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Corbin v. Halligan

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

July 11, 2019

JOHN L. CORBIN, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. HALLIGAN, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          SUSAN PARADISE BAXTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This prisoner civil rights action was received by the Clerk of Court on June 26, 2018 and was referred to the undersigned, then a United States Magistrate Judge, for report and recommendation in accordance with the Magistrates Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and Rules 72(C) and (D) the Local Civil Rules of Court. Plaintiff's complaint (ECF No. 3) was filed on July 12, 2018. ECF No. 3.

         On September 14, 2018, the undersigned was sworn in as a United States District Judge. This action was transferred to the undersigned, as presiding judge, four days later. ECF No. 14. On September 27, 2018, the case was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Richard A. Lanzillo for all pretrial proceedings. ECF No. 15.

         On October 1, 2018, Defendants Halligan, Chuzie, and Stroup (collectively, the “Medical Defendants”) filed a motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's claims. ECF No. 17. Defendants Blair, Clark, Gunther, Linder, Lock, Smock, and Tharp filed their motion to dismiss on October 9, 2018. ECF No. 19. Plaintiff filed responses on December 26, 2018. ECF Nos. 36 and 37.

         On April 8, 2019, Judge Lanzillo issued a Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that the motion to dismiss filed by the Medical Defendants be granted. ECF No. 44. The claims against these Defendants are predicated on alleged violations of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights inasmuch as Plaintiff avers Halligan, Chuzie, and Stroup were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.

         In his Report and Recommendation, Judge Lanzillo delineated the four separate violations that he perceived were being asserted: (1) a claim that Plaintiff was forced to go without medical attention for 10 to 12 days due to the fact that he would not sign a co-payment form in connection with medical treatment for a work-related injury; (2) a claim against Defendant Chuzie based upon her alleged misdiagnosis of his arm injury and erroneous prescription of certain medication; (3) a claim against Defendants Halligan and Stroup based upon their decisions to not order an MRI of Plaintiff's injured arm; and (4) a claim that medical staff refused to provide Plaintiff pain medication due to Halligan's “false diagnosis” of kidney disease. Judge Lanzillo opined that each of these claims, as pled, failed to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted; however, he also opined that the claims against Halligan and Stroup based upon their refusal to order an MRI were not necessarily futile. Accordingly, Judge Lanzillo recommended that those specific claims be dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff filed his “Objection to Report and Recommendation” on May 31, 2019. ECF Nos. 49.[1]

         After careful de novo review of the complaint and documents in the case, together with the report and recommendation and Plaintiff's objections thereto, the following order is entered:

         AND NOW, this 11th day of July, 2019;

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion to dismiss filed by Defendants Halligan, Chuzie, and Stroup, ECF No. [17], shall be, and hereby is, GRANTED, and the claims against them are dismissed as follows:

(a) Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Chuzie based upon her alleged misdiagnosis and prescription of inappropriate medication shall be, and hereby is, DISMISSED with prejudice;
(b) Plaintiff's claim relating the Medical Defendants' “false diagnosis” of kidney disease and failure to provide pain medication shall be, and hereby is, DISMISSED with prejudice; and
(c) Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Halligan and Stroup based upon their failure to order an MRI shall be, and hereby are, DISMISSED without prejudice. Upon the Court's resolution of the motion to dismiss that was filed by the remaining (non-medical) Defendants, the Court will establish a deadline for repleading these claims so that proposed amendments are not handled piecemeal.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge Lanzillo, issued on April 8, 2019, ECF No. [44], as modified by this Memorandum ...


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