United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
DAVID K. LAMB, Plaintiff,
SUSAN WILSON, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. QUIST UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
David K. Lamb, a prisoner incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections, filed a complaint on October 16,
2014, against Defendants Susan Wilson, Nurse Practitioner
Matthew Shullick, Health Unit Manager Melissa LaPlaunt, and
Corizon Health Care, Inc, alleging that they violated his
Eighth Amendment rights by ignoring his need for medical
care. Plaintiff alleged that he suffered from spinal nerve
damage that had caused him pain for the last seven years.
Plaintiff alleged that Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs because he was not seen by a
doctor from the MDOC or a local hospital, and Defendants only
February 2, 2016, Magistrate Judge Timothy P. Greeley issued
a Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 68) recommending that
the Court grant Defendants Wilson, Shullick, and
Corizon's motion for summary judgment and deny
Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Magistrate Judge
Greeley recommended that Defendants Wilson and Shullick were
entitled to summary judgment because they used their medical
judgment to provide care to Plaintiff's symptoms, and
Plaintiff's claim amounted to a disagreement over the
adequacy of treatment. On March 7, 2016, the Court entered an
Order overruling Plaintiff's objections and adopting the
February 2, 2016 Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 70.) As
a result, Defendant LaPlaunt was the only Defendant remaining
in the case.
March 17, 2016, this Court issued an Opinion and Order
denying Defendant LaPlaunt's motion to dismiss. (ECF No.
71.) The Court concluded that Plaintiff's allegations in
his complaint sufficed to state a claim against Defendant
LaPlaunt and that Defendant LaPlaunt's arguments were
more appropriate for a properly-supported motion for summary
judgment under Rule 56. (Id. at PageID.536.)
Subsequently, Defendant LaPlaunt filed a motion for summary
judgment, supported by her affidavit, and Plaintiff filed a
response, to which LaPlaunt filed a reply.
March 9, 2017, Magistrate Judge Greeley issued a Report and
Recommendation (R & R), in which he recommended that the
Court grant LaPlaunt's motion for summary judgment. The
magistrate judge noted that LaPlaunt had no health care
contact with Plaintiff, and her only involvement with
Plaintiff was responding to a grievance that Plaintiff filed.
(ECF No. 135 at PageID.923.) The magistrate judge noted that,
while Plaintiff argued that LaPlaunt should have gone over
Defendant Wilson's head when Defendant Wilson failed to
provide proper care, LaPlaunt said that she did not need to
go over Wilson's head because LaPlaunt did not deem
Wilson's treatment of Plaintiff substandard.
(Id. at PageID.923, 927.) The magistrate judge
concluded that Plaintiff's claim against Defendant
LaPlaunt fails because the Court already dismissed
Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant
Wilson, and Plaintiff's claim against LaPlaunt is
premised solely on supervisory liability, which is not a
permissible basis for imposing liability under § 1983.
(Id. at PageID.927.)
has filed an Objection to the R & R. In addition,
Plaintiff has filed a motion for leave to file an amended
complaint or to file a new action.
conducting a de novo review of the R & R,
Plaintiff's Objection, and the pertinent portions of the
record, the Court concludes that the R & R should be
adopted, Defendant LaPlaunt's motion for summary judgment
granted, and Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment
Objection, Plaintiff raises a number of arguments, but none
of them overcomes the undisputed fact that Defendant LaPlaunt
was not a medical provider for Plaintiff. As the magistrate
judge correctly noted, “a supervisor cannot be held
liable simply because he or she was charged with overseeing a
subordinate who violated the constitutional rights of
another.” Peatross v. City of Memphis, 818
F.3d 233, 241 (6th Cir. 2016). In other words, “a mere
failure to act will not suffice to establish supervisory
liability.” Id. Thus, the fact that Defendant
LaPlaunt is a supervisor, or responded to one of
Plaintiff's grievances, are not a bases for imposing
liability. In addition, the Court has already dismissed
Defendants Wilson and Shullick from the case, having found
that Plaintiff failed to show that they violated his Eighth
Amendment rights. Finally, the fact that the Court previously
denied Defendant LaPlaunt's motion to dismiss is
irrelevant, as Defendant LaPlaunt has filed a motion for
summary judgment supported by an affidavit.
motion for leave to file an amended complaint, Plaintiff
argues that an MRI performed in 2016, and Plaintiff's
spinal surgery in 2017, provide additional support for his
claims against Defendants LaPlaunt, Wilson, Shullick, and
Corizon. Plaintiff says that this new evidence also shows
that Gerald Covert, RN, Patricia Lamb, RN, and Robert
Crompton, MD, who Plaintiff did not name in his complaint in
this action, were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's
serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2), a court should
“freely give leave [to amend] when justice so
requires.” However, a court is not required to
mechanically grant requests for leave to amend. “A
district court may deny a party leave to amend a complaint if
there is ‘undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on
the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies
by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the
opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment,
futility of amendment, etc.'” Raiser v. Corp.
of President of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints, 494 F. App'x 506, 508 (6th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct.
227, 230 (1962)).
Plaintiff's request is not really a motion to leave to
amend, but instead, at least with regard to the
already-dismissed Defendants, is more properly characterized
as a motion for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b)(2)
based on newly discovered evidence. Regardless,
Plaintiff's new evidence does not alter the Court's
prior order dismissing Defendants Wilson, Shullick, and
Corizon. As for Wilson and Shullick, while such evidence
could show that they were mistaken in their judgment about
the treatment Plaintiff required, it does not alter the
Court's conclusion that Plaintiff failed to show that
they were deliberately indifferent under the Eighth
Amendment. “Deliberate indifference . . . does not
include negligence in diagnosing a medical condition.”
Sanderfer v. Nichols, 62 F.3d 151, 154 (6th Cir.
1995) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106,
97 S.Ct. 285, 292 (1976)). Moreover, Plaintiff's new
evidence does not alter the fact that Defendant LaPlaunt was
merely a supervisor. Finally, as for Plaintiff's request
to file a new action against unnamed Defendants, Plaintiff
does not need this Court's permission to file a new
action, but he may not do so as part of the instant case.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of
the Magistrate Judge filed (ECF No. 135), is ...