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Rouser v. Mason

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

July 22, 2019

KHIRY ROUSER, Plaintiff,
KANDI M. MASON et al., Defendants.


          Paul L. Maloney United States District Judge

         This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996) (PLRA), the Court is required to dismiss any prisoner action brought under federal law if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A; 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The Court must read Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these standards, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim against Defendants Blanchard, Monroe, and Lamb. The Court will order service of the complaint on Defendant Mason.


         I. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Oaks Correctional Facility (ECF) in Manistee, Manistee County, Michigan. The events about which he complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues ECF Nurses Kandi M. Mason, Lori L. Blanchard, (unknown) Monroe, and Patricia Lamb.

         Plaintiff alleges that, on January 19, 2019, he got into a fight with another prisoner, which led to both prisoners being sprayed with a chemical agent. Both inmates were then escorted to 4-Block, where they asked to be seen by a healthcare worker. Plaintiff told the correctional officer on duty that he was experiencing burning in his eyes and that his vision was blurry.

         Defendant Nurse Mason first evaluated the other prisoner. Plaintiff claims that the other prisoner told Defendant Mason that Plaintiff had assaulted him. When Mason approached Plaintiff's cell, Plaintiff complained that his eye was burning terribly and that his vision was blurry. Defendant Mason responded, “Aww that[']s to[o] bad. Why did you assault him?” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.5.) Plaintiff replied, “Why would you ask me that?” (Id.) In response, Defendant Mason stated, “Oh you don[']t want healthcare O.K.” (Id.) She then walked away without treating him, leaving him to suffer continuing symptoms. Later that day, when conducting her medication rounds, Mason came to Plaintiff's cell. She stated, “Do you have meds? I don[']t give a f*ck.” (Id.) Mason again walked away from Plaintiff's cell without treating him or giving him medications.

         Plaintiff alleges that his eye continued to burn and his vision remained blurry. On January 21, 2019, he submitted a healthcare kite, describing his eye problems. He also filed a grievance against Defendant Mason. In response to his healthcare kite, Plaintiff was scheduled to be evaluated by a nurse on January 25, 2019.

         Ostensibly in retaliation for Plaintiff having filed a grievance against her a few days earlier, Defendant Mason approached Plaintiff's cell and said, “I am not referring you to a doctor, but you can have a[n] evaluation that will cost $5.00.” (Id.) During the evaluation, Plaintiff explained his ongoing burning and vision problems. Defendant Mason flushed Plaintiff's eyes. She told him that, if he wanted his eyes looked at, he must see the optometrist. Plaintiff paid for the evaluation, but he complains that Defendant Mason omitted his complaints of burning and pain in his eye.

         On February 7, 2019, Plaintiff was evaluated by Optometrist Brian Allen. Dr. Allen diagnosed Plaintiff with myopic astigmatism and prescribed glasses. The glasses were ordered.

         Plaintiff submitted another healthcare request on February 13, 2019, because his eye continued to burn and he had begun to experience headaches. Defendant Mason provided no treatment, advising Plaintiff that his glasses had been ordered and would arrive in six to eight weeks and that, if his headaches continued after he received his glasses, he should take Motrin or Tylenol. Plaintiff contends that Defendant Mason's callous response was taken in retaliation for his two prior grievances against Mason.

         Thirty-eight days later, on March 25, 2019, Plaintiff continued to suffer with a burning eye. He submitted another healthcare kite, alleging that the problem had begun in January with the use of the pepper spray and that Defendant Mason had ignored his complaints, telling him to wait for his glasses. In response, Mason scheduled Plaintiff to be evaluated by a nurse. Plaintiff was seen by the nurse and then referred to the optometrist for an appointment on April 4, 2019. At the visit, the optometrist prescribed Tobramycin eye drops.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Mason maliciously deprived him of medical attention on January 19, 2019, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Thereafter, Defendant Mason allegedly retaliated against Plaintiff by continuing to deny him appropriate medical care for his eye. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Mason falsified her medical documentation of her evaluations by failing to include necessary information and making a dishonest statement that Plaintiff had refused medical care on January 19.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Blanchard violated his rights by failing to conduct an adequate investigation before denying his grievance about the January 19, 2019, incident. He also alleges that Defendant Monroe violated his rights by inadequately investigating both of his grievances and failing to conduct an interview on those grievances. Similarly, he contends that Defendant Lamb violated his rights by ...

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