Court dismisses case filed by inmate vs Corrections

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The U.S. District Court for the NMI has dismissed the lawsuit filed by a Department of Corrections inmate who claims he was beaten up in prison and was ignored when he sought medical attention from staff.

Chief Judge Ramona Manglona dismissed without prejudice the lawsuit of Xiao Ping Wang, who accused Department of Corrections officials of withholding medical attention for eight hours after he was severely beaten by another inmate.

The DOC officials Wang named as defendants in his suit included Corrections Commissioner Wally Villagomez and department officials Georgia Cabrera and Ken Camacho. Wang alleges that DOC and its officials violated his constitutional and civil rights, and wants the court to grant him damages in the amount of $100,000 for his suffering, emotional stress, and depression.

Manglona dismissed Wang’s suit because of his failure to state a claim. However, because the case was dismissed without prejudice, Manglona allowed him time to amend his lawsuit and to file the amended complaint no later than Nov. 12.

“If Wang wishes to pursue his claim, he must file a first amended complaint by placing it in the prison mail no later than Nov. 12. Failure to file an amended complaint by this deadline will result in the court dismissing this action with prejudice and directing the clerk to close the case,” she said.

In her order, Manglona said Wang failed to establish a constitutional violation committed by defendants for failure to provide adequate medical care. In addition, he failed to establish that any of the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.

“Wang alleged that he had a broken nose, severe bleeding, and swollen eyes after the beating incident. While the court notes that a delay [of] eight hours for medical treatment could demonstrate a deliberate indifference, nothing in his allegations suggest that the named defendants were the ones who were indifferent to his need,” Manglona said.

In regards to Villagomez and Cabrera, Manglona noted that Wang failed to allege that they were aware of his immediate medical needs.

“Wang does not even mention Cabrera in any of his documents other than listing Cabrera as a defendant. Furthermore, the filing of a grievance with Commissioner Villagomez does not evince his knowledge of any medical need immediately after the beating,” she said.

According to his handwritten complaint, Wang said he suffered a massive swollen face, bleeding gums, and bloody eyes as a result of a beating by another inmate on June 21, 2020, and his medical attention needs were delayed for eight hours, subjecting him to excruciating pain and suffering.

He added that because of the incident, he suffered headaches, depression, fear, and emotional distress for six months. When he sought help and treatment for his suffering, Wang claims he was always ignored and neglected.

Wang was arrested back in December 2018 for illegal possession of a controlled substance and drug trafficking. In February 2021, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years suspended.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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