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Watson v. Willow Enterprises, Inc.

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

March 31, 2017

JOSEPH R. WATSON, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLOW ENTERPRISES, INC., d/b/a PORT HURON HOSPITAL INDUSTRIAL HEALTH, et al, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING IN PART AND REJECTING IN PART REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (Doc # 39) and DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Doc # 30)

          HON. DENISE PAGE HOOD, Judge

         This matter is before the Court on a Report and Recommendation (Doc # 39) filed by Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis to grant the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc # 30) filed by Defendants Willow Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Port Huron Hospital Industrial Health (“Willow”); Sarah Kading, LPN (“Kading”); and Brandi Schieman, LPN (“Schieman”). Plaintiff Joseph R. Watson (“Watson”) has filed Objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Doc # 41) Defendants have filed a Response to the Objections. (Doc # 42) Having conducted a de novo review of the parts of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations to which valid objections have been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court ADOPTS IN PART AND REJECTS IN PART the Report and Recommendation and DENIES Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The background facts of this matter are adequately set forth in the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, and the Court adopts them here in their entirety.

         The parties submitted a Joint Statement of Resolved and Unresolved Issues Regarding Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc # 36) In summary, Watson brings an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim based upon Willow employees Nurse Kading and Nurse Schieman's alleged failure to provide several of Watson's heart medications to him for five days while he was incarcerated in the St. Clair County Jail. Watson claims that this caused him to suffer a myocardial infarction on July 28, 2012. Defendants argue that they are entitled to summary judgment because Watson has failed to create a genuine issue of material fact to establish that Kading and Schieman's actions rose to the level of deliberate indifference to Watson's serious medical needs. Watson argues that questions of fact remain regarding Kading and Schieman's actions that preclude summary judgment.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         The standard of review by the district court when examining a Report and Recommendation is set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 636. This Court “shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or the specified proposed findings or recommendations to which an objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id. In order to preserve the right to appeal the magistrate judge's recommendation, a party must file objections to the Report and Recommendation within fourteen (14) days of service of the Report and Recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Failure to file specific objections constitutes a waiver of any further right of appeal. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 155 (1985); Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 508-09 (6th Cir. 1991); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947, 949-50 (6th Cir. 1981).

         The summary judgment standard is adequately set forth in the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, and the Court adopts it here.

         B. Watson's Objections

         In her February 14, 2017 Report and Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Davis recommended that the Court grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment because Watson's claims sound in mere negligence and do not rise to the level of deliberate indifference. The Magistrate Judge concluded that Watson offers no evidence to support that Kading and Schieman knew or should have known that the failure to quickly obtain the heart medications at issue would put Watson at risk of suffering a heart attack. Watson has filed eleven objections to the Report and Recommendation.

         1. First Objection

         Watson first objects to the Magistrate Judge's reliance on a Ninth Circuit case arguing that, in the Sixth Circuit, actual knowledge of the particular medical need is not required to show an awareness of the risk of harm. The Court finds that, while the Report and Recommendation includes one quotation from a Ninth Circuit case for the proposition that a defendant must purposefully ignore or fail to respond to a prisoner's medical need in order for deliberate indifference to be established[1] (which the Court rejects), the Magistrate Judge nevertheless applied the correct standard in her analysis: that a defendant must be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and must also draw the inference for deliberate indifference to be established. See Doc # 39, Pg ID 490; Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). Watson's first objection is overruled.

         2. Second, Third, and Fourth Objections

         Watson's second, third, and fourth objections are to the portion of the Report and Recommendation that sets forth the Defendants' arguments under the subheading “Parties' Arguments.” After review of the Report and Recommendation, Watson's Objections, and Defendants' Response, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge accurately set forth the Defendants' arguments, as well as Watson's arguments, before setting forth her analysis. Rather than “relying” on the facts that Watson complains are irrelevant or misstating the issues in this portion of the ...


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