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Wilson v. Pierce County

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

September 26, 2017

GABRIEL WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
PIERCE COUNTY, a municipal corporation organized under the laws of the State of Washington, PIERCE COUNTY JAIL, PIERCE COUNTY JAIL CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS JOHN DOE 1 and JANE DOE 1, Nurses STEVE CARVER RN, KRISTIN BERRES, RN, Defendants. PIERCE COUNTY, Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
NAITAALII JEOVAN TOLEAFOA, JOHN DOES 1-3, and CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, LLC, Third-Party Defendants.

          ORDER ON THE PARTIES' STATUS REPORTS

          ROBERT J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the status reports of Plaintiff (Dkt. 64), Defendant Correct Care Solutions, LLC (Dkt. 65), and Defendant Pierce County, Washington (Dkt. 66) and the Third-Party Defendant Correct Care Solutions, LLC's Motion to Dismiss Pierce County's Third Party Complaint (Dkt. 67). The Court has considered the reports, the motion, and the remaining file herein.

         Plaintiff, a former prisoner, asserted claims against the Defendants for two distinct events: the medical treatment of a leg lesion and a physical attack by a rival gang. Dkt. 26. Plaintiff made claims for violation of his eighth amendment rights and for negligence against Defendants Steve Carver and Kristin Berres for medical treatment of a leg lesion. Id. Plaintiff asserted a negligence claim against Defendant Pierce County in connection with the medical treatment of his leg lesion. Id. Plaintiff alleged claims against Defendant Pierce County for violation of his federal constitutional rights and for negligence when it housed him in the jail with violent rival gang members who beat him. Id. The Second Amended Complaint also asserted claims against “Defendants Pierce County correctional officers John Doe (1) and Jane Doe (1)” for violation of Plaintiff's eighth amendment rights and for negligence in connection with the gang attack. Id.

         To the extent it is found liable for the Plaintiff's claims against it related to the attack, Defendant Pierce County asserts cross claims against Naitaalii Jeovan Toleafoa. Dkt. 31. To the extent it is found liable for the treatment of Plaintiff's leg lesion, Defendant Pierce County also makes cross claims against Correct Care Solutions LLC. Id.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The facts and procedural history are in the Court's September 5, 2017 Order on Defendants Steve Carver and Kristin Berres's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 62, at 1-3) and the September 5, 2017 Order on Defendant Pierce County, Washington's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 63, at 1-8).

         Defendants Carver and Berres' motion to summarily dismiss Plaintiff's claims against them for violation of his eighth amendment rights and for negligence regarding the treatment of his leg lesion was granted, and the claims were dismissed. Dkt. 62.

         Defendant Pierce County's motion for summary dismissal of all the federal constitutional claims asserted against it was granted on September 5, 2017, and the constitutional claims were dismissed. Dkt. 63. The County also moved for summary dismissal of all Plaintiff's state law claims, including Plaintiff's negligence claims. Dkt. 48. Plaintiff did not respond to the motion to dismiss the state law and/or negligence claims. Dkt. 53. In granting the motion to summarily dismiss the negligence claims against the County, the Order provided:

In Washington, “[a]n actionable claim for negligence includes four essential elements: (1) a duty owed to the complaining party; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) resulting injury; and (4) proximate cause between the breach and the resulting injury.” Stenger v. State, 104 Wn.App. 393, 399 (2001)(citing Pedroza v. Bryant, 101 Wn.2d 226, 228 (1984)).

         1. Negligence Claim Regarding Gang Attack

Plaintiff does not oppose the County's motion to summarily dismiss this claim. Moreover, Plaintiff has failed to point to sufficient facts to support his state claim for negligence against the County regarding the gang attack. Plaintiff has failed to point to evidence that the County breached its duty to protect him when it housed him with rival gang members. He has failed to point to evidence that inmates were allowed to roam “unsupervised.” He failed to demonstrate that he was beaten as a result of the County's failure to have a policy to address the housing of rival gang members or as a result of the staffing decisions/monitoring practices of the jail. Defendant Pierce County's motion to summarily dismiss the negligence claim based on the attack should be granted.

         2. Negligence Claim Regarding Leg Lesion

Plaintiff's claim for negligence, based on the treatment of his leg lesion, asserted against Defendant Pierce County, should be dismissed. Plaintiff did not oppose summary dismissal of this claim. In any event, he fails to point to any evidence that Defendant Pierce County breached its duty of care to him. Further, he has failed to point to any evidence that he was injured as a result of the County's actions.

Dkt. 63, at 15-16. That order further noted that it was not clear which claims, if any, remain for trial, which is set to begin on November 6, 2017. Id., at 16. It provided that “[b]y this order, all claims asserted against Pierce County, Washington are dismissed.” Id. Parties were ordered to file a status report, on or before ...


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