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Robinson v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc.

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

December 4, 2013

WILLIAM ROBINSON, #406-227, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONAL MEDICAL SERVICES, INC., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PAUL W. GRIMM, District Judge.

William Robinson (hereinafter Robinson) is suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Compl., ECF NO.1. Defendants Corizon, Inc., f/b/a Correctional Medical Services, Inc. (hereinafter Corizon), Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (hereinafter Wexford) and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (hereinafter DPSCS) have filed motions to dismiss or, in the alternative for summary judgment, ECF Nos. 6 (corrected in ECF No. 30), 19, and 24, to which Robinson has responded, ECF No. 26.[1] On November 25, 2013, Defendant Corizon was instructed to file a corrected motion to ECF No.6, which was unsigned. Corizon filed the signed motion on December 2, 2013, ECF No. 30, and the attachments to the original motion are considered with corrected motion. Therefore, the original motion, ECF No. 6, shall be DENIED AS MOOT in light of the corrected motion. No hearing is needed to resolve the issues presented in this case. See Local Rule 106.5 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons below, the motion to dismiss filed by the DPSCS, ECF No. 24, shall be granted, and Corizon and Wexford's motions, ECF Nos. 19 and 30, treated as motions for summary judgment, will be granted.[2]

BACKGROUND

Robinson, who is self-represented and a former inmate in the custody of the Maryland Division of Correction (hereinafter DOC), claims that he was provided inadequate medical treatment for a leg injury of unstated origin.[3] Additionally, Robinson blames falls that he sustained in DOC facilities on June 8, 2012, October 16, 2012, and December 10, 2012, on Defendants' failure to provide him a timely orthopedic consultation, delays in providing medical care and pain care management, and failure to provide a handicap accessible prison cell. As redress, Robinson seeks injunctive relief whereby he will receive surgery or therapy as well as $35, 000 in damages for each year he is unable to work and punitive damages of $10, 000, 000. Compl. 7.[4]

DPSCS moves for dismissal of the claims against it under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, and asserts Robinson's demands for injunctive relief are directed to the Medical Defendants. Defendants Corizon and Wexford request dismissal of Robinson's claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted or, or alternatively, because they are entitled to judgment in their favor as a matter of law.

I. Robinson's Allegations

This Court reviews the facts and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007); see also Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (stating the pleadings of a pro se litigant are liberally construed).

On May 29, 2012, Robinson was transported to Bon Secours Hospital where he was examined and provided crutches and a leg brace, and then escorted to the Central Booking and Intake Facility (hereinafter CBIF). At CBIF, Robinson was evaluated by pre-trial detention medical staff who recommended an orthopedic consultation for him. Compl. 4. The orthopedic consultation was approved during the first week of June of 2012, but according to Robinson "nothing happened for several months'" despite his submission of sick call slips and verbal entreaties concerning his pain and discomfort. Id.

Robinson was placed on a medical tier at CBIF because of his leg injury and use of crutches. Id. at 5 On June 8, 2012, Robinson fell in the shower and injured his head, neck and shoulder which he attributes to the lack of rails, a bench, or other accommodations for handicap accessibility. ld. Robinson was examined in the medical unit and transported to the infirmary at the Maryland Training Center where he was assessed and prescribed a neck brace. He remained in the infirmary approximately one week, and returned to CBIF without having received the prescribed neck brace or further treatment. Id.

At a later unspecified date, Robinson was transferred from pretrial detention to Jessup Correctional Institution (hereinafter JCI). There, he learned that the institutional medical provider had switched from Corizon, Inc. to Wexford, and Wexford was not honoring medical consultation requests previously approved by Corizon. Id. [5] Sometime in October of 2012, Wexford approved an orthopedic consultation for Robinson. Id.

Robinson complains that it took six months for him to be seen by an orthopedist and as of December 30, 2012, he was unaware that his medical problems had been diagnosed or that there "had there been any corrective actions taken to restore flexibility and strength in my left leg." Id.

On October 16, 2012, Robinson fell at JCI when his crutch broke, and injured his right elbow and right knee. See id. at 7. He was treated with ice for a swollen elbow and given another crutch. Robinson states that two days later he was given an x-ray, but went without medication, a wheel chair, or other assistive devices to facilitate his movement or ease his discomfort. Robinson was instructed to continue using the crutches, and one week later advised the pain was due to "bone chips floating around" in his elbow. Id. at 8.

On December 10, 2012, Robinson fell in his cell. Robinson asserts that despite his medical order for a cell equipped with a handrail, there was none. Robinson was seen by a medical provider and given ice for his leg and five days of pain medication. See id.

II. Wexford's Exhibits

Wexford has filed an affidavit and verified exhibits, including copies of Robinson's health records. See Med. Recs. Robinson's health records are in Wexford's possession, and Corizon, the former contractual medical provider, has adopted and incorporated Wexford's arguments in this case. Corizon's Mem. 3, ECF NO.6-I.

A. Affidavit of Andrew Moultrie, M.D.

Andrew Moultrie, M.D. (hereinafter Moultrie), a physician employed by Wexford who has treated Robinson, attests that Robinson has a history of pain in his left knee, back and neck. Moultrie Aff. ¶ 5, ECF No 19-2. Moultrie notes that on July 1, 2012, Wexford became the medical provider for inmates in the DPSCS, having served prior to that time as the utilization review management provider for DPSCS. Id. ¶ 2.

Moultrie attests that Robinson's x-rays and MRI study revealed:

moderate effusion in the left knee and the MRI revealed a small radial tear of the lateral meniscus; and indicated low grade strains at the medial head of the gastrosnemius [sic] and possibly the distal adductor Magnus tendon. In conjunction with a positive McMurray signs[6] and a reduced range of motion, this indicated a moderate degradation of his left knee function for which low level pain medicine prescriptions would be appropriate. ...

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