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Bridgeford v. Morgan

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

January 17, 2014

DOUGLASS BRIDGEFORD, # 330-749 Plaintiff,
v.
DR. JOHN MORGAN, DR. ODIFY, P.A. KRISTAL SWACKER, DENISE MORGAN, ASST. WARDEN, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PETER J. MESSITTE, District Judge.

Douglass Bridgeford, a Maryland state inmate presently housed at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland, filed this Complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, raising the following allegations: 1) Assistant Warden Denise Morgan does not follow "mandated rules" to protect his life, liberty and "limbs" because he is suffering from pain to his body which she can prevent; 2) Dr. Morgan has made his pain worse by "removing" medication without examination or treatment; 3) Dr. Odify, the formulary administrator, has not approved his skin care lotion for "stage 4" eczema; and 4) P.A. Kristal Swacker has not addressed his shoulder pain issues. ECF 1 at ¶ III. Additionally, Bridgeford disputes the treatment he has received for his shoulder pain and alleges he was prescribed a non-FDA approved insulin ("lavimir"[1]) for his diabetes. Id. As relief, Bridgeford seeks to make Defendants "accountable for neglecting to provide medical treatment." Id. at IV. For reasons to follow, this case will be dismissed failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

BACKGROUND

Since Bridgeford, a pro se litigant, raised substantially the same allegations of fact in an earlier case, Bridgeford v. Nimely, et al., Civil Action No. PJM-13-495 (D. Md. 2014), the Court directed Bridgeford on September 27, 2013, to show cause why the instant Complaint should not be dismissed. ECF 3. On October 15, 2013, Bridgeford responded by filing a Motion to Amend the Complaint stating that since April 23, 2013, his medication orders for eczema treatment have been "voided" by Dr. Morgan. Bridgeford notes the instant Complaint names Defendants different than those in his earlier case. ECF 4.[2]

In Bridgford v Nimely, et al., Civil Action No. PJM-13-495, this Court entered summary judgment in favor of Defendants, including three employees or former employees of medical contractor Wexford Health Sources, Inc., on January 14, 2014.[3] The Court takes notice of the following facts, set forth in verified exhibits and declarations, established in that case. See e.g. Tellabs. Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007) (a court make take judicial notice of public records, including its own decisions); Philips v. Pitt County. Memorial Hospital, 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009) (same); Hall v. Virginia, 385 F.3d 421, 424 (4th Cir. 2004) (a court may take judicial notice of matters of public record); Anderson v. FDIC, 918 F.2d 1139, 1141 (4th Cir. 1990) (stating "... we believe a district court should properly take judicial notice of its own records.").

First, Bridgeford is monitored and treated for diabetes with various medications by Wexford medical providers, has indicated that he does not want injectable insulin, and has been cautioned repeatedly by medical providers concerning his lack of compliance with medical orders for diabetes treatment. Id. ECF 61, Exhibit 1 at 1-5, 10, 12, 35, 44-45, 48, 50, 56, 58, 70-72. Bridgeford's allegation that Levemir insulin is not FDA approved is incorrect. Id. Exhibit 2 ¶ 9.

On June 6, 2013, John Morgan, M.D. met with Bridgeford to discuss his noncompliance with his insulin regimen. Id. at 56. Dr. Morgan's medical notes of the meeting describe Bridgeford as follows:

Uncontrolled diabetic, last hgbalc seen because of insulin noncompliance. He has diabetes so out of control he was not able to be given a steroid shot for this shoulder since the steroid would further drive his diabetes out of control. He says loudly and repeatedly that he will NOT take insulin. He focuses only on the need for creams for his skin, and points to skin on hand (which to me appears normal) when asked to show example of abnormal skin. He absolutely refuses to take insulin. I will therefore discontinue all insulin. He does have oral meds already prescribed.

Id. at 54.

Second, Bridgeford has been examined and received prescription medication for shoulder and arm pain. Id. at 5, 7, 10, 44-45, 47, 49, 51, 54, 58. Bridgeford has repeatedly requested Cortisone injections for shoulder pain but has been informed such treatment is contraindicated due to his high blood sugar levels. Id. at 31, 37, 58, 63. Medical providers have explained to Bridgeford that refusing insulin could increase his changes for diabetic neuropathy, damage to the nerves that occurs due to high blood sugar levels Id. at 35; ECF 79 at 5.

Third, Bridgeford's eczema, which is described as "mild, "[4] is treated with various emollients and moisturizers. Id. Exhibit 2, ¶ 6 (decl. of Contah Nimely, M.D.). He has been offered and refused formulary products effective to treat his symptoms. Id. ¶ 8.[5] Elevated blood sugar can cause dry skin and lead to bacterial infection of eczema. Id. ¶ 9.

On July 17, 2013, Bridgeford expressed concern to Dr. Morgan about his skin care lotions. Dr. Morgan observed Bridgeford had clogged pores attributable to excessive lotion use, and reduced the lotions prescribed. Id.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of ...


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