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Schultz v. Webb

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

August 21, 2013

JOHN ROBERT SCHULTZ, #369821, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN WAYNE WEBB, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GEORGE L. RUSSELL, III, District Judge.

Pending are Motions to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment filed on behalf of Defendants Bishop and Webb ("Correctional Defendants") (ECF No. 15) and Defendant Joubert (ECF No. 18). Although he was advised of his right to file a response in opposition to Defendants' motions and of the consequences of failing to do so, Plaintiff has not filed anything further in this case. See ECF Nos. 16 and 19. The Court finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons that follow, the motions shall be granted and judgment shall be entered in favor of Defendants.

Background

Plaintiff John Robert Schultz ("Schultz"), an inmate committed to the custody of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, asserts that while confined to Maryland Correctional Training Center ("MCTC") in March 2012, it was determined by medical staff that he had "double incontinence" for which he was given adult diapers and single cell status for one year. ECF No. 1 at p. 3. On April 21, 2012, Schultz was transferred to Maryland Correctional Institution Hagerstown ("MCIH") where he was given a single cell, but began experiencing difficulties with receiving supplies from medical staff. Id . Schultz claims he began filing administrative remedy procedure requests ("ARPs"), to no avail. He alleges he was placed in an isolation cell for 21 days with no lights or electricity where he contracted MRSA.

Schultz further claims that when he was taken out of segregated confinement he was put back into a single cell, but was still having problems getting supplies. Medical staff then removed him from single cell status in retaliation for filing numerous ARPs regarding medical staff. ECF No. 1 at p. 3. He asserts that after he wrote to Joe Washington, the director of inmate health services, it was determined that he would be put back into a single cell, treated for his disability, and given supplies. Additionally, he claims it was determined that he would be sent to a specialist regarding his incontinence. Id. at p. 4.

On September 13, 2012, Schultz states he was transferred to Western Correctional Institution ("WCI") where he was "assaulted" by Defendant Ava Joubert, M.D. ("Joubert"). Id . He claims Joubert "stuck two fingers into [his] anus" after being told not to do so and refused to allow Schultz to be seen by a male doctor "for religious purposes." Schultz claims his request for a male doctor was refused despite the availability of Dr. Yahya, who is male. Id.

Schultz further claims that Joubert issued an order for a single cell for 60 days pending results from a specialist, but the utilization management refused to send Schultz for the consultation and recommended alternative treatments. Schultz states that he is currently double celled which has created a "hostile environment" for him as he is constantly embarrassed when he must change his diapers in front of other inmates and encounters confrontation from inmates due to the smell. Id.

Correctional Defendants assert that while Schultz was confined at MCIH, he was never placed in an isolation cell as he alleges, but was provided a single cell due to his medical conditions. ECF No. 15 at Ex. 1, p. 1. Additionally, they assert he never contracted MRSA, but suffered a large boil on his lower right buttock area. Id . A review of maintenance records for all cells to which Schultz was assigned during his stay at MCIH reveal no reports of a lack of lighting or electricity. Id. at p. 2. Defendants note that a lack of lighting is a security breach that would be immediately reported by correctional officers to the maintenance department, and immediate repair would have followed the report. Id.

Defendant Joubert states Schultz was transferred to WCI on September 13, 2012. She saw him for the first time on October 2, 2012, for chronic health issues which include hyperlipidemia, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, peripheral neuropathy, bladder hypertonicity, bipolar disorder, and depression. ECF No. 18 at Ex. 2, p. 2. During her initial evaluation, Joubert states Schultz reported bowel and bladder incontinence; however, Joubert noted no apparent physiological cause for the condition. Id . Schultz attributed his fecal incontinence to diabetic neuropathy which he reported extended from his feet to his waist. ECF No. 18 at Ex. 1, p. 27. Upon examination, however, it was established that Schultz's neuropathy extended only from his feet to his ankle. Id. at p. 36.

In order to evaluate a possible cause for Schultz's fecal incontinence, Joubert advised Schultz his examination would include a digital rectal exam. Id. at Ex. 2, p. 2. She states that Schultz did not object to the examination, voluntarily undressed, and assumed the appropriate position for completion of the exam. Id . The results of the examination revealed no abnormalities with normal sphincter tone and prostate. Id . Additionally, Schultz was not suffering from hemorrhoids, fissures, or skin abnormalities and a test for occult blood proved negative. Id . Joubert requested a urology and neurology consultation to evaluate Schultz's incontinence and issued a temporary single cell assignment for 60 days. Id.

Joubert's consultation request was reviewed by the medical director at WCI, Dr. Colin Ottey, who deferred approval of the request and recommended alternative management be pursued before sending Schultz to a specialist. Id. at p. 3. Schultz was informed of this decision on October 10, 2012, when he was told he would need to complete bladder training exercises for his neurogenic bladder and continue taking medication to improve bladder incontinence. Schultz was further advised that he would be issued a 60-day supply of adult diapers, but that his request for wipes, medi-air sanitizer, and liquid soap would not be approved as there was no medical need for the items. Schultz then acknowledged he could practice controlling his stool and that his bowel incontinence only occurred at night while sleeping. Id . Additionally, Schultz admitted he was non-compliant with his diabetes treatment and that he refused to take his insulin on occasion. Schultz was advised of the importance of complying with the treatment plan to control his diabetes and hypertension. Id . On October 21, 2012, Joubert noted Schultz's single cell assignment would remain in effect until otherwise discontinued despite the deferred approval on the consultation requests. Id.

On November 15, 2012, Schultz was seen by Dr. Ali Yahya, who also performed a digital rectal exam revealing a normal anus and anal sphincter with no masses present. Id. at p. 4. A repeat test for occult bleeding was performed and was again negative. Based on this examination, Dr. Yahya concluded it was very unlikely that Schultz actually had fecal incontinence and that he may be using the incontinence as a means to obtain a single cell. Dr. Yahya then recommended that Schultz be continued on his prescribed medication for urinary incontinence, but determined there was no medical indication for continuing Schultz's single cell assignment. Id.

On January 14, 2013, Joubert renewed and extended Schultz's adult diaper supply for one year. On April 7, 2013, Dr. Ottey recommended a six month single cell assignment which was approved on April 12, 2013. At that time Schultz reported that his incontinence had improved because his diabetes was better controlled. Id . Schultz continues to be seen regularly by medical ...


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