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Donald Ray Brown v. Myleta Obsu

May 9, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Catherine C. Blake United States District Judge



In his original petition filed on October 25, 2012, plaintiff Donald Ray Brown ("Brown") sought release from confinement and compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that the Maryland Division of Correction was holding him against his will on segregation even after he had a heart attack. He claimed that he was due for a follow-up cardiology appointment following atrial fibrillation episodes but was never seen. Brown further complained that he has severe prostate and bladder problems and that biopsies ordered by his physician have never been provided. He alleged that the recommendations of cardiologists at University of Maryland Medical Center ("UMMC") have not been followed. ECF No. 1.

In his court-ordered amended complaint, plaintiff alleged that he did not receive the follow-up care ordered while he was confined at the Talbot County Jail. Brown claimed that if he had seen the cardiologist he would not have experienced a heart attack in October of 2012. He further complained that his claims of blood in his urine were treated as an infection and although he was sent to Bon Secours Hospital ("BSH"), a recommended CT scan was not performed. Next, Brown complained that Dr. Obsu refused to order an MRI of his brain and neck as recommended by a neurologist for plaintiff's imbalance and has not ordered imaging of his aortic and iliac aneurisms. ECF No. 3.

On December 19, 2012, the Division of Correction was dismissed from the complaint and Dr. Myleta Obsu was added as a defendant. ECF No. 6. On January 7, 2013, plaintiff filed a supplemental complaint adding Contah Nimely, M.D. and Wexford Health Services as defendants. ECF No. 7. He complained that when he arrived at the Maryland Correctional Training Center he was not given a preliminary evaluation, but was placed on segregation due to an altercation with another inmate. Brown asserted that when seen by Dr. Nimely for his urinary bleeding she simply prescribed more antibiotics and did not order a CT scan, nor did she order imaging of his aneurisms. Plaintiff also complained of a loose and painful tooth. Id.

On February 13, 2013, plaintiff filed another supplemental complaint. He alleged that a CT scan revealed two cancerous tumors in his bladder for which he has received no treatment. ECF No. 13. Brown complained that the condition began to manifest itself in May of 2012, but was ignored by medical providers. He claimed that he will likely have to undergo "radical surgery" to remove his bladder and he will have to wear a catheter bag on his side. Id. On February 15, 2013, the court received another supplemental complaint from plaintiff in which he alleged that he was moved to another housing unit further away from the prison cafeteria and dispensary, requiring him to walk a distance to satisfy his "special needs."*fn1 ECF No. 15. On February 25, 2013, another supplemental complaint was filed by Brown, who complained that he was made to sit in a holding cell at MCTC for several hours while awaiting transfer to the Maryland Correctional Institution ("MCIH"). ECF No. 20. He claimed that he was denied treatment in the dispensary for chest pains and swollen feet, ankles, and legs and has yet to be afforded an "eat in" meal plan. Brown also complained that he was not given his blood pressure or heart medication upon his transfer to MCIH.

Id. On February 26, 2013, the court received an "addendum" and supplemental complaint from plaintiff in which he complained that he is required to walk distances to get his medication and meals within a limited period of time, placing a severe burden on his health. ECF Nos. 21 & 22. He further complained that his housing unit has been condemned and ordered closed, he has not received medical treatment, and his requests to have food brought to him were denied. Id.


Currently pending are defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, motion for summary judgment; Brown's oppositions; and defendants' rebuttal. (ECF Nos. 25, 26, 30, 34, 35, 38, & 41). The undersigned has examined the medical records and exhibits submitted by the parties and finds that no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6. (D. Md. 2011). For reasons to follow, defendants' motion, construed as a motion for summary judgment, will be granted.


Under revised Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a): A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense--or the part of each claim or defense--on which summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary judgment 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. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.

Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is plainly entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law. In Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986) the Supreme Court explained that in considering a motion for summary judgment, the "judge's function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." A dispute about a material fact is genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id. at 248. Thus, "the judge must ask himself not whether he thinks the evidence unmistakably favors one side or the other but whether a fair-minded jury could return a verdict for the [nonmoving party] on the evidence presented." Id. at 252.

The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. No genuine issue of material fact exists if the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of his or her case as to which he or she would have the burden of proof. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). Therefore, on those issues on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof, it is his or her responsibility to confront the summary judgment motion with an affidavit or other similar evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. In undertaking this inquiry, a court must view the facts and the reasonable inferences drawn therefrom "in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. ...

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