United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND.
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff Jonathan Donnell Turner, proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having
reviewed and screened Plaintiff’s Complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court declines to serve the
Complaint but provides Plaintiff leave to file an amended
pleading by August 25, 2017, to cure the deficiencies
who is currently incarcerated at the Pierce County Jail,
alleges his Eighth Amendment rights to adequate medical care
were violated when an unknown nurse negligently provided him
with the wrong medication for his high blood pressure. Dkt.
4. Plaintiff contends the nurse is employed by Defendant Naph
Care, Inc. Id.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is
required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must “dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152
F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).
order to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must show: (1) he suffered a violation of
rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal
statute, and (2) the violation was proximately caused by a
person acting under color of state law. See Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The first
step in a § 1983 claim is therefore to identify the
specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). To
satisfy the second prong, a plaintiff must allege facts
showing how individually named defendants caused, or
personally participated in causing, the harm alleged in the
complaint. See Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355
(9th Cir. 1981).
Complaint suffers from deficiencies requiring dismissal if
not corrected in an amended complaint.
Eighth Amendment Claim
alleges Defendant’s employee provided him with
negligent medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Dkt. 4. An Eighth Amendment medical claim has two elements:
(1) “the seriousness of the prisoner’s medical
need and [(2)] the nature of the defendant’s response
to that need.” McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d
1050, 1059 (9th Cir.1991), overruled on other grounds by
WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133 (9th Cir.1997)
medical need is serious “if the failure to treat the
prisoner’s condition could result in further
significant injury or the ‘unnecessary and wanton
infliction of pain.’” McGuckin, 974 F.2d
at 1059 (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976)). “The existence of an injury that a reasonable
doctor or patient would find important and worthy of comment
or treatment; the presence of a medical condition that
significantly affects an individual’s daily activities;
or the existence of chronic and substantial pain are examples
of indications that a prisoner has a ‘serious’
need for medical treatment.” Id. at 1059-1060.
plaintiff shows he has a serious medical need, he must then
show the prison officials responded to the need with
deliberate indifference. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 834 (1970). “[D]eliberate indifference to
serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.”
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104 (1976) (internal citation
omitted); see also Hudson v. McMillan, 503 U.S. 1, 6
(1992). It requires “a purposeful act or failure to act
on the part of the defendant.” McGuckin, 974
F.2d at 1060. In other words, “[a] defendant must
purposefully ignore or fail to respond to a prisoner’s
pain or possible medical need.” Id. A prison
official, accordingly, will not be found deliberately
indifferent to a prisoner’s serious medical needs
“unless the official knows of and disregards an
excessive risk to inmate health or safety.”
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Thus, an accusation that a
party “has been negligent in diagnosing or treating a
medical condition does not state a valid claim of medical
mistreatment under the Eight Amendment.”
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106.
Plaintiff has not demonstrated that any prison official acted
with deliberate indifference to his medical condition.
Plaintiff states he is suffering from high blood pressure
and, instead of receiving his blood pressure medication, he
received someone else’s “mental health
medication.” Dkt. 4. A blood pressure medication
prescription can be a serious medical need. A reasonable
doctor or patient could find the condition “worthy of
comment or treatment” and it could lead to further
injury if untreated. McGuckin, 974 U.S. at
1059-1060. However, Plaintiff has only alleged the nurse
employed by Defendant was negligent when she gave him the
wrong medication. Negligence alone is not enough to state a
valid claim for mistreatment in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106. Because of
this, Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to support
such a claim.
Plaintiff wishes to pursue an Eighth Amendment claim, he must
provide an amended complaint showing how Defendant’s
actions constituted deliberate indifference, not mere