United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
COHN DISTRICT JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
STEVEN WHALEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Rodney Ford, a prison inmate in the custody of the Michigan
Department of Corrections [“MDOC”], has filed a
civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Before the Court is
Defendant Anthony Stewart's motion for summary judgment
[Doc. #20], which has been referred for a Report and
Recommendation under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Defendant
Stewart was the warden of the MDOC facility where the alleged
violation occurred. For the reasons discussed below, I
recommend that the motion be GRANTED and that Defendant
Stewart be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
time of the events alleged in the complaint, Plaintiff was
incarcerated at the MDOC's G. Robert Cotton Correctional
Facility in Jackson, Michigan, where Defendant Stewart was
the warden. Plaintiff alleges that on October 21, 2017, he
injured his knee and/or leg while playing basketball.
Complaint [Doc. #1], ¶ 17. He was seen by MDOC
medical personnel, specifically Defendant Sophia Bradley, a
nurse, and Defendant Charles Jamsen, a medical doctor.
Id. Bradley and Jamsen did not order x-rays or send
Plaintiff for off-site evaluation, but provided him with
crutches, ace wrap, Motrin, and ice detail for three days.
alleges that on October 22, 2017, he sent a kite to prison
health services because his knee was still swollen and
extremely painful. He did not receive an immediate response.
Id. ¶ 18. On October 24, 2017, after lunch,
Plaintiff was seen by an as-yet unidentified medical officer,
who, Plaintiff alleges, demanded that he return the crutches
and ordered that he leave the clinic. Id. ¶ 19.
October 26, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred to the Chippewa
Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan. Id.
¶ 21. Upon his arrival there, he underwent medical
screening. Id. ¶ 23. However, x-rays were not
taken until November 1, 2017. Id. ¶ 27. On
November 21, 2017, Plaintiff was given a CT scan at War
Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, and received follow-up
evaluations and treatment at the hospital on January 3 and
February 1, 2018. Id. ¶ ¶ 31, 35-36.
alleges that all of the Defendants, including Stewart, failed
to implement proper medical procedures, and failed to take
steps to remedy an obviously significant medical need.
Id. ¶¶ 45-46.
A to Defendant's motion [Doc. #20] is the affidavit of
Anthony Stewart. Mr. Stewart states that he was warden of the
Cotton Facility at the time Plaintiff was housed there.
Stewart Affidavit, ¶ 4. He states that as
warden, he was not on medical staff, nor did his duties
include recommending any course of action for medical
diagnosis or treatment. Id. ¶ 5. He also states
that he was not present in the gymnasium on October 21, 2017
when Plaintiff says that he was injured, nor was he asked to
approve or deny any diagnostic tests or off-site medical
care. Id. He states that any kite requesting medical
care would be responded to by medical staff in Health Care
Services, not the Warden's Office. Id. ¶ 6.
Warden Stewart had no knowledge of Plaintiff's knee or
leg injury. Id. ¶ 8. He also states that he did
not initiate Plaintiff's transfer or otherwise request
that it take place. Id.
response [Doc. #23], Plaintiff argues that there remains a
question of fact as to whether Warden Steward ordered his
transfer, because he has not received a copy of the transfer
order. The response also questions whether the Chippewa
Facility was advised of Plaintiff's medical
to Defendant Stewart's reply brief [Doc. #26, Exhibit A]
is Plaintiff's transfer order, dated October 19, 2017. It
is signed by the facility's Transfer Coordinator and an
Inspector, not by Warden Stewart.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment is appropriate where “the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed. R.Civ.P. 56(c). To prevail on a motion for
summary judgment, the non-moving party must show sufficient
evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact.
Klepper v. First American Bank, 916 F.2d 337, 341-42
(6th Cir. 1990). Drawing all reasonable inferences
in favor of the non-moving party, the Court must determine
“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.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986). Entry of summary judgment is
appropriate “against a party who fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celetox
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). When the
“record taken as a whole could not lead a rational
trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, ” there
is no genuine issue of material fact, and summary judgment is
appropriate. Simmons-Harris v. Zelman, 234 F.3d 945,
951 (6th Cir. 2000).
the moving party in a summary judgment motion identifies
portions of the record which demonstrate the absence of a
genuine dispute over material facts, the opposing party may
not then “rely on the hope that the trier of fact will
disbelieve the movant's denial of a disputed fact,
” but must make an affirmative evidentiary showing to
defeat the motion. Street v. J.C. Bradford &
Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1479 (6th Cir. 1989). The
non-moving party must identify specific facts in affidavits,
depositions or other factual material showing “evidence
on which the jury could reasonably find for the