705 F.3d 560 (6th Cir. 2013), 11-1588, Stoudemire v. Michigan Department of Corrections

Docket Nº:11-1588
Citation:705 F.3d 560
Opinion Judge:SOLOMON OLIVER, JR., Chief District Judge.
Party Name:Martinique STOUDEMIRE, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants, Susan Davis, Warden, Huron Valley Women's Facility; Ariel N. Dunagan, Defendants-Appellants.
Attorney:Clifton B. Schneider, Office of the Michigan Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan, for Appellants. Elizabeth Alexander, Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander, Washington, D.C., for Appellee. Clifton B. Schneider, Office of the Michigan Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan, for Appellants. Elizabeth Al...
Judge Panel:Before: BOGGS and COLE, Circuit Judges; and OLIVER, Chief District Judge.[*]
Case Date:January 31, 2013
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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705 F.3d 560 (6th Cir. 2013)

Martinique STOUDEMIRE, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants,

Susan Davis, Warden, Huron Valley Women's Facility; Ariel N. Dunagan, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 11-1588

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

January 31, 2013

Argued: May 29, 2012.

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ARGUED:

Clifton B. Schneider, Office of the Michigan Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan, for Appellants.

Elizabeth Alexander, Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander, Washington, D.C., for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Clifton B. Schneider, Office

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of the Michigan Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan, for Appellants. Elizabeth Alexander, Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander, Washington, D.C., Patricia A. Streeter, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for Appellee.

Before: BOGGS and COLE, Circuit Judges; and OLIVER, Chief District Judge.[*]

OPINION

SOLOMON OLIVER, JR., Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff-Appellee Martinique Stoudemire (" Plaintiff" or " Stoudemire" ), a double amputee and former prisoner at Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility (" Huron" ) in Ypsilanti, Michigan, brought the instant case against the Michigan Department of Corrections (" MDOC" ) and MDOC-associated officers, doctors, and nurses, asserting violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 12132; and Mich. Comp. Laws § 330.1722. Stoudemire, who has suffered from autoimmune and kidney disorders since she was a youth, alleges that, while she was an inmate at Huron, she underwent three separate amputations as a result of inadequate health care by the Defendants, was placed in a segregation unit immediately following her final amputation that lacked accommodations for disabled persons, and was subjected to a strip search that served no legitimate penological purpose. Defendant-Appellants Susan Davis (" Davis" ), the warden who allegedly sanctioned Stoudemire's placement in segregation, and Ariel N. Dunagan (" Dunagan" ), the corrections officer who conducted the strip search, appeal from the order of the district court denying them summary judgment on their qualified immunity defenses to Stoudemire's § 1983 claims against them.1 Stoudemire v. Mich. Dep't of Corr., No. 07-15387, 2011 WL 1303418 (E.D.Mich. Mar. 31, 2011). The district court did not resolve Stoudemire's state law claims; Davis and Dunagan reassert their governmental immunity defense to those claims. For the following reasons, we VACATE the denial of qualified immunity as to Davis, AFFIRM the denial of qualified immunity as to Dunagan, and REMAND with instructions for the district court to address Davis's qualified immunity defense and Davis's and Dunagan's state law defenses in a manner not inconsistent with this Opinion.

I. JURISDICTION AND STANDARD OF REVIEW

Pursuant to the " collateral order" doctrine, we have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 to review the district court's interlocutory denial of qualified immunity only to the extent that it turns on an issue of law. Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 529-30, 105 S.Ct. 2806, 86 L.Ed.2d 411 (1985). The district court's characterization of the basis for its ruling is not dispositive. See Livermore ex rel. Rohm v. Lubelan, 476 F.3d 397, 402-03 (6th Cir.2007). Thus, our jurisdiction is not necessarily defeated by the fact that the district court denied a defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that there is a genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 402. In such a case, we may nevertheless exercise appellate jurisdiction over purely legal questions related to qualified immunity. Dickerson v. McClellan, 101 F.3d 1151, 1157 (6th Cir.1996). This is so even where the defendant impermissibly

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relies on disputed facts on appeal; " this court can ignore the defendant's attempts to dispute the facts and nonetheless resolve the legal issue [raised], obviating the need to dismiss the entire appeal for lack of jurisdiction." Estate of Carter v. City of Detroit, 408 F.3d 305, 310 (6th Cir.2005); see also Thompson v. Grida, 656 F.3d 365, 367 (6th Cir.2011) (explaining that a defendant appealing denial of summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds must be willing to concede the most favorable view of the facts to the plaintiff). However, " [m]ere conclusory statements that the officers construe the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff cannot confer jurisdiction upon this Court." Thompson, 656 F.3d at 368.

We review de novo a district court's denial of a defendant's motion for summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds. See Tucker v. City of Richmond, 388 F.3d 216, 219 (6th Cir.2004). We also review de novo the question of whether a defendant is entitled to governmental immunity under Michigan law. Reilly v. Vadlamudi, 680 F.3d 617, 622 (6th Cir.2012) (citing Herman v. City of Detroit, 261 Mich.App. 141, 680 N.W.2d 71, 74 (2004)).

Summary judgment is appropriate " if 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). We determine materiality by reference to the applicable substantive law, and thus " [o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Summary judgment is not appropriate " if the dispute about a material fact is ‘ genuine,’ that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.; see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). In reviewing a summary judgment motion, we view all facts and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007). In the qualified immunity context, " this usually means adopting ... the plaintiff's version of the facts," id., unless the plaintiff's version is " blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it...." Id. at 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

A. Stoudemire's Medical History

When twenty-three-year-old Martinique Stoudemire entered the MDOC system in July 2002, she came with a long and well-documented history of health problems. Stoudemire suffered from systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic and painful autoimmune disease; hypercoagulapathy, a related disorder characterized by a tendency to develop blood clots; and depression. Without proper care, Stoudemire bore a significant risk of experiencing kidney and liver damage, heart attacks, amputations, and chronic pain.

Stoudemire's health quickly deteriorated. During her five years at Huron, she experienced a heart attack, liver failure, and a number of life-threatening embolisms. She underwent three amputations, eventually losing both legs below the knee. By the time of her parole in August of 2007, she also suffered from chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a number of conditions related to medications she had received during her incarceration. Stoudemire attributes her health complications to the alleged failure of MDOC staff members and associated doctors and nurses to provide her with adequate health care while she was incarcerated. For the purposes of this appeal,

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however, we focus on the events following Stoudemire's final amputation in December 2006, when her stump and buttock became infected with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureas (" MRSA" ) and she was quarantined in Huron's segregation unit.

B. Stoudemire's Placement in Huron's Segregation Unit

According to an April 14, 2005, Memorandum from Richard D. Russell, Administrator of the MDOC Health Care Bureau, " all prisoners with a documented culture positive for MRSA must be quarantined." The policy provides that responsible staff members must notify the warden of the particular facility of a confirmed MRSA case in order to initiate the quarantine process. If health care staff determine that medical quarantine is necessary, the warden is responsible for isolating the infected inmates. The warden has the discretion to choose a quarantine location within the prison and may also opt to send infected inmates to another site. Davis designated Huron's segregation unit, which prisoners and guards call " the hole," as a quarantine location. The segregation unit is normally used for isolating prisoners who have violated prison rules.

Stoudemire spent roughly two weeks in quarantine as a consequence of her MRSA infection. At her deposition, Davis testified that she " was probably aware at the time" that Stoudemire had been placed in segregation for medical purposes but that she " [didn't] recall specifically."

Stoudemire alleges that she received extremely poor medical care while in segregation. The segregation cells were not equipped to accommodate disabled patients. Stoudemire was never provided with any assistive devices that might have allowed her to safely move between her bed, wheelchair, toilet, and shower. There was no call button, so Stoudemire had to shout when she needed assistance. She alleges that the medical staff treated her with contempt. They accused her of malingering and responded with hostility whenever she sought assistance. As a result, Stoudemire was left to care for herself. She was forced to crawl from her bed to the toilet. On one occasion, she had to urinate into a bowl. On another occasion, she defecated on herself. The staff neglected Stoudemire's hygiene. She received only one shower during her two weeks in segregation and was required to dress her wounds herself, which put her at risk of infection.

According to one of Plaintiff's experts, Stoudemire received " very little medical...

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