United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
HONORABLE PAUL L. MALONEY JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
PHILLIP J. GREEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The defendant is Social Worker Ann
Niemi. Plaintiff alleges defendant violated his rights under
the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishments
Clause. Plaintiff seeks an award of damages.
matter is before the Court on defendant's motion for
summary judgment. (ECF No. 15). Plaintiff did not file a
response. For the reasons stated herein, I recommend that
defendant's motion be granted and that judgment be
entered in her favor on all plaintiff's claims.
judgment is appropriate when the record reveals that there
are no genuine issues as to any material fact in dispute and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); McKay v. Federspiel, 823 F.3d
862, 866 (6th Cir. 2016). The standard for determining
whether summary judgment is appropriate is “whether
‘the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to
require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided
that one party must prevail as a matter of law.' ”
Rocheleau v. Elder Living Const., LLC, 814 F.3d 398,
400 (6th Cir. 2016) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986)). The Court must
consider all pleadings, depositions, affidavits, and
admissions on file, and draw all justifiable inferences in
favor of the party opposing the motion. See Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
587 (1986); France v. Lucas, 836 F.3d 612, 624 (6th
the party without the burden of proof seeks summary judgment,
that party bears the initial burden of pointing out to the
district court an absence of evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case, but need not support its motion
with affidavits or other materials “negating” the
opponent's claim. See Morris v. Oldham County Fiscal
Court, 201 F.3d 784, 787 (6th Cir. 2000); see also
Minadeo v. ICI Paints, 398 F.3d 751, 761 (6th Cir.
2005). Once the movant shows that “there is an absence
of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case,
” the nonmoving party has the burden of coming forward
with evidence raising a triable issue of fact. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). To sustain
this burden, the nonmoving party may not rest on the mere
allegations of his pleadings. See Ellington v. City of E.
Cleveland, 689 F.3d 549, 552 (6th Cir. 2012); see
also Scadden v. Warner, 677 Fed.Appx. 996, 1001 (6th
Cir. 2017). The motion for summary judgment forces the
nonmoving party to present evidence sufficient to create a
genuine issue of fact for trial. Street v. J.C.
Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1478 (6th Cir. 1990);
see Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. v. Raymond Corp., 676
F.3d 521, 533 (6th Cir. 2012). “A mere scintilla of
evidence is insufficient; ‘there must be evidence on
which a jury could reasonably find for the [non-movant].'
” Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d
543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 252); see Brown v. Battle Creek Police Dep't,
844 F.3d 556, 565 (6th Cir. 2016).
Findings of Fact
following facts are beyond genuine issue. Plaintiff is an
inmate in the custody of the Michigan Department of
Corrections. In August 2015, plaintiff was an inmate at the
Van Buren County Jail awaiting sentencing. (Plf. Dep. at 61,
ECF No. 16-2, PageID.85). Plaintiff suffers from mental
illness. (Id. at 13, PageID.78).
unspecified date in August 2015, plaintiff began feeling
dizzy and lightheaded after he received his medication.
Plaintiff fell and broke his collarbone. (Id. at 41,
44, 61, PageID.82, 85).
Niemi is a licensed clinical social worker employed by the
Van Buren Community Mental Health Authority. (Niemi Dep.
¶¶ 2, 3, ECF No. 16-1, PageID.74-75). The Van Buren
Community Mental Health Authority provides mental health
services to inmates at the county jail. Ms. Niemi's
license as a social worker does not authorize her to
prescribe medication. She has never prescribed medication for
anyone. (Id. at ¶¶ 4-7, PageID.75). Ms.
Niemi was not aware that plaintiff was feeling dizzy or
lightheaded at any time before he fell and broke his
collarbone. (Id. at ¶ 8, PageID.75; Plf. Dep.
at 60, ECF No. 16-2, PageID.84).
25, 2017, plaintiff filed this lawsuit. (ECF No. 1).
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976), the Supreme
Court held that deliberate indifference to a prisoner's
serious medical needs, manifested by prison staff's
intentional interference with treatment or intentional denial
or delay of access to medical care, amounts to the
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain proscribed by the
Eighth Amendment. Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104-05. In
judging the sufficiency of “deliberate
indifference” claims, the Court must view the
surrounding circumstances, including the extent of the
injury, the realistic possibilities of ...