United States District Court, D. Maryland
Frederick Motz, States District Judge
Damon Fayall and Jill Danzillo filed a motion to dismiss or in
the alternative for summary judgment in response to the
above-entitled civil rights complaint. ECF 13. Plaintiff was
advised of his right to file an opposition response and of
the consequences of failing to do so (ECF 15), but has filed
nothing further in the case. The court finds a hearing in this
matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.
2016). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion,
construed as a motion for summary judgment, shall be granted.
time plaintiff filed the complaint, and at all times relevant
to the claims raised, he was an inmate committed to the
custody of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services ("DPSCS") and assigned to
Patuxent Institution and Baltimore City Correctional Center
("BCCC"). On or about February 28, 2016, plaintiff
was released from custody. Plaintiff names as defendants
Warden Laura Armstead, Damen Fayllon, Jill Danzillo, and
unknown persons. ECF 2. Because the complaint contains no
allegations against Warden Armstead, the complaint will be
dismissed as to her and as to "other unknown
persons." Plaintiffs claims concern an alleged failure
to provide him with proper medical care for Hepatitis C and
other disabilities. He alleges that prior to his
incarceration, he was found to be disabled and awarded Social
Security disability benefits "for specific physical
disabilities, cardiovascular disease/disorder." ECF 2 at
p. 4. He claims he is a "chronic care" patient with
a history of cardiac problems, Hepatitis, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disorder (COPD), mitral valve repair and two hernia
surgeries. Id. He claims his disabilities prohibit
him from heavy lifting, continuous standing or walking for
more than one hour, climbing or balancing on uneven surfaces,
weight lifting, and strenuous athletics. Id.
claims that both the medical staff and correctional staff
have ignored the urgency of his medical situation and have
failed to treat him for chronic Hepatitis C infection. He
states this failure to provide treatment is a breach of the
medical care contractor's contract with DPSCS. He further
claims that the deliberate indifference of all defendants
endangers his health and violates both his federal and state
constitutional rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments. ECF 2 at p. 5.
adds that defendants failed to obtain medical records from
the Tennessee Department of Correction or from the Office of
Disability, Social Security Administration to establish that
plaintiff has "health limitations" and to confirm
his Hepatitis C infection. He further appears to aver that
his poor health entitles him to the appointment of counsel in
this case and that defendants failed to timely diagnose and
treat him for Hepatitis C infection. ECF 2 at p. 5.
relief plaintiff seeks injunctive relief requiring his
treatment for Hepatitis C as well as monetary damages. ECF 2
at pp. 6-7.
Fayall and Danzillo are health service administrators who do
not make medical decisions regarding the care of inmates in
the custody of DPSCS. ECF 13 at Ex. 2, pp. 1 - 2.
Notwithstanding this fact, defendants provide a summary of
the care provided to plaintiff while he was in the custody of
medical history includes asthma, gastroesophageal reflux
disease ("GERD"), emphysema, COPD, inguinal hernia,
and Hepatitis C. In addition, plaintiff has a history of
anxiety and depression as well as drug and alcohol abuse
lasting over 35 years. Plaintiff received a medical intake
upon his arrival at Maryland Reception Diagnostic and
Classification Center ("MRDCC") on May 19, 2014. At
that time, he reported his medical history as including
asthma, GERD, emphysema, inguinal hernia, hernia surgery, and
a stent placement in 2006, but did not report that he was
physically disabled or that he had Hepatitis C. ECF 13 at Ex.
2, p. 2.
20, 2014, plaintiffs report of hernia discomfort was
addressed by Taryn Adams-Harlee, R.N. Although plaintiff was
observed walking to the medical room without assistance or
difficulty, he reported his pain as an eight on a scale of
one to ten, with ten being the worst pain. Plaintiff reported
that he needed surgery to repair his hernia, prompting a
referral to a mid-level medical provider the following day.
Harlee gave plaintiff 600 mg of Motrin to address his pain.
Plaintiff made no mention of Hepatitis C or having a
disability during this encounter. ECF 13 at Ex. 2, p. 2.
following day plaintiff was seen by Nurse Practitioner Grace
Emaselalu for a health assessment. At that time plaintiff
reported a history of heroin use, cocaine use, forty years of
cigarette smoking (one pack per day), consumption of
approximately one gallon of alcohol per day prior to his
arrest, and anxiety. He claimed the pain from his hernia had
improved from the previous day and the examination revealed
the hernia was stable. Plaintiff was also negative for
dyspnea, cough or wheezing related to COPD. He was prescribed
Naproxen for back pain and Zantac for GERD. Plaintiff was
also placed on a list for chronic care clinic to monitor his
various chronic medical issues. He did not report a physical
disability or Hepatitis C to Emaselalu. ECF 13 at Ex. 2, p.
20, 2014, plaintiff was seen by Dr. Tewelde for a chronic
care visit. Plaintiff told Tewelde that he wanted surgery for
his hernia and threatened that if he did not get it, Tewelde
would hear from plaintiffs lawyer. He further reported to
Tewelde that he had an open heart mitral valve replacement in
2006, but had no heart issues since that time. At this
appointment, plaintiff asked for the first time to be
prescribed interferon for Hepatitis C. Because there was no
record of plaintiff having Hepatitis C and his physical
examination was negative for liver or spleen enlargement,
Tewelde ordered lab work to test for Hepatitis C antibodies.
ECF 13 at Ex. 2, p. 3.
2, 2014, plaintiff was seen again by Tewelde regarding his
hernia. Tewelde noted that the hernia was easily reducible
and mild. He instructed plaintiff to avoid any heavy lifting
and to avoid pressure building in his abdomen. ECF 13 at Ex.
2, pp. 3-4.
15, 2014, plaintiff was admitted to the prison infirmary with
diarrhea. His admission was a precaution taken in order to
avoid possible spread of salmonella to other inmates. Three
days later he was discharged from the infirmary and seen by
Tewelde. At this appointment, plaintiff claimed he had the
hernia since 2013 and wanted surgery on it now that he was in
prison. He further stated that he had Hepatitis C for fifteen
years and reported both intravenous drug use and tattoos.
Tewelde referred ...