United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
RICHARD L. PARENTEAU, JR., Plaintiff,
BENJAMIN SANDERS, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
A. TSUCHIDA United States Magistrate Judge.
L. Parenteau, Jr., who is currently in custody at the
Washington Corrections Center, commenced this civil rights
action proceeding under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkts. 6, 8,
23. His civil rights claims arise out of a previous period of
pretrial detention at King County Correctional Facility. Dkt.
6, 8. Mr. Parenteau, Jr. alleges in his amended complaint
that the Director of King County Jail Health Services,
Benjamin Sanders, M.D., violated his constitutional rights
when he failed to provide adequate medical care in denying
him testing necessary to detect devices implanted in his body
in 2012. Dkt. 8. Dr. Sanders, the lone defendant in this
action, now moves for summary judgment. Dkt. 26. Mr.
Parenteau, Jr. did not file a response with the Court.
However, defendant subsequently filed a reply brief
referencing and discussing arguments made by Mr. Parenteau in
response to the motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 30.
Accordingly, the Court directed defendant to file the
document referenced and discussed as Mr. Parenteau's
response as an exhibit to his reply. Dkt. 32. Defense counsel
subsequently filed a declaration including as an exhibit the
documents from Mr. Parenteau responding to defendant's
motion and referenced in defendant's reply. Dkt. 33. The
Court, having considered defendant's motion, the briefing
of the parties, and the balance of the record,
RECOMMENDS that defendant's motion for
summary judgment be GRANTED and that
plaintiff's amended complaint and this action should be
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
parties agree that Mr. Parenteau complained to Jail Health
Services (JHS) medical staff, including defendant, regarding
“implanted devices that are under my skin and adhered
to my penis, my testicles, my forehead, [and] my
abdominals.” Dkt. 8, at 4; Dkt. 26; Dkt. 28. Mr.
Parenteau does not specifically claim that he was not
examined or evaluated in response to his complaints but only
that the medical care is inadequate because “Dr.
Sanders is refusing to schedule medical imaging with a
specialist.” Dkt. 8, at 4. Defendant does not dispute
that he refused to schedule additional imaging despite Mr.
Parenteau's request and indicates this is because his
physical examination of Mr. Parenteau revealed “no
evidence of illness, foreign body, or other organic problem
that could explain his symptoms” and he therefore
concluded that no additional workup was necessary. Dkt. 26,
at 3-4; Dkt. 28. Thus, the issue in dispute is whether
defendant's refusal to schedule additional medical
imaging with a specialist constituted deliberate indifference
to Mr. Parenteau's serious medical need.
argues that summary judgment is warranted in this case
because Mr. Parenteau suffered no violation of a
constitutional right, and there is no evidence to support a
deliberate indifference claim against him. Dkt. 26.
Specifically, defendants argue that Mr. Parenteau fails to
present evidence of a serious medical need and his
disagreement with defendant as to the proper course of
treatment is insufficient to establish a claim of deliberate
indifference. Id., at 6. Mr. Parenteau's
response argues that Dr. Sanders' statements submitted in
support of his motion for summary judgment are
“completely false, ” that he has never been asked
or refused to take a psychiatric evaluation, that defendant
has no proof he suffers from any mental disorder, that the
JHS medical records submitted by defendant are inadmissible
hearsay, that neither he nor any JHS employee has ever seen
medical imaging showing there are no foreign bodies present
in his body but also that he in fact has medical imaging
showing implants in his body. Dkt. 33-1, at 3-5, 10-13.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment should be granted if the record, taken as a whole,
shows there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). An issue of fact is “genuine”
if it constitutes evidence with which “a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A genuine issue of fact is “material” if
it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Id. at 248. The moving party
can carry its initial burden by producing affirmative
evidence that negates an essential element of the
nonmovant's case, or by establishing that the nonmovant
lacks the quantum of evidence needed to satisfy its burden of
persuasion at trial. Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co.,
Ltd. v. Fritz Cos., Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir.
2000). There can be no genuine issue as to any material fact
where there is a complete failure of proof as to an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case because all other
facts are thereby rendered immaterial. See Celotex v.
Cattret, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
evidence is viewed and reasonable inferences are drawn in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party. United
States v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 457 F.3d 1009, 1013
(9th Cir. 2006). Nevertheless, the opposing party may not
rest solely upon the pleadings' allegations or denials,
but must present significant probative evidence that is
sufficient to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-50. The opposing party
must offer more than a mere “metaphysical doubt as to
the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Conclusory
and non-specific statements in affidavits are not sufficient,
and missing facts will not be presumed. Lujan v.
Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89
(1990). A district court has no independent duty “to
scour the record in search of a genuine issue of triable
fact, ” and may “rely on the nonmoving party to
identify with reasonable particularity the evidence that
precludes summary judgment.” Simmons v. Navajo
Cty., Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing
Keenan v. Allan, 91 F.3d 1275, 1279 (9th Cir.
1996)). The question on summary judgment, then, is
“whether the evidence is so one-sided that one party
must prevail as a matter of law.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 251-252.
Court may consider any unopposed assertion of fact to be an
undisputed fact for purposes of the motion. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e)(2). If a party fails to properly address another
party's assertion of fact, the Court may “grant
summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials -
including the facts considered undisputed - show that the
movant is entitled to it.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(3).
order to sustain a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must show (i) that he suffered a violation
of rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal
statute, and (ii) that 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 causation requirement of § 1983 is satisfied
only if a plaintiff demonstrates that a defendant did an
affirmative act, participated in another's affirmative
act, or omitted to perform an act which he was legally
required to do that caused the deprivation complained of.
Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981)
(citing Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th
Inadequate Medical Care
Eighth Amendment imposes a duty upon prison officials to
provide humane conditions of confinement. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). This duty includes
ensuring that inmates receive adequate food, clothing,
shelter, and medical care. When a claim of inadequate medical
care is brought by a pretrial detainee, the claim arises
under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Clouthier v. County of Contra Costa, 591 F.3d 1232,
1243-44 (9th Cir. 2010); Simmons v. Navajo ...