Weatherspoon v. LNU et al
OPINION AND ORDER (1) Overruling Plaintiff's 137 Objections to the Magistrate Judge's 127 Report and Recommendation, (2) Adopting the Magistrate Judge's Recommended Disposition, (3) Granting Defendants Scheppelman and George' s 116 Motion for Summary Judgment, and (4) Certifying that an Appeal Cannot Be Taken in Good Faith from this Order or from any of the Court's Prior Orders Granting Summary Judgment 67 , 119 and 120 . Signed by District Judge Matthew F. Leitman. (HMon)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 14-cv-12789
Hon. Matthew F. Leitman
GEORGE LNU, et al.
OPINION AND ORDER (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF’S OBJECTIONS
(ECF #137) TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION (ECF #127), (2) ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE
JUDGE’S RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION, (3) GRANTING
DEFENDANTS SCHEPPELMAN AND GEORGE’S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF #116), AND (4) CERTIFYING THAT AN
APPEAL CANNOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH FROM THIS ORDER
OR FROM ANY OF THE COURT’S PRIOR ORDERS GRANTING
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF ## 67, 119, 120)
Plaintiff Morris Weatherspoon (“Weatherspoon”) is an inmate in the custody
of the Michigan Department of Corrections (the “MDOC”).
In this action,
Weatherspoon brings constitutional claims against nine MDOC employees. The
Court has already dismissed all of Weatherspoon’s claims against seven of those
employees. (See ECF ## 67, 119, 120.) The only claims that remain are against
Defendants Tamara Scheppelman (“Scheppelman”) and Susan George (“George”).
Scheppelman is a nurse at the Macomb Correctional Facility (“MRF”).
Weatherspoon alleges that Scheppelman violated his Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights by acting with deliberate indifference to his medical needs during
his visit to the MRF infirmary on March 10, 2013.
George is a psychiatrist at MRF. Weatherspoon, who has been diagnosed with
nonorganic psychosis, alleges that George violated his Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights by keeping him in a mental health program and forcibly
medicating him. Weatherspoon also alleges that George retaliated against him in
violation of the First Amendment.
Scheppelman and George have moved for summary judgment. (See ECF
The assigned Magistrate Judge has now issued a Report and
Recommendation (the “R&R”) in which he recommends that the Court grant
summary judgment in favor of both Scheppelman and George. (See ECF #127.)
Weatherspoon has filed timely objections to the R&R (collectively, the
“Objections”). (See ECF #137.)
For the reasons explained below, the Court
OVERRULES Weatherspoon’s Objections in their entirety, ADOPTS the
Magistrate Judge’s recommended disposition, and GRANTS summary judgment in
favor Defendants Scheppelman and George.
Weatherspoon’s claims against Scheppelman and George involve separate
and discrete sets of facts. The Court describes the factual background for each
defendant separately below.
Weatherspoon’s claims against Scheppelman arise out of her treatment of him
on March 10, 2013. However, to understand the nature of these claims, it is
necessary to provide a more detailed background of Weatherspoon’s medical
In January 2013, the MDOC housed Weatherspoon at the Kinross
Correctional Facility (“KCF”). On January 18, 2013, Weatherspoon was treated for
leg pain by KCF physician Dr. Ramesh Kilaru (“Dr. Kilaru”). Dr. Kilaru observed
that Weatherspoon had a lump on his left leg, and he advised Weatherspoon of the
“benign nature of the lesion.” (Weatherspoon Medical Records, ECF #85-1 at 17,
Pg. ID 613.)1 Dr. Kilaru prescribed Weatherspoon over-the-counter pain medication
Scheppelman and George direct the Court to Weatherspoon’s medical records,
which are already in the record. (See Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF #116 at
6, Pg. ID 781.) Defendant Dr. Badawi Abdellatif attached these medical records to
his motion for summary judgment, which the Court granted on March 30, 2016. (See
ECF #119.) Dr. Abdellatif submitted a sworn declaration stating that the attached
medical records were “kept in the normal court of business by the Michigan
Department of Corrections and its employees and service providers and are
(such as Motrin), and he listed February 2, 2013, as the date on which Weatherspoon
should stop taking that medication. (See id. at 17-18, Pg. ID 613-14.)
On or around January 28, 2013, the MDOC transferred Weatherspoon to
MRF. (See Dr. Badawi Abdellatif Decl., ECF #83-2 at ¶ 5, Pg. ID 578; ECF #85-1
at 18, Pg. ID 614.) When Weatherspoon arrived at MRF, he received a medical
examination from a physician’s assistant. (See ECF #85-1 at 19, Pg. ID 615.) The
physician’s assistant noted that Weatherspoon had a “history of thigh pain and [a]
‘lump,’” and the physician’s assistant advised Weatherspoon to purchase over-thecounter pain medication from the prison store. (Id.)
Three days later, on January 31, 2013, Dr. Badawi Abdellatif (“Dr.
Abdellatif”), a physician at MRF, examined Weatherspoon. (See Dr. Abdellatif
Decl., ECF #83-2 at ¶ 6, Pg. ID 578.) Dr. Abdellatif reviewed the notation in
Weatherspoon’s medical records that the lump on Weatherspoon’s thigh was benign,
and he did not see any indications that the lump had worsened since Weatherspoon’s
maintained and updated contemporaneously to reflect an inmate’s medical
treatment.” (Dr. Abdellatif Decl., ECF #83-2 at ¶ 4, Pg. ID 577-578.) Dr. Abdellatif
further stated that he is “familiar with [and] trained to review inmate medical records
in the normal course of treatment of a patient” and that he relied upon the specific
records attached to his motion for summary judgment during his evaluation and
treatment of Weatherspoon. (Id at ¶¶ 4-13.) Accordingly, the Court finds that the
medical records qualify for the business records exception to the rule against
hearsay. See Fed. R. Evid. 803(6); Norton v. Colyer, 828 F.2d 384, 386-387 (6th Cir.
1987) (holding that medical records may qualify for the business record exception
to the rule against hearsay). Thus, the Court may consider the medical records in
deciding Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
prior evaluations. (See id.) At the conclusion of the examination, Dr. Abdellatif
“suggested that Weatherspoon attempt to control his pain with the [400 milligrams
of Motrin] he had been prescribed.” (Id.)
Weatherspoon “verbalized [his]
understanding” of Dr. Abdellatif’s recommendation. (ECF #85-1 at 20, Pg. ID 616.)
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on March 10, 2013, Weatherspoon sought
medical attention for chest pain. (See id. at 25, Pg. ID 621.) Scheppelman responded,
but when she arrived Weatherspoon did not complain of chest pain. Instead, he
requested a bottom bunk accommodation for his leg pain (which the MDOC had
previously denied). (See id. at 26, 32, Pg. ID 622, 628.) Scheppelman wrote the
following in Weatherspoon’s medical records:
Inmate is currently taking motrin 400 mg, he was
instructed to take the motrin with food. Inmate verbalized
understanding. Inmate left here via ambulatory without
complaints of chest pain. Inmate given saltine crackers
and milk to coat the stomach, he only had a few sips of
milk then said it was all he drink [sic].
(ECF #85-1 at 25-26, Pg. ID 621-622.) Scheppelman also placed a call to Dr.
Abdellatif to secure follow-up care for Weatherspoon’s pain. (Id.) Dr. Abdellatif
returned the call at 12:50 a.m., and he saw Weatherspoon at approximately 8:30 a.m.
that same day. (Id. at 26-30, Pg. ID 622-26.) He determined that Weatherspoon did
not require an outside evaluation and prescribed Weatherspoon 325 milligrams of
acetaminophen for his leg pain. (See Dr. Abdellatif Decl., ECF #83-2 at ¶ 8, Pg. ID
580; ECF #85-1 at 27-30, Pg. ID 623-26.)
In his Complaint, Weatherspoon alleges that Scheppelman violated his Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and acted with deliberate indifference to his
medical needs, by failing to adequately respond to his leg pain. (See Compl. at ¶13,
ECF #1 at 4, Pg. ID 4.) Specifically, Weatherspoon alleges that Scheppelman
“withheld [his] prescribed pain relief medication and prevented [him] access to a
physician capable of evaluating [his] need for adequate treatment.” (Id.)
George provided Weatherspoon with mental health treatment while he was
housed at MRF. The MDOC determined that Weatherspoon needed such treatment
because he had been diagnosed with nonorganic psychosis. (See ECF #85-1 at 40,
Pg. ID 636.)
Weatherspoon claims that, on March 21, 2013, George improperly denied his
request to be “discharge[ed] and/or terminat[ed] from anti-psychotic medications
and [the] mental health program.” (Compl. at ¶15, ECF #1 at 5, Pg. ID 5.)
Weatherspoon further says that George “wrongfully prescribe[ed] powerful
antipsychotic medication and “forcibly injected [him] with antipsychotic medication
against [his] will.” (Id. at ¶22, ECF #1 at 8, Pg. ID 8.) Weatherspoon insists these
actions violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. (See id. at ¶¶ 22-23.)
Weatherspoon has also brings a retaliation claim against George under the First
Amendment. (See id. at ¶24.).
On April 30, 2013, the MDOC transferred Weatherspoon from MRF to
Handlon Correctional Facility (“Handlon”). After that time, he was no longer under
the care of Scheppelman or George. (See ECF #85-1 at 40-41, Pg. ID 640-41.)
On May 7, 2013, a full week after Weatherspoon had transferred out of MRF
and left the care of Scheppelman and George, a mental health hearing committee at
Handlon (the “Handlon Committee”) issued a unanimous decision finding
Weatherspoon “mentally ill” and authorizing his treating psychiatrist – who was not
George – to forcibly medicate him. (See ECF #1-1 at 58, Pg. ID 58.) Neither
Scheppelman nor George participated in the Handlon Committee’s decision to
medicate Weatherspoon. (Id.)
On July 3, 2014, Weatherspoon filed this action against nine MDOC
employees, including Scheppelman and George. (See Compl., ECF #1.)
Weatherspoon alleges, among other things, that Scheppelman and George violated
his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by acting with deliberate indifference
to his medical needs. (See id. at ¶20, 23.) Weatherspoon also alleges that George
retaliated against him in violation of the First Amendment. (See id. at ¶24.)
On March 15, 2016, Scheppelman and George moved for summary judgment.
On July 19, 2016, the assigned Magistrate Judge issued the R&R in which he
recommended that the Court grant summary judgment in favor of both Defendants.
Weatherspoon filed the Objections on December 16, 2016.2 (See ECF #137.) Rather
than describe the Magistrate Judge’s analysis or Weatherspoon’s Objections here,
the Court will describe the relevant portions of each in its analysis below.
When a party has objected to portions of a Magistrate Judge’s R&R, the Court
reviews those portions de novo. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); see also Lyons v.
Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 351 F.Supp.2d 659, 661 (E.D. Mich. 2004). The Court has no
duty to conduct an independent review of the portions of the R&R to which a party
has not objected. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985).
A movant is entitled to summary judgment when she “shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact . . . .” SEC v. Sierra Brokerage Servs., Inc.,
712 F.3d 321, 326–27 (6th Cir. 2013) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 251–52 (1986)) (quotations omitted). When reviewing the record, “the
Weatherspoon initially filed objections to the R&R on August 29, 2016. (See ECF
#130.) On October 12, 2016, the Court entered an order in which it (1) struck
Weatherspoon’s August 29 filing because it was not legible and (2) provided
Weatherspoon the opportunity to re-file objections to the R&R. (See ECF #132.)
Weatherspoon timely re-filed the Objections in a more (but not completely) legible
format on December 16, 2016. (See ECF #137.)
court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party
and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor.” Id. “The mere existence of a scintilla
of evidence in support of the [non-moving party’s] position will be insufficient; there
must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for [that party].”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. Summary judgment is not appropriate when “the
evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury.” Id. at
251-252. Indeed, “[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and
the drafting of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a
judge . . . .” Id. at 255.
Weatherspoon’s Objections consist of six numbered objections over fifty-four
hand-written pages. Before turning specifically to the numbered objections, the
Court explains why Scheppelman and George are entitled to summary judgment.
Weatherspoon makes two claims against Scheppelman. First, he alleges that
Scheppelman showed deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. (See Compl. at ¶20, ECF #1 at 7, Pg. ID 7.) Second, he alleges
that Scheppelman “engaged in conduct that is shocking to the conscience [in]
violation of the [F]ourteenth [A]mendment.” (See id. at ¶ 23, ECF #1 at 8, Pg. ID 8.)
Both claims fail as a matter of law.
There are two components to an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
claim, one objective and the other subjective. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
834 (1994); see also Comstock v. McCrary, 273 F.3d 693, 702 (6th Cir. 2001). To
satisfy the objective component, the plaintiff must show “that the medical need at
issue is ‘sufficiently serious.’” Comstock, 273 F.3d at 702 (quoting Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994)). To satisfy the subjective component of a
deliberate indifference claim, the plaintiff must show “that the official being sued
subjectively perceived facts from which to infer substantial risk to the prisoner, that
[s]he did in fact draw the inference, and that [s]he then disregarded that risk.” Id.
Further, “the defendant must possess a ‘sufficiently culpable state of mind,’ rising
above negligence or even gross negligence and being ‘tantamount to intent to
punish.’” Broyles v. Corr. Medical Servs., Inc., 472 Fed. App’x 971, 975 (6th Cir.
2012) (quoting Horn v. Madison County Fiscal Court, 22 F.3d 653, 660 (6th Cir.
Nothing in the record indicates that Scheppelman’s actions meet the
subjective component of a deliberate indifference claim.3 In fact, Weatherspoon’s
medical records show just the opposite – that Scheppelman took affirmative steps to
The Court will assume, without deciding, that the lump on Weatherspoon’s leg and
the associated pain he experienced constituted a “sufficiently serious” medical need
that satisfies the objective component of a deliberate indifference claim.
mitigate Weatherspoon’s pain. (See ECF #85-1 at 25-26, Pg. ID 621-22.) When
Scheppelman saw Weatherspoon on March 10, 2013, she noted that he was
“currently taking motrin 400 mg.” (Id. at 26, Pg. ID 622.)
[Weatherspoon] to take the motrin with food” and gave him “saltine crackers and
milk to coat [his] stomach.” (Id.) Scheppelman then called Dr. Abdellatif to secure
follow-up care for Weatherspoon, and Dr. Abdellatif saw Weatherspoon the same
day to prescribe him additional pain medication. (See id. at 27-30, Pg. ID 623-626.)
Thus, Scheppelman attempted to address Weatherspoon’s pain and did not ignore
his medical needs.
In an attempt to undermine the statements in his medical records and to create
a material factual dispute, Weatherspoon accuses Scheppelman of “documenting
false health record entries.” (ECF #123 at 15, Pg. ID 835.) Weatherspoon supports
this accusation with two of his own affidavits. He states in the first affidavit that
Scheppelman “intentionally record[ed] and document[ed] dishonest and fabricated
false assertions concern[ing] [his] medical treatments.” (ECF #126 at 1, Pg. ID 842.)
In the second affidavit, he states that “Nurse Scheppelman produced false and
perjured medical documents, pleadings, and other documents in the record.” (ECF
#140 at 1-2, Pg. ID 959-60.)
Weatherspoon’s claims of falsified medical records do not preclude summary
judgment for two reasons. First, his affidavits include only conclusory statements
that Scheppelman fabricated medical records. Weatherspoon’s affidavits do not “set
forth specific facts,” as required by Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, in support of his accusation. Courts have generally held that “conclusory
statements,” even if made under the penalty of perjury, are insufficient to create a
genuine issue of material fact. See, e.g., Lewis v. Philip Morris Inc., 355 F.3d 515,
533 (6th Cir. 2004) (“Conclusory” testimony unsupported by specific facts was not
sufficient to allow a party to survive summary judgment); Kaplan v. Michigan Dept.
of Corrections, 2013 WL 1500426 at *1 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 10, 2013) (Affidavit
containing “conclusory allegations of widespread falsification by multiple doctors”
was insufficient to allow plaintiff to survive summary judgment).
Weatherspoon’s affidavits do not set forth specific facts showing that Scheppelman
fabricated the particular portions of the medical records on which the Court relied
above, the affidavits are insufficient to stave off summary judgment.
Second, and more importantly, Weatherspoon admits the truth of the
statements in the medical records that are fatal to his claim against Scheppelman.
More specifically, Weatherspoon admits that Scheppelman “provided milk [and]
crackers and paged Dr. Abdellatif” so that the doctor could “examine” him and
provide further care. (ECF #123 at 14, Pg. ID 834; see also Objections, ECF #137
at 4, Pg. ID 890.) Thus, Weatherspoon concedes that Scheppelman took prompt
action to address his claimed pain – namely, seeking additional examination for him
by a doctor – and that demonstrates that she was not deliberately indifferent to his
In summary, Weatherspoon has not shown that Scheppelman’s actions on
March 10, 2013 satisfy the subjective component of an Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference claim.
At most, Weatherspoon disagrees with
Scheppelman’s course of treatment. Disagreement with a course of treatment,
however, is not sufficient to show deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.
See Selby v. Martin, 84 Fed. App’x 496, 499 (6th Cir. 2003). And in cases where,
as here, “the record demonstrates that the inmate received medical attention and is,
in essence, filing suit because he disagrees with certain decisions made by the
medical staff, the defendant is entitled to summary judgment.” Allison v. Martin,
2009 WL 2885088, at *6 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 2, 2009) (citing McFarland v. Austin,
196 Fed. App’x 410, 411 (6th Cir. 2006)).
Weatherspoon’s second claim against Scheppelman is a substantive due
process claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. In order to prevail on such a claim,
Weatherspoon “must show that the government conduct in question was so
reprehensible as to ‘shock the conscience’ of the court.” Rimmer-Bey v. Brown, 62
F.3d 789, 791 n. 4 (6th Cir. 1995) (citing Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165 (1952)).
Scheppelman’s actions do not shock the Court’s conscience. Again, she secured
additional treatment for Weatherspoon from Dr. Abdellatif and attempted to provide
him food so that he could take his medication. That conduct does not disturb the
Court in the least. Accordingly, Scheppelman is entitled to summary judgment on
Weatherspoon’s Fourteenth Amendment claim.
Weatherspoon makes three claims against George. First, he alleges that
George was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth
medications” and “forcibly injected [him].” (Compl. at ¶22, ECF #1 at 8, Pg. ID 8.)
Second, Weatherspoon alleges that George “engaged in conduct that is shocking to
the conscience [in] violation of the [F]ourteenth [A]mendment.” (Id. at ¶23.) Third,
he pleads a First Amendment retaliation claim against George. (See id. at ¶24.) As
explained below, George is entitled to summary judgment on all three claims.
Weatherspoon’s claim that George violated the Eighth Amendment by misprescribing mental health treatment and anti-psychotic medication fails because it
boils down to a disagreement about the proper course of treatment. Weatherspoon
insists he did not “need” the medication or treatment. (Weatherspoon Affidavit, ECF
#139 at 2, Pg. ID 956.) George disagreed.4 But as noted above, a plaintiff must
show more than disagreement with a medical professional’s judgment concerning
the proper treatment in order to prevail on an Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim. See Selby, 84 Fed. App’x at 499; Allison v. Martin, 2009 WL
2885088, at *6 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 2, 2009) (citing McFarland v. Austin, 196 Fed.
App’x 410, 411 (6th Cir. 2006)). Accordingly, George is entitled to summary
judgment on Weatherspoon’s claim based upon George’s decision to prescribe
mental health treatment and anti-psychotic medication.
George is likewise entitled to summary judgment on Weatherspoon’s claim
that George violated the Eighth Amendment by forcibly medicating him. The
evidence in the record makes clear that George did not do so. First, while George
did prescribe certain oral anti-psychotic medication, she did not compel
Weatherspoon to take that medication. On the contrary, as Weatherspoon states in
his Declaration, “George begged [him] to at least try the medication,” and he
“agreed” to take the medication based on a belief that he would be “discharged” if
he “[didn’t] like the medication.” (ECF #122 at 2, Pg. ID 816, emphasis added.)
Thus, George did not force Weatherspoon to take oral medication. Second, while
Weatherspoon may have been forcibly injected with anti-psychotic medication at
There is no evidence to support Weatherspoon’s conclusory allegation that George
prescribed the medication in bad faith and with the knowledge that he did not need
it. (See Compl. ¶22, ECF #1 at 8, Pg. ID 8.)
some point during his incarceration, George neither made the decision to inject nor
played any role in the injection process. Indeed, the decision to inject the medication
was made by a mental health committee after Weatherspoon left George’s care and
transferred to a facility at which George did not work. (See ECF #1-1 at 8-9, Pg. ID
58-59.) George is therefore entitled to summary judgment on Weatherspoon’s
Eighth Amendment claim based upon the forcible injection of anti-psychotic
Weatherspoon also asserts a substantive due process claim against George
based upon the forcible injection of anti-psychotic medication and upon his
allegation that George forced him to take oral anti-psychotic medications. This
claim fails for the same reasons that his Eighth Amendment claims based upon these
allegations fail. George did not force Weatherspoon to take oral medications and
did not forcibly inject him with any medications. Accordingly, George is entitled to
summary judgment on Weatherspoon’s Fourteenth Amendment substantive due
In order to succeed on his First Amendment retaliation against George,
Weatherspoon must establish that:
(1) he engaged in constitutionally protected speech or
conduct; (2) an adverse action was taken against him that
would deter a person of ordinary firmness from continuing
to engage in that conduct; [and] (3) there is a causal
connection between elements one and two—that is, the
adverse action was motivated at least in part by his
Dye v. Office of the Racing Comm'n, 702 F.3d 286, 294 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Scarbrough v. Morgan Cty. Bd. of Educ., 470 F.3d 250, 255 (6th Cir. 2006).
Although Weatherspoon pleads a First Amendment claim in his Complaint, he does
not identify or submit any evidence in any of his subsequent filings showing that he
engaged in protected conduct or showing that George took any adverse action
against him because of that protected conduct. Accordingly, George is entitled to
summary judgment on Weatherspoon’s First Amendment claim.
The Court turns now to Weatherspoon’s Objections to the R&R.
Objections take up fifty-four handwritten pages; they tend to ramble; and they are
difficult to decipher. The Court has endeavored below to capture and address the
“gist” of each objection.
In his first objection, Weatherspoon objects to the Magistrate Judge’s
statement that “Weatherspoon did not specify in his complaint which individual
defendants allegedly denied [him] pain medication.” (ECF #137 at 3-6, Pg. ID 889892.)
However, the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to grant summary
judgment in favor of Scheppelman was not based on the lack of specificity in
Rather, the recommendation was based upon the
Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that nothing in the record shows that Scheppelman’s
actions on March 10, 2013 meet the subjective component of an Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference claim.
And, in any event, Scheppelman is entitled to
summary judgment for the reasons explained above.
Accordingly, the Court
OVERRULES Objection #1.
In his second objection, Weatherspoon appears to argue that Scheppelman is
not entitled to summary judgment because there is a factual dispute as to whether
Scheppelman provided him with pain medication. (See ECF #137 at 6-11, Pg. ID
892-97.) The Court disagrees because even if such a factual dispute exists, it is
immaterial. As explained above, Weatherspoon admits that Scheppelman provided
care – by giving him food to coat his stomach in preparation for his ingestion of his
pain medication – and by requesting an additional examination by a physician. Thus,
even if Scheppelman did not personally provide Weatherspoon with pain
medication, she was not deliberately indifferent to Weatherspoon’s medical needs.
Accordingly, the Court OVERRULES Objection #2.
In his third objection, Weatherspoon makes two arguments. First, he argues
that George “took no reasonable steps to protect [Weatherspoon] from the mental
health panel hearing that eventually deemed [him] as suffering a mental illness that
required the forcible injections of antipsychotic drugs.” (ECF #137 at 13, Pg. ID
899; see also, id. at 19-21, Pg. ID 905, repeating the argument.) Second, he argues
that the Magistrate Judge failed to mention previous findings by “Dr. Surapenani,”
“mental health provider Ms. Jill Strahan,” and other unnamed providers that
Weatherspoon was not mentally ill. (Id at 13-16, Pg. ID 899-902.)
The Court rejects both arguments. Weatherspoon has not shown that George
played any role in the panel’s determination to forcibly medicate him, and
Weatherspoon has not shown that she had a duty to oppose that determination.
Moreover, any harm that Weatherspoon claims to have suffered from the forced
medication was caused by the mental health panel, not by George.
Weatherspoon’s references to any previous findings by other mental health
professionals are immaterial to his claims against George. At most, such findings
suggest that it may have been possible for reasonable medical professionals to
disagree with George’s diagnosis and treatment.
But such disagreement with
George’s medical judgment is not sufficient to support a claim of deliberate
indifference against George. See Selby, 84 Fed. App’x at 499; Allison v. Martin,
2009 WL 2885088, at *6 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 2, 2009) (citing McFarland v. Austin,
196 Fed. App’x 410, 411 (6th Cir. 2006)). Accordingly, the Court OVERRULES
In his fourth objection, Weatherspoon argues that the Magistrate Judge denied
him the opportunity to engage in discovery. (See ECF #137 at 21-27, Pg. ID 907913.) In support of this objection, Weatherspoon attaches an affidavit in which he
claims that he “never had any fair and reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery”
and that he was “not allowed to submit interrogatories [or request] admissions, and
production of documents.” (ECF #140 at 6, Pg. ID 964.)
Weatherspoon is incorrect. On November 25, 2014, the Magistrate Judge
issued an order striking Weatherspoon’s motions to compel because Weatherspoon
had not yet served the discovery requests on the Defendants. (See ECF #31.) In that
order, the Magistrate Judge made clear that Weatherspoon was free to “serve
defendants with discovery requests” and that if the Defendants failed to respond,
Weatherspoon could then seek “an order compelling production.” (Id. at 1-2, Pg. ID
261-62.) Weatherspoon has not presented any evidence that he served discovery;
that Defendants then failed to respond; and that he filed a motion to compel. Simply
put, Weatherspoon has failed to show that he was denied the right to conduct
discovery. Accordingly, Objection #4 is OVERRULED.
In his fifth objection, Weatherspoon argues that the Magistrate Judge
erroneously relied on medical records that Scheppelman fabricated. (See ECF #137
at 27-37, Pg. ID 913-923.) As explained above, however, Weatherspoon’s assertions
of fabrication are conclusory, and he admits the truth of the portions of the records
that are fatal to his deliberate indifference claim against Scheppelman. Accordingly,
Objection #5 is OVERRULED because Weatherspoon’s claims of fabricated
medical records do not create an issue of material fact.
Weatherspoon’s sixth numbered objection is not clearly written and fails to
make a single specific objection to the R&R. Instead, the objection appears to
simply repeat a number of arguments that Weatherspoon made in his other
objections or papers. Accordingly, Objection #6 is OVERRULED. See Miller v.
Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995) (“[A] general objection to a magistrate’s
report, which fails to specify the issues of contention, does not satisfy the
requirement that an objection be filed. The objections must be clear enough to
discern those issues that are dispositive and contentious.”).
For the reasons provided above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Weatherspoon’s Objections (ECF
OVERRULED in their entirety;
The Magistrate Judge’s recommended disposition is
Defendants Scheppelman and George’s motion for
summary judgment (ECF #116) is GRANTED.
Moreover, the Court certifies that any appeal from this decision cannot be
taken in good faith. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). The Court also certifies that
Weatherspoon cannot in good faith appeal any of the Court’s previous decisions
(ECF ## 67, 119, 120) granting summary judgment in favor of the other defendants
in this case. See id.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Matthew F. Leitman
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: March 9, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the parties
and/or counsel of record on March 9, 2017, by electronic means and/or ordinary
s/Holly A. Monda
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