United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Chief Tony Aston
(“Chief Aston”) and Major Jamie Kane's
(“Major Kane”) objection (Dkt. No. 64) and United
States Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue's report and
recommendation (Dkt. No. 63) regarding Defendants' motion
to dismiss (Dkt. No. 55). Having thoroughly considered the
briefing and relevant record, the Court hereby ADOPTS the
report and recommendation (Dkt. No. 63) and OVERRULES
Defendants' objection (Dkt. No. 64).
December 28, 2016, Plaintiff Dylan Downey was booked into
Snohomish County Jail on a charge of vehicular assault. (Dkt.
No. 54 at 3.) During his initial medical screening, Plaintiff
informed jail medical staff of issues with his prosthetic
leg, which no longer fit properly. (Id.) Plaintiff
asked to see a prosthologist before his condition
deteriorated to the point where he could no longer use the
leg. (Id.) At subsequent appointments with jail
medical personnel, Plaintiff repeatedly requested to see a
prosthologist. (Id. at 3-4, 6.) Plaintiff eventually
filed formal grievances and kites regarding the lack of
treatment for his leg and unfilled requests to see a
prosthologist. (Id. at 6.)
was not allowed to see a prosthologist until April 13, 2017.
(Id. at 7.) During this appointment, Plaintiff was
informed that he needed a new socket and other adjustments to
correct the fit. (Id.) Jail officials instructed the
prosthologist not to do so. (Id.) Following the
appointment, Plaintiff continued to inform the jail medical
personnel of the pain caused by the ill-fitting prosthetic.
(Id. at 7-9.) Plaintiff wrote two times to Chief
Aston, Bureau Chief of Snohomish County Sherriff's Office
- Corrections Bureau, for assistance. (Id. at 10.)
The Chief did not act upon Plaintiff's requests.
(Id.) Instead, he merely claimed not to
“concur” with Plaintiff's claims of
deliberate indifference. (Id.) Plaintiff also wrote
to Major Kane, Corrections Deputy at Snohomish County Jail.
(Id.) Major Kane never responded to Plaintiff's
requests or any of the grievances assigned to him.
brings this 42 U.S.C. section 1983 civil rights action
against Chief Aston and Major Kane (collectively
“Defendants”), Snohomish County, and other jail
medical staff and administrators. (Dkt. No. 54.) Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants violated his Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights through their deliberate indifference to his
need for adequate medical care. (Id. at 14.)
Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants are liable as
superiors for the actions of the Jail medical staff's
Equal Protection and Due Process violations, along with
violations of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42
U.S.C. Section 1201, et seq. (“ADA”),
the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and state and local laws.
(Id. at 16-18.) Plaintiff also alleges Defendants
created unconstitutional conditions of confinement and
committed violations of state laws including “medical
malpractice, collusion in the perpetration of fraud, fraud,
negligence, violations of the WA State Disability Act, and
any applicable violations of the Revised Code of
Washington.” (Id. at 17-18.) Defendants move
to dismiss all claims against them pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 55.) Judge Donohue
recommends that all claims against Chief Aston and Major Kane
be dismissed except for Plaintiff's claim of deliberate
indifference. (Dkt. No. 64.) Defendants object to Judge
Donohue's recommendation not to dismiss Plaintiff's
deliberate indifference claim. (Id.)
to a magistrate judge's report and recommendations are
reviewed de novo. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). A
defendant may move to dismiss a complaint when a plaintiff
“fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). “[T]he pleading
standard Rule 8 announces does not require ‘detailed
factual allegations,' but it demands more than an
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter to state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face. Id. at 677-78. A
claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the Court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged. Id. at 678.
argue that Plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to
support his deliberate indifference claim. (Dkt. No. 64 at 2,
6.) Defendants also argue that Plaintiff's claim of
deliberate indifference under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 should
be dismissed for failing to state a legally cognizable claim
because the statute does not allow for a respondeat
superior theory of liability. (Id. at 6.)
prisoner can establish an Eighth Amendment violation arising
from inadequate medical care by showing “deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs” by prison
officials through acts or omissions. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). Supervisors may be held
liable on a deliberate indifference claim “for [their]
own culpable action or inaction, ” based upon
“the supervisors' knowledge of and acquiescence in
unconstitutional conduct by his or her subordinates.”
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011).
To be liable, the supervisor's involvement “could
include his own culpable action or inaction in the training,
supervision, or control of his subordinates, his acquiescence
in the constitutional deprivations of which the complaint is
made, or conduct that showed a reckless or callous
indifference to the rights of others.” Id. at
1205-06 (internal quotations omitted).
Starr, a prisoner adequately pled a claim of
supervisor liability for deliberate indifference based on the
complaint's numerous allegations of notice to a Sherriff
of his subordinates' culpable actions in the injuries and
deaths of inmates and the Sherriff's inaction.
Id. at 1216. Defendants argue that this case is
distinguishable and that Plaintiff's claim is more like
the “bald and conclusory allegations” that the
Ninth Circuit has found to be insufficient to support a
deliberate indifference claim. (Dkt. No. 64 at 2-3) (citing
Hydrick v. Hunter, 669 F.3d 937, 942 (9th Cir.
2012)). In Hydrick, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the
dismissal of a supervisor theory liability when the plaintiff
alleged the defendants had “personal knowledge of
retaliation” against him but pled no facts regarding
Defendant's purported knowledge of the retaliation.
Id. at 942.
in Hydrick, here Plaintiff has pled facts
demonstrating Defendants' knowledge and inaction
regarding the alleged deliberate indifference of the jail
personnel. Plaintiff alleges that he wrote Defendants on
multiple occasions regarding his need for medical treatment
and that the jail medical staff did not help him. (Dkt. No.
54 at 10.) Nevertheless, neither Defendant acted upon
Plaintiff's requests. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges
that he wrote Chief Aston twice, and that the Chief took no
action to respond to Plaintiff's requests other than to
say that he did not “concur” with Plaintiff's
allegations. (Id.) Plaintiff also alleges to have
written Major Kane, and that the Major did not respond or
take any action. ...