medical Care in Violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment (alleged against all defendants); (2) 42
U.S.C. § 1983, Failure to Protect from Harm in Violation
of the Fourteenth Amendment (alleged against all defendants);
(3) 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Deprivation of Substantive Due
Process in Violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments
(alleged against all defendants); (4) medical malpractice
under California law (alleged against County, Burton, BHCS
Providers, CFMG, CFMG Providers, and Doe defendants); (5)
failure to furnish medical care under California law (alleged
against County, Ahern, Burton, Curtis, Cook, Holland, Lagorio
and Pape); (6) negligent supervision under California law
(alleged against County, Ahern, CFMG, and Doe defendants);
(7) wrongful death under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.60
(alleged against all defendants); and (8) negligence under
California law (alleged against all defendants). See
generally FAC, Dkt. 60.
August 30, 2019, the County Defendants moved to dismiss all
claims to the extent they are asserted against them, other
than claims 4 and 7.
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests for the legal
sufficiency of the claims alleged in the complaint. Ileto
v. Glock, 349 F.3d 1191, 1199-1200 (9th Cir. 2003).
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, which requires that
a complaint include a “short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), a complaint may be dismissed under Rule
12(b)(6) if the plaintiff fails to state a cognizable legal
theory, or has not alleged sufficient facts to support a
cognizable legal theory. Somers v. Apple, Inc., 729
F.3d 953, 959 (9th Cir. 2013).
the court is to accept as true all the factual allegations in
the complaint, legally conclusory statements, not supported
by actual factual allegations, need not be accepted.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). The
complaint must proffer sufficient facts to state a claim for
relief that is plausible on its face. Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 558-59 (2007).
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
“[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged-but it has not
‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Id. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)). Where dismissal is warranted, it is generally
without prejudice, unless it is clear the complaint cannot be
saved by any amendment. Sparling v. Daou, 411 F.3d
1006, 1013 (9th Cir. 2005).