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Coonrod v. Sherman

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

February 8, 2017

WILLIAM COONROD, Plaintiff,
v.
UNKNOWN SHERMAN, et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          RAY KENT United States Magistrate Judge

         This is a pro se civil rights action brought by a state prisoner in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is now before the Court on motions for summary judgment filed by defendants Dr. Bomber, Corizon Health, Inc. (Corizon), Dr. Tan and Dr. Whiteman (docket no. 23), defendants Dr. Bogerding, Corrections Officer (CO) Bourque, Nurse Buren, Co Douglas, CO Hansen, CO Kingsley, Nurse Myers, Dr. Pandya, Deputy Warden Pratt, CO Sherman, CO Sobeck, CO Sour, CO Wilson and CO Zaborowski (docket no. 27), and defendant CO Ecklin (docket no. 32).

         I. Background

         Plaintiff filed a complaint against 23 defendants arising from injuries he sustained when other prisoners attacked him on April 26, 2014, and medical staff failed to provide medical treatment while he was incarcerated at the Pugsley Correctional Facility (MPF). Compl. (docket no. 1). According to medical records on that date, plaintiff was hit in the head “with what he believes was a padlock in a sock.” Munson Medical Center Records (April 26, 2014) (docket no. 1-2, PageID.75). A consultation at the medical center found that plaintiff had significant fractures of the right nasal bone and medial orbital wall as well as right infraorbital rime due to direct trauma from his assailant, and that “the septum appears paradoxically shifted to the right side.” Consultation Report (docket no. 1-2, PageID.86). The doctor recommended “operative fixation of all of the above.” Id.

         Plaintiff's allegations involve events leading up to, and including, the April 26, 2014 attack at MPF; medical treatment provided by MPF personnel after the attack; medical treatment provided by personnel at the MDOC's Duane Waters Hospital (DWH) through May 2014; plaintiff's first eye surgery at the University of Michigan in August 2014; plaintiff's second eye surgery in September 2014; and a recommended third eye surgery which has not yet occurred. Id.

         Plaintiff's complaint consists of 25 counts. Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, and 17 allege that MPF personnel Warden Harry, Deputy Warden Pratt, Capt. Pant, Capt. Snow, and CO's Sherman, Douglas, Sour, Wilson, Ecklin, Kingsley, Zaborowski and Bourque violated plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights by failing to prevent the attack. Counts 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 allege that MPF personnel Nurse Buren and CO's Zaborowski, Bourque, Hansen and Sobeck violated plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs after the attack. Counts 18, 19 and 20 allege that DWH personnel Dr. Tan, Dr. Pandya and Nurse Myers violated plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in 2014. Counts 21, 22 and 23 allege that Drs. Bomber, Bogerding and Whiteman were supervising medical doctors for the MDOC and Corizon commencing in 2014 and as “Gate Keepers” prevented plaintiff from receiving his necessary eye surgeries. Count 24 alleges that Corizon violated plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights by delaying and refusing treatments for plaintiff. Count 25 alleges that the MDOC violated plaintiff's Fourteenth and Eighth Amendment rights. After screening, the Court dismissed defendants Capt. Pant, Capt. Snow, Warden Harry and the MDOC, and authorized service on the remaining 19 defendants. Opinion and Order (docket nos. 2 and 3).

         II. Defendants' motions for summary judgment

         A. Legal standard

         Defendants have moved for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff failed to properly exhaust a grievance with respect to his claims. “The court shall grant summary judgment if 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). Rule 56 further provides that a party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by:

(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1).

         In Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476 (6th Cir. 1995), the court set forth the parties' burden of proof in a motion for summary judgment:

The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case. Once the moving party has met its burden of production, the nonmoving party cannot rest on its pleadings, but must present significant probative evidence in support of the complaint to defeat the motion for summary judgment. The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence to support plaintiff's position ...

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