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Haney v. Corizon Insurance Co.

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

April 16, 2018

DAVID HANEY, Plaintiff,

          Nancy G. Edmunds, District Judge



         Plaintiff David Haney filed this pro se civil rights matter against a number of employees of the Michigan Department of Corrections, healthcare providers employed by MDOC contractors, and two health insurance companies. (Docket no. 1.) Plaintiff claims that Defendants denied him adequate medical care in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Article I, section 17 of the Michigan Constitution, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Id. at 3.) He seeks monetary damages including “costs and fees, ” as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. (Id. at 45.)

         Defendants Nicki Monroe, Addie Briske, Vicki Jensen, Deborah Swickely, Bridget Ball, and Jack Bellinger (the “MDOC Defendants”) filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss all claims against them. (Docket no. 52.) In addition, Defendants Corizon Health, Inc. and Robert Crompton, M.D. (the “Corizon Defendants”) filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims. (Docket no. 46.) All pretrial matters have been referred to the undersigned for consideration. (Docket no. 26.) The undersigned has reviewed the pleadings and dispenses with a hearing pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f).


         For the reasons stated below, the undersigned recommends that the Corizon Defendants' motion to dismiss (docket no. 46) be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The Court should dismiss Plaintiffs claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the First Amendment, the Michigan Constitution, MDOC Policy Directive 03.03.130, and all claims against Corizon Health, Inc. With respect to the statute of limitations, the Court should dismiss the claims contained in grievances ECF-13-01-0134-12e3 and ECF-12-08-2470-12d3 because those claims accrued more than three years prior to the date of Plaintiff s complaint.

         The undersigned also recommends that the MDOC Defendants' motion for summary judgment (docket no. 52) be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The Court should dismiss Plaintiffs claims against the MDOC Defendants for failure to exhaust administrative remedies except as follows:

■ The claims alleged in ECF-2013-08-2127-12d1 may proceed against Defendants Monroe and Jensen;
■ The claims alleged in ECF-2013-07-1768-12f may proceed against Defendant Monroe;
■ The claims alleged in ECF-2013-05-1410-12e3 may proceed against Defendants Jensen, Briske, Russell, Bellinger, and Ball;
■ The claims alleged in ECF-2013-05-1269-12e1 may proceed against Defendants Swickley and Briske;
■ The claims alleged in ECF-2013-04-1170-12e4 may proceed against Defendant Briske.

         In addition, the Court should permit Plaintiff to maintain claims against the MDOC Defendants in their official capacities to the extent that those claims request prospective relief. Finally, the Court should deny the MDOC Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs Eighth Amendment Claim, in order to permit the parties to take discovery.

         II. REPORT

         A. Background

         The alleged events giving rise to Plaintiff's claims began in February 2012, when Plaintiff was transferred to Oaks Correctional Facility (“ECF”) in Manistee, Michigan. According to his complaint, at the time, he was wearing orthopedic shoes prescribed to him at his previous institution. (Docket no. 1, p. 25.) He alleges that he requires these shoes due to a “deformity” in his left foot. (Id. at 27.) Plaintiff contends that in June of 2012, he asked Defendant Crompton to prescribe him new orthopedic shoes, because his old ones were worn out. (Id. at 26.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant Crompton refused to order him new shoes because Defendant Corizon Insurance Company “wasn't going to approve them anyway, ” and that Defendant Crompton further refused to give him any pain medicine or prescribe a proper antibiotic for blisters that eventually developed. (Id. at 26-27) Plaintiff continued to request the shoes from Defendant Crompton, and made a request to Defendant Monroe to see a specialist concerning his feet, throughout his stay at ECF. (Id. at 26, 27, 28, 29, 33, 39, 41, 42-43.) In April 2013, he received athletic shoes, but he contends that his issues persisted (id. at 33); and in July 2013, he received “‘velcro' prescription shoes” that were too large (id. at 41.) In the meantime, he developed an open foot ulcer. (Id. at 40.) Plaintiff claims that from July 17, 2013, through August 20, 2013, he “had to walk in excruciating pain daily to healthcare to see [Defendants] RN Jensen, RN Swickley, RN Brisk[e], LPN Ball, RN Bellinger, RN Russell, RN Supervisor Monroe, and Dr. Crompton, ” and that when he saw them, all they did was give his foot a “cursory glance, ” despite the fact that it continued to worsen. (Id. at 42.) He also alleges that Defendant Monroe refused to trim a toenail that was “cutting into the toe that had the ulcer on it.” (Id. at 42.) Plaintiff further contends that on August 29, 2013, a “substitute” doctor ordered “40 mg of depo-medrol injection, ” for Plaintiff's foot pain, but that Defendant Crompton refused to administer it. (Id. at 43.)

         Plaintiff also alleges that a number of the Defendants denied him proper care concerning the administration of insulin for his diabetes. Plaintiff claims that, on November 6, 2012, he informed Defendant Crompton that the “nursing staff was giving him the fast acting insulin improperly, ” which would cause Plaintiff's “heart rate to accelerate at a high rate . . . and have him sweating and feeling fatigue[d] with a lack of coordination.” (Id. at 29.) He claims that Dr. Crompton did nothing, and that his similar complaints to Defendants “RN Russell, RN Jensen, RN Briske, RN Swickl[e]y, LPN Ball, RN Bellinger, and supervisor RN Monroe” also went unanswered. (Id. at 30.) Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Briske denied him required insulin injections twice in January 2013 (id. at 31), that Defendant Russell failed to address extremely low blood sugar in April 2013 (id. at 32), that Defendant Crompton refused to adjust Plaintiff's insulin dose on April 10, 2013, and that Defendant Briske refused to provide Plaintiff with honey and glucose tablets (id. at 33).

         Plaintiff also contends that Defendants denied care with respect to his complaints of chest pain and difficulty breathing, which according to Plaintiff caused him to suffer a heart attack in May of 2013. (Docket no. 1, p. 32.) Plaintiff claims that on April 28, 2013, Defendants Briske and Swickley failed to address his complaints of chest pain. (Id. at 33.) Plaintiff further asserts that throughout the day on May 8, 2013, he was suffering from major chest pain and could not breathe properly, but when he complained about it to Defendants Jensen, Swickley, Ball, Russell, and Bellinger, they refused to perform an “ECG procedure to rule out if a heart attack was in progress.” (Id. at 34-35.) The following day, Plaintiff was taken to West Shore Medical Center, where, he claims, doctors determined that he had a heart attack. (Id. at 37.) He was then transported to McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital, where he was admitted for eight days. (Id. at 38.) Plaintiff alleges that, upon his return to ECF, Defendants Swickley and Crompton refused to administer the pain medications recommended by the doctors at McLaren, and that Defendant Crompton allegedly proceeded to restrict Plaintiff to “one Excedrin every twelve hour[s].” (Id.)

         Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint on September 7, 2016, and, although he does not set forth specific counts, he seemingly asserts that each of these actions constitutes a denial of adequate medical care in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as a violation of the Michigan Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Docket no. 1 at 3.)

         On August 28, 2017, the Court entered an Order severing Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Dr. Karen Rhodes and N.P. Wendy Liu. (Docket no. 42.) Presently before the Court are the MDOC Defendants' motion for summary judgment (docket no. 52) and the Corizon Defendants motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims (docket no. 46).

         B. Governing Law

         1. Corizon Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint. The court must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007); Inge v. Rock Fin. Corp., 281 F.3d 613, 619 (6th Cir. 2002). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations and emphasis omitted). See also Ass'n of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, Ohio, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007).

         This acceptance of factual allegations as true, however, is inapplicable to legal conclusions: “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Thus, the court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). “[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Id. at 679. “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. To make this determination, a court may apply the following two-part test: (1) “identify[] pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth;” and (2) “assume [the] veracity [of the remaining allegations] and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id.

         In addressing motions under Rule 12(b)(6), the Sixth Circuit recognizes that, in addition to the allegations of the complaint, the court “may also consider other materials that are integral to the complaint, are public records, or are otherwise appropriate for the taking of judicial notice.” Ley v. Visteon Corp., 543 F.3d 801, 805 (6th Cir. 2008).

         2. MDOC Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

         Defendant moves for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. (Docket no. 43.) Summary judgment is appropriate where the moving party 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). The moving party has the burden of showing an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case. Covington v. Knox Cnty. Sch. Sys., 205 F.3d 912, 915 (6th Cir. 2000). Rule 56 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 ...

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