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Pann v. Corizon Health Services

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

March 27, 2017

ROBERT PANN, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON HEALTH SERVICES, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JANET T. NEFF, United States District Judge

         This is a prisoner civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 involving Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims concerning medical care Plaintiff received while incarcerated (“deliberate indifference” to “serious medical needs”). Defendants filed two separate motions for summary judgment (Dkts 92, 95). The matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge, who on January 13, 2017 issued a Report and Recommendation (R&R, Dkt 133), recommending that both summary judgment motions be granted. The matter is presently before the Court on Plaintiff's objections to the Report and Recommendation (Pl. Obj., Dkt 135). The Corizon Health Services Defendants have filed a Response (Dkt 138), and Plaintiff has filed a Reply (Dkt 139).[1] Plaintiff has now also filed a Motion to Include Defendant's Application for Plaintiff to Receive a Medicaid Card (Dkt 140). In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3), the Court has performed de novo consideration of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections have been made. The Court grants Plaintiff's motion to supplement the record, denies Plaintiff's objections to the Report and Recommendation, and issues this Opinion and Order.

         I. Plaintiff's Objections

         Plaintiff presents the Court with a lengthy recitation of intermixed events, purported fact, and argument, which fails to provide the Court with his challenges to specific portions of the Report and Recommendation, as required, for de novo review. Plaintiff identifies ten main objection topics. To the best of the Court's understanding, Plaintiff's objections can be appropriately categorized into four categories. The Court considers each in turn.

         A. Factual Record Concerning Hand Surgery Medication

         Plaintiff asserts that the Magistrate Judge erred in “finding that Plaintiff received his medication on June 4, 2012” following Plaintiff's hand surgery (Pl. Obj., Dkt 135 at PageID.1466). In addressing Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Silvernail in Count 1, the Magistrate Judge noted that in response to Defendant Silvernail's affidavit, Plaintiff provided treatment notes indicating that “Plaintiff received pain medication on June 4, 2012” (R&R, Dkt 133 at PageID.1444 citing Dkt 121-2 at PageID.1191). However, as Plaintiff points out, he actually received his Ultram medicine on June 5, 2012; he received the order for medicine on the afternoon of June 4, 2012, but the medicine was not received until the following morning. To the extent the Magistrate Judge's use of the word “received” is a misstatement, the Court clarifies that Plaintiff “received” his Ultram medicine on June 5, 2012.

         In any event, this distinction demonstrates no error in the Magistrate's Judge's ultimate conclusion with regard to Plaintiff's medical care. As the Corizon Defendants state in response to this objection, Plaintiff fails to note that he was on Tegretol, Tylenol, and Motrin on June 4, 2012 (Dkt 138 at PageID.1598, citing PageID.718). The Magistrate Judge properly determined that Plaintiff could not maintain a claim of deliberate indifference based on the allegations in Count 1, with respect to Defendant Silvernail and the five-dollar co-pay. Further, Plaintiff could not maintain a claim against Defendant Health Unit Manager McKenna based on vicarious liability (Dkt 133 at PageID.1446). As discussed subsequently, Plaintiff provides no facts or argument showing that any misstatement that he “received” his pain medication on June 4, 2012 undermines these conclusions.

         B. Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendant Silvernail

         Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate Judge erred “in granting RN Silvernail summary judgment” (Pl. Obj., Dkt 4 at PageID.1468). Plaintiff states that his version of events concerning his Ultram medication directly contradicts that of Defendant Silvernail, which requires a credibility determination that is improper on summary judgment.

         Plaintiff's objection is without merit. The Magistrate Judge properly considered the record evidence and determined that the evidence reveals nothing more than a disagreement between Plaintiff and Defendant Silvernail regarding how best to treat his medical symptoms (Dkt 133 PageID.1445). Such is insufficient to establish a claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs under the Eighth Amendment (id.). Plaintiff has failed to show that summary judgment as to Defendant Silvernail is improper based on “credibility” issues.

         Plaintiff's general recounting of purported events and argument concerning Defendant Silvernail does not constitute proper objection to the Report and Recommendation. A general objection to a Magistrate Judge's report, one that fails to specify the issues of contention, does not satisfy the objection requirement. Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995); Howard v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 508-09 (6th Cir. 1991). See also W.D. Mich. LCivR 72.3(b). “Objections must be clear enough to enable the district court to discern those issues that are dispositive and contentious.” Miller, supra. Plaintiff's objection, while lengthy, does not reference the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and does not specifically identify any issues of contention, except to merely dispute the Magistrate Judge's report (Pl. Obj., Dkt 135 at PageID.1468-72).

         C. Five Dollar Co-Pay for Plaintiff's Medical Visit

         Plaintiff states two objections regarding the five dollar co-pay from Plaintiff's June 21, 2012 medical visit. First, Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate Judge erred “in ordering Plaintiff has a state claim” on the five dollar co-pay claim (Pl. Obj., Dkt 135 at PageID.1472). In addressing this issue, the Magistrate Judge stated that “Plaintiff has failed to assert or demonstrate the absence of an adequate [post-deprivation state] remedy for any alleged discrepancies in the billing of the required co-pay” (R&R, Dkt 133 at PageID.1446). Plaintiff asserts that this statement is the Magistrate Judge ordering that Plaintiff has a state claim regarding the five dollar co-pay (Pl. Obj., Dkt 135 at PageID.1472). This argument is without merit.

         The Magistrate Judge did not order that Plaintiff had a state claim. Instead, the Magistrate Judge merely stated that if Plaintiff “asserts that he was mistakenly charged the co-pay in question, Plaintiff is required to first plead and prove that there does not exist any adequate post-deprivation remedy for such an alleged billing error” (R&R, Dkt 133 at PageID.1445-46). The Magistrate Judge then stated that Plaintiff had not pled or proven that a post-deprivation state remedy was unavailable for him to plead a claim based on the alleged billing error (id. at PageID.1446). These statements by the Magistrate Judge merely indicate the steps Plaintiff must take before ...


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