United States District Court, D. Oregon
ORDER TO DISMISS
MICHAEL W. MOSMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution
("EOCI"), brings this civil rights action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In a separate Order, the Court has
granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. However, for the reasons set forth below,
Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §
alleges that on December 27, 2017, he was walking to his
prison's medical unit with a correctional officer when a
"big slab of ice and snow" three or four inches
thick slid off the roof of the facility and hit him on the
top of his head. He claims that several correctional
employees witnessed this event and came to his aid. He
asserts that the incident caused him "serious physical,
emotional, and possibly psychological problems," and
that the failure to provide a protective covering from
falling ice amounts to an Eighth Amendment violation.
Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and money damages exceeding
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the Court is required to screen
prisoner complaints seeking relief against a governmental
entity, officer, or employee and must dismiss a complaint if
the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). In order to state a claim,
Plaintiff's Complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter which, when accepted as true, gives rise to a
plausible inference that defendants violated plaintiff's
constitutional rights. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twowbly, 550
U.S. 554, 556-57 (2007) . "Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
for failure to state a claim is proper if it appears beyond
doubt that Plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claims that would entitle him to relief. Ortez v.
Washington County, 88 F.3d 804, 806 (9th Cir. 1996);
Cervantes v. City of San Diego, 5 F.3d 1273, 1274
(9th Cir. 1993). Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se, the Court construes his pleadings liberally and
affords him the benefit of any doubt. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Ortez, 88 F.3d at 806.
initial matter, Plaintiff names two Defendants in the caption
of his Complaint, EOCI and "Officials." Although he
purports to bring suit against other individuals and entities
named in the body of his Complaint, the Defendants are
limited to those parties named in the caption of the
Complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a). The term "Officials"
does is not sufficient to name a Defendant, and EOCI is
entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit as an
Oregon state agency. See Puerto Rico Aqueduct
& Sewer Auth. v. Metcalf & Eddy, Inc., 506 U.S.
139, 144 (1993). Accordingly, Plaintiff fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.
addition, even assuming Plaintiff had named a valid defendant
in his Complaint, he nevertheless fails to state a viable
Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim. The conditions of
imprisonment and the treatment of prisoners are subject to
scrutiny under the Eighth Amendment. Helling v.
McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993). A prison
official's conduct violates the Eighth Amendment only if
two conditions are met. First, the plaintiff must allege a
deprivation which is "sufficiently serious" when
viewed objectively. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
834 (1994) . For a claim based on failure to prevent harm,
"the inmate must show that he is incarcerated under
conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm."
the plaintiff must demonstrate that a prison official acted
with deliberate indifference. Id. In order to
satisfy the standard of deliberate indifference, a plaintiff
must show that a prison official knew of and disregarded an
excessive risk to inmate health or safety. Id. at
837; Johnson v. Lewis, 211 F.3d 726, 734 (9th Cir.
2000). "An official's failure to alleviate a
significant risk that he should have perceived but did not,
while no cause for commendation, cannot under [Supreme Court]
cases be condemned as the infliction of punishment."
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837.
in the Complaint suggests that any person was deliberately
indifferent to Plaintiff's well-being while he walked to
EOCI's medical unit. To the contrary, several individuals
immediately responded to assist him after the piece of ice
came down with no warning. Plaintiff characterizes the prison
officials' culpability as negligence, stating that they
"started building this structure the very next day"
and that "[t]heir negligence to postpone this project
until this [injurious] accident occurred was unreasonable and
unnecessary." Complaint (#2), p. 7. "[D]eliberate
indifference entails something more than mere negligence.
..." Farmer, 511 U.S. at 835. Plaintiff's
Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim is therefore
dismissed with prejudice and without leave to amend.
Prayer for Relief, Plaintiff makes a request for damages
"for the suffering and neglect of my pain issues."
However, he fails to identify any individuals who neglected
his pain issues, nor does he provide any details regarding
such an incident. Although he currently fails to state a
valid Eighth Amendment medical claim, the Court allows him
leave to do so. Plaintiff is advised that in order to prevail
on a claim of the denial of adequate medical care, he must
allege and prove that the responsible parties were
deliberately indifferent to his "serious" medical
needs. Lopez v. Smith,203 F.3d 1122, 1131 (9th Cir.
20 00) . A ...