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Johnson v. Cheryl

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 30, 2014

NATHANIEL JOHNSON, #927305 Plaintiff,
v.
CHERYL, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is defendants Melody Molinara's and Raymond Mondora's motion for summary judgment. (Doc. # 165). Plaintiff Nathaniel Johnson has filed a response (doc. # 167) and defendants have filed a reply (doc. # 168).

I. Background

This matter arises out of plaintiff's arrest and pre-trial detention at the Clark County Detention Center ("CCDC").

Defendant Mondora is a medical doctor employed by NaphCare, Inc., and contracted by the CCDC. Defendant Molinaro is a registered nurse and the correctional health services administrator at the CCDC, and is also employed by NaphCare.

On December 24, 2010, plaintiff was arrested on a warrant and taken to the CCDC for holding. At plaintiff's medical screening a nurse requested that plaintiff have a medical evaluation relating to an injury to his pinky finger. (Doc. # 167-2). Plaintiff was then transferred to University Medical Center ("UMC") where he received an x-ray which showed he had a dislocated finger. (Doc. # 165 at p. 3; Doc. # 167 at p. 4). The finger had been dislocated as a result of a fight plaintiff was involved in somewhere between two weeks to two months prior to his arrest. (Doc. # 165 at p. 3).

Plaintiff alleges that at UMC he was recommended to schedule another consultation the following week and that surgical intervention would likely be required to repair his dislocated finger. (Doc. # 167 at p. 5). Plaintiff alleges that the surgery was time-sensitive in order to prevent irreversible damage to his finger. (Doc. # 167 at p. 2). However, plaintiff did not see Dr. Jones (who had recommended the consultation) until Jan. 26, 2011, thirty-three days after the initial recommendation at UMC. (Doc. # 165 at p. 7; Doc. # 167 at p. 7).

Plaintiff alleges that at CCDC he informed both defendant Molinora (a treating nurse) and Mondora (a treating doctor) about the condition of his pinky finger. (Doc. # 159 at p. 2). According to plaintiff, Molinora and Mondora either ignored or purposefully prevented plaintiff from receiving treatment, including surgery, on his pinky. (Doc. # 159 at p. 2).

Defendant, Dr. Mondora, met with plaintiff on Jan. 4, 2011, had plaintiff sign a release on Jan. 5, 2011, and met with plaintiff again on Jan. 12, 2011, before referring him to be seen by Dr. Jones. (Doc. # 165 at p. 5-6). After plaintiff met with Dr. Jones on Jan. 26, 2011, Dr. Mondora approved the surgery on Feb. 2, 2011. (Doc. # 165 at p. 7).

Plaintiff then alleges that defendant Molinaro was aware of plaintiff's requests to proceed with the surgery. (Doc. # 167 at p. 9). Nurse Molinaro spoke with plaintiff several times throughout February of 2011, regarding his inability to secure funding for the surgery. (Doc. # 167 at p. 9). Plaintiff alleges that Molinaro was non-responsive about what was needed to get the surgery done in a timely manner, and would schedule the surgery only after plaintiff personally secured funding. (Doc. # 167 at p. 8-9).

The amended complaint contains a cause of action against defendants Molinara and Mondora in both their individual and their official capacities, alleging violations of plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. (Doc. # 159).

II. Legal Standard

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. "When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its ...


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