United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge
result of the screening of Plaintiff's second amended
complaint, one count remained in this case: an Eighth
Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs
claim against Defendant Taylor. (Doc. 16 at 7). Following
discovery, now pending is Defendant Taylor's motion for
summary judgment on this remaining claim. (Docs. 89 and 90).
Plaintiff received a Rand warning (Doc. 91).
Plaintiff then filed a response to Defendant Taylor's
motion (Doc 145) and a statement of facts (Doc. 146).
Defendant filed a reply. (Doc. 152). Defendant also objected
to Plaintiff's statement of facts and filed a
supplemental statement of facts therewith. (Doc. 153).
Defendant included certain sealed exhibits with the
supplemental statement of facts. (Doc. 157). Plaintiff then
filed a controverting statement of facts to Defendant's
supplemental statement of facts. (Doc. 198).
is suing Defendant Taylor, who was a psychologist at
ASPC-Lewis, for allegedly denying him constitutionally
adequate medical care. This Court previously summarized the
remaining count as follows:
In Count One, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Taylor denied
him constitutionally adequate medical care in violation of
the Eighth Amendment. On December 12, 2012, one of
Plaintiff's alternate personalities took control of his
mind and body causing him to become mute. Plaintiff submitted
a health needs request regarding his muteness on December 18,
2012, and Defendant Taylor “refused to perform a mental
health assessment” or refer Plaintiff to a different
medical provider. Plaintiff and Defendant Taylor did have a
“session” on December 18, 2012, and Plaintiff
communicated to Defendant Taylor that he was suffering from
some kind of mental illness and was not able to speak.
Plaintiff alleges that his session with Defendant Taylor on
December 18 was not recorded and that she falsified her
reports of their December 18 and March 13, 2013 sessions.
Plaintiff claims that muteness can become permanent if it
goes untreated. Plaintiff further claims that he has been
diagnosed with muteness stemming from a mental illness.
Doc. 16 at 3.
the allegations of the complaint, as of today Plaintiff is
arguing he suffers from “aphasia” and that
Defendant Taylor's liability stems from her treatment of
Plaintiff's aphasia. (Doc. 145 at 5).
in her motion, Defendant Taylor summarizes Count One as it is
recounted by Plaintiff in the second amended complaint. (Doc.
89 at 2). Later in her motion, and with her reply, Defendant
Taylor presents evidence that Plaintiff's new theory of
aphasia is not supported by medical evidence because
Plaintiff did not suffer the requisite brain injury to have
this condition. (Doc. 89 at 8; Doc. 152 at 5).
Legal Standard for Summary Judgment
judgment is appropriate when “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A
party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely
disputed must support that assertion by “citing to
particular parts of materials in the record, ”
including depositions, affidavits, interrogatory answers or
other materials, or by “showing that materials cited do
not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute,
or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact.” Id. 56(c)(1). Thus,
summary judgment is mandated “against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party's case, and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
the movant bears the burden of pointing out to the Court the
basis for the motion and the elements of the causes of action
upon which the non-movant will be unable to establish a
genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 323. The
burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish the
existence of material fact. Id. A material fact is
any factual issue that might affect the outcome of the case
under the governing substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The non-movant
“must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts” by
“com[ing] forward with ‘specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). A
dispute about a fact is “genuine” if the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-moving party. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at
248. The non-movant's bare assertions, standing alone,
are insufficient to create a material issue of fact and
defeat a motion for summary judgment. Id. at 247-48.
However, in the summary judgment context, the Court construes
all disputed facts in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Ellison v. Robertson, 357 F.3d
1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 2004).
summary judgment stage, the trial judge's function is to
determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. There
is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence
favoring the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict
for that party. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at
249-50. If the evidence is merely colorable or is not
significantly probative, the judge may grant summary
Legal Standard for a Deliberate Indifference Claim
of medical attention to prisoners constitutes an Eighth
Amendment violation if the denial amounts to deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of the prisoner.”
Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1111 (9th Cir.
1986) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976)). There are two prongs to the deliberate-indifference
analysis: an objective prong and a subjective prong. Under
the objective prong, a prisoner must show a “serious
medical need.” Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091,
1096 (9th Cir. 2006) (citations omitted). “A
‘serious' medical need exists if the failure to
treat a prisoner's condition could result in further
significant injury or the unnecessary and wanton infliction