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Whorton v. Roggenbuck

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

September 6, 2019

James Whorton, Plaintiff,
v.
Roggenbuck et al., Defendants.

          Anthony P. Patti United States Magistrate Judge.

          ORDER ACCEPTING AND ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [#46] GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [#32] AND DISMISSING THIS ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE

          Hon. Gershwin A. Drain United States District Court Judge.

         I. Introduction and Factual Background

          Plaintiff James Whorton is currently incarcerated at the Woodland Center Correctional Facility (“WCC”). Dkt. No. 1, pg. 4 (Pg. ID 4). In June of 2014, he was housed at the Ionia Correctional Facility. Id. at pg. 5 (Pg. ID 5). On June 7, 2014, Plaintiff cut his stomach and he was sent to the hospital. Id. On June 9, 2014, Plaintiff cut his stomach again “to a graver extent” and was sent back to the hospital. Id. Plaintiff alleges that on both occasions, the hospital failed to repair his wound. Id. After being discharged from the hospital, Plaintiff was sent to WCC, his current facility. Id. Defendant Joan Roggenbuck was the Warden of WCC during the relevant time period. Defendant Joe Lapum was the Resident Nurse Manager at WCC during the relevant time period. Defendant Alfred Brown was the Health Unit Manger at WCC during the relevant time period who supervised the nurses and resident nurse managers. Id. at pg. 6 (Pg. ID 6).

         The staff at WCC placed Plaintiff in the infirmary ward for 2.5 months. Id. During this time, Plaintiff's wound was opened and his intestines were encased in a transparent “shield.” Id. Plaintiff's complaint asserts that over 6 inches of his intestines were protruding from his stomach during this time. Id. In addition, Plaintiff had a colostomy bag. Id. For 6 months, Plaintiff received Vicodin and Norco to manage his pain. Id. Before his prescription expired, Plaintiff filed a grievance requesting that his pain medication be reordered. Id. at pg. 6 (Pg. ID 6). Instead, Plaintiff received Tylenol when his prescription ended, which did not help his pain. Id. Plaintiff repeatedly requested WCC to re-prescribe his Vicodin and Norco pain medication. Id. WCC denied Plaintiff's grievance to refill his Vicodin and Norco. Id. Plaintiff had 6 inches of his intestine protruding from his stomach and a colostomy bag for nearly two years. Id.

         Plaintiff states that his pain and suffering caused severe mental anguish and resulted in him injuring himself again. Id. After Plaintiff injured himself for the third time, the medical team at WCC removed his colostomy bag and repaired his stomach. Id.

         On October 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Joan Roggenbuck, Kim Ferris-the head physician assistant and WCC, Shanthi Gopal-the doctor at WCC, Joe Lapum, and Alfred Brown. Dkt. No. 1. On December 11, 2017, this Court accepted Magistrate Judge Patti's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) and dismissed defendants Ferris and Gopal for failure to state an Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference against them. Dkt. No. 36, 40.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants Joan Roggenbuck and Alfred Brown's Motion for Summary Judgment, filed on October 2, 2017. Dkt. No. 32. Plaintiff filed two responses on December 21, 2017. Dkt. Nos. 42, 43. This Court referred the matter to Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti on September 14, 2018. Dkt. No. 45. Magistrate Judge Patti issued a R&R on October 9, 2018, recommending that the Court grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. No. 46. The R&R stated that this Court should dismiss Plaintiff's claims against Roggenbuck, Brown, and Defendant Joe Lapum for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Id. at pg. 1 (Pg. ID 303). Alternatively, the R&R recommended that this Court should grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment to the extent that it seeks dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Id.

         On October 24, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Objection. Dkt. No. 47. Plaintiff's Objection is not written like a standard objection. Rather, it is similar to an amended complaint in that it attempts to expound on and give greater detail to the allegations made in his original complaint.

         Nevertheless, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will accept and adopt Magistrate Judge Patti's R&R and dismiss Plaintiff's complaint against Defendants Roggenbuck, Brown, and Lapum without prejudice.

         II. Legal Standard

         This Court employs “a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(C). This Court “may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id. However, when objections are “merely perfunctory responses . . . rehashing . . . the same arguments set forth in the original petition, reviewing courts should review [a Report and Recommendation] for clear error.” Ramirez v. U.S., 898 F.Supp.2d 659, 663 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).

         III. ...


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