Scott v. Garcia

Decision Date04 January 2005
Docket NumberNo. CIV. 00-1849 WQHJMA.,CIV. 00-1849 WQHJMA.
Citation370 F.Supp.2d 1056
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of California
PartiesIvan SCOTT, Plaintiff, v. GARCIA, Warden, Centinela State Prison, et al. Defendants.

Mazda K. Antia and Chaise R. Bivin, Cooley Godward LLP, for plaintiff.

Randall A. Pinal, Deputy Attorney General, California Attorney General's Office, for defendants.


HAYES, District Judge.

I. Procedural Background

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 56 [Doc. No. 113].

The Court has considered the papers filed in support of Defendants' motion, Plaintiff's Opposition, Defendants' Reply, as well as all relevant pleadings and documents in the Court's file. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Defendants' Motion.

II. Procedural History

Before the Court is Plaintiff Ivan Scott's Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), filed pursuant to the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. ("ADA") [Doc. No. 72]. On June 21, 2004, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 113]. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed his Opposition [Doc. No. 119], to which Defendants have Replied [Doc. No. 124]. While this case was randomly referred to the Honorable Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for disposition, the Court has determined that a Report and Recommendation regarding the disposition of Defendants' pending Motion for Summary Judgment is unnecessary. See S.D. CAL. CIVLR 72.3(a) (assigning "[a]ll of the District's civil § 1983 prisoner caseload" to the District's magistrate judges for disposition either upon consent of all parties, or in absence of unanimous written consent, "upon submission of proposed findings and recommendations to the district judge, unless the district judge orders otherwise."). This matter has been submitted on the papers for determination without oral argument pursuant to S.D. CAL. CIVLR 7.1.d.1.

III. Factual Allegations

Plaintiff was a state prisoner incarcerated at the High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California.1 From February 25, 1998 to April 12, 1999, Plaintiff was incarcerated at Centinela State Prison ("Centinela") where he began experiencing stomach and digestive problems. See SAC at ¶ 17; Defs.' Ex. B, Plaintiff's CDC Chronological History. Plaintiff often suffered digestive problems, including vomiting, gastrointestinal distress and the inability to eat regular prison food. See Pl.'s Exs. D-N, Plaintiff's CDC Medical File.2 On October 7, 1998, Plaintiff was examined by Dr. Mustafa Hamdy, a gastroenterologist. Dr. Hamdy diagnosed Plaintiff with esophageal erosion, possible Barrett's esophagus, multiple gastric erosions, gastic ulcer, pyloric channel ulcer, duodenal bulb ulcer and multiple second duodenum ulcers. See Defs.' Ex. W, Dr. Hamdy's Medical Report dated October 7, 1998. Plaintiff was prescribed an anti-reflux medication and instructed to avoid fatty and spicy foods by Dr. Hamdy. Id. Plaintiff brought his dietary needs to the attention of Centinela staff and requested food which followed Dr. Hamdy's instructions. See Plaintiff's Stmt. of Undisputed Facts ("SOF") No. 6; Pl.'s Ex. A, Deposition of Plaintiff at 52:25-53:4, 104:3-11, 106:2-17, 101:10-18, 102:9-11.

The following month, Centinela's Chief Medical Officer, Charles Pickett, documented Plaintiff's medical condition in a 128-C medical "chrono" which indicated that Plaintiff "needs a transfer to an institution with a medical hospital facilities" because of his "moderate to severe erosion of the gastric mucosa and esophageal erosion from reflux, due to a hiatal hernia." See Pl.'s Ex. Q, medical chrono dated November 4, 1998; see also Defs.' Ex. AB. This chrono was placed in Plaintiff's central file. Id.; Defs.' SOF No. 32.

Two days later, on November 6, 1998, Plaintiff appeared before an institutional classification committee hearing. See Defs.' Ex. AD, Classification Chrono dated Nov. 6, 1998. During the hearing, Plaintiff informed Defendants Asuncion and Esquibel of his need to transfer to an institution with a medical hospital pursuant to Dr. Pickett's chrono. Id. The classification chrono indicates that Asuncion and Esquibel did not affirmatively recommend transfer but instead chose to "refer" Plaintiff's request to the classification staff representative ("CSR").3

On December 9, 1998, Plaintiff was once again examined by Dr. Hamdy. See Defs.' Ex. AF, Dr. Hamdy's Medical Report dated Dec. 9, 1998. As a result of this examination, Dr. Hamdy diagnosed Plaintiff with mild esophagitis, small red tongue of red mucosa in the lower esophagus, markedly improved esophagus, persistent gastric ulcer, persistent duodenal ulcer and pyloric channel ulcer. The report noted that Plaintiff informed Dr. Hamdy that he "cannot eat persistent of abdominal pain and losing weight." Dr. Hamdy recommended that a CT scan of Plaintiff's abdomen be performed. Id.

Due to disciplinary infractions, Plaintiff was sentenced to a nine month "SHU"4 term. See Defs.' Ex. AN, classification chrono dated February 11, 1999. Defendant Holmstrom, a Correctional Counselor III in the Health Care Placement Unit, was contacted by Peggy Noroit, the Utilization Management Nurse at Centinela, on January 19, 1999, regarding Plaintiff's medical condition and housing needs. See Defs.' Ex. I, Declaration of Christine Holmstrom at ¶ 7; Defs.' Ex. AL, Health Care Population Management Unit Contact Sheet. Defendant Holmstrom was contacted for a recommendation regarding placement for Plaintiff because Centinela staff believed that Plaintiff "needed to be at an institution that had an on-site acute care hospital." See Defs.' Ex. AC, Deposition of Christine Holmstrom at 52:12-21. Centinela State Prison does not have an on-site acute care hospital. Id. On January 22, 1999, Holmstrom consulted with Dr. Calvo, a Chief Medical Officer in Health Care Services Division in Sacramento, who indicated that Plaintiff did not need to be placed in a hospital because "an outpatient facility would be sufficient." Defs.' Ex. I, Holmstrom Decl. at ¶ 8. There is no statement by Dr. Calvo to explain the basis for his opinion that Plaintiff did not need to be placed in an acute care hospital. There is no evidence that Dr. Calvo examined Plaintiff or reviewed Plaintiff's medical records in coming to this opinion. Ultimately, Holmstrom recommended that Plaintiff be transferred to Corcoran for his SHU term.

When Plaintiff was given a nine month SHU term on February 11, 1999, the classification committee members, Asuncion, Dubenspeck, Alkire, Valenzuela, Snead, Ferra, Gile and Stanifer retained Plaintiff at Centinela "pending review" for placement at Pelican Bay or Corcoran. See Defs.' Ex. AN. On February 24, 1999, Dr. Pickett issued another medical chrono in which he stated that "[Plaintiff] needs an immediate transfer to CMC." See Defs.' Ex. AO, medical chrono dated Feb. 24, 1999 (emphasis added). Dr. Pickett had arranged with the Chief Medical Officer ("CMO") for the California Men's Facility ("CMC"), a CDC facility that had an acute care hospital, to accept Plaintiff. Id., see also Defs.' Ex. AP, Declaration of Charles Pickett, MD, at ¶ 5. Dr. Pickett frequently entered into "CMO to CMO" agreements to send Centinela patients to CMC for medical treatment. See Picket Decl. at ¶ 6. However, Plaintiff was not permitted to transfer to CMC due to custody concerns. See Holmstrom Decl. at ¶ 10.

On February 25, 1999, Plaintiff appeared before the ICC classification committee, including Defendants Gile, Favila, Alkire and Esquibel, at which time Defendants took note of Dr. Pickett's medical chronos seeking immediate transfer for Plaintiff due to his medical concerns. See Defs.' Ex. AQ, classification chrono dated February 25, 1999. According to this chrono, Defendant Holmstrom5 "direct[s] Centinela to refer [Plaintiff] for transfer" to the Corcoran SHU. However, the committee elected to retain Plaintiff at Centinela until the case was referred to the classification staff representative ("CSR") who would then decide to transfer Plaintiff to either Corcoran or Pelican Bay State Prison ("Pelican Bay"). Id. Pelican Bay does not have an on-site acute care hospital. See Defs.' Ex. AC, Pickett Deposition at 24:25-25:15.

On March 10, 1999, the CSR approved Plaintiff's nine month SHU term. See Defs.' Ex. AR, classification chrono dated March 10, 1999. However, Plaintiff's transfer was, once again, deferred due to lack of paperwork. Id. Dr. Pickett wrote yet another medical chrono in which he stated that Plaintiff needed an "immediate transfer to CMC." See Defs.' Ex. AS, medical chrono dated March 15, 1999 (emphasis added). He when on to further note that Plaintiff "has severe erosion and gastric ulcers with possible lymph node matting." Id. Plaintiff appeared again before Defendants Ryan, Favila and Asuncion at his ICC classification hearing. See Defs.' Ex. AT, classification chrono dated March 22, 1990. At this classification hearing, the committee elected to continue to retain Plaintiff at Centinela until a transfer could be made to either Corcoran or Pelican Bay. The CSR followed up with an endorsement to transfer Plaintiff to Corcoran. See Defs.' Ex. AU, classification chrono dated March 25, 1999.

Plaintiff was actually transferred to Corcoran nearly forty five (45) days later and five months after Dr. Pickett's first medical chrono recommending a transfer to an institution with hospital facilities that was not available at Centinela. See Defs.' Ex. B. On April 14, 1999, Plaintiff was examined by Dr. Robertson, the staff gastroenterologist at Corcoran. See Defs.' Ex. AW, medical report dated April 14, 1999. Approximately one week later, Dr. Robertson performed an EGD and determined that Pla...

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