United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. QUIST, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Albert Robinson, a prisoner incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections (MDOC), filed a complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against several Defendants based on
events that occurred while Plaintiff was housed at the
Chippewa Correctional Facility and the Kinross Correctional
Facility. Following initial screening, Plaintiff’s
remaining claims are Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
and First Amendment retaliation claims against Defendants
Knack, Stallman, Eicher, Weist, McDowell, and Moran.
Weist and Stallman filed a motion for summary judgment, in
which they argued that Plaintiff’s deliberate
indifference claim for failure to provide adequate medical
treatment and Plaintiff’s retaliation claims fail as a
matter of law. (ECF No. 49.) Defendant Moran filed a motion
to dismiss, arguing that he is entitled to qualified
immunity. (ECF No. 27.) Plaintiff responded to both motions.
(ECF Nos. 40, 78.)
August 26, 2019, Magistrate Judge Maarten Vermaat issued a
Report and Recommendation (R & R) (ECF No. 84),
recommending that the Court grant Defendants Weist’s
and Stallman’s motion for summary judgment and grant
Defendant Moran’s motion to dismiss. With regard to
Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants
Weist and Stallman, the magistrate judge reviewed the
evidence pertaining to their treatment of Plaintiff’s
conditions and concluded that Plaintiff failed to allege acts
or omissions sufficiently harmful to evince deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff’s serious medical needs and
that, at most, Plaintiff demonstrated only a disagreement as
to the medical care Defendants provided him. (Id. at
PageID.981–84.) With regard to Plaintiff’s
retaliation claims against Defendants Weist and Stallman, the
magistrate judge concluded that Plaintiff’s claims are
meritless because: (1) he failed to present evidence showing
an adverse action because the evidence demonstrated that the
medical care he received was adequate; and (2) he failed to
establish the causation element-that Defendants denied him
appropriate medical care because of his grievances.
(Id. at PageID.985.) As for Defendant Moran’s
motion to dismiss, the magistrate judge concluded that
Plaintiff failed to allege that Defendant Moran engaged in
any conduct that violated clearly established law.
(Id. at 990–91.)
has filed Objections to the R & R, arguing that the
magistrate judge erroneously concluded that the Court should
grant Defendants’ motions. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), upon receiving an objection to a report and
recommendation, the district judge “shall make a de
novo determination of those portions of the report or
specified proposed findings or recommendations to which
objection is made.” After conducting a de novo review
of the R & R, Plaintiff’s Objections, and the
pertinent portions of the record, the Court concludes that
the R & R should be adopted.
Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims, Plaintiff objects
because he contends that Defendants Weist and Stallman should
have given him more or different treatment than he received.
While Plaintiff’s claim might support a medical
malpractice claim under state law, at bottom it complains
about the adequacy of treatment that Plaintiff received. As
the Sixth Circuit has stated, “where a prisoner has
received some medical attention and the dispute is over the
adequacy of the treatment, federal courts are generally
reluctant to second guess medical judgments and to
constitutionalize claims that sound in state tort law.”
Graham ex rel. Estate of Graham v. Cty. of
Washtenaw, 358 F.3d 377, 385 (6th Cir. 2004) (brackets
and internal quotation marks omitted). While Plaintiff may
disagree with the medical judgment Weist and Stallman
exhibited, his disagreement is insufficient to demonstrate a
violation of the Eighth Amendment. See Thompson v. Mich.
Dep’t of Corrs., 25 Fed.App’x 357, 358 (6th
Cir. 2002) (holding that a prisoner’s disagreement with
the medical treatment he received was insufficient to state a
claim under the Eighth Amendment). Thus, even if
Weist’s or Stallman’s diagnosis subsequently
proved to be incorrect or incomplete, such still falls short
of demonstrating an Eighth Amendment claim. See Warren v.
Nelson, No. 2:05-CV-81, 2007 WL 677164, at *4 (E.D.
Tenn. Mar. 1, 2007) (“While the Plaintiff claims that
an incorrect diagnosis and prolonged treatment for the wrong
condition constitutes ‘gross negligence, ’ his
claim, at its heart, sounds in state tort law of medical
the retaliation claim, the Court concurs with the magistrate
judge that Plaintiff fails to demonstrate that
Defendants’ provision of medical care rises to the
level of adverse action. Moreover, Plaintiff still fails to
set forth evidence demonstrating the requisite causal
although Plaintiff objects to the magistrate judge’s
analysis regarding the claim against Defendant Moran,
Plaintiff fails to show that Defendant Moran can be held
liable when his only active conduct was reviewing a
misconduct ticket with Plaintiff and responding to a
grievance that Plaintiff had written. As the magistrate judge
explained, the law is clear that Defendant Moran cannot be
held liable based on such conduct. Moreover, to the extent
Plaintiff continues to argue that the misconduct ticket was
false or that he never received a hearing, the Court notes
that Plaintiff’s due process claim was dismissed on
initial screening (ECF No. 5 at PageID.138–40; ECF No.
6); thus, Plaintiff has no due process claim against
Defendant Moran based on the misconduct ticket.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the August 26,
2019, Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 84) is
ADOPTED as the Opinion of this Court.
Plaintiff’s Objections (ECF No. 88) are
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants’
Weist’s and Stallman’s Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 49) and Defendant ...