United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. QUIST, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. Under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321
(1996), the Court is required to dismiss any prisoner action
brought under federal law if the complaint is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune
from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A;
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The Court must read
Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently,
see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and
accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are
clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these
standards, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint
against Defendants Washington and Grahn for failure to state
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at Alger Correctional Facility (LMF) in
Munising, Alger County, Michigan. The events about which he
complains, however, occurred at the Michigan Reformatory
(RMI) in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan. Plaintiff sues MDOC
Director Heidi E. Washington and RMI Doctor Corey
alleges that during February of 2015, Dr. Grahn put Plaintiff
on two medications, spironolactone and furosemide, to address
ascites, stomach bloating caused by an accumulation of fluid,
which was caused by hepatitis C. One of the side effects of
the medication regimen was gynecomastia, a condition that the
Sixth Circuit has described as “the excess growth of
breast tissue in males.” O'Brien v. Michigan
Dep't of Corrections, 592 F. App'x 338, 343 (6th
Cir. 2014). Plaintiff describes it as the development of
female breasts. He has since been taken off the
spironolactone and Dr. Grahn has advised that the
“swelling” should go down in a year or two.
Plaintiff claims that has not occurred. In the meantime,
Plaintiff has suffered teasing from his fellow inmates.
notes that gynecomastia is a known side effect of
spironolactone and contends that Dr. Grahn should have known
that. Plaintiff sues Defendant Washington because “she
is responsible for the actions of the health care
staff.” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.4.)
requests that Defendant Washington be reprimanded and that
both Defendants pay $1, 000, 000.00 in compensatory and
Failure to state a claim
complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it
fails “‘to give the defendant fair notice of what
the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While a complaint need not contain
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations
must include more than labels and conclusions.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). The
court must determine whether the complaint contains
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679. Although the plausibility standard is not equivalent
to a “‘probability requirement, ' . . . it
asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged - but it has not ‘show[n]' - that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see also Hill
v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding
that the Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard applies
to dismissals of prisoner cases on initial review under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege the violation of a right secured by the federal
Constitution or laws and must show that the deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Street
v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th Cir.
1996). Because § 1983 is a method for vindicating
federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself,
the first step in an action under § 1983 is to identify
the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). Here,
Plaintiff argues that Defendants, by their deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical need, have
violated his right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment
under the Eighth Amendment.
Eighth Amendment prohibits the infliction of cruel and
unusual punishment against those convicted of crimes. U.S.
Const. amend. VIII. The Eighth Amendment obligates prison
authorities to provide medical care to incarcerated
individuals, as a failure to provide such care would be
inconsistent with contemporary standards of decency.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103-04 (1976). The
Eighth Amendment is violated when a prison official is
deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of a
prisoner. Id. at 104-05; Comstock v.
McCrary, 273 F.3d 693, 702 (6th Cir. 2001).
for the deprivation of adequate medical care has an objective
and a subjective component. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 834 (1994). To satisfy the objective component, the
plaintiff must allege that the medical need at issue is
sufficiently serious. Id. In other words, the inmate
must show that he is incarcerated under conditions posing a
substantial risk of serious harm. Id. The objective
component is satisfied “[w]here the seriousness of a
prisoner's need[ ] for medical care is obvious even to a
lay person.” Blackmore v. Kalamazoo Cnty., 390
F.3d 890, 899 (6th Cir. 2004). If the plaintiff's claim,
however, is based on “the prison's failure to treat
a condition adequately, or where the prisoner's
affliction is seemingly minor or non-obvious, ”
Id. at 898, the plaintiff must ...