The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 26, 2010
Prison doctor fights dismissal

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Court Files introduce lawsuits of interest to state workers. We highlight the case, link you to the file and show you where to track developments on your own.

  • Click on the case number below to download the file. (24 pages)
  • Check for subsequent filings on the Sacramento Superior Court's document viewing page. Plug the case number into the appropriate field, click the search button and then scroll down to see a list of documents filed.

Case No.: 2010-80000426
Filed: 01/19/2010
Petitioner: David Clark
Respondent: California State Personnel Board
Real Party in Interest: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

From the court file:

CDCR served CLARK with an adverse action dismissing him from his position as a Physician and Surgeon effective the close of business April 26, 2002. The gist of the action against CLARK is that on June 27, 2000, he examined an inmate who claimed that he could not move his arms and legs following a fight. After conducting various tests on the inmate CLARK believed the inmate did not have the injuries he claimed. CLARK did not order an x-ray to determine whether the inmate had any spinal damage, and returned him to his cell. The next day other prison doctors had the inmate x-rayed, discovered severe cervical spinal damage, and rushed the inmate to the hospital. The inmate became a quadriplegic. CLARK was charged with failing to send the inmate for an x-ray and failing to properly diagnose the inmate's condition.

CLARK filed a timely appeal with the SPB. On October 22,2009 the SPB issued its decision sustaining his dismissal. CLARK has, therefore, exhausted his administrative remedies.

In sustaining the dismissal against CLARK, the SPB abused its discretion because the
findings are not supported by substantial evidence and/or denied CLARK his due process rights ...

Click the case number above to read the complete complaint, which includes a copy of SPB's dismissal appeal decision and 21 points that his attorney, Steven Bassoff, says aren't supported by the evidence or violate his client's rights.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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