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Alvarez v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division

June 24, 2015

BRUMAN STALIN ALVAREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONAL MEDICAL SERVICES, INC., et al. Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

WILLIAM D. QUARLES, Jr., District Judge.

Bruman Stalin Alvarez sued Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford"), John Moss, P.A., and others[1] (the "Defendants"), under 42 U.S.C. § 1983[2] for violating his Eighth Amendment rights. Pending are Wexford's and Moss's motions for judgment on the pleadings, ECF Nos. 145, 147, and Alvarez's pro se motion for reconsideration, ECF No. 147. No hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the following reasons, Alvarez's and Wexford's motions will be denied; Moss's motion will be granted.

I. Background

A. Facts[3]

Alvarez is an inmate at the Jessup Correctional Institution ("Jessup"). ECF No. 114 ¶ 2. Wexford "was the Utilization Management Contractor [("UMC")] for the Maryland Department of Correction [("MDOC")] during the relevant time period." Id. ¶ 4. As UMC, Wexford "evaluat[ed]... the appropriateness, medical need [for, ] and efficiency of health care services" for the MDOC. Id. On July 1, 2012, "Wexford became the medical services provider for the [MDOC]." Id. [4] In that capacity, Wexford was "legally responsible for the operation of... Jessup['s]... hospital and for the medical care and welfare of all inmates of the prison." Id. Moss is a physician's assistant responsible for the administration of medical care and the welfare of hospitalized inmates. Id. ¶ 7.

1. Alvarez's Left Knee

On May 31, 2002, Alvarez first complained to Jessup medical personnel about pain in his left knee. Id. ¶ 10. In June 2004, Alvarez again complained that his left knee hurt and caused "a sensation as though there were pieces of rocks in the knee"; he also had a decreased range of motion. Id. ¶ 11.

On September 28, 2004, Alvarez was seen by an orthopedic doctor who suspected Alvarez had a partial patellar tendon tear. Id. ¶ 12. On October 6, 2004, after continued pain, Alvarez requested an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of his left knee. Id. On November 16, 2004, the orthopedic doctor requested that Alvarez receive an MRI. Id. ¶ 13. On December 10, 2004, Alvarez received an X-ray of his left knee. Id.

Between January 2005 and November 2007, Alvarez routinely complained to Dr. Muletta and Moss about "excruciating pain" in his left knee. Id. ¶ 14. Dr. Muletta and Moss prescribed pain medication, but Alvarez's pain continued. Id. A November 28, 2007 MRI of Alvarez's knee revealed a chronic bucket handle tear[5] of the lateral meniscus that required immediate surgery. Id. ¶ 15.

On April 1, 2008, Alvarez had surgery on his left knee. Id. ¶ 16. The surgery was performed by Dr. Craig Bennett at the James L. Kernan Medical Center. Id. After the surgery, Dr. Bennett recommended that Alvarez receive a meniscus implant to prevent additional injury. Id.

In August 2008, Alvarez began having significant pain in his left knee, numbness in his left toes, and locking of the left knee. Id. ¶ 17. Alvarez requested the meniscus implant recommended by Dr. Bennett. Id.

On September 18, 2009, Alvarez was seen by Dr. Bennett, who ordered that Alvarez be scheduled for the left meniscus implant. Id. ¶ 19. On September 3, 2010, Alvarez received the left meniscus implant. Id. ¶ 20. However, Alvarez continued to have intermittent pain in his left knee. Id. ¶ 21.

In January 2011, Alvarez received an MRI of his left knee, which revealed scar tissue needing removal. Id. ¶ 22. On July 26, 2011, Alvarez had surgery to remove the scar tissue. Id. Dr. Bennett recommended that Alvarez use an unloader brace for his left knee; despite several requests, Alvarez has not received the brace. Id. ¶ 23.

In November 2012, Alvarez had a third arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Id. ¶ 24. On May 13, 2013, during a consultation for both knees, Dr. Ashok Krishnaswamy at Bon Secours Hospital ("BSH") noted that Alvarez's left knee symptoms continued to worsen. Id. ¶ 25.

2. Alvarez's Right Knee

In July 2009, Alvarez fell in the shower and injured his right knee. Id. ¶ 27. On July 29, 2009, Alvarez was seen by Moss for the right knee injury; Moss noted damage to Alvarez's right meniscus. Id.

From 2009 to 2011, Alvarez "complained of pain, weakness, instability[, ] and dislocation in his right knee." Id. ¶ 28. Despite numerous complaints of pain, between April 2010 and July 2011, Wexford denied Alvarez's requests to consult an orthopedic doctor. Id. ¶ 29.

On August 23, 2011, Alvarez was seen by an orthopedic doctor. Id. ¶ 30. On September 2, 2011, Alvarez received an MRI of his right knee, revealing a lateral meniscus tear. Id. On October 21, 2011, Alvarez was seen by Dr. Krishnaswamy, who recommended arthroscopic ...


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