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Crabaugh v. Snider

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

March 8, 2017

DR. ROBERT SNIDER, et al., Defendants.


          MICHAEL W. MOSMAN Chief United States District Judge

         Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment [13], arguing they are entitled to judgment in their favor because Ms. Crabaugh's claims are untimely and because she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies. For the reasons stated below, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [13] is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.


         The series of events underlying this case began on December 6, 2012, when Ms. Crabaugh, an inmate in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections (“ODOC”), slipped while working in the kitchen at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (“CCCF”). As a result, Ms. Crabaugh allegedly injured her lower back, hips, sacrum, and coccyx. Ms. Caugaugh filed three grievances with the prison related to the incident and her ensuing injuries.

         Pursuant to prison regulations, Ms. Crabaugh submitted a grievance, CCCF.2012.12.034, on December 20, 2012 (“the 2012 grievance”), where she grieved the allegedly unsafe conditions that caused her injury. Mr. Patrick Regan, a food services employee at CCCF, responded to the grievance on January 19, 2013. Ms. Crabaugh did not appeal the grievance after receiving Mr. Regan's response.

         On November 1, 2013, Ms. Crabaugh submitted a second grievance, CCCF.2013.11.006 (“the 2013 grievance”), where she grieved her alleged lack of adequate medical care. Specifically, she grieved the denial of her request for an MRI, which she believed would show damage from the December 6, 2012 fall and explain the pain she continued to experience since the fall. On November 19, 2013, a nurse responded to the grievance. Ms. Crabaugh appealed the response on December 2, 2013. The appeal was denied on December 10, 2013, because Ms. Crabaugh failed to comply with the proper procedures for submitting a grievance appeal. Ms. Crabaugh did not resubmit the appeal or further proceed with the grievance in any other way.

         On June 3, 2015, Ms. Crabaugh submitted a third grievance, CCCF.2015.06.003 (“the 2015 grievance”), which CCCF received and accepted on June 4, 2015. There, Ms. Crabaugh grieved her alleged lack of adequate medical care since the December 6, 2012 accident. Pursuant to policy, the grievance was initially returned to Ms. Crabaugh because she was involved in litigation related to the December 6, 2012 accident. Ms. Crabaugh resubmitted the grievance on June 19, 2015, after she had voluntarily dismissed the pending case. CCCF accepted the grievance, and the health services manager responded on July 1, 2015. Ms. Crabaugh eventually filed a first and second level appeal of the grievance, thereby exhausting the administrative remedies associated with her complaint in the grievance on October 19, 2015.

         Defendants do not dispute that Ms. Crabaugh exhausted her administrative remedies as they relate to the 2015 grievance.

         On May 20, 2016, Ms. Crabaugh brought a Section 1983 action against multiple defendants who work for ODOC.[1] The Complaint [1] alleges two claims for relief grounded in violations of Ms. Crabaugh's constitutional rights. The first claim alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Ms. Crabaugh's medical needs when they failed to provide her with adequate evaluation and treatment of her injuries that resulted from her fall on December 6, 2012. Her second claim alleges cruel and unusual punishment, as well as deliberate indifference to her medical needs, based on Defendants' failure to provide adequate and timely evaluation to care for her acute and chronic pain. Defendants have moved for summary judgment on both claims.


         Summary judgment is proper “if the movant shows that 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). The initial burden for a motion for summary judgment is on the moving party to identify the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once that burden is satisfied, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to demonstrate, through the production of evidence listed in Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1), that there remains a “genuine issue for trial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. The non-moving party may not rely upon the pleading allegations. Brinson v. Linda Rose Joint Venture, 53 F.3d 1044, 1049 (9th Cir. 1995) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P 56(e)). All reasonable doubts and inferences to be drawn from the facts are to be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).


         Defendants argue they are entitled to summary judgment for several reasons. First, they argue that Ms. Crabaugh's claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Second, they argue that Ms. Crabaugh failed to exhaust her administrative remedies as to the 2012 and 2013 grievances, thereby limiting her claims and damages to the allegations raised in the 2015 grievance. Third, Defendants argue that the 2015 grievance applies only to Dr. Shelton, entitling all other defendants to summary judgment.

         For the reasons discussed below, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on Ms. Crabaugh's first claim for relief because it is untimely. As to her second claim, she exhausted her administrative remedies as to Dr. Shelton. But all other Defendants are entitled to ...

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