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Lanahan v. State

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 23, 2016

DANIEL LANAHAN, Plaintiff
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          J. FREDERICK MOTZ DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending is a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of defendants State of Maryland, Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, Sadiq Al-Samarrai, M.D., Khalid El-Sayed, M.D., and David Helsel, M.D.[1] ECF 29. Plaintiff Daniel Lanahan has responded. ECF 34.[2] Upon review of papers and exhibits filed, the court finds an oral hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons stated below, the dispositive motion filed by defendants will be granted.

         Background

         Plaintiff was convicted of first degree assault in 2006. ECF 29-4, p. 2. In 2011, while serving his sentence for the 2006 assault, plaintiff was charged with second degree assault for allegedly assaulting a correctional employee. ECF 29-5; 29-6. On June 22, 2012, plaintiff was sent to the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center ("Perkins"), a State psychiatric hospital, for an evaluation as to his competency to stand trial. ECF 29-7. Plaintiff was found incompetent to stand trial and dangerous to his self or to the person or property of another and committed to the custody of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene by the District Court of Maryland for Howard County. ECF 29-8.

         On September 5, 2014, the District Court of Maryland for Howard County found plaintiff incompetent to stand trial, without substantial likelihood that his competency would be resolved in the foreseeable future, and found him dangerous to the life or safety of self or others. ECF 29-9. As such, he was civilly committed to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for inpatient care and treatment. Id. The assault charge was dismissed. ECF 29-5.

         Plaintiff was admitted to Perkins on September 25, 2012. ECF 29-2, ¶ 5, ECF 29-3, ¶ 5. Dr. Al-Sammarrai was plaintiffs treating psychiatrist from December 17, 2012 until August 6, 2013. ECF 29-3, ¶ 6. Dr. El-Sayed was plaintiffs treating psychiatrist from August 6, 2013 to September 3, 2015. ECF 29-2, ¶ 6.

         Plaintiff claims that he has received improper medication to treat his psychological conditions.[3] ECF 1. Plaintiff suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type. He presents the following symptoms; paranoia, delusional thinking, grandiose, bizarre and persecutory delusions, behavioral disorganization, and assaultive conduct. ECF 29-2, ¶ 8, ECF 29-3, ¶ 8. Plaintiffs delusions include claims that he is the subject of a vast government conspiracy involving the CIA and NSA which he believes are experimenting on him. Id. He also suffers from the delusion that he was a covert operative trained by the Department of Defense to uncover government conspiracies. He claims that while he was incarcerated at the Patuxent Institution he was implanted with a device and staff experimented on him by pumping gas into his cell. Id. Plaintiff claims that it is necessary that he advise that there is a conspiracy against the President of the United States. He has made calls to the White House threatening to kill the President. Id., ¶ 9. He has also sent letters to courthouses and government agencies containing biological samples in an effort to expose his claims of conspiracy by the government. Id.

         After his admission to Perkins, plaintiff refused to take prescribed psychiatric medications. ECF 29-2, ¶ 10, ECF 29-3 ¶ 10, ECF 29-11, ECF 29-14. Those medications, Risperidone, Risperidone Concentrate, Divalproex sodium, Valproic acid, Valproic Acid Concentrate, Olanzapine, Olanzapine Zydis, Quetiapine, Loxapine, Diphenhydramine, Diphenhydramine Concentrate, and Benztropine, are used to treat Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type. Id.

         A clinical review panel ("CRP") approved the involuntary administration of medications including Risperidone or Olanzapine (for treatment of psychotic symptoms and agitation), Divalproex sodium or Valproic acid (for treatment of mood lability and agitation), and Diphenhydramine (for treatment of side effects from antipsychotic medication) to treat plaintiffs diagnosed Schizoaffective Disorder. ECF 29-10. The Office of Administrative Hearing ("OAH") upheld the CRP's decision. ECF 29-11. However, on July 8, 2013, the Circuit Court for Howard County remanded the case to obtain either a transcript of the OAH hearing or to conduct a new hearing. ECF 29-12.

         A new CRP was held on August 20, 2013. ECF 29-13. The CRP approved the forced medication of plaintiff with Olanzapine or Olanzapine Zydis, Quetiapine (for treatment of psychotic symptoms and agitation), Valproic Acid, Divalproex sodium, or Valproic Acid Concentrate (for treatment of mood lability and agitation), and Benztropine, Diphenhydramine, or Diphenhydramine Concentrate (for treatment of side effects from antipsychotic medication), to treat plaintiffs diagnosed Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar type. Id. The OAH upheld the CRP decision. ECF 29-14. On October 7, 2013, the Circuit Court for Howard County denied plaintiffs petition for judicial review of the OAH decision. ECF 29-15.

         Another CRP was convened on November 18, 2013. ECF 29-16. At that time the CRP approved, over plaintiffs objection, administration of Risperidone or Risperidone Concentrate, Olanzapine or Olanzapine Zydis, Quetiapine, Loxapine (for treatment of psychotic symptoms and agitation), Valproic Acid, Divalproex Sodium, or Valproic Acid Concentrate (for treatment of mood lability, agitation), and Benztropine, Diphenhydramine or Diphenhydramine Concentrate (for treatment of side effects from antipsychotic medications) to treat plaintiffs Schizoaffective Disorder-Bipolar type. Id.

         Plaintiff received medication under a CRP authorization until February of 2014, when he stabilized. ECF 29-2, ¶¶ 11 & 12; ECF 29-3, ¶¶ 11 & 12. The CRP was allowed to expire as plaintiff agreed to voluntarily take the prescribed medications. Id..

         Plaintiff exhibited evidence of psychiatric decline intermittently, which his treating psychiatrists suspect are due to his "cheeking" or spitting out his medications. ECF 29-2, ¶ 12; ECF 29-3, ¶ 12. Since the expiration of the CRP authorization in February 2014, plaintiff continues to display symptoms of his mental illness including paranoia, grandiose, bizarre and persecution delusions, disorganized thinking, labile mood, and threatening behavior. ECF 29-2, ¶ 13, ECF 29-3, ¶ 13. Plaintiff remains psychotic, grossly delusional and obsessive. ECF 29-2, ¶ 14, ECF 29-3, ¶ 4. In 2015 he reported to his treatment team that he was "seeing a lot of combat." Id. He continues in his belief that the Secret Service is interested in him because they want to investigate the experimentation performed on him and employ him as an informant, not because he made threats against the federal government and President. Id.

         Dr. Helsel received a letter from plaintiff in July of 2015, containing delusional content. Plaintiff reported that the CIA had placed a chip in his head to listen to his conversations and he wanted to speak with the Secret Service to advise them on how to build a bomb that no one has ever been able to make before. ECF 29-17, ECF 29-2, ¶ 16, ECF 29-3, ¶ 16.

         Plaintiffs treatment team anticipates a high likelihood that plaintiff will not adhere to his medication regime when he is discharged form Perkins. They predict a high risk for future violence outside the structured and secured setting of Perkins. ECF 29-2, ¶ 17, ECF 29-3, ¶ 17. Plaintiff has remained on maximum security wards from the date of his ...


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