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Wiley v. State

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Pendleton Division

September 9, 2019

ALLEN LEE WILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF OREGON; and MS. MaLlSSA McCALLHAN, Nurse TRC1 Two Rivers Correctional Institution Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBERT E JOPES, SENIOR DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Alien Lee Wiley (Wiley), acting pro se, brought this prisoner civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [#2]. His claim arises from the medical care he received while incarcerated at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCl) in Umatilla, Oregon. He alleges that the State of Oregon and Nurse McCallhan[1] violated his Eighth Amendment right when they acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Wiley seeks unspecified monetary damages to compensate for the physical and emotional harm caused by defendants.

         Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment [#23]. Wiley filed a response consisting of a letter in which he states: "I have given the Courts all the eye witness information I could remember...! have no more to offer in this case other than a Court Hearing of me Testifiying [sic] as to the events of 2016." [# 39] For the following reasons, defendants' motion is GRANTED.

         Legal Standard

         1. Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment is proper where pleadings, discovery, and affidavits show 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 district court should grant summary judgment if there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). If the moving party shows that there are no genuine issues of material fact, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to "go beyond the pleadings and by [his] own affidavits or by the 'depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file,' designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-24 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56) A scintilla of evidence, or evidence that is merely colorable or not significantly probative, does not present a genuine issue of materia! fact. United Steeiworkers of America v. Phelps Dodge, 865 F.2d 1539, 1542 (9th Cir. 1989). Reasonable doubts as to the existence of a materia! factual issue are resolved against the moving party and inferences drawn from facts are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. T. W. Elec. Sen/., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630-31 (9th Cir. 1987). A pro se plaintiff is to be held to a less stringent standard than a plaintiff acting with assistance of counsel. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 95 (2007) (quoting Esteile v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         2. Eighth Amendment Claim

         The treatment a prisoner receives in prison is subject to scrutiny under the Eighth Amendment. Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993). The Eighth Amendment imposes duties on prison officials to provide prisoners with basic necessities, including medical care. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). A prison official violates the Eighth Amendment when two requirements are met: (1) the deprivation alleged is objectively, sufficiently serious, Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834, and (2) the prison official possessed a sufficiently culpable state of mind. Id. The official must know of and disregard an excessive risk to an inmate's health. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837.

         Discussion

         1. Background

         On January 31, 2016, Wiley was incarcerated in the Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in the Disciplinary Segregation Unit (DSU). That evening, according to Wiley's complaint, Callahan issued him the wrong blister pack of medication. At the time she dispensed the medicine, Callahan neither confirmed the blister pack was Wiley's nor had him sign a form acknowledging receipt of the medicine. Wiley claims he was sick all night with seizures and vomiting and was unable to eat breakfast the following morning, February 1, 2016, because he felt too weak.

         Later that morning, Wiley states he told DSU Sergeant Espinoza that Wiley suspected he had received the wrong medication. Although he was dizzy and groggy, Wiley noted that he was feeling better. He asked Espinoza to relate the incident to Cailahan, have her check up on him, and ask her to make a report for his file. Wiley never saw Callahan and never received any medical attention.

         In support of their motion for summary judgment, defendants provided two declarations: one from CaNahan [#24] and the other from the Christopher Digiulio, M.D., the Deputy Medical Director of the Oregon Department of Corrections [#25]. Callahan declares that she was employed as a registered nurse at TRCI from June 2, 2011 to March 25, 2016 but was on administrative leave and away from the facility from October 1, 2015 through March 25, 2016, a time span that includes the date Wiley alleges he received the wrong medicine.

         Diguilio reviewed Wiley's medical chart and the DSU housing log. As medical director, he is familiar with the practices and procedures of both the medical staff when they dispense medications, the DSU security staff when they perform tier checks and observe the inmates throughout the day and night, and the interaction between the two groups. He declares that Wiley received daily attention from the Health Services nursing staff who came to his cell each day to give him his prescribed medications. "Wiley did not tell Health Services staff that he had the wrong ...


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