United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
PAUL L. MALONEY, Chief District Judge.
This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is an inmate at the Pugsley Correctional Facility (MPF). The event giving rise to this lawsuit allegedly occurred on April 29, 2009, at the Michigan Reformatory (RMI). Defendant, Aimee Rogers, is an assistant resident supervisor (ARUS) at RMI. Plaintiff sues defendant in her individual and official capacity and seeks damages. Plaintiff alleges that defendant was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights under the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause.
The matter is before the court on defendant's motion for summary judgment. (docket # 14). Plaintiff has filed his response. (docket #s 22, 24). For the reasons set forth herein, plaintiff's claim for damages against defendant in her official capacity will be dismissed with prejudice because it is barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity. Defendant's motion for summary judgment will be granted and judgment will be entered in defendant's favor on plaintiff's claim for damages against her in her individual capacity.
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record reveals that there are no genuine issues as to any material fact in dispute and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. FED. R. CIV. P. 56(a); Sadie v. City of Cleveland, 718 F.3d 596, 599 (6th Cir. 2013). The standard for determining whether summary judgment is appropriate is "whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.'" Pittman v. Cuyahoga County Dep't of Children & Family Servs., 640 F.3d 716, 723 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986)). "The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c)(3). The court must draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the party opposing the motion. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Adams v. Hanson, 656 F.3d 397, 401 (6th Cir. 2011).
A party asserting that a fact cannot be genuinely disputed must support the assertion as specified in Rule 56(c)(1). FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c)(1). Once the movant shows that "there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case, " the nonmoving party has the burden of coming forward with evidence raising a triable issue of fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). To sustain this burden, the nonmoving party may not rest on the mere allegations of his pleadings. FED. R. CIV. P. 56(e)(2), (3); see El-Seblani v. IndyMac Mortg. Servs., 510 F.Appx. 425, 427 (6th Cir. 2013). The motion for summary judgment forces the nonmoving party to present evidence sufficient to create a genuine issue of fact for trial. Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1478 (6th Cir. 1990). "A mere scintilla of evidence is insufficient; there must be evidence on which a jury could reasonably find for the [non-movant].'" Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252); see Davis v. Cintas Corp., 717 F.3d 476, 491 (6th Cir. 2013).
The following facts are beyond genuine issue. Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). In 2008, plaintiff entered a guilty plea to manslaughter charges and was sentenced to serve 8-to-15 years' imprisonment. (docket # 15-2, Plf. Dep. at 5, Page ID 59). Aimee Rogers is an Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor (ARUS) at the Michigan Reformatory (RMI). (docket # 15-7, Rogers Aff. ¶ 1, Page ID 82).
Although plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Pugsley Correctional Facility, he began his incarceration at RMI. (Plf. Dep. at 6, 10, Page ID 60, 61). Plaintiff states that on April 29, 2009, he was housed in RMI's block I-1. ( Id. at 9, Page ID 60). At approximately 8 a.m. on that date plaintiff was on his bunk. He called out to Ms. Rogers and asked if she could provide him with medical attention. ( Id. at 13, Page ID 61). Ms. Rogers denies that plaintiff made any request for her to notify healthcare, but plaintiff's version of events is taken as true for summary judgment purposes. (Rogers Aff. ¶ 3, docket # 15-7, Page ID 82). Plaintiff related that he was not feeling well. (Plf. Dep. at 14, Page ID 62). He did not have any known medical condition or history of headaches. ( Id. at 8, Page ID 60). Plaintiff gave the following testimony regarding his conversation with Ms. Rogers:
Q. So what did Ms. Rogers say to you after you asked for help?
A. Well, she basically told me that there wasn't nothing wrong with me and told me to stop my belly aching, it's not like you're dying of something, something of that nature. A snide remark like it ain't like your're dying or nothing, like that. I guess she thought I was bluffing.
(Plf. Dep. at 14-15, Page ID 62). Ms. Rogers denies making such statements (Rogers Aff. at ¶¶ 4, 5, Page ID 82), but again, plaintiff's version will be accepted as true. Plaintiff states that his conversation with Rogers was very brief, lasting only a minute or two. (Plf. Dep. at 17, Page ID 62).
Corrections Officer Bruce Carpenter was the officer on duty in plaintiff's housing unit on the afternoon of April 29, 2009. He performed rounds approximately every thirty minutes. Plaintiff did not request medical attention until approximately 2:45 p.m. (docket # 15-5, Carpenter Aff. ¶¶ 3, 4, Page ID 75; docket # 15-6, Page ID 79). Plaintiff was taken to the medical unit where he was examined. (Plf. Dep. at 20, Page ID 63). According to plaintiff, after the examination he was in the process of being returned to his cell when he started vomiting. A nurse determined that plaintiff should be sent to the emergency room. ( Id. at 23, Page ID 64). By 4 p.m., plaintiff was on his way to the hospital. ( Id. at 24, Page ID 24). Plaintiff was then transported by helicopter from Ionia County Memorial Hospital to Lansing's Sparrow Hospital. ( Id. at 25, Page ID 64). Plaintiff was transported back to prison the following day, ...