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Rolon v. Migliori

United States District Court, D. Idaho

December 9, 2019

ANTONIO V. ROLON, Plaintiff,


          Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge

         The Clerk of Court conditionally filed Plaintiff Antonio v. Rolon's Complaint as a result of Plaintiff's status as an inmate. The Court now reviews the Complaint to determine whether it should be summarily dismissed in whole or in part under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Having reviewed the record, and otherwise being fully informed, the Court enters the following Order directing Plaintiff to file an amended complaint if Plaintiff intends to proceed.

         1. Screening Requirement

         The Court must review complaints filed by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity, as well as complaints filed in forma pauperis, to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. The Court must dismiss a complaint or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious claim, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         2. Pleading Standard

         A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A complaint fails to state a claim for relief under Rule 8 if the factual assertions in the complaint, taken as true, are insufficient for the reviewing court plausibly “to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. In other words, although Rule 8 “does not require detailed factual allegations, ... it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). If the facts pleaded are “merely consistent with a defendant's liability, ” or if there is an “obvious alternative explanation” that would not result in liability, the complaint has not stated a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Id. at 678, 682 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         3. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff is a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction (“IDOC”), currently incarcerated at the Idaho State Correctional Center (“ISCC”). Plaintiff states that he suffers severe pain in both of his knees due to medial and lateral meniscal tears. Compl., Dkt. 3, at 4-5. He alleges that he began receiving treatment for the pain on December 2, 2015, [1] when he received an MRI. At that time, Plaintiff was housed at a private prison in Colorado. Plaintiff was transferred to ISCC in March 2016. Plaintiff claims that, from then until June 2017, he received inadequate medical treatment for his knee pain.

         Most of Plaintiff's medical treatment throughout this period was provided by prison medical providers. However, prison medical providers referred Plaintiff to outside specialists on at least two occasions. Plaintiff alleges that, in May 2016, an outside provider, Dr. Schwartzman, recommended an arthroscopy as a “corrective procedure”; Plaintiff was not informed of this recommendation until nearly a month later. Id. at 6. Prison medical providers did not schedule an arthroscopy as recommended by Dr. Schwartzman.

         Plaintiff was again examined by an outside provider, this time by Defendant Dr. Shea, on May 17, 2017. In the course of that examination, Dr. Shea reviewed ultrasound images of Plaintiff's knees taken in February 2017 but “was not provided the MRI report from December 2015.” Id. at 9. Dr. Shea also did not conduct a new MRI. Unlike Dr. Schwartzman, Dr. Shea found that arthroscopic meniscectomy was unlikely to relieve Plaintiff's pain. Instead, he recommended “avoidance of impact activities, ” ice for Plaintiff's knee as needed, and “knee sleeves, or rigid bracing to offer temporary relief (but not long-term fix).” Id. at 9-10.

         Defendant Dr. Migliori noted Dr. Shea's recommendations during an examination of Plaintiff on June 7, 2017. Id. The Complaint does not allege that Plaintiff received inadequate medical treatment after that date.

         Citing guidelines from the Bureau of Prisons and the National Commission of Correctional Health Care, Plaintiff claims that the standard of care for a person with his knee problems is to provide “elective arthroplasty surgery.” Id. at 10.

         The Complaint asserts claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Idaho state law. Plaintiff sues Corizon, Inc.-the private company providing medical treatment to Idaho inmates under contract with the IDOC-as well as Dr. Shea and several individuals who are Corizon medical providers or IDOC officials.

         4. Discussion

         Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to proceed with the Complaint. The Court will, however, grant Plaintiff 28 days to amend the Complaint. Any amended complaint should take into consideration the following.

         A. Statute of Limitations

         It appears that most of Plaintiff's claims are untimely. Federal civil rights actions arising in Idaho are governed by a two-year statute of limitations. Idaho Code § 5-219; see also Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 280 (1985) (holding that state statute of limitation for personal injury actions governs § 1983 actions), abrogated on other grounds by Jones v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 541 U.S. 369 (2004).

         Although the state statute of limitations governs the time period for filing a § 1983 claim, federal law governs when that claim accrues, or arises. Elliott v. City of UnionCity, 25 F.3d 800, 801-02 (9th Cir. 1994). Under the “discovery rule, ” a claim accrues “when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the injury” that is the basis of the claim. Lukovsky v. City & Cty. of San Francisco, 535 F.3d 1044, 1048 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted). That is, the statute of ...

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