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Scott v. Massey

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

December 17, 2019

TERI MASSEY, N.P., In Her Individual Capacity, and CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS Defendants.


          Victoria A. Roberts, United States District Judge.


         This is a prisoner civil rights suit concerning the treatment and care Alisant Scott (“Scott”) received from Nurse Practitioner Teri Massey, (“Massey”), an employee of Defendant Correct Care Solutions, while Scott was incarcerated at the Oakland County jail.

         On September 23, 2016, Scott complained of pain, swelling, and a mass in her right breast. Treatment began. On October 8, 2016, the mass ruptured. Because of the rupture, doctors performed a simple mastectomy.

         Scott alleges Massey's actions leading up to the mastectomy were deliberately indifferent in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and that Massey committed medical malpractice in violation of Michigan law. Scott alleges Correct Care Solutions is liable for Massey's alleged malpractice under the theory of respondeat superior.


         Summary judgment is proper when “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The central inquiry is “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).

         The moving party has the initial burden to show “the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Id. at 323. Once the movant meets this burden, the non-moving party must demonstrate specific facts “showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Electric Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (internal quotations and citations omitted). To demonstrate a genuine issue for trial, the non-moving party must present sufficient evidence upon which a jury could reasonably find for that party; a “scintilla of evidence” is insufficient. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. The Court must accept the non-movant's evidence as true and draw all “justifiable inferences” in the non-movant's favor. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.


         On September 23, 2016, Scott completed a health service request form at the Oakland County jail for immediate medical attention due to a swollen right breast. In this form, Scott noted her current concerns and a history of similar issues with her left breast. On September 25th, Elizabeth Goodrich, R.N. - who is no longer a party to this action - examined Scott and noted: a 6x6 inch mass around Scott's nipple; the breast was warm to the touch; the skin around the nipple was red; her pain was an 8 on a 10-point scale; and doctors removed a mass from Scott's left breast in 2010 or 2011.

         Goodrich relayed this information to Massey over the phone. Massey ordered Bactrim, a medication to treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) infections, twice daily for ten days and motrin for seven days. At all relevant times, Massey was an employee of Defendant Correct Care Solutions, LLC.

         Goodrich scheduled a follow-up for Scott on September 28th with a doctor. Neither party addresses what happened at this follow-up, or whether it even took place.

         On September 29th, Massey met with Scott in person. Massey noted: (1) Scott's continued complaints of pain, swelling, and redness to the right breast; (2) antibiotics did not alleviate Scott's pain; and (3) Scott's earlier left breast issues resulted in cyst removal surgery. Massey ordered an ultrasound, prescribed mobic and ice packs, and discontinued the bactrim.

         On September 30th, doctors performed an ultrasound on Scott's right breast. The ultrasound revealed four masses. Doctors recommended a mammogram and biopsy.

         On October 1st, Scott submitted a second medical request form. She again described severe pain, wrote that her condition was not “minor, ” and that it was not fair that she had to sit day after day in pain. On October 7th, Scott submitted a third request. She stated her breast was infected and complained that she had been in pain for over two weeks.

         On October 8th, doctors attempted to perform a mammogram examination, but Scott could not tolerate the pain. Doctors admitted her to the hospital. Scott developed a fever, and a physician scheduled surgery to drain Scott's right breast mass. However, the mass spontaneously ruptured the night before the scheduled surgery. Dr. Dana Busch elected to perform a simple mastectomy following the rupture because most of Scott's breast tissue was necrotic.

         IV. ...

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