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Hardison v. Murphy

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

March 9, 2015

Anthony Hardison, Plaintiff,
Cyndi Murphy, Karen Horton, and Richard Cady, Defendants.


JUDITH E. LEVY, District Judge.

This is a prisoner civil rights case. Pending is Magistrate Judge David R. Grand's Report and Recommendation (Dkt. 21) to grant the Michigan Department of Corrections defendants' motion for summary judgment.

I. Background

The Court adopts the Report and Recommendation's statement of facts, as plaintiff objects only to whether those facts create a genuine issue of material fact sufficient to deny defendants' motion for summary judgment.

II. Standard of Review

Summary judgment is proper where "the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Court may not grant summary judgment if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248. The Court "views the evidence, all facts, and any inferences that may be drawn from the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party." Pure Tech Sys., Inc. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., 95 F.Appx. 132, 135 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Skousen v. Brighton High Sch., 305 F.3d 520, 526 (6th Cir.2002)).

Following a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, "any party may serve and file written objections to such proposed findings and recommendations" within fourteen days. 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b). The district court "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." Id . The district court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge... [and] also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Id.

III. Analysis

Plaintiff raises two objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, each relating to his Eighth Amendment claim.

The first objection is that a material question of fact exists because plaintiff "submitted numerous request [ sic ] to the appropriate healthcare provider with no success concerning bloody episodes with his feet due to the shoes that was [ sic ] provided him." (Dkt. 22 at 3.) Because those requests for new shoes were unsuccessful, plaintiff experienced severe pain and bleeding as a result of walking in the orthopedic shoes he was provided. (Id.)

Plaintiff asserted a claim against Registered Nurse Cyndi Murphy ("RN Murphy") for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs under the Eighth Amendment. (Dkt. 1 at 3-4, 5.) "A prison official acts with deliberate indifference if he knows of a substantial risk to an inmate's health, yet recklessly disregards the risk by failing to take reasonable measures to abate it." Broyles v. Corr. Med. Servs., Inc., 478 F.Appx. 971, 975 (6th Cir. 2012) (internal quote marks and citations omitted).

Plaintiff argues that he submitted requests to the "appropriate healthcare provider." The Magistrate Judge found that "RN Murphy's affidavit makes clear that she had no authority to... order new orthopedic shoes." (Dkt. 21 at 7.) Nor is there any "evidence that RN Murphy interfered with Hardison's ability to obtain [new shoes] from the staff responsible for those accommodations." (Id.) Plaintiff's objection does not establish that RN Murphy was the "appropriate healthcare provider" to whom he is referring. At most, the objection establishes that plaintiff believed RN Murphy to be such a provider, but not that she, in fact, was the appropriate healthcare provider who could provide plaintiff with new shoes.

Plaintiff's objection does not raise a genuine issue of material fact as to RN Murphy's alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical need. Even assuming plaintiff's need for different shoes was a "serious medical need, " inaction on the part of an unspecified other "healthcare provider" does not constitute a failure to take reasonable measures on RN Murphy's part, as required to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Plaintiff's second objection is that "the evidence inside RN Murphy's affidavit contradicts Policy Directive 03.04.100 of healthcare services" and violates the Eighth Amendment. (Dkt. 22 at 5.) Plaintiff does not provide the Court with Policy Directive 03.04.100, and so the Court cannot determine whether RN Murphy's affidavit (Dkt. 15-2) contradicts the Directive. Further, even if the affidavit did contradict Policy Directive 03.04.100, the Court would have to first determine ...

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