United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DOC. #21)
Victoria A. Roberts, United States District Judge.
State of Michigan - acting through the Michigan Department of
Corrections (“MDOC”) - the Gus Harrison
Correctional Facility (“Gus Harrison”), Sherman
Campbell, David Messer, Brent Ford, and Judy Siegel
(collectively, the “State Defendants”) filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment (“Motion”) on Oscar
Lee Watson's (“Watson”) complaint. Watson
alleges that the State Defendants violated his rights under
the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and
the Rehabilitation Act.
State Defendants claim that Watson failed to exhaust
administrative remedies with respect to those claims, as
mandated by the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act of 1996
[“PLRA”]. For the reasons that follow, their
motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
is incarcerated at Gus Harrison and is confined to a
wheelchair. He filed a Step I grievance on September 3, 2017.
He claimed his wheelchair is “entirely too small'
and “in severe disrepair, ” making it hard to
maneuver. He received a response to his Step I grievance,
which said a nurse documented that the wheelchair was too
small, and stated the nursing secretary was to order a larger
chair. The Step I grievance was marked as partially resolved,
stating that it would be considered resolved when Watson
received the larger wheelchair. Watson filed a Step II appeal
on September 14, 2017, saying that he still did not have a
proper wheelchair. The response to this Step II appeal stated
that Watson would be called out to exchange wheelchairs when
his ordered one arrives. Watson alleges that he never
received a response to his Step II appeal, and has yet to be
provided with a suitable wheelchair.
also alleges that on January 19, 2018, a bench he was sitting
on collapsed while he used a designated handicapped shower
stall, injuring his leg. He claims that on January 22, 2018,
he filed a Step I grievance alleging that the State
Defendants failed to maintain the handicapped shower in
compliance with federal and state regulations. According to
Watson, the grievance was returned to him without an
contends that because his grievances were not responded to in
accordance with MDOC's grievance policy, the Court should
find that his grievances are exhausted as contemplated by the
filed suit against several defendants: MDOC, Warden Sherman
Campbell, Deputy Warden David Messer, Brent Ford - the head
of the Physical Plant at Gus Harrison, Judy Siegel -
Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor, Corizon Health, Inc.
(“Corizon”), and Gus Harrison. The complaint has
five counts: Count 1 - against MDOC and Corizon for violation
of Eighth Amendment; Count 2 - against MDOC for violation of
the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.; Count 3 -
against MDOC and Corizon for violation of the Michigan
Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act
(“MPDCRA”), Mich. Comp. Laws § 37.1101
et seq.; Count 4 - against MDOC and Corizon for
violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.
§§ 701-7961; and Count 5 - against Campbell,
Messer, Ford, and Siegel for violation of the ADA, the
MPDCRA, and the Rehabilitation Act.
Court issued an order on March 6, 2018 dismissing Counts 1,
3, and 5 of Watson's complaint for failing to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. Subsequently, the
Court granted Corizon's motion to dismiss the remaining
claim against it, Count 4. Thus, the remaining counts of
Watson's complaint are: Count 2 - violation of the ADA
against the State Defendants; and Count 4 - violation of the
Rehabilitation Act against the State Defendants.
17, 2018, the State Defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment on the remaining counts against them. They raise
three arguments: 1) the grievance report Watson filed
regarding his wheelchair does not demonstrate proper
exhaustion; 2) even if the wheelchair grievance had been
properly exhausted, Watson did not name the State Defendants
in the grievance; and 3) Watson failed to exhaust
administrative remedies regarding his shower bench claim.
failed to timely respond to the State ...