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Jefferson v. Corizon Healthcare Providers

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

August 28, 2014

SAMUEL JEFFERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS, et al., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

JOHN S. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

Defendant Eli Lilly and Company ("Lilly") has filed its motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry No. 152). Plaintiff Jefferson, who is proceeding pro se, has failed to respond in opposition.

For the reasons stated below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge recommends that Defendant Lilly's motion be GRANTED and the complaint against it DISMISSED.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

In his amended complaint, Plaintiff Samuel Jefferson alleges that while he was confined as a prisoner at the Deberry Special Needs Facility ("DSNF") in Nashville, Defendant Corizon Health Care ("Corizon") and Lilly conspired to cause Defendant Corrections Officer Greenwood to threaten the safety of Jefferson's food, to deprive him of food and medicine, and to cause other inmates to disturb Jefferson's sleep, all for the purpose of discouraging and deterring Jefferson from pursuing his other lawsuits against Lilly[1] (Docket Entry No. 12).

Defendant Lilly has now filed its motion for summary judgment.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

A party may obtain summary judgment by showing "that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Covington v. Knox County School Sys., 205 F.3d 912, 914 (6th Cir. 2000). The moving party bears the initial burden of satisfying the court that the standards of Rule 56 have been met. See Martin v. Kelley, 803 F.2d 236, 239 n.4 (6th Cir. 1986). The ultimate question to be addressed is whether there exists any genuine dispute of material fact. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Covington, 205 F.3d at 914 (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986)). If so, summary judgment is inappropriate.

To defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial. If the party does not so respond, summary judgment will be entered if appropriate. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The nonmoving party's burden of providing specific facts demonstrating that there remains a genuine issue of material fact for trial is triggered once the moving party shows an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. A genuine issue of material fact exists "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, drawing all justifiable inferences in its favor. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

ANALYSIS

In support of its motion, Lilly has filed the affidavits of Defendant Michael Greenwood and that of Dr. Molly O'Toole (Docket Entry Nos. 152-2 and 152-3).

In his affidavit, Greenwood testifies that at all pertinent times he has been employed as a corrections officer at DSNF in Nashville, Tennessee. Greenwood testifies that before his being named as a defendant in this case he did not know that Jefferson had filed other lawsuits against Lilly. Greenwood further testifies that at no time during his life has he ever had any contact with Lilly, any of its employees, or with any person acting on behalf of Lilly. He further testifies that he has no knowledge of Lilly, any of its employees or any other person acting on behalf of Lilly ever attempting to contact him. He denies that he has ever received any money or any other type of remuneration from Lilly, any of its employees, or any other person acting on behalf of Lilly. He testifies that he has never been prompted or coerced to take any action on behalf of Lilly, its employees, or others acting on Lilly's behalf, and that he has no knowledge of Lilly, its employees, or any other person acting on behalf of Lilly ever attempting to influence Plaintiff Jefferson's treatment by him or any other member of the DSNF staff. Finally, Greenwood testifies that, to his knowledge, no one from Lilly or acting on behalf of Lilly has ever contacted Defendant Corizon or any of its employees regarding Plaintiff Jefferson's treatment by DSNF staff (Docket Entry No. 152-2).

Dr. O'Toole, in her affidavit, testifies that she is a medical doctor, board certified in psychiatry, and licensed to practice in the State of Tennessee since 1988. She is employed by Defendant Corizon and, in this capacity, has provided mental health treatment to inmates confined at DSNF since July 1, 2012. Dr. O'Toole further testifies that during the time that Plaintiff Jefferson was confined at DSNF, she was the Corizon employee who managed his mental health treatment in consultation with Jefferson's conservator. She testifies that she is the person most knowledgeable about the mental health treatment provided to Jefferson at DSNF.

Like Defendant Greenwood, Dr. O'Toole denies any communication with Lilly or anyone acting on Lilly's behalf about Plaintiff Jefferson. Moreover, she denies any knowledge that Lilly, or any person acting for Lilly, has ever attempted to communicate with her, with any other Corizon employee, or any DSNF personnel concerning Jefferson. Dr. O'Toole denies that she or Corizon ever received any instructions from Lilly concerning Jefferson's mental health treatment, and testifies that his treatment provided by her was the result of evaluations of the risk and benefits of treatment options available to Jefferson following consultation with Jefferson's conservator. Dr. O'Toole denies that she or Corizon ever withheld antidepressant medication from ...


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