United States District Court, D. Oregon, Pendleton Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Yim You United States Magistrate Judge
se plaintiff Shawn Michael Martin brings this action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that two dentists and
two dental assistants employed by the Oregon Department of
Corrections (“ODOC”) were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. Compl. ¶ 15, ECF #2. He
alleges a two-month delay in dental care constituted a wanton
infliction of unnecessary pain. He seeks injunctive relief
and damages. Defendants have moved for summary judgment (ECF
#82). For the reasons set forth below,
defendants' motion is granted.
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.”
FRCP 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).
“When judging the evidence at the summary judgment
stage, the district court is not to make credibility
determinations or weigh conflicting evidence and is required
to draw all justifiable inferences in a light most favorable
to the nonmoving party.” Musick v. Burke, 913
F.2d 1390, 1394 (9th Cir. 1990); Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). 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 . . . .”
Id. at 252, 255. “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
entered ODOC custody on February 23, 2017. Decl. of Dr.
Gregory Shook, D.M.D. ¶ 3 (“Shook Decl.”),
ECF #83. He was scheduled for a dental intake exam to
determine the status of his dental needs. However, plaintiff
was almost immediately placed in the Disciplinary Segregation
Unit (“DSU”) for engaging in disrespectful and
disobedient conduct. Decl. of Shawn Martin ¶ 19
(“Martin Decl.”), ECF #86; Plaintiff's
Statement of Disputed Factual Issues (“Pl.'s Fact
Statement”), Ex. 40, ECF#91-1 (copy of ODOC Misconduct
Report describing plaintiff's behavior).
takes additional security precautions at the dental clinic
for patients housed in DSU, including providing two
correctional officers during dental appointments for the
security of the dentists and their staff. Shook Decl.
¶¶ 7-8. On March 3, 2017, a nonparty dental
assistant rescheduled plaintiff's exam because there were
not enough correctional officers available to accompany him
to the dental clinic. Id. ¶ 8 (naming dental
assistant A. Kidwell).
March 10, 2017, plaintiff sent an Inmate Communication Form
(“grievance”) to the dental clinic complaining
that one of the teeth under the bridge in his mouth was
causing him pain, that the bridge had come loose, and that
there was a foul odor coming from the area with the bridge.
Id. ¶ 9. Plaintiff did not request pain
medication in this grievance, but he did request dental
floss. Shook Decl., Ex. 1, at 16. The dental clinic responded
that plaintiff's dental intake exam had been scheduled.
Id. Plaintiff's appointment was scheduled for
March 15, 2017, but inmates are not told when they have
appointments as a security measure. Shook Decl. ¶ 15.
dental clinic took x-rays of plaintiff's mouth on March
14, 2017, and a nonparty dentist, Dr. Stephanie Swyter,
D.M.D., performed plaintiff's dental intake exam the next
day. Id. ¶¶ 9-10. Dr. Swyter did not
identify any conditions that called for prompt or urgent
attention during her examination. Id. ¶ 12.
submitted another grievance on March 29, 2017. Id.
¶ 15. ODOC staff responded by advising plaintiff that he
had an appointment to be seen by the dental clinic.
Id. Plaintiff submitted another grievance on April
12, 2017, and ODOC responded about two weeks later explaining
his transfer to a new facility had caused a delay. Pl.'s
Fact Statement, Ex. 20 (Grievance Response dated April 27,
2017). ODOC notified the receiving facility of
plaintiff's need for dental care. Id.
April 18, 2017, plaintiff reported to a triage nurse that
there was no change in his condition. Shook Decl. ¶ 17.
The triage nurse also determined that plaintiff's
condition did not require urgent attention. Id.
David Miller, D.M.D., examined plaintiff on May 1, 2017.
Plaintiff complained of tooth pain. Id. ¶ 20.
Dr. Miller's chart notes show that plaintiff had many
missing teeth, a fractured porcelain bridge, significant
decay in teeth supporting the bridge, moderate gum disease, a
loose abutment crown, two diseased teeth with poor
restorability prognosis (numbers 2 and 7), and palpation
testing that was within normal limits. Id. Plaintiff
indicated he would prefer a root canal to extraction on teeth
numbers 2 and 7 and would submit paperwork for approval to
the Therapeutic Level of Care Committee. Id.
committee denied plaintiff's request for a root canal,
citing plaintiff's high rate of decay and poor oral
hygiene. Id. ¶ 21. Instead, the committee
recommended extraction and approved the fabrication of
partial dentures following the extractions. Pl.'s Fact
Statement, Ex. 4.
Miller discussed the committee's decision with plaintiff
on May 10, 2017, and plaintiff agreed to the extractions.
Shook Decl. ¶ 22. On May 10, 2017, Dr. Miller
extracted two teeth and performed four additional extractions
on June 14, 2017. Id. ¶ 23. Plaintiff was given
an anesthetic during the procedures, and Norco (hydrocodone),
Roxicet (oxycodone and acetaminophen), and Ibuprofen for pain