United States District Court, D. Nevada
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES
MAGISTRATE JUDGE RE: ECF NO. 116
WILLIAM G. COBB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Report and Recommendation is made to the Honorable Miranda M.
Du, United States District Judge. The action was referred to
the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) and the Local Rules of Practice, LR 1B 1-4.
the court is Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary
Judgment. (ECF Nos. 116, 117, 117-1 to 117-10.) Plaintiff
filed a response. (ECF No. 119.) Defendants filed a reply.
(ECF No. 120.)
thorough review, it is recommended that Defendants'
motion be granted because Plaintiff failed to exhaust
available administrative remedies.
is an inmate in the custody of the Nevada Department of
Corrections (NDOC), but the alleged events giving rise to
this action occurred while Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee
at the Washoe County Detention Facility (WCDF). He is
proceeding pro se with this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (Compl., ECF No. 6.) On screening, Plaintiff was
allowed to proceed with an Eighth Amendment deliberate
difference claim against Nurse Rene Pfister and Nurse Danelli
Taylor (referred to in the complaint as
"Valentine"). Defendants are former employees of
Corizon, LLC, a private corporation that provided medical
care to certain inmates in Nevada. (ECF Nos. 5, 9.)
alleges Defendants were aware he suffered from Crohn's
disease; that after a day of symptoms his request to be seen
by a doctor was denied; and that his continued requests for
treatment due to worsening pain continued to be ignored. As a
result of the lack of treatment, Plaintiff alleges he
suffered an intestinal rupture, which required surgery and a
21-day hospital stay.
previously moved for summary judgment. Magistrate Judge
Valerie P. Cooke, who was assigned to the case at the time,
recommended that summary judgment be granted in
Defendants' favor because Plaintiff failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies. (ECF No. 53.) District Judge Miranda
M. Du adopted and accepted the report and recommendation.
(ECF No. 57.) Plaintiff appealed. (ECF No. 59.) The Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals stated that it was undisputed that
Plaintiff did not file a grievance related to his claims;
however, it was unclear from the record when Skinner
was aggrieved sufficiently to trigger the grievance deadline,
and if he was, whether he was able to initiate the grievance
process due to his illness and subsequent hospitalization,
citing Marella v. Terhune, 568 F.3d 1024, 1027 (9th
Cir. 2009). As a result, the Ninth Circuit vacated and
remanded for the court to consider these issues. (ECF No.
case was subsequently assigned to Magistrate Judge Carly B.
Carry upon Magistrate Judge Cooke's retirement. (ECF No.
94.) Then, the case was reassigned to the undersigned as
magistrate judge. (ECF No. 96.)
have filed a Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment arguing: (1)
administrative remedies were available to Plaintiff and he
failed to exhaust prior to bringing this action; and (2)
Defendants were not deliberately indifferent to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs.
legal standard governing this motion is well settled: a party
is entitled to summary judgment when “the movant shows
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Cartrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)). An issue is “genuine” if the evidence
would permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the
nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). A fact is “material” if
it could affect the outcome of the case. Id. at 248
(disputes over facts that might affect the outcome will
preclude summary judgment, but factual disputes which are
irrelevant or unnecessary are not considered). On the other
hand, where reasonable minds could differ on the material
facts at issue, summary judgment is not appropriate.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials
when there is no dispute as to the facts before the
court.” Northwest Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S.
Dep't of Agric., 18 F.3d 1468, 1471 (9th Cir. 1994)
(citation omitted); see also Celotex, 477 U.S. at
323-24 (purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and
dispose of factually unsupported claims");
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252 (purpose of summary
judgment is to determine whether a case "is so one-sided
that one party must prevail as a matter of law"). In
considering a motion for summary judgment, all reasonable
inferences are drawn in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. In re Slatkin, 525 F.3d 805, 810
(9th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted); Kaiser Cement Corp.
v. Fischbach & Moore Inc., 793 F.2d 1100, 1103 (9th
Cir. 1986). That being said, "if the evidence of the
nonmoving party "is not significantly probative, summary
judgment may be granted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at
249-250 (citations omitted). The court's function is not
to weigh the evidence and determine the truth or to make
credibility determinations. Celotex, 477 U.S. at
249, 255; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249.
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the 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
[dispute] of fact on each issue material to its case.”
C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rest., Inc.,
213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal citations
omitted). In contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the
burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can
meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to
negate an essential element of the nonmoving party's
case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party cannot
establish an element essential to that party's case on
which that party will have the burden of proof at trial.
See Celotex Corp. v. Cartrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-25
moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden shifts
to the opposing party to establish that a genuine dispute
exists as to a material fact. See Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). The
opposing party need not establish a genuine dispute of
material fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient
that “the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a
jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions
of truth at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac.
Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
1987) (quotation marks and citation omitted). The nonmoving
party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on
conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data.
Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587. Instead, the ...