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Stradley v. Corizon Health Care Provider

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

July 6, 2017


          Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris


          THOMAS L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Randy Stradley, an inmate representing himself pro se, filed a complaint on April 29, 2016. ECF No. 1. In the complaint, he alleges that, while incarcerated at the Kinross Correctional Facility, he was denied adequate medical care. Defendant Daniel Heyns, the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, was summarily dismissed on August 10, 2016, because Stradley did not allege in his complaint that Heyns was involved in the allegedly unconstitutional conduct. ECF No. 6. All pretrial matters were then referred to Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris. ECF No. 8. On September 21, 2016, Defendants Corizon Health Care Provider and Vindhya Jawardena filed a motion to dismiss. ECF No. 14. On November 15, 2016, Judge Morris directed Stradley to file an amended complaint. ECF No. 22. He filed the amended complaint on December 9, 2016. ECF No. 24. On February 2, 2017, Judge Morris issued a report recommending that the motion to dismiss be granted. ECF No. 34. Stradley filed objections to the report and recommendation. ECF No. 41.[1] Defendants Sekou and Campbell have since filed motions to dismiss as well. See ECF Nos. 37, 53. On June 26, 2017, Stradley filed a motion for an extension of time to file a response to the most recent motion to dismiss. ECF No. 59.

         For the reasons stated below, Stradley's objections will be overruled and the report and recommendation will be adopted. Because the issues raised in the present motion to dismiss demonstrate that Stradley has failed to state a claim against any Defendant, the suit will be summarily dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). All other pending motions will be denied as moot.


         With one exception, Stradley does not object to Judge Morris's summary of the factual allegations contained in his amended complaint. For clarity, those allegations will be briefly summarized and Stradley's factual objection will be addressed.

         Stradley's claims arise out of physical injuries he sustained in an altercation with his cellmate, Michael Jackson, on February 22, 2012. Am. Compl. at 4. Stradley lost consciousness during the attack and was transported to the medical department. Id. After a cursory examination, the nurses released Stradley despite the extreme pain he was suffering. Id. Later that day, Stradley was transported to Detroit Medical Center and received treatment by a Dr. Atas. Dr. Atas observed that Stradley had sustained significant trauma to his face, especially his left eye. Id. at 5. Stradley was placed on medication and “was advised if [at] any point [he] develops and [sic] newer symptoms, return to the emergency room.” Id.

         On February 29, 2012, Stradley's left eye was still swollen shut as a result of broken facial bones. Id. at 6. He was still suffering extreme pain. On March 1, 2012, the prison medical department received discharge paper work from the Detroit Medical Center which confirmed that Stradley had suffered several fractures and which recommended “followup once edema [swelling] subsides.” Id.[2]

         On March 20, 2012, one prison nurse scheduled Stradley for a sick call at the Detroit Medical Center because Stradley was still complaining of broken bones, headaches, and teeth pain. Id. But Nurse Sekou refused to allow the follow-up treatment, suggesting that the treatment would be denied due to costs. Id. at 7. Stradley contends that Defendants thus ignored clear instructions from the Detroit Medical Center to “immediately return patient when new problems occur.” Id. On March 30, 2012, Stradley was still suffering, but Dr. Jayawardena ignored his complaints. Id. Similarly, Stradley complained of pain on the left side of his face and top row of teeth on August 2, 2012. Rather than transporting him to the Detroit Medical Center, Dr. Todd gave Stradley a few packets of aspirin.

         In late 2014, the Michigan Department of Corrections finally sent Stradley to an offsite oral surgeon. On November 11, 2014, Stradley was diagnosed with “a depressed infra orbital maxillar fracture which may have caused some impingement on the infra orbital nerve and/or one of the maxillar branches. . . . However, at this point, because of the long delay in healing, a nerve decompression procedure would be questionable.” Id. at 8-9. (internal citations omitted). The oral surgeon performed “post-neurectomy of the inferior orbital canal on the left side of Plaintiff's face.” Id. at 9. In other words, one of Stradley's facial nerves was removed. Currently, Stradley suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which he believes is traceable to the damage done to his left sinus cavity during the physical altercation. The damage also interferes with his ability to talk coherently. Id. at 10. Stradley further alleges that the “removal of the nerve caused the left side upper gum to be nub [sic] all the time.” Id.

         Stradley is suing the Corizon Health Care Provider (which employed the oral surgeon who removed his nerve in April 2015), Dr. Jawardena, Dr. Todd, P.A. Campbell, and Nurse Sekou. All of the individual defendants are affiliated with the Michigan Department of Corrections. The allegations in Stradley's amended complaint which name the individual Defendants all occurred in 2012. Campbell's last alleged interaction with Stradley took place in February 2012. Id. at 6. Sekou last interacted with Stradley in March 2012. Id. at 7. Jayawardena last treated Stradley on March 30, 2012. Id. And Dr. Todd's last examination of Stradley occurred on August 2, 2012.


         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, a party may object to and seek review of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2). Objections must be stated with specificity. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 151 (1985) (citation omitted). If objections are made, “[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). De novo review requires at least a review of the evidence before the magistrate judge; the Court may not act solely on the basis of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. See Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th Cir. 1981). After reviewing the evidence, the Court is free to accept, reject, or modify the findings or recommendations of the magistrate judge. See Lardie v. Birkett, 221 F.Supp.2d 806, 807 (E.D. Mich. 2002).

         Only those objections that are specific are entitled to a de novo review under the statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). “The parties have the duty to pinpoint those portions of the magistrate's report that the district court must specially consider.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A general objection, or one that merely restates the arguments previously presented, does not sufficiently identify alleged errors on the part of the magistrate judge. See VanDiver v. Martin, 304 F.Supp.2d 934, 937 (E.D. Mich. 2004). An “objection” that does nothing more than disagree with a magistrate judge's determination, “without explaining the source of the error, ” is not considered a valid objection. Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Without specific objections, “[t]he functions of the district court are ...

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