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Ramirez v. Adventist Medical Center

United States District Court, D. Oregon

March 27, 2018


          Maricela Ramirez. Plaintiff, pro se.

          Rodney K. Norton, Hart Wagner, LLP, Stephanie C Kucera, Hart Wagner, LLP, Of Attorneys for Defendant Adventist Medical Center.

          Robert M. Keating, Kelly Frances Huedopohl, and Tamara X. Arthur, Keating Jones Hughes, P.C., One SW Columbia, of Attorneys for Defendants Tania Shaw, MD, and Krista Swaninger, MD.

          Michael T. Stone and Grant D. Stockton, Brisbee & Stockton, LLC, of Attorneys for Defendant Providence Health & Services - Oregon doing business as Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

          Chelsea J. Glynn and Donald E. Templeton, Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue, LLP. of Attorneys for Defendant Metro West Ambulance Service, Inc.

          John Clinton Geil, Oregon Department of Justice, of Attorney for Defendants State of Oregon, Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon State Board of Nursing, Oregon Health Authority, Suzanne Meadows, and Charla Stephenson.


          Michael H. Simon, District Judge.

         Plaintiff Maricela Ramirez (“Plaintiff”), pro se, sues Providence Health & Services- Oregon, doing business as Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (“Providence”), its emergency department staff, and “Does 1-100” who Plaintiff alleges are employees or independent contractors of Providence.[1] Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint (“Complaint”) alleges that Providence committed discrimination, conspiracy and fraudulent concealment, medical malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Before the Court is Providence's motion for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, this motion is granted.


         A party is entitled to summary judgment 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 moving party has the burden of establishing the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant and draw all reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor. Clicks Billiards Inc. v. Sixshooters Inc., 251 F.3d 1252, 1257 (9th Cir. 2001). Although “[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge . . . ruling on a motion for summary judgment, ” the “mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position [is] insufficient . . . .” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252, 255 (1986). “Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (citation and quotation marks omitted).

         It is the responsibility of the non-moving party to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Keiffer v. Pernsteiner, 967 F.2d 527 (9th Cir. 1992). In order for a party to avoid summary judgment, such facts must be supported by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.” Fed R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A). Where an affidavit or declaration is relied on to oppose a summary judgment motion, it “must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated.” Fed R. Civ. P. 56(c)(4). Where the party opposing summary judgment is proceeding pro se, the court “must consider as evidence . . . all of [that party's] contentions offered in motions and pleadings, where such contentions are based on personal knowledge and set forth facts that would be admissible in evidence, and where [the party] attested under penalty of perjury that the contents of the motions or pleadings are true and correct.” Jones v. Blanas, 393 F.3d 918, 923 (9th Cir. 2004).


         Plaintiff's claims arise out of a visit to Providence's emergency department on October 8, 2015. It is undisputed that on the evening of October 8, Plaintiff sought care at Providence and an ER doctor removed a piece of garlic from Plaintiff's nostril. Plaintiff also states that she suffers from what she claims are symptoms of low blood pressure, including lethargy, dizziness, and blackouts.[3] Plaintiff further states that her low blood pressure is caused by kidney failure, liver disease, and several other medical ailments, and that all patients with kidney failure should be transported to the emergency department for additional assessment and treatment. Based on these various assertions, Plaintiff alleges that Providence, by simply removing the garlic from her nose and discharging her without admitting her to the hospital or providing treatment for various other medical conditions, deliberately discriminated ...

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