United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Robert J. Jonker Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
S. CARMODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 88), Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 92), and
Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment,
(ECF No. 118). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), the
undersigned recommends that Defendants' motions be
granted, Plaintiff's motion be
denied, and this action
complaint, Plaintiff alleges the following. Plaintiff suffers
from Hirschsprung's disease, a “rare bowel
defect.” Plaintiff experiences “constant
severe pain [and] is completely unable to pre-determine when
he is about to defecate or even stop the process when it
occurs.” Plaintiff was being treated for this disorder
by Dr. William Schmuggerow.
12, 2014, Dr. Iftiker Ahmad examined Plaintiff, at Dr.
Schmuggerow's request, and determined that Plaintiff
required a high fiber diet with no processed meat. Dietician
Patricia Willard disregarded this instruction, however. On
June 20, 2014, Dr. Schmuggerow issued an instruction that
Plaintiff was to receive a “no processed meat
diet.” This instruction was rescinded later that same
day. When questioned about the matter, Medical Administrator
Bryan Deeren informed Plaintiff that “the MDOC
doesn't provide a no processed meat diet.”
Plaintiff later discussed the matter with Assistant Deputy
Warden Scott Schooley who refused Plaintiff's request for
assistance. Dr. Ahmad subsequently rescinded his special diet
instruction at the urging of Willard, Schmuggerow, Deeren,
and Schooley. Plaintiff further alleges that Corizon violated
his rights by failing to have Plaintiff “completely
examined by a Hirschsprung's disease specialist.”
initiated this action against Ahmad, Willard, Schmuggerow,
Deeren, and Schooley, as well as Corizon Medical Services and
Aetna Insurance alleging violations of his Eighth Amendment
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and his
First Amendment right to be free from unlawful retaliation.
Plaintiff also alleged that Defendant Ahmad violated his
right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Aetna and Ahmad
were subsequently dismissed. Defendants Willard, Schmuggerow,
Deeren, Schooley, and Corizon now move for summary judgment
and/or dismissal. Plaintiff has also moved for partial
summary judgment on his Eighth Amendment claims.
judgment ''shall'' be granted ''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). A party moving
for summary judgment can satisfy its burden by demonstrating
''that the respondent, having had sufficient
opportunity for discovery, has no evidence to support an
essential element of his or her case.'' Minadeo
v. ICI Paints, 398 F.3d 751, 761 (6th Cir. 2005). Once
the moving party demonstrates that ''there is an
absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's
case, '' the non-moving party ''must identify
specific facts that can be established by admissible
evidence, which demonstrate a genuine issue for
trial.'' Amini v. Oberlin College, 440 F.3d
350, 357 (6th Cir. 2006).
the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party, the party opposing the summary
judgment motion ''must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.'' Amini, 440 F.3d at 357. The
existence of a mere ''scintilla of evidence''
in support of the non-moving party's position is
insufficient. Daniels v. Woodside, 396 F.3d 730,
734-35 (6th Cir. 2005). The non-moving party ''may
not rest upon [his] mere allegations, '' but must
instead present ''significant probative
evidence'' establishing that ''there is a
genuine issue for trial.'' Pack v. Damon
Corp., 434 F.3d 810, 813-14 (6th Cir. 2006).
the non-moving party cannot defeat a properly supported
motion for summary judgment by ''simply arguing that
it relies solely or in part upon credibility
determinations.'' Fogerty v. MGM Group Holdings
Corp., Inc., 379 F.3d 348, 353 (6th Cir. 2004). Rather,
the non-moving party ''must be able to point to some
facts which may or will entitle him to judgment, or refute
the proof of the moving party in some material portion, and.
. .may not merely recite the incantation, >Credibility,
' and have a trial on the hope that a jury may disbelieve
factually uncontested proof.'' Id. at
353-54. In sum, summary judgment is appropriate
''against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.'' Daniels, 396
F.3d at 735.
moving party without the burden of proof need only show that
the opponent cannot sustain his burden at trial, a moving
party with the burden of proof faces a
''substantially higher hurdle.'' Arnett
v. Myers, 281 F.3d 552, 561 (6th Cir. 2002). Where the
moving party has the burden, ''his showing must be
sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of
fact could find other than for the moving party.''
Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th
Cir. 1986). The party with the burden of proof ''must
show the record contains evidence satisfying the burden of
persuasion and that the evidence is so powerful that no
reasonable jury would be free to disbelieve it.''
Arnett, 281 F.3d at 561. Accordingly, summary
judgment in favor of the party with the burden of persuasion
''is inappropriate when the evidence is susceptible
of different interpretations or inferences by the trier of
fact.'' Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 553
Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment applies not only to punishment imposed by the
state, but also to deprivations which occur during
imprisonment and are not part of the sentence imposed.
See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994);
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 101-02 (1976).
Accordingly, the Eighth Amendment protects against the
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, the existence of
which is evidenced by the “deliberate
indifference” to an inmate's “serious medical
needs.” Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104-06;
Napier v. Madison County, Kentucky, 238 F.3d 739,
742 (6th Cir. 2001).
analysis by which a defendant's conduct is evaluated
consists of two-steps. First, the Court must determine,
objectively, whether the alleged deprivation was sufficiently
serious. A “serious medical need, ” sufficient to
implicate the Eighth Amendment, is “one that has been
diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment or one that
is so obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize
the necessity for a doctor's attention.”
Harrison v. Ash, 539 F.3d 510, 518 (6th Cir. 2008).
If the objective test is met, the Court must then determine
whether the defendant possessed a sufficiently culpable state
a prison official cannot be found liable under the Eighth
Amendment for denying an inmate humane conditions of
confinement unless the official knows of and disregards an
excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must
both be aware of the facts from which the inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he
must also draw the inference.
Id. at 837.
other words, the plaintiff “must present evidence from
which a trier of fact could conclude ‘that the official
was subjectively aware of the risk' and
‘disregard[ed] that risk by failing to take reasonable
measures to abate it.” Greene v. Bowles, 361
F.3d 290, 294 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Farmer, 511
U.S. at 829, 847).
extent, however, that Plaintiff simply disagrees with the
treatment he received, or asserts that he received negligent
care, Defendant is entitled to summary judgment. See
Williams v. Mehra, 186 F.3d 685, 691 (6th Cir. 1999)
(citing Estelle, 429 U.S. at 105-06)
(“[m]edical malpractice does not become a
constitutional violation merely because the victim is a
prisoner”); Brown v. Kashyap, 2000 WL 1679462
at *1 (6th Cir., Nov. 1, 2000) (citing Estelle, 429
U.S. at 106) (“allegations of medical malpractice or
negligent diagnosis and treatment” do not implicate the
Eighth Amendment); Mingus v. Butler, 591 F.3d 474,
480 (6th Cir. 2010) (to prevail on an Eighth Amendment denial
of medical treatment claim, “the inmate must show more
than negligence or the ...