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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Johnell JACKSON, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jalal SOLTANIAN-ZADEH, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 20-15851

Decided: January 28, 2021

Before: McKEOWN, CALLAHAN, and BRESS, Circuit Judges. Johnell Jackson, Pro Se Jill Brockman Nathan, Attorney, Rivera Hewitt Paul LLP, Gold River, CA, for Defendant - Appellant


Defendant Dr. Jalal Soltanian-Zadeh appeals from the district court's order denying him qualified immunity in plaintiff Johnell Jackson's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. We have jurisdiction over this interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Plumhoff v. Rickard, 572 U.S. 765, 771-73, 134 S.Ct. 2012, 188 L.Ed.2d 1056 (2014). We review de novo the district court's summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity. Isayeva v. Sacramento Sheriff's Dep't, 872 F.3d 938, 946 (9th Cir. 2017). We affirm.

The district court properly concluded that, resolving all factual disputes and drawing all reasonable inferences in Jackson's favor, Dr. Soltanian-Zadeh is not entitled to qualified immunity because Jackson's right to be free from deliberate indifference to an excessive risk to his health was clearly established, and a reasonable official would have known that failing to provide for a lower bunk assignment was unlawful under the circumstances. See Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 232, 129 S.Ct. 808, 172 L.Ed.2d 565 (2009) (setting forth two-part test for qualified immunity); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976) (deliberate indifference to serious medical needs constitutes a violation of the Eighth Amendment); see also McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1060 (9th Cir. 1992), overruled on other grounds by WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133 (1997) (en banc) (“A serious medical need exists if the failure to treat a prisoner's condition could result in further significant injury[.]”) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

To the extent defendant challenges the district court's finding that the record shows a “genuine dispute of material fact as to whether defendant was at least deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's health or safety by not ordering that plaintiff be restricted to a lower bunk,” we lack jurisdiction to consider this finding in this interlocutory appeal. See George v. Morris, 736 F.3d 829, 834-36 (9th Cir. 2013) (explaining limited scope of review of an interlocutory appeal involving denial of qualified immunity).


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