United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
L. MALONEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Chippewa Correctional Facility
(URF) in Chippewa County, Michigan. The events about which he
complains, however, occurred while he was incarcerated at the
Saginaw County Correctional Facility (SRF) in Saginaw County,
Michigan and the Thumb Correctional Facility (TCF) in Lapeer
County, Michigan. Plaintiff sues MDOC Doctor Lyle S. Mindlin,
Regional Medical Provider William Borgerding, and Registered
Nurses Deborah J. Smith and Mary H. Hearing.
suffers from elbow pain. Apparently he has suffered from such
pain since an injury during 2009. (Grievance, ECF No. 1-9,
PageID.28.) Plaintiff has tried different treatments over the
years, including medications, steroid injections, massage,
and range-of-motion exercises, to no avail. He has been
subjected to a number of diagnostic studies, including many
x-rays, an MRI, and an EMG study. These studies have
identified arthritic changes in the elbow, a bone cyst, ulnar
neuritis, and potential nerve conduction issues.
suffered for years, Plaintiff appears to have combed back
through his medical record to find circumstances that might
support a claim that Defendants have been deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical need. He does not identify
exactly what treatment he should have received or should
receive now. He simply claims that Defendants have not fixed
the problem and, as a result, Plaintiff has suffered years of
on the excerpts of Plaintiff's medical record attached as
exhibits to the complaint, it is apparent that each Defendant
played some role in his care; however, neither
Plaintiff's allegations nor the exhibits suggest that
these Defendants have played any role in Plaintiff's care
for several years. By way of example, Defendant Lyle S.
Mindlin is a radiologist. He has read Plaintiff's x-rays
and reported to Plaintiff's physicians on several
occasions: January 7, 2011 (Radiology Report, ECF No. 1-5,
PageID.20); June 28, 2012 (Radiology Report, ECF No. 1-7,
PageID.24); September 14, 2012 (Radiology Report, ECF No.
1-15, PageID.44); November 5, 2013 (Radiology Report, ECF No.
1-10, PageID.31); and October 28, 2015 (Radiology Report, ECF
No. 1-12, PageID.36). Dr. Mindlin is not the only person who
read Plaintiff's x-rays or other diagnostic studies over
the years. His findings are not at all inconsistent with the
findings of those other doctors. He identified progressive
arthritic changes over time and the development of a bone
cyst; however, there is nothing in Dr. Mindlin's findings
that might account for the extreme pain of which Plaintiff
complained. Indeed, that pain appears to have a neural origin
based on the MRI and nerve conduction studies.
is no indication that Dr. Mindlin ever saw Plaintiff-only
Plaintiff's x-rays. In each instance, Dr. Mindlin's
reports were made to other healthcare providers who were
directly involved in Plaintiff's care. Moreover,
Plaintiff does not suggest that Dr. Mindlin had any
involvement in Plaintiff's care after October 28, 2015.
Dr. Borgerding is named as a Regional Medical Provider.
Plaintiff's only indication that Dr. Borgerding might
have played some role in Plaintiff's care is a reference
in a March 2013 Grievance Response which states: “The
grievant alleges denial of proper medical treatment after the
deferred request for an elbow brace/sleeve. The Regional
Medical Provider suggests self massage and ROM
exercises.” (Grievance Response, ECF No. 1-9,
PageID.29.) The response acknowledges that the brace was only
deferred and encouraged Plaintiff to follow up if the massage
and exercises did not improve his status. (Id.)
There is nothing in Plaintiff's complaint or the exhibits
that suggests that Dr. Borgerding played any role in
Plaintiff's medical care after deferring Plaintiff's
request for a brace pending an attempt at more conservative
Smith and Hearing responded to Plaintiff's requests for
care for his elbow during 2013 and 2014. Plaintiff supplies
kites seeking care and Smith's and Hearing's
responses. In each instance, the nurses scheduled Plaintiff
for an appointment, if he wanted one. There are no
allegations or exhibits that indicate that Nurses Smith or
hearing played any role in Plaintiff's healthcare after
November of 2014.
March 8, 2013, Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding the
failure of MDOC healthcare providers to provide appropriate
care for his elbow. Certainly, by that date, Plaintiff was
aware of the issues of which he now complains.
seeks compensatory and punitive damages exceeding $100, 000.