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Elmore v. Washington State Department of Corrections

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

June 5, 2015

ROBERTA ELMORE, Plaintiff,
v.
WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, WASHINGTON CORRECTIONS CENTER FOR WOMEN, et al., Defendants.

ORDER ON MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO RESPOND TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TO AMEND SCHEDULING ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY

J. RICHARD CREATURA, Magistrate Judge.

The District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action to United States Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), and local Magistrate Judge Rules MJR1, MJR3 and MJR4.

Before the Court is plaintiff's motion for extension of time to conduct discovery and to respond to defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 36). Defendants have filed a response ( see Dkt. 40; see also Dkt. 39) and plaintiff has filed a reply ( see Dkt. 41; see also Dkt. 43).

Because plaintiff has demonstrated good cause and has only recently acquired counsel, and in the interests of justice, the Court grants plaintiff's motion for extension to respond to defendants' motion for summary judgment in part (Dkt. 36). Plaintiff's supplemental response to defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 36-3) will be considered, but only with respect to plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim regarding the alleged inappropriate denial of pain medication. The remainder of defendants' summary judgment motion has been addressed already by the Court ( see Report and Recommendation on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, Dkt. 33, Order on Report and Recommendation and other motions, Dkt. 44).

In addition, because plaintiff has demonstrated good cause, and because the Court has granted plaintiff's request to file an amended complaint, plaintiff's motion for an extension of time for discovery is granted (Dkt. 36), but only as to claims not dismissed already by the Court ( see Dkt. 44).

FACTS

The Court previously has set out the facts of this case in a more comprehensive manner than the Court will discuss herein ( see Report and Recommendation on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, Dkt. 33).

Plaintiff is an inmate at Washington Corrections Center for Women ("WCCW") who suffers from a rare bone disease, Fibrous Dysplasia, Polyostotic form. Plaintiff receives specialized treatment for this impairment every five or six months, but indicates that approximately four months after her treatment, the medication "is wearing out of [her] system" (Dkt. 23, Exhibit 4, pp. 33-34). When this occurs, plaintiff contends that she becomes more prone to falling, and that it hurts to walk.

In addition to other claims already addressed by this Court ( see Dkts. 33, 44), plaintiff claims that defendants have improperly denied her necessary pain medication and that, as a result, defendants have been deliberately indifferent to her serious medical need. In large part due to her previous pro se status, plaintiff concedes that she did not set out this particular aspect of her complaint with a large amount of factual allegations or legal argument ( see Dkt. 36; see also Complaint, Dkt. 6; Response to Motion for Summary Judgment, Dkt. 26). However, plaintiff did allege, for example, that she has continued to file reports about her legs being in pain against defendant ARNP Saari ( see Complaint, Dkt. 6, at p. 4). Defendant Dr. Colter admits that "WCCW health care providers have not prescribed all the pain medications [plaintiff] has requested but have prescribed those medications that are, in their professional judgment, necessary and appropriate" ( see Declaration of Mary L. Colter, M.D., Dkt. 23, Exhibit 2, pp. 2-3).

This Court previously recommended that defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim regarding the alleged inappropriate denial of pain medication be granted ( see Dkt. 33). The Court specifically based this recommendation on a finding that "[b]ased on the evidence plaintiff has presented, no reasonable jury would make [] [the] finding" that the denial of plaintiff's requested pain medication "was medically unacceptable under the circumstances, ' and was chosen in conscious disregard of an excessive risk to [the prisoner's] health''" (Dkt. 33, p. 18 ( quoting Toguchi v. Soon Hwang Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1058 (9th Cir. 2004) ( quoting Jackson v. McIntosh, 90 F.3d 330, 332 (9th Cir. 1996) (citations omitted in original)). However, plaintiff recently has acquired representation and has submitted a large amount of evidence on this claim, as well as additional arguments in support of this claim ( see Dkt. 36). In the motion currently before the Court, plaintiff requests leave to file this additional evidence and moves for an extension of time to respond to defendants' motion for summary judgment, as filed by counsel ( see id. ).

Although the Court adopted the Report and Recommendation regarding the remainder of plaintiff's claims, the Court declined to adopt this particular recommendation that defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted on plaintiff's claim regarding alleged inappropriate denial of necessary pain medication ( see Dkt. 44, pp. 5, 7). The Court declined to adopt the recommendation for dismissal of this Eighth Amendment claim regarding medication because plaintiff has submitted "extensive briefing and additional evidence in support of this claim" ( see id. p. 5 ( citing Dkt. 36-3, 36-5, 36-6, 36-8))

DISCUSSION

I. Plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to file her Supplemental Response to defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and ...


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