Peralta v. Dillard, et al, No. 09-55907 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action claiming that defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs related to dental care. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's judgment as a matter of law in favor of Dr. Dillard and Dr. Fitter and judgment following a jury verdict in favor of Dr. Brooks. At issue was whether the district court erred when it instructed the jury on the question of whether Dr. Brooks could be held responsible for failing to provide services when he lacked resources. The court held that the principle contained in the instructions given in this case was a proper one where the instruction took into account the duties, discretion, and means available. The instruction, in effect, stated that if Dr. Brooks could not "render or cause to be rendered" the needed services because of a lack of resources that he could not cure, he also could not individually be liable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.