United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
JEFFREY D. MANN, et al., Plaintiffs,
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.
Deavers Magistrate Judge.
C. SMITH, JUDGE.
26, 2019, the United States Magistrate Judge issued a
Report and Recommendation recommending that the
Interested Party, the State of Ohio's Motion to Dismiss
and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss be granted in part and
denied in part. It was also recommended that Plaintiffs'
Motion to Appoint Class Counsel and Plaintiffs' Motion to
Certify Claims as a Class Action be denied without prejudice.
(See Report and Recommendation, Doc. 45). The
parties were advised of their right to object to the
Report and Recommendation and Order. This matter is
now before the Court on Defendants' Objections to the
Report and Recommendation. (See Doc. 50).
Plaintiffs have responded. (Doc. 51). The Court will consider
the matter de novo. See 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).
object to the Magistrate Judge's conclusions regarding
respondeat superior and the medical indifference
claims. Specifically, they argue that the recommendation to
deny Defendants Eddy and GCIHCA's Motion to Dismiss on
the grounds of respondeat superior should be
are correct that “§ 1983 liability cannot be
imposed under a theory of respondeat
superior.” Grinter v. Knight, 532 F.3d
567, 575 (6th Cir. 2008). “At a minimum, a § 1983
plaintiff must show that a supervisory official at least
implicitly authorized, approved or knowingly acquiesced in
the unconstitutional conduct of the offending
subordinate.” Bellamy v. Bradley, 729 F.2d
416, 421 (6th Cir. 1984). Defendants argue that the
Magistrate Judge's reliance on Love v. Franklin Cnty.
Kentucky, No. 3:18-cv-00023, 2019 WL 1387692, at *6
(E.D. Ky. March 27, 2019), is misplaced because the
Love case involved a pregnant woman in labor, about
to give birth, and the defendant failed to intervene. The
Court agrees with Defendants. This is not the same situation
as Love and Plaintiffs here have not alleged that
Defendants Eddy and GCIHCA have committed any actual acts
against them, nor is it alleged that they implicitly
authorized, approved, or knowingly acquiesced in providing
medical care, or the lack thereof. By Plaintiffs' own
words, they alleged merely general “supervision and
oversight” by Defendant Hannah. Further, the language
cited by the Magistrate Judge shows that Plaintiff
Bragg's Hep-C is being monitored, with lab work done as
ordered by his treating physician. (Doc. 45 at 10). There
have been no allegations by Plaintiffs, like those in
Love, that Plaintiffs were suffering from any urgent
medical condition that was ignored or not being treated.
Plaintiffs here were under ongoing care.
the Court sustains Defendants' objection and grants
Defendants Eddy and GCIHCA's Motion to Dismiss on the
theory of respondeat superior.
respect to the medical deliberate indifference claim against
Defendant Dr. Janice Douglas, Defendants again assert the
Magistrate Judge erred in recommending that the Motion to
Dismiss this claim be denied. Defendants argue that
Plaintiffs are receiving treatment for their Hep-C, but they
desire more aggressive treatment.
parties do not dispute that Hepatitis C is a serious medical
condition, satisfying the objective component of this claim.
However, there is a dispute as to the subjective component.
The Court is concerned that Plaintiffs' Complaint lacks
the allegations that their Hepatitis C is not being treated.
Generally, in the individual Plaintiffs' cases, they are
being monitored and treated. In Watson v. Mohr,
Civil Action 2:17-cv-457, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 205479 (S.D. Ohio
2017), the district court declined to second guess the
judgment of the prison's medical providers, finding that
the defendants had not ignored plaintiff's Hep-C or
rendered “medical treatment . . . so woefully
inadequate as to amount to no treatment at all.”
Id. (quoting Alspaugh v. McConnell, 643
F.3d 162, 169 (6th Cir. 2011)). Rather, the Sixth Circuit
considers the subjective component to be satisfied where
defendants recklessly disregard a substantial risk to a
plaintiff's health. Parsons v. Caruso, 491
Fed.Appx. 597, 603 (6th Cir. 2012). Furthermore, “a
difference of opinion between [a prisoner] and the prison
health care providers and a dispute over the adequacy of [a
prisoner's] treatment . . . does not amount to an Eighth
Amendment claim.” Apanovitch v. Wilkinson, 32
Fed.Appx. 704, 707 (6th Cir. 2002).
Court again disagrees with the Magistrate Judge and finds
that Plaintiffs' Complaint fails to plead the subjective
component of a medical deliberate indifference claim.
Plaintiffs' merely disagree with the course of treatment,
but have failed to allege that Defendants have ignored their
condition. Accordingly, Defendants' objection is
sustained and their Motion to Dismiss this claim is granted.
for the reasons set forth above, Defendants' Objections
are hereby SUSTAINED. The remaining issues
addressed in the Report and Recommendation, and not
the subject of Defendants' Objections are hereby
ADOPTED and AFFIRMED.
Interested Party, the State of Ohio, and Defendants'
Motions to Dismiss is hereby GRANTED.
Motion to Appoint Class Counsel (Doc. 4) and Plaintiffs'
Motion to Certify Claims as a Class Action (Doc. 5) are
DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Clerk shall remove Documents 4, 5, 15, and 20 from the
Court's pending motions list. Judgment shall be entered
in favor of the moving Defendants, the State of Ohio, Ohio
Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Andrew Eddy,
David Hannah, and Janice Douglas.