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Skinner v. Haley

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 8, 2017

MIKE HALEY, et. al., Defendants.



         I. SUMMARY

         Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Valerie P. Cooke (ECF No. 53) (“R&R” or “Recommendation”) relating to Defendants Renee Pfister and Danelli Taylor's (“Defendants”) Motion for Summary Judgment (“the Motion”) (ECF Nos. 40, 41). Plaintiff timely filed his objection to the R&R (ECF No. 54) and Defendants filed their response (ECF No. 55). Plaintiff also filed a reply (ECF No. 56).[1]


         Plaintiff, who is an inmate in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections (“NDOC”), asserts four counts based on events that occurred while he was held at Washoe County Detention Facility (“WCDF”). (ECF No. 6.) Following screening of the complaint, the Court allowed plaintiff to proceed on an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Defendants Rene Pfister and Danelli Taylor (referred to as “nurse Valentine” in the complaint) and officer John Doe. (ECF No. 5.) The following facts are taken from the complaint.

         On August 21, 2013, Plaintiff started experiencing attacks from his Crohn's disease that lasted over twenty-four hours. (ECF No. 6 at 3.) Defendant Taylor brought Plaintiff his daily medication and told him to submit a kite so that he could be scheduled to be seen by a physician. (Id.) The next day, Plaintiff told Defendants Taylor and Pfister that he was still experiencing Crohn's attacks and that he needed to see a physician immediately. (Id. at 4.) Taylor told Plaintiff to submit a kite and when he told her he had, she told him he would have to wait to be seen. (Id.) Plaintiff's pain continued to worsen and he asked both nurses for assistance, but received no help. (Id.)

         On August 26, 2013, the lower right side of Plaintiff's stomach swelled up like a balloon; he asked defendant John Doe correctional officer for a doctor and was told to shut up. (Id.) A few hours later, a different correctional officer found Plaintiff non-responsive in his cell. (Id.) He was then transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Reno. (Id.) At the hospital, Plaintiff underwent surgery for an intestinal rupture and spent twenty-one days in the hospital during his recovery. (Id.)


         A. Review of the Magistrate Judge's Recommendations

         This Court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Where a party timely objects to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, then the court is required to “make a de novo determination of those portions of the [report and recommendation] to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         B. Summary Judgment Standard

         “The purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials when there is no dispute as to the facts before the court.” Nw. Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 18 F.3d 1468, 1471 (9th Cir. 1994). Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits “show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). An issue is “genuine” if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact-finder could find for the nonmoving party and a dispute is “material” if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). Where reasonable minds could differ on the material facts at issue, however, summary judgment is not appropriate. See Id. at 250-51. “The amount of evidence necessary to raise a genuine issue of material fact is enough ‘to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.'” Aydin Corp. v. Loral Corp., 718 F.2d 897, 902 (9th Cir. 1983) (quoting First Nat'l Bank v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968)). In evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Kaiser Cement Corp. v. Fishbach & Moore, Inc., 793 F.2d 1100, 1103 (9th Cir. 1986).

         The moving party bears the burden of showing that there are no genuine issues of material fact. Zoslaw v. MCA Distrib. Corp., 693 F.2d 870, 883 (9th Cir. 1982). Once the moving party satisfies Rule 56's requirements, the burden shifts to the party resisting the motion to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. The nonmoving party “may not rely on denials in the pleadings but must produce specific evidence, through affidavits or admissible discovery material, to show that the dispute exists, ” Bhan v. NME Hosps., Inc., 929 F.2d 1404, 1409 (9th Cir. 1991), and “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Orr v. Bank of Am., 285 F.3d 764, 783 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Matsushita ...

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