Starr v. Baca

652 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 2011)


P was in custody in the Los Angeles County Jail. A group of inmates gathered at his cell door and threatened to inflict physical harm on him. P yelled for help from the deputies guarding the jail. They opened P's cell gate in order to allow the group of inmates to enter. They entered and repeatedly stabbed P and his cellmate with knife-like objects. P was stabbed twenty-three times while screaming for help and protection. Eventually, several deputies went to P and yelled at him, 'nigger lay down.' While repeatedly yelling 'shut up nigger,' the deputy then kicked his face, nose, and body numerous times, causing pain, bleeding and a nose fracture. All this while P was laying in pain and bleeding and moaning. Other deputies stood by and watched. The deputy who kicked P subsequently interfered with his ability to obtain medical treatment for his injuries. P continues to suffer from and receive treatment for his injuries. P claims against the deputies are not at issue in this appeal. In his claim against D, P alleges unconstitutional conditions of confinement in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. P posits that D is liable in his individual capacity because he knew or should have known about the dangers in the Los Angeles County Jail and that he was deliberately indifferent to those dangers. After several amendments to the complaint against D, the court dismissed the claim with prejudice under Rule 12(b)(6). The allegations did not sufficiently state a causal connection between D's action and inaction and the alleged injury to P. 'P does not allege that D himself directly participated in any way in the incident or that he was involved in any review or investigation of it.' P did not allege any specific policy implemented by D that caused the violation. P appealed.