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Bridgeford v. Namiely

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

January 14, 2014

DOUGLASS BRIDGEFORD, #330-749 Plaintiff,
v.
DR. NAMIELY, P.A. KEVIN MCDONALD, DR. ROSS CUSHINGS, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PETER J. MESSITTE, District Judge.

Pending is self-represented Plaintiff Douglass Bridgeford's Complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Defendants Contah Nimely, [1] M.D., Kevin McDonald, P.A., and Stacey King, R.N. (collectively the "Wexford Defendants")[2] by their counsel, have filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint or, in the Alternative for Summary Judgment. ECF 61. Defendant Dr. Ross Cushing, by his counsel, has filed a separate Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment supported by his declaration and Bridgeford's audiology records. ECF 64. Bridgeford has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF 63) and a Motion for Summary Judgment, or in the Alternative Motion to Dismiss (ECF 70). Additionally, Bridgeford has filed a "Motion for Summary Judgment in the Affirmative Seeking an Open Court Hearing" (ECF 77) to which the Wexford Defendants have filed an opposition. ECF 78.

No hearing is needed to resolve the issues. See Local Rule 106.5 (D. Md. 2011). For reasons to follow, the Wexford Defendants' Motion (ECF 61), treated as a Motion for Summary Judgment, will be GRANTED. Dr. Cushing's Motion (ECF 64), also treated as a Motion for Summary Judgment, will be GRANTED. Plaintiff has replied by filing Motions for Summary Judgment (ECF 77 and 78) and a "Motion for Summary Judgment in the Affirmative Seeking an Open Court Hearing" (ECF 77) which will be DENIED. Judgment will be entered in favor of Defendants and against Plaintiff by separate Order.

BACKGROUND

On February 1, 2013, Bridgeford, who was at the time an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Training Center, filed this Complaint.[3] The Court ordered that this case proceed as to the following allegations: 1) whether Dr. Cushing's failure to replace Bridgeford's hearing aid constituted inadequate medical treatment; 2) whether Defendants "falsified" Bridgeford's medical records or failed to provide adequate medical treatment for his hearing impairment since September of 2012; 3) whether Dr. Nimely provided inadequate medical treatment for Bridgeford's eczema and pain by discontinuing his "Eucerin-Plus" lotion; 4) whether Bridgeford received inadequate treatment for pain in his right shoulder and arm; and 5) whether Bridgeford was unlawfully denied accommodations for his disability (deafness).[4] As later amended, by Bridgeford, the Complaint also alleges: 6) King falsified medical reports to make it appear Bridgeford was not compliant with medical treatment; 7) King changed Bridgeford's doctors and skin care treatment; and 8) McDonald was not truthful and misled Dr. Nimely. ECF 31 and 32. As redress, Bridgeford seeks $25, 000 from Dr. Nimely and injunctive relief, including access to a TYY machine and to "never change" non-formulary medications. ECF 1. Bridgeford seeks $3, 000 damages against King. ECF 30.

FACTS

Defendants declarations and records filed in support of their Motions for Summary Judgment. ECF 61 and 63 are summarized below.

I. Bridgeford's Medical Records submitted by Wexford Defendants

Bridgeford's medical records show that he has a medical history which includes hypertension, hearing impairment, diabetes mellitus, and chronic pain. The records show Bridgeford is monitored and treated for diabetes with medication, has indicated that he does not want injectable insulin, [5] and has been cautioned repeatedly by medical providers concerning his lack of compliance with medical orders for diabetes treatment. ECF 61, Exhibit 1 at 1-5, 10, 12, 35, 44-45, 48, 50, 56, 58, 70-72. Additionally, he has been examined and received prescription medication for shoulder and arm pain. Id. at 5, 7, 10, 44-45, 47, 49, 51, 54, 58. He has repeatedly requested Cortisone injections for shoulder pain but was informed such treatment is contraindicated due to his high blood sugar levels. Id. at 31, 37, 58, 63.

On October 11, 2012, Dr. Nimely requested an audiology consultation for Bridgeford, after Bridgeford showed him his "cracked" hearing aid and reported that he is totally deaf in his left ear. Id. at 6. On November 2, 2012, Dr. Ross Cushing, an audiologist, evaluated Bridgeford. Id. at 9. The record of the evaluation reads in part:

Mr. Bridgeford reports that he broke his hearing aid and prvided [sic] the broken device to me today. He denies any change in hearing since last hearing test from 4/22/2010. His test results from that date indicate no hearing in the left ear (due to mastoidectomy) and a moderate to severe hearing loss in the right ear (with fair behavioral responses in terms of reliability).
Mr. Bridgeford has a hearing loss according to his behavioral results (how he responds to the sounds by raising his hand). His need to use TTY would only be to communicate with his father, who he reports is deaf. I do not believe that he would need TTY for his own hearing if I provide him with a replacement hearing aid.

Id. Cushing recommended a specialized RIC BTE hearing aid that would be more durable and that corrections officials permit Bridgeford TTY access at their discretion. Id.

Bridgeford inquired about his hearing aid during a medical visit on November 19, 2012. He stated he was having difficulty hearing and therefore difficulty waking up in the morning to take his medication. Id. at 10. On January 7, 2012, Bridgeford asked again about his hearing aid, explaining that he was missing "chow and phone calls." Id. at 14. On January 10, 2013, Dr. Nimely submitted a request for a RIC BTE hearing aid for Bridgeford. Id. at 16.

On January 18, 2013, Bridgeford was seen by Kevin McDonald, a physician's assistant. Bridgeford inquired about a hearing aid for his right ear which he reported had been taken from him and not returned.[6] He stated had 40% hearing in that ear. Id. That same day, Eucerin Plus lotion, an over-the-counter moisturizer previously prescribed for Bridgeford, was denied as a non-formulary. Id. at 3, 10, and 31. Bridgeford declined the formulary substitute, Lubriskin. Id. at 31.[7]

On January 18, 2013, Wexford's utilization review recommended a standard hearing aid for Bridgeford. Id. at 24. On February 27, 2013, Dr. Cushing fit Bridgeford with Starkey RIC BTE hearing aid for his right ear.

On February 28, 2013, Bridgeford complained of right arm numbness. He indicated that he had limited range of motion and numbness from his shoulder to just below his arm. Id. at 28. He attributed the numbness to his insulin injection. He told medical personnel that "[i]t happened between the 21st and 23rd, when I got my shot by nurse Dale...."[8] Id. at 28. Bridgeford was seen by medical providers for shoulder pain on March 1 and 8, 2013. Id. at 31. On March 8, 2013, Bridgeford declined treatment for shoulder pain after he was informed that his diabetes was not well controlled at the time and a steroid injection was shoulder pain was not advised. It was noted that Bridgeford "had refused insulin therapy on multiple visits." Id.

On March 15, 2013, medical providers explained to Bridgeford, after he initially refused insulin, that this could increase his chances for diabetic neuropathy. Id. at 35.[9]

On March 14, 2013, Bridgeford complained that his feet needed mineral oil that had not been provided to him. Id. at 34. On March 19, 2013, Bridgeford complained during a sick call visit of suffering pain in his right arm, shoulder, and back for over one month and "nobody will do anything for me." Id at 38. When the nurse reminded him that he had been seen recently by a doctor for the shoulder pain and refused treatment, Bridgeford replied that he had "no idea what she is talking about." Id.

On March 20, 2013, Bridgeford was seen for diabetes assessment. Bridgeford informed the nurse that his only problem was pain and numbness in his right shoulder and requested Glyburide, an oral diabetes medication. Id. at 39 and Wexford Defendants' Memorandum, n. 13.

On April 12, 2013, P.A. McDonald saw Bridgeford for pain management follow-up. The medical record reads:

Patient seen by administration today with complaint that he still has shoulder pain and that he has not received his mineral oil lotion. Request is for bridge order pending more definitive treatment. He is awaiting possible steroid injection to the right shoulder but his HGA1 continues to be elevated.

Id. at 41.[10] The medical notes show an upper right arm neoprene compression sleeve was ordered for Bridgeford. Id. X-rays of Bridgeford's right shoulder showed "mild degenerative changes present along the shoulder joint" and no evidence of "acute fracture, dislocation, or subluxation." Id. at 43.

On April 23, 2013, Maksed Choudry, M.D. examined Bridgeford. Dr. Choudry noted that Bridgeford complained of chronic pain and exhibited restricted range of motion. Id. at 44. Dr. Choudry indicated: 1) Bridgeford was ordered a shoulder brace which he never received; 2) Bridgeford did not get a steroid injection because his HbA1C was high; and 3) Bridgeford's recent blood sugars "have been good." Id. ...


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