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Ingram v. Warden, Conmed Healthcare Management, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 6, 2015

MONTE A. INGRAM, JR., #550827, #428839 Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN, CONMED HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT, INC. Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

WILHAM D. QUARLES, Jr., District Judge.

Self-represented plaintiff Monte A. Ingram, Jr. sued Defendants "Warden" (Deborah Richardson, Director of the Baltimore County Detention Center)[1] and Conmed Healthcare Management, Inc. ("Conmed") under 42 U.S.C. § 1983[2] for violating his Eighth Amendment rights. Richardson[1] has filed an Answer seeking dismissal of the Complaint and a Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF 23, 37). Conmed has filed a Motion to Dismiss (ECF 24), to which Ingram filed an opposition. (ECF 26). Ingram also filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF 27) to which Richardson and Conmed filed oppositions (ECF 28, 29) and Ingram replied. (ECF 30).[3] No hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014).

BACKGROUND

Ingram was a prisoner at the Baltimore County Detention Center ("BCDC") from February 12, 2014 until July 3, 2014, when he was sent to the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center ("MRDCC") (ECF 28; 29-2; 37-1, p. 2).[4]

On February 25, 2014, Ingram filed a letter stating that he was being denied medical treatment for a broken thumb, cracked left rib, and hernia. (ECF 1). Further, he asserts that he was "forced in a cell" with a member of prison gang Dead Man Incorporated ("DMI"), despite it being known that Ingram purportedly has "a beef" with DMI. (ECF 1, p. 1). He also claimed that he was attacked by his cellmate, and he banged on the cell door numerous times until correctional officers responded. He contends a correctional officer issued a "ticket" to "cover himself" after the incident. Id. Ingram conetnds he was improperly placed in lock-up segregation without a mattress after the assault. Id. He asked the Court to send him a § 1983 form so that he could initiate suit. Id. A § 1983 form was sent to him by the Clerk.

On April 23, 2014, Ingram filed a Complaint naming "CMS"[5] as a defendant which focused almost entirely on his hernia.[6] In the Complaint, Ingram alleges that he has a hernia and medical staff refused him an operation and denied him "T-3."[7] (ECF 2).[8] He alleges that the medical staff has done nothing for his hernia or his pain. Id. As redress, Ingram seeks $18, 000 damages for denial of medical treatment and an "operation granted befor [sic] I can never have kids. (ECF 2, p. 3).[9]

On April 30, 2014, the Court ordered Plaintiff to provide additional information, including the names of prison staff who allegedly denied him access to medical treatment and to explain how his hernia condition had changed since 2011, [10] whether he had submitted sick call request slips or tried to access the Detention Center's administrative remedy process, details of how he tried to warn prison officials that he was in a cell with a known gang member, whether his cellmate had threatened him prior to the assault, the names of the prison officials he tried to warn, the injuries he sustained in the assault and whether he received treatment, and why his placement in segregation and lockup housing was improper. (ECF 5).

On May 8, 2014, Ingram supplemented the Complaint, stating that on March 21, April 1, April 5, and April 21, 2014, he was not seen by a Conmed doctor. (ECF 6). He alleges that Conmed staff refused to give him an operation. Id. He listed the names of a "Dr. L and a P.A., T. Jones and Noel."[11] Id. at 3. He alleges that Jones refused to send him to a hernia specialist or provide an operation for him, and reiterated generally that he was denied T-3 for pain relief. Id. [12]

On August 27, 2014, the Court directed Conmed and the Warden of BCDC to respond to Ingram's claims of inadequate medical treatment, failure to protect, and improper assignment to segregation housing. (ECF 14).

On October 20, 2014, Richardson filed an answer generally denying liability and raising a number of affirmative defenses including qualified immunity. (ECF 23).

On October 21, 2014, Conmed filed a Motion to Dismiss with supporting affidavits and 262 pages of Ingram's medical records. (ECF 24-2, 24-3).

On November 17, 2014, Ingram filed a Response and a Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF 26, 27). In the Response, he contends that he had provided the name of medical providers who denied him surgery for his hernia. (ECF 26). He generally asserts that "Dr. El-Baudi"[13] and "P.A. Jane" denied him treatment. He further asserts he now has only one testicle "due to the fact that my hernia set [sic] in my scrotal sack for so long it cause [sic] a contusion in my right groin." Id. at 3.

In his Motion for Summary Judgment, Ingram contends the treatment or lack of treatment he received at BCDC (failure to send him for an outside consultation or provide him with surgery) constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment. (ECF 27). He avers that when he was at BCDC his "hernia set [sic] inside his strotum [sic] sack [sic], crushing my right testicle causing very, very bad swelling." (ECF 27, p. 6). He asserts his condition worsened from "stage 3 to stage 4"[14] and he developed a contusion in his groin which caused him "unbelievable" pain. (ECF 27, pp. 2, 5). Ingram states he was instructed by Dr. L and P.A. Jones to wear a hernia belt. (ECF 27, p. 3). According to Ingram, "I stated I can't where [sic] a hernia belt...." Id.

Ingram contends that after he left BCDC other medical providers recommended hernia repair surgery for him. Ingram asserts that when he was housed at MRDCC, Dr. Chhunchhia Virenda sent him to Bon Secours Hospital. (ECF 27-1, p. 2). Also, in July of 2014, Dr. Agawar at MRDCC recommended repairing the hernia as soon as possible (ECF 27, pp. 4, 6). In August of 2014, Dr. Obsu at Brockridge Correctional Institution told him that his hernia required immediate repair. (ECF 27, pp. 5-6). Ingram seems to assert that he had hernia surgery after he left BCDC (stating he had a "hernia fix" when he was at North Branch Correctional Institution). (ECF 27, p. 4). However, he does not specify when or where the surgery was performed, and no documentary evidence is in the record.

Ingram has filed a copy of his medical record from his August 22, 2014 hospital visit to Bon Secours Hospital, showing that Walesia Robinson, M.D. examined and diagnosed him as having a groin contusion. (ECF 27-2). Ingram was prescribed doxycycline and Percocet, and discharged the same day.

Ingram's admission to Bon Secours occurred nearly two months after he was transferred out of BCDC, and the record of his hospital admission fails to substantiate Ingram's claim that Dr. Robinson recommended surgery for him "ASAP." (ECF 27, p. 3). Further, he provides no documentary support for his claims that other physicians recommended surgery for his hernia condition. Thus, apart from his own conclusionary statements, Ingram offers no corroboration for his statement that his hernia condition worsened during the time he was incarcerated at BCDC. Most notably, Ingram does not provide a declaration in support of his allegations.

Conmed filed an Opposition to Ingram's Motion for Summary Judgment on December 1, 2014, contending that Ingram has failed to allege any facts to support a claim against Conmed or any an individual health provider. (ECF 28). Conmed asserts that Ingram received conservative medical care for his hernia condition while at BCDC, and that his pleadings failed to establish a claim of constitutionally inadequate medical care. (ECF 28, 24-3).

A. Conmed's Exhibits

Conmed has filed copies of Ingram's medical records demonstrating that he was examined and diagnosed as having a reducible hernia, [15] for which he was prescribed a hernia belt and Tylenol for pain. (ECF 24-3, pp. 66. 108). Ingram declined to use a hernia belt. Id. at 108, 112, 130. The record shows that he complained numerous times about his hernia during his incarceration at BCDC. See e.g., ECF 24-3, pp. 80-83, 190.[16] On April 3, 2014, Ingram reported to Olubunmi Akinsanya, CRNP that he did not know why his T3 was ...


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