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Raper v. Controneo
United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
May 14, 2018
LARRY D. RAPER, SR., Plaintiff,
JOSEPH V. CONTRONEO, et al., Defendants.
Paul L. Maloney
KENT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a pro se civil rights action brought by a prisoner
in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections
(MDOC). This matter is now before the Court on
“Defendants Lynn Larson, D.O. and Terrance Whiteman,
M.D.'s Motion for summary judgment based solely on the
failure to exhaust administrative remedies” (ECF No.
Court summarized plaintiff's claims in pertinent part as
Plaintiff Larry D. Raper presently is incarcerated with the
Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Boyer Road
Correctional Facility in Carson City, Michigan, which has
been consolidated with the Carson City Correctional Facility
(DRF) and is now referred to as DRF-West. The actions about
which he complains also occurred while he was housed at the
Duane Waters Hospital (DWH), operated by the MDOC. He sues
the following Defendants: the MDOC; Dr. Joseph V. Cotroneo,
who is a surgeon at the McLaren Hospital of Greater Lansing;
DWH Doctors Lynn M. Larson and Terence Whiteman; and other
unknown medical staff at DWH (Unknown Part(y)(ies)).
Plaintiff complains that, for over 15 years, doctors within
the MDOC had been aware of his problems with the circulation
in his legs. He broadly alleges that unnamed persons
disregarded the problems for years.
On April 27, 2015, Dr. Cotroneo performed surgery at McLaren
Hospital, placing a graft in Plaintiff's right groin to
improve blood flow to Plaintiff's legs. The surgery had a
number of complications, including a blood clot that moved
toward Plaintiff's heart and ultimately caused a heart
attack. Plaintiff alleges that the blood clot undoubtedly was
the result of medications that he had been prescribed for
years, of which Dr. Cotroneo should have known.
Plaintiff was transferred to DWH on May 4, 2015, where he was
placed under the care of Dr. Rashed Bashir, who is not a
Defendant in the action. Plaintiff was discharged from DWH
and returned to DRF-West on May 13 or 14, 2015. Over the next
two weeks, Plaintiff contracted MRSA, either in his cell or
in the health care center at DWH-West. Plaintiff was
readmitted at McLaren Hospital on May 31, 2015, and again
placed under the care of Defendant Dr. Cotroneo. On June 2,
2015, Dr. Cotroneo operated to clean out the infected area.
Dr. Cotroneo debrided the wound abcess and excised parts of
the muscle areas to remove the pus and necrotic tissue. Dr.
Cotroneo, however, did not remove the graft that was placed
in April. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Cotroneo should
have known that the graft needed to be removed at that time.
Plaintiff was transferred to DWH and placed under the care of
Defendant Dr. Larson from about June 15, 2015 to
approximately August 3 or 4, 2015. Plaintiff claims that Dr.
Larson visited him only 10 to 18 times during this period. He
also alleges that, in an attempt to save money, Defendant
Larson used a different kind of dressing and packed the
wound, rather than using the type of dressing ordered by Dr.
Cotroneo. Plaintiff began to bleed from his wound at about
8:30 p.m. on August 3 or 4, 2015. After he was cleaned up,
the nurses were instructed to check on Plaintiff every hour,
to ensure that he had not started to bleed again. Plaintiff
alleges that he did not receive the necessary care and that
Defendant Larson ignored signs of infection. Plaintiff was
scheduled to be discharged from DWH on August 6, 2015.
On August 6, 2015, Plaintiff suddenly began to bleed
profusely from a ruptured artery. He was rushed by ambulance
to the Allegiance Health emergency room. Defendant Dr.
Whiteman directed care during the transfer, and he had to
place 80 pounds of weight on Plaintiff's groin area to
control the bleeding. At Allegiance Health, Plaintiff was
placed in the care of Dr. Praveen Balraj (not a Defendant),
who performed surgery to remove the graft and the infection
growing under the skin. However, because of the absence of
sufficient blood flow, Dr. Balraj was forced to amputate
Plaintiff's right leg below the knee.
Since the amputation, Plaintiff continues to experience
problems. Unspecified persons have not adequately provided
assistance with his prosthetic device and have denied pain
relief. In addition, since arriving back at DRF-West, Dr.
Scott Holmes (not a Defendant) has denied him an air
mattress, despite the fact that Plaintiff was prescribed an
air mattress at DWH. Plaintiff also is being denied a pillow
to place under his stub and between his legs during sleep.
Plaintiff argues that Defendant Cotroneo should have removed
the graft during the June 2, 2015, surgery and that Cotroneo
therefore is responsible for Plaintiff's ultimate loss of
his leg. He also asserts that the DWH and DRF-West Defendants
should have known of his infection sooner, before it caused
him to lose his right lower leg. Plaintiff further argues
that Defendants DWH and DRF-West do not adequately clean
their facilities and do not use bleach in those cleanings,
leading to Plaintiff becoming infected with the MRSA virus.
In addition, he contends that Defendant Larson caused his
infection by not checking on him more frequently and by using
an improper form of dressing.
For relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages in the
amount of $750, 000.00 and punitive damages of $850, 000.00
from the individual ...
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