United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Gordon J. Quist Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Kent United States Magistrate Judge.
a pro se civil rights action brought by a state
prisoner at a Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC)
facility pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is
now before the Court on defendant Ernst Gauderer, M.D.'s
motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 66).
complaint set forth the following allegations against Dr.
Gauderer. Plaintiff was transferred to the Carson City
Correctional Facility (DRF). According to his “Med
Management - Complex”, Dr. Gauderer stopped
plaintiff's Wellbutrin prescription “without
reason” at 9:50 a.m. on March 1, 2016 following
plaintiff's in-take visit. Id. at PageID.9. On
March 9, 2016, plaintiff sent a kite to Dr. Gauderer and
others of feeling hopeless and suffering from Wellbutrin
withdrawal. Id. Plaintiff met with the doctor via
tele-conference on March 11, 2016, complaining about
Wellbutrin withdrawals. Id. The doctor's
“demeanor was hostile, ” he told plaintiff that
“[w]e don't have Wellbutrin because it's
non-formulary, ” and told him to “[t]alk to the
Warden.” Id. at PageID.10. The doctor told
plaintiff he could have Effexor, Zoloft, Celexa, or Paxil,
but not Wellbutrin. Id. Plaintiff told the Dr.
Gauderer that “past doctors” took him off of the
alternative drugs due to side effects. Id. When
plaintiff asked the doctor to prescribe something for
Wellbutrin withdrawals, the doctor said “it's too
late”. Id. Plaintiff was upset, told the
doctor he would pursue his grievance until he got the
Wellbutrin back, an argument ensued, and plaintiff was
ordered to leave. Id. On March 15, 2016, plaintiff
spoke to the Warden about the discontinuation of the
medication, saying the Gauderer “suggested he speak to
the Warden.” Id. The Warden said he had
nothing to do with medication but would look into the issue
with Psych Service. Id. On March 24, 2016, plaintiff
found out that his prescription for Wellbutrin had been
reinstated after 23 days. Id. at PageID.11.
first cause of action, plaintiff alleged that Dr. Gauderer
was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment when the doctor abruptly
discontinued his prescription for Wellbutrin, did not wean
him off of the drug, and did not adequately respond to
plaintiff's complaints. Id. at PageID.13.
Plaintiff repeats this claim in his second cause of action,
with the added allegation that the doctor “fabricated
his med records because he needed a valid reason why he
stopped Plaintiff's 6-month Trial for Wellbutrin
‘cold turkey'.” Id. In his third
cause of action, plaintiff alleged that “when he filed
a grievance against Gauderer for discontinuing his
Wellbutrin, Gauderer retaliated and fabricated his med report
ten days after he stopped Plaintiff's Wellbutrin which
was relied on and used by [co-defendant] Woodin to deny
Plaintiff's treatment complaints, in violation of his
First Amendment rights.” Id. In his sixth
cause of action, plaintiff alleged that Dr. Gauderer and
co-defendants Bratel and Woodin inflicted cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment by being
deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's Wellbutrin
withdrawal. Id. at PageID.14. Plaintiff seeks
compensatory and punitive damages. Id.
Dr. Gauderer's motion for summary judgment
Legal standard for summary judgment
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.''
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Rule 56 further provides that a party
asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must
support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the
absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse
party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1).
Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476 (6th Cir. 1995),
the court set forth the parties= burden of proof in a motion
for summary judgment:
The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing an
absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's
case. Once the moving party has met its burden of production,
the nonmoving party cannot rest on its pleadings, but must
present significant probative evidence in support of the
complaint to defeat the motion for summary judgment. The mere
existence of a scintilla of evidence to support
plaintiff's position ...