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Taylor v. Corizon Medical Corp.

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

May 10, 2018

MAURICE TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON MEDICAL CORPORATION and THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.

          David M. Lawson Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO EXPEDITE SURGERY (DE 24) AND MOTION FOR RELIEF SOUGHT (DE 34)

          ANTHONY P. PATTI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. RECOMMENDATION:

         The Court should deny without prejudice Plaintiff's motions that seek injunctive relief (DEs 24 and 34), as described in further detail below.

         II. REPORT:

         A. Background

         Plaintiff, Maurice Taylor, a state inmate who is proceeding without the assistance of counsel, filed this action on July 11, 2017, along with an application to proceed in forma pauperis, naming as Defendants Corizon Medical Corporation (“Corizon”) and the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC).[1] (DEs 1, 2.) Plaintiff alleges that he is not receiving adequate medical care for his glaucoma and cataracts, and he asserts a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. (DE 1 at 3.) The Court has recently sought the recruitment of counsel through its pro bono panel on Plaintiff's behalf.

         On May 2, 2018, the Court held a status conference with the parties, with Plaintiff appearing via videoconference and attorney Carly A. Van Thomme appearing in person for Corizon. The Court addressed, among other things, Plaintiff's requests for medical care and Corizon's motion to compel seeking execution of medical authorization forms for release of Plaintiff's complete medical records from the MDOC. Notably, Plaintiff explained at the status conference that he has recently learned that surgery has been scheduled, although (apparently for security reasons, to avoid an escape) he is not informed of the exact date. Nevertheless, following that status conference, the Court ordered Plaintiff to execute authorizations for release of his complete medical records from the MDOC to counsel for Corizon. That Order further directed the MDOC release those records expeditiously upon receipt of the executed authorization. (DE 48.)

         B. Plaintiff's Motions

         On December 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed a one-page “Motion for Expedited Surgery[, ]” in which he requests an order that “Defendants expedite cataract and glaucoma surgery for Plaintiff's right eye.” He asserts that he “has suffered from the afflictions for too long and it is vital that he receive surgery before his condition can not be completely cured with a single surgery.” (DE 24.) Corizon filed a response opposing Plaintiff's motion on January 2, 2018, arguing that Plaintiff's “two-sentence” motion fails to satisfy the standard for obtaining preliminary injunctive relief, and explaining that it has requested that Plaintiff release a copy of his MDOC medical records, but that it does not yet have those records. (DE 27.)

         On February 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed a “Motion for the Relief Sought, ” again asserting that he is being deprived of a needed operation for cataracts and glaucoma. He contends that he “has lost 98% percent [sic] of his vision in his right eye which is what this action is about, ” and that Corizon continues to “demonstrate ‘deliberate indifference' in this matter.” (DE 34.) Corizon responded to this motion on February 21, 2018, explaining again that it has requested that Plaintiff release a copy of his MDOC medical records, but that it does not yet have the records. Corizon further noted that it had filed a motion to compel Plaintiff to release those records, which then remained pending. Corizon then argued again that Plaintiff's “bare bones motion” fails to satisfy the stringent standard for preliminary injunctive relief. (DE 35.)

         C. Standard

         “The purpose of a preliminary injunction is merely to preserve the relative positions of the parties until a trial on the merits can be had.” Certified Restoration Dry Cleaning Network, L.L.C. v. Tenke Corp., 511 F.3d 535, 542 (6th Cir. 2007) (quoting Univ. of Texas v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981)). The issuance of preliminary injunctive relief is committed to the discretion of the district court. See Northeast Ohio Coal. v. Blackwell, 467 F.3d 999, 1009 (6th Cir. 2006); Nader v. Blackwell, 230 F.3d 833, 834 (6th Cir. 2000). In exercising that discretion, a court must consider whether the plaintiff has established the following elements: (1) a strong or substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) the likelihood of irreparable injury if the preliminary injunction does not issue; (3) the absence of harm to other parties; and (4) the protection of the public interest by issuance of the injunction. Leary v. Daeschner, 228 F.3d 729, 736 (6th Cir. 2000). “These factors are to be balanced against one another and should not be considered prerequisites to the grant of a preliminary injunction.” Id.

         “[T]he preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy involving the exercise of a very far-reaching power, which is to be applied only in the limited circumstances which clearly demand it, ” Leary, 228 F.3d at 739, and is “never awarded as of right.” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008). “[T]he proof required for the plaintiff to obtain a preliminary injunction is much more stringent than the proof required to survive a summary ...


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