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Cousino v. Borgerding

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

December 27, 2016

CHRISTOPHER D. COUSINO, #310603, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM BORGERDING, et al., Defendants.



         This suit stems from Defendants' treatment of Plaintiff's medical condition. Defendant Corizon is a private company that provides healthcare to inmates within the Michigan Department of Corrections. Defendant Canlas is a physician employed by Corizon; Defendant Neri is a physician formerly employed by Corizon. Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the MDOC, filed a suit alleging that (1) Defendants Canlas and Neri were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical needs in violation of the Eight Amendment and (2) Defendant Corizon violated the Eighth Amendment by having a policy of denying medical treatment to inmates based on cost.

         On October 4, 2016, Magistrate Judge Greeley issued a Report and Recommendation (R & R) recommending that this Court grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 63.) Plaintiff filed seven objections, which will be discussed in detail below. (ECF No. 64.) Defendants filed a response. (ECF No. 67.) Upon receiving objections to a report and recommendation, the district judge “shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), After conducting a de novo review of the R & R, Defendant's Objection, and the pertinent portions of the record, the Court concludes that the R & R should be adopted and summary judgment should be granted for Defendants.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In early September 2013, Plaintiff requested treatment of “some kind of itchy fungus.” (PageID.890.) On September 13, Defendant Neri diagnosed Plaintiff with scabies, ordered him into medical quarantine, and provided plaintiff with a medicated shampoo. Plaintiff's symptoms did not subside, and Defendant Canlas prescribed triamcinolone acetonide cream on September 18. Defendant Canlas followed up with Plaintiff on September 24, noted improvement in his condition, and authorized his release from medical quarantine. Between November 2013 and February 2014, Plaintiff complained of renewed symptoms of itches and rashes on several occasions, and Defendants prescribed various ointments and antibiotics as treatment, eventually finding a combination of medications that finally cured Plaintiff's symptoms.

         Magistrate Judge Greeley recommended summary judgment for Defendants Canlas and Neri because Plaintiff failed to show that the Defendants “acted with the requisite culpable state of mind to satisfy the subjective prong of the deliberately indifferent test.” (ECF No. 63 at PageID.967.) Magistrate Judge Greeley recommended summary judgment for Defendant Corizon because Plaintiff failed to show any kind of underlying Eighth Amendment violation which could have been caused by the company's policy or well-settled custom and Plaintiff failed to submit any evidence to support his allegations. (Id. at PageID.968.)


         Objection I

         Plaintiff objects to Magistrate Judge Greeley's reliance on Defendants' declaration to establish the fact that Plaintiff had an allergic reaction to one of the medications prescribed. (ECF No. 64 at PageID.975.) Plaintiff claims that his negative reaction to the medication was due the fact that “Defendant's [sic] over prescribed the three topical corticosteroids that had a side effect of Folliculitis which is what Plaintiff kept experiencing.” (Id.) The exact reason for Plaintiff's reaction to the medication, whether it was because he was “over-prescribed” or allergic, is irrelevant to the conclusion that Defendants lacked the subjective intent required for deliberate indifference claims. This is particularly true given the fact that Plaintiff's medication was changed to treat his reaction.

         Objection II

         Plaintiff objects to the R & R noting the fact that Plaintiff did not seek medical treatment between September 24 and November 8, and argues that he did not seek medical attention during that time “because he was in fear of having to return to administrative segregation.” (ECF No. 64 at PageID.977.) This claim is irrelevant to the R & R's finding because it has no bearing on Defendants' subjective state of mind.

         Objection III

         Plaintiff objects to the R & R's description of the facts surrounding his treatment, claiming (1) Magistrate Judge Greeley stated that the Plaintiff had been prescribed medication on February 28, 2014, but Plaintiff had actually been prescribed the medication on March 3, and (2) Magistrate Judge Greeley stated that Plaintiff's skin condition cleared up “after several doses” of effective medication, but Plaintiff only took two doses of the medication. These objections are irrelevant to Defendants' subjective intent.

         Objectio ...

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