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Wilkerson v. Richardson

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 24, 2016



          J. Frederick Motz United States District Judge.

         Defendants filed a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment on behalf of Warden Richardson (ECF 14) and a motion to dismiss on behalf of Officer "Nakita" (ECF 19) in response to the above-entitled civil rights complaint. Plaintiff was advised of his right to file an opposition response to the motions (ECF 15 and 20) and of the consequences of failing to do so, but has not opposed the motions. The court finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons that follow, defendants' motions shall be granted and judgment entered in their favor.

         Plaintiffs Allegations

         At all times relevant to the complaint, [1] plaintiff was incarcerated at the Baltimore County Detention Center. He alleges that on October 12, 2015, at "12:15 at night" he attempted to climb into the bunk in his cell and fell because there were no handicap rails on the bunk. ECF 1 at p. 4. After he fell, plaintiff states that his cellmate beat on the door to get the attention of an officer. After the officer saw what had occurred, he called the nurse, leaving plaintiff on the floor waiting for assistance. Id.,

         Plaintiff alleges that it took the nurse "at least 20 minutes" to get to the cell and when she arrived she asked what happened. Id. at p. 5. When plaintiffs cellmate explained that he had fallen, the nurse stated she would be right back because she had to get the doctor. Plaintiff claims it took at least an hour before the nurse and doctor came back and that he laid in his own urine during that time. Id.

         Doctor Noel Stevens, [2] the nurse, and Officer Nakita (later identified as Officer McKeiver) returned to plaintiffs cell and "tried to yank [plaintiff] up off the floor, " but stopped when plaintiff screamed in pain. Id. Plaintiff told them he had broken his neck in a previous accident, that he had steel in his neck, and that they were hurting him. He claims they "dropped" him back down on the floor and that Dr. Stevens began to pull on his foot and stab plaintiff on the bottom of his feet. Plaintiff claims they then picked him up again and "tossed" him onto his bunk. Although Officer Nakita said he would bring plaintiff a dry jumpsuit, he never did so. Id.

         Following the incident, plaintiff claims he developed a "clicking" in his neck. Id. On October 19, 2015, plaintiff received an x-ray of his neck and his requests for treatment of the pain were denied. Plaintiff alleges he told staff his neck and back were hurting, that he suffers from chronic pain, and that his pain is a 10 on a scale of one to ten. Id.

         Plaintiff supports his complaint with a declaration under oath signed by his cellmate, Kevin Peters, which tracks the same factual account of his claim as presented in the complaint. ECF 1 at pp. 6-7. As relief, plaintiff seeks monetary damages of one-million dollars and an order requiring the detention center to be made handicap accessible. Id. at p. 4.

         After filing the complaint with this court, plaintiff filed a pleading entitled "motion for assistance for proper medical treatment and retaliation." ECF 9. In that motion plaintiff claimed that correctional officers were retaliating against him by writing false incident reports and that the medical department was telling him his wheelchair would be taken away.

         Plaintiff states that on December 16, 2015, he awoke at 1:30 a.m. and told his cellmates he had no feeling in his legs. When a correctional officer came to the cell for count, plaintiff repeated the complaint to him and the officer told him he would contact medical staff. Plaintiff claims he did not hear back from them and at 5:00 a.m. he still had no feeling in his legs. He claims he had to receive assistance from his two cellmates to get out of his bunk and into his wheelchair. He could not stand to urinate so he did so in a seated position from the wheelchair. ECF9atpp. 1-2.

         On December 17, 2015, plaintiff was seen by Dr. Kahlid Elbedawi, who told plaintiff he would send him to an outside hospital where he would be seen by a neurosurgeon and receive an MRI of his spine. However, plaintiff claims that by December 27, 2015, he was not sent out to the hospital, nor was he seen by a neurosurgeon. ECF 9 at p. 2.

         Plaintiff further claims that Dr. Elbedawi advised that plaintiffs medication would be adjusted because the non-narcotic pain relievers he was receiving were not effective and were hard on his liver and kidneys. He states he is in constant pain which becomes unbearable at times. He adds that mail he receives from this court is opened outside of his presence and that he is threatened by correctional officers. ECF 9 at p. 2.

         Defendants' response

         Defendants state that plaintiff entered the detention center on October 8, 2015, at which time he identified several medical problems which included chronic back, neck, and knee pain. He further advised that he had been prescribed Percocet and oxycodone, narcotic pain medication, for treatment of his chronic pain. ECF 14-4. When medical staff attempted to perform a full intake physical exam of plaintiff, he refused after he was told he would not be receiving narcotic pain medication. Id. Plaintiff was then placed on a detoxification protocol to address ...

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