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Lyle v. Aiken

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 30, 2015

ALEX LYLE, Plaintiff,
v.
SABRINA AIKEN, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

PAUL L. MALONEY, Chief District Judge.

This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, PUB. L. NO. 104-134, 110 STAT. 1321 (1996), the Court is required to dismiss any prisoner action brought under federal law if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A; 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The Court must read Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these standards, Plaintiff's action will be dismissed for failure to state a claim.

Factual Allegations

Plaintiff Alex Lyle is a state prisoner incarcerated by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility, though the events giving rise to the complaint occurred while he was incarcerated at the Michigan Reformatory. Most of the Defendants are registered nurses employed by the MDOC, including: Todd Lambart and Health Unit Manager Bryan Deeren, both of whom are located at the Michigan Reformatory; Clinical Administrative Assistant Sabrina Aiken, who is located at "Jackson Health Care Office Administration" in Jackson, Michigan; and S. Laughhunn, who is located at the MDOC's Bureau of Health Services in Lansing, Michigan. (Attach. A to Compl., docket #1-1, Page ID#5.) Plaintiff also sues "Unknown John Does and Mary Does MDOC Health Care Employees" located in Lansing, Michigan ("Unknown Part(y)(ies) #1") and "Unknown John Does and Mary Does CORIZON Health Care Employees, " located in Lansing Michigan ("Unknown Part(y)(ies) #2"). ( Id. )

Plaintiff asserts that he has been complaining about "continuing pain in his penis and groin area, hernia, vomiting, dizziness, rectal bleeding and a foul body odor" since 2005.[1] (Attach. B to Compl., docket #1, Page ID#6.) Despite his complaints, Plaintiff has not been allowed to see a doctor. Instead, he is seen by registered nurses who tell him that nothing is wrong, refer him to a psychologist, and "run interference" so that he is never able to see a doctor. ( Id. ) Plaintiff contends that Defendants admitted the existence of his condition in response to a grievance that he filed. In addition, Plaintiff contends that they admitted that tests were ordered for him; however, he contends that they have not disclosed the results of those tests. Also, Defendants have allegedly told him that he could pay for a second opinion at his own expense. Plaintiff cannot afford to do so, however.

According to the attachments to the complaint, Plaintiff filed a grievance in December 2013, asserting that he had complained to "nurses" and a "practitioner" (specifically, "Nurse RN. Anna M. Cassese") about pain in his penis and groin area, a hernia in his stomach, vomiting, foul body odor, and dizziness; however, he was "being delayed adequate health care treatment." (MDOC Prisoner/Parolee Grievance No. RMI XXXXXXXXXXE1, docket #1-2, Page ID#8.) Defendants Lambart and Deeren denied the grievance, noting that he submitted a healthcare request on November 24 and was seen by a nursing provider on November 26, 2013. (Step I Grievance Response, docket #1-2, Page ID#9.) The nurse "issued him a treatment plan including OTC analgesic medication, education, reassurance, and recommendations." ( Id. ) In addition, Lambart and Deeren noted that he was seen by a "medical practitioner" on November 1, 2013. ( Id. )

Plaintiff appealed the denial of his grievance; his appeal was denied by Defendant Aiken, who summarized the details regarding his care as follows:

Upon investigation of the EMR (Electronic Medical Records) Grievant was seen by MP on 11/1/13; educated, FOBT, labs & EKG ordered and informed to follow up as needed. Labs & EKG completed. 11/12 HCR received, Grievant assessed by RN on 11/14 for multitude of somatic complaints and informed Mr. Lyle the labs were WNR. The MP did a CRV; Labs, vitals and Visit with exam reviewed from 11/1/13. Weight no change, labs good. No action needed at this time.
The EMR reflects on 11/22[, ] Mr. Lyle admitted that he doesn't like locking at RMI and would like a transfer. 11/24 HCR; Stomach pains, hernia, occasional vomiting, headaches, dizziness, foul body odor. Grievant assessed by RN on 11/26; Anxiety r/t fear of being poisoned in past? Somatic complaints. It was noted by RN; these same complaints go all the back to 2005. On 12/1 HCR; multiple complaints, Grievant scheduled to see RN on 12/3, however he was transferred to LRF on 12/3/13. LRF RN appt on 12/1/2; No body odor detected at this time. Will refer to OPT for evaluation. Instructed pt to contact HS if symptoms worsen or don't improve. Pt verbalized understanding.
Mr. Lyle was seen by OPT on 12/13; PP can be seen as needed as delusions appear to be somewhat fixed and non responsive to medications.
Grievant's allegations are not substantiated by the evidence. Review of the evidence supports that Grievant's medical needs are being addressed.
If the Grievant believes something more should be done for him medically, he has the option to seek a second opinion at his own expense....

(Step II Grievance Appeal Response, docket #1-2, Page ID#11.)

Plaintiff subsequently appealed his grievance to Step III of the grievance process. Defendant Laughhunn denied the appeal, concluding that the grievance was appropriately addressed at Steps I and II. ...


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