United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. BREDAR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Smith-Bey filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming
that defendants, medical providers at Maryland Division of
Correction facilities, provided him constitutionally
inadequate medical treatment. ECF 1. Pending is a Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by counsel on behalf of defendants Jennifer Patterson,
R.N.,  Bruce Ford, P.A., Jason Clem, M.D.,
Terri Davis, P.A., Paul Matera, M.D., and Oladipo Olaleye,
P.A. ECF 10. Smith-Bey, who is
self-represented, filed an opposition to which defendants
have replied. ECF 13, 17. Thereafter, Smith-Bey filed a
second opposition response and attachments to
defendants’ dispositive motion. ECF 18.
case is briefed and ready for disposition. After considering
the pleadings, exhibits, and applicable law, the court finds
a hearing unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.
2014). For reasons to follow, defendants’ dispositive
motion (ECF 10), treated as a motion for summary judgment,
will be granted, subject to submission of a status report
indicating if and when Smith-Bey was provided ACL repair
an inmate in the custody of the Maryland Division of
Correction who is presently housed at the Maryland
Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland
(MCI-H”), filed this complaint on June 29,
2015. Smith-Bey alleges defendants, who are
medical providers employed by Wexford Health Sources, Inc., a
private medical contractor that provides medical services to
inmates at state facilities under contract with the State of
Maryland (ECF 10-3 at 10), violated his rights under the
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution by
providing him inadequate medical treatment for a torn
ACL in his left knee. ECF 1. He alleges
that the long delays in returning him for a follow-up visit
after surgery resulted in deterioration of the condition of
his knee. Id. at 15. He also avers that he was
improperly removed from work duty in retaliation for filing
an Administrative Remedy Procedure (“ARP”)
request against Jennifer Patterson. Id. He seeks one
million dollars in compensatory damages and one million
dollars in punitive damages. Id.
following facts are presented in the light most favorable to
Smith-Bey, the nonmoving party. Smith-Bey’s medical
history includes meniscal and ACL tears to his left knee,
conditions he attributes to an injury suffered prior to
incarceration. ECF 11-2 at 3. The verified and undisputed
medical records provided by defendants demonstrate the
following chronology of care.
23, 2013, Smith-Bey was seen by Bruce Ford, P.A., for a
scheduled medical visit to consider his request to return to
his prison job. Smith-Bey presented complaints of left knee
pain and stated his knee “gave out” at times.
Ford ordered x-rays and prescribed Naprosyn, a nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Id. at 1; ECF 10-3
August 6, 2013, Ford saw Smith-Bey for complaints of left
knee pain. The x-rays taken of his knee were negative. Ford
observed Smith-Bey’s left knee was positive for
tenderness and moderate pain with motion. Ford reordered
Naprosyn and prescribed a knee brace. Ford wrote on the
medical chart that he would consult Dr. Matera regarding
possible cortisone injections. ECF-11-2 at 3, 4.
August 12, 2013, Terri Davis, P.A., examined Smith-Bey for
complaints of left knee pain. Smith-Bey reported his left
knee gave out and felt like it was twisted while walking.
Smith-Bey complained Naprosyn was ineffective, but asked to
continue it because he believed that nothing stronger would
be prescribed for him. He complained he was assigned to a top
bunk in his cell. Physical examination revealed some edema,
but no locking, popping, or ligamentous laxity. Mild
tenderness in the left knee was noted. Davis informed
Smith-Bey that based on the examination an order for bottom
bunk status was not indicated. Additionally, Davis
administered a steroid injection to Smith-Bey’s left
knee. Id. at 5. Smith-Bey reported feeling immediate
relief after the injection.
September 25, 2013, Paul Matera, M.D., saw Smith-Bey for left
knee pain. Smith-Bey stated he sustained the knee injury in
2002 after he jumped off a wall and twisted
his knee. Matera noted a knee brace had been ordered and
x-rays results were negative. Smith-Bey reported that prior
to his incarceration, he was to receive physical therapy for
his knee, but was incarcerated before it could begin. He also
reported the steroid injection helped him for three weeks and
NSAIDs were of some help. He reported that he works at a
prison job and walks for exercise. Id. at 9.
Matera’s physical examination of Smith-Bey revealed
moderate pain with stiffness. Matera found Smith-Bey had no
instability and had a full range of motion. Matera placed
Smith-Bey on bottom bunk status for three months while he
received knee injections. Id. at 10.
October 10, 2013, Matera administered a steroid injection to
Smith-Bey’s left knee. Id. at 11. This was
Smith-Bey’s second injection to the left knee, and a
third injection would not be offered until February 14, 2014,
if one was needed. Id. at 12.
October 21, 2013, Smith-Bey was seen by Kathy Killmoon, R.N.,
for complaints of knee pain. He reported the steroid
injection was ineffective and asked to see Dr. Matera. When
Killmoon explained that under medical policy she could refer
him to a midlevel provider but not directly to Dr. Matera,
Smith-Bey stated “I don’t want to see anyone
then.” Id. at 13.
October 29, 2013, Smith-Bey reported to Laesha Kellam, R.N.,
that his most recent steroid injection was ineffective. He
reported experiencing extreme pain since the injection and
pain when walking. He reported he was unable to work on
several occasions. He also informed her that he had yet to
receive his knee brace. Id. at 14.
November 7, 2013, Smith-Bey reported his left knee pain was
increasing and he had difficulty standing since his most
recent injection. Smith-Bey had neither received his knee
brace nor been given bottom bunk status. Terri Davis, P.A.,
told him that the knee brace had been ordered several times
and Dr. Matera recommended him for bottom bunk status for
three months. Id. at 16. Davis requested a physical
therapy consultation for Smith-Bey. Id. at 17.
November 24, 2013, Smith-Bey presented knee pain complaints
to Laesha Kellam, R.N. He indicated he was having difficulty
walking and getting to meals. He was placed on activity
restriction with meals in his cell until cleared by a medical
provider. Id. at 18.
December 3, 2013, Smith-Bey reported to Bruce Ford, P.A.,
that physical therapy was not helping his knee pain. Ford
told him that he had to complete physical therapy in order to
be considered for further treatment. Smith-Bey reported he
had yet to receive his knee brace. Ford noted the knee brace
had been ordered multiple times. Ford ordered x-rays of
Smith-Bey’s left knee and lumbar spine. Id. at
December 16, 2013, Ford submitted a request for Smith-Bey to
be seen by an orthopedist. Id. at 163-164. Ford also
prescribed Gabapentin. Id. at 23. Defendants explain
Gabapentin is a medication that may be used to treat nerve
pain. Id. at 6, n. 5.
December 23, 2013, Smith-Bey received a knee brace.
Id. at 202.
January 7, 2014, Dr. Manning, an orthopedist, examined
Smith-Bey and recommended an MRI to rule out a meniscus tear.
Manning indicated it was likely that Smith-Bey required
arthroscopic surgery. Id. at 185.
January 14, 2014, Smith-Bey was placed on bed rest, and a
medical order to provide meals to him in his cell
(“feed-in”) was issued.
January 19, 2014, Smith-Bey informed Terri Davis that the
orthopedist had recommended an MRI of his left knee. Davis
noted on the medical chart that she could not find
documentation of the orthopedist visit and sent a request for
additional information. Id. at 22. Davis indicated
that she would contact Smith-Bey to let him know when the MRI
request was written. She continued Smith-Bey on bottom bunk
placement for six months and discontinued his bed rest and
feed-in orders. Id. at 23.
February 13, 2014, Dr. Matera examined Smith-Bey. Smith-Bey
declined Matera’s recommendation to be placed on no
work status and asked when he would receive the MRI.
Id. at 24. Smith-Bey reported experiencing pain at a
level of 5 out of 10 with it increasing to 7 out of 10 by the
end of the day. Matera observed Smith-Bey’s “gait
was stable with slight antalgia,  no gross
instability.” Matera prescribed Ultram for pain relief
and ordered the MRI. Id.
February 21, 2014, Smith-Bey asked to be placed on bedrest
and feed-in. He stated he was in too much pain to walk and
his knee kept giving out. Nurse Kellam wrote orders to place
him on these medical restrictions. Id. at 26.
April 2, 2014, Smith-Bey received an MRI at Bon Secours
Hospital in Baltimore. Id. at 190. The MRI showed
tears of the medial and lateral meniscal ligaments.
Id. A complete tear of the ACL was also observed.
April 17, 2014, Dr. Matera entered an administrative note on
Smith-Bey’s medical chart indicating Smith-Bey was
scheduled for an orthopedic follow-up visit with Dr. Manning.
Id. at 27.
8, 2014, Carl Oltman, P.A., renewed Smith-Bey’s Ultram
prescription and added Indomethacin, a NSAID, to his
medication regimen. ECF 10-3 n. 8. The medical chart reads
“Left knee limited ROM [range of motion], severity is
severe, associated with pain, worse with movement, improved
by rest, status is worse.” Id. at 28. Oltman
reported Smith-Bey was approved for surgery with Dr.
Krishnaswamy at Bon Secours Hospital. Id. at 28.
Defendants postulate that Oltman most likely meant to say
that Smith-Bey was approved for a consultation for possible
ACL surgery with Dr. Krishnaswamy. ECF 10-3 n.7.
5, 2014, Dr. Matera noted on Smith-Bey’s medical chart
that an orthopedic consultation had been scheduled. Against
Matera’s medical recommendation, Smith-Bey declined to
be placed on no work status and also declined to use
crutches. Dr. Matera reviewed and continued Smith-Bey’s
medications. ECF 11-2 pp. 30-31.
13, 2014, Dr. Ashok Krishnaswamy’s examination of
Smith-Bey revealed the left knee showed a range of motion
between 20 and 110 degrees with positive Lachman and drawer
signs. Moderate crepitus was also observed in
the left knee joint. X-rays and an MRI revealed left knee
arthritis with a tear of the left anterior and medial crucial
ligaments. Dr. Krishnaswamy advised Smith-Bey that he first
required arthroscopic knee surgery to correct the internal
derangement and to examine the extent of the arthritis of the
knee. Dr. Krishnaswamy recommended that Smith-Bey “have
arthroscopic surgery of the left knee soon.”
Id. at 172. If the arthritis was mild, Dr.
Krishnaswamy indicated Smith-Bey might require an ACL repair
at a future time. If the arthritis was moderate, there was no
benefit from ACL reconstruction. Dr. Krishnaswamy explained
he usually refers ACL repair procedures to University
Hospital for surgery. Id. at 172-77.
In his complaint, Smith-Bey states Dr. Krishnaswamy told him
“the long delays in me getting back in to see him about
my ACL tear has [sic] my knee to deteriorate much further
than when he first examined me.” ECF 1 at 15.
24, 2014, Dr. Matera saw Smith-Bey for his preoperative
health assessment. ECF 11-2 at 32-34.
1, 2014, Bruce Ford, P.A., saw Smith-Bey for pre-operative
evaluation and cleared him for arthroscopic surgery.
Id. at 35-36.
15, 2014, Dr. Krishnaswamy performed arthroscopic surgery on
Smith-Bey at Bon Secours Hospital. Id. at 178-79.
Smith-Bey’s arthritis was observed in the early stages.
Id. Krishnaswamy recommended physical therapy, a
patella stabilizing knee brace, and a follow-up visit in five
weeks. Id. at 180.
16, 2014, Smith-Bey was admitted to the prison infirmary for
post-surgical treatment. Id. at 40-42. Medical
providers placed Smith-Bey on bedrest and feed-in, and
approved him for wheelchair use to visit the medical unit.
Id. at 37. He was ordered physical therapy and
prescribed Percocet for one week. Id.
17, 2014, Jason Clem, M.D., discharged Smith-Bey from the
infirmary. Notes on the medical chart by Angela Walston, RN,
read that Smith-Bey rated his pain as 8 out 10. Id.
at 43. After Ultram was administered, he reported the pain
lessened to 4 out of 10. Id. The notes indicate
Smith-Bey was able to walk with a cane and Ultram controlled
his pain. The notes read, “[l]eft knee swelling,
severity is moderate, associated with pain, status is
stable.” Id. at 44. Smith-Bey claims he
expressed the need to remain in the infirmary longer, but his
request was denied. He explains that once he left the
infirmary, no one would provide him with proper medical care.
ECF 1 at 13.
19, 2014, Smith-Bey was readmitted to the infirmary due to
concerns of infection. Angela J. Scheib, RN, observed
drainage on the gauze placed between the ACE wrap and
dressing on Smith-Bey’s knee. Smith-Bey reported
sweating and expressed concerns about increased drainage at
the site of the surgery. ECF 11-2 at 46. The medical chart
noted there were “no orders for dsg change. Area warm
to touch with edema from knee to foot.” Id. at
46. Smith-Bey was intravenously administered Rocephin, an
antibiotic, for three days. Id. at 52; ECF 10-3
n.16. Smith-Bey avers his bandages had not ...