United States District Court, D. Maryland
William M. Nickerson, Senior United States District Judge
September 30, 2015, Plaintiff, a Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) inmate formerly confined at the Federal
Correctional Institution (“FCI”) at Cumberland,
Maryland, filed this Complaint for injunctive relief and a
total of $15, 000, 000.00 in damages pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1346, raising civil
rights and tort claims under the Federal Tort
Claims Act (“FTCA”). Plaintiff alleges that he
has medical and mental health issues and Defendants have
avoided evaluation and diagnosis of known chronic medical
conditions that are deteriorating and worsening. ECF No. 1.
He claims that injuries have been caused from wrongful
medications, particularly from side effects caused by the
medication “Doxisan.” Plaintiff additionally
contends that throughout 2014 and 2015, Defendants have
denied him or avoided providing him proper medications,
treatments, therapies and surgeries and have engaged in
falsifying medical records. He further contends that although
he requires a translator, it was repeatedly falsely reported
that he verbally understood and agreed to course of treatment
plans. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff subsequently supplemented his
Complaint to state that when he complained of bleeding from
his nose and mouth, the medical response was inadequate as he
was only given medication in the form of a simple nasal
spray. ECF No. 7.
have filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for
Summary Judgment, accompanied by a Motion to
Seal. ECF Nos. 20 & 21. Plaintiff, who is
currently confined at the FCI at Petersburg in Hopewell,
Virginia, filed an Opposition and Defendants filed a Reply.
ECF Nos. 24-25. Defendant Mitter, a doctor of optometry who
provides care at FCI-Cumberland, has likewise filed a Motion
to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment,
which remains unopposed. ECF No. 29. No hearing is deemed
necessary and the case may be determined on the pleadings.
See Local Rule 105.6. (D. Md. 2016). For reasons to
follow, Defendants' dispositive motions shall be granted.
Standard of Review
Motion to Dismiss
a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's
obligation to prove the 'grounds' of his entitlement
to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do." Bell Atlantic Corporation v.
Twombley, 550 U.S. 544, 554 (2007). "[S]omething
beyond the mere possibility of loss causation must be
alleged, lest a plaintiff with a 'largely groundless
claim'be allowed to 'take up the time of a number of
other people...'" Id. at 557-558 (quoting
Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Broudo, 544 U.S. 336
(2005). "[T]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere statements, do not
suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6), a court must "accept the well-pled allegations
of the complaint as true" and "construe the facts
and reasonable inferences derived therefrom in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff." Ibarra v. United
States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir. 1997).
The court, however, need not accept unsupported legal
allegations, see Revene v. Charles County
Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir.
1989), or conclusory factual allegations devoid of any
reference to actual events. See United Black Firefighters
v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979).
Moreover, "because the court is testing the legal
sufficiency of the claims, the court is not bound by
plaintiff's legal conclusions." Takacs v.
Fiore, 473 F.Supp.2d 647, 651 (D. Md. 2007).
Motion for Summary Judgment
Civ. P. 56(c) provides that:
[Summary judgment] should be rendered if the pleadings, the
discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any
affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material on file, and any affidavits show that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Supreme Court has clarified that this does not mean that any
factual dispute will defeat the motion:
By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between
the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported
motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be
no genuine issue of material fact.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original).
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment 'may not rest upon the mere allegations or
denials of [his] pleadings, 'but rather must 'set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.'" Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens
Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 525 (4th
Cir. 2003) (alternation in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e)). The court should "view the evidence in the light
most favorable to....the nonmovant, and draw all inferences
in her favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the
witness 'credibility." Dennis v. ColumbiaColleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d
639, 644-45 (4th Cir. 2002). The court must,
however, also abide by the "affirmative obligation of
the trial judge to prevent factually unsupported claims and
defenses from proceeding to trial." Bouchat,