United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge
above-entitled civil rights complaint was filed on January 5,
2017, together with a motion to proceed in forma
pauperis. ECF No. 2. Because he appears to be indigent,
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
shall be granted. For the reasons stated below, the complaint
must be dismissed.
alleges that on June 17, 2015, Lt. Styles forced him to wear
improper footwear to work at his assigned job in the kitchen
at Eastern Correctional Institution. During his work shift,
Plaintiff slipped and fell, breaking his “right hip
femur bone.” Id. Plaintiff states that when he
fell, Officer Morris asked if he needed medical attention.
Plaintiff responded that he did, but a nurse did not come to
the kitchen. Id. The injury he sustained required
surgical placement of a rod and metal plate in
Plaintiff's pelvis. Id. Plaintiff adds that the
“second day” presumably after the surgery took
place, medical staff found a blood clot and blood in
Plaintiff's stool, requiring injections of blood thinning
drugs in Plaintiff's abdomen. Id.
complaint identifies two defendants who are not properly
named. A civil rights complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 must be filed against a person. Neither the ECI
Dietary Department nor Eastern Correctional Institution are
“persons” within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Thus, the only parties mentioned in the complaint who
are potential defendants are the officer who is alleged to
have denied Plaintiff the opportunity to wear the boots he
wanted to wear and the officer who allegedly did not summon a
nurse to the area of the prison where Plaintiff fell. ECF No.
1 at p. 3.
conduct attributed to Styles and Morris does not present a
colorable claim for an Eighth Amendment claim which requires
a showing that deliberate acts or failures to act imposed
cruel and unusual punishment on Plaintiff. “Since
‘routine discomfort' is part of prison life and
‘society does not expect that prisoners will have
unqualified access to health care, ' in order to
demonstrate the objective component of
conditions-of-confinement or medical care claims prisoners
must demonstrate ‘extreme' deprivations or neglect
of ‘serious' medical needs.” Williams v.
Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996) citing
Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1992).
Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate the extreme deprivations
required. See e.g., Fruit v. Norris, 905
F.2d 1147 (8th Cir. 1990) (failure to provide inmates with
protective gear and ignoring other dangers to personal safety
when working inside a raw sewage well established Eighth
the conduct described does not meet the required subjective
state of mind for either officer involved. “[T]he test
is whether the guards know the plaintiff inmate faces a
serious danger to his safety and they could avert the danger
easily yet they fail to do so.” Brown v. North
Carolina Dept. of Corrections, 612 F.3d 720, 723 (4th
Cir. 2010), quoting Case v. Ahitow, 301 F.3d 605,
607 (7th Cir.2002). Conduct is not actionable under the
Eighth Amendment unless it transgresses bright lines of
clearly-established pre-existing law. See Maciariello v.
Sumner, 973 F.2d 295, 298 (4th Cir. 1992). In the case
of Styles, who allegedly denied Plaintiff the ability to wear
boots, there is no set of facts that would establish that
Styles knew of a substantial risk to Plaintiff's safety
that would have been avoided if he wore boots. In the case of
the officer who did not summon a nurse to the area where
Plaintiff fell, there is no allegation that Plaintiff was
denied medical care or that it was delayed. To the contrary,
Plaintiff states he was provided medical care for his
claim asserted is in the nature of a worker's
compensation claim. The state-law equivalent to such a claim
for prisoners incarcerated in Maryland is a Sundry Claims
Board claim filed pursuant to Md. Corr. Serv., Code Ann.
§ 10-301 et seq. Compensation under that
provision, however, is limited to injuries resulting in a
permanent partial or total disability, id. at §
10-304(2) and must be filed at the earlier of 24 months of
the date of injury or within 12 months of release from
incarceration, id. at §10-305(b). This court
does not have jurisdiction to consider such a claim.
this is the second attempt by Plaintiff to file a complaint
concerning this injury. See Washington v. Eastern
Correctional Institution, Civil Action DKC-16-1268 (D.
Md. 2016). On May 4, 2016, that case was also dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Id. at ECF Nos. 4 & 5. Plaintiff did not appeal
the dismissal of the complaint. Id.
complaint shall be dismissed by separate Order which follows.
 “Every person who,
under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or
usage, of any State or Territory . . . subjects, or causes to
be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other
person with the jurisdiction
thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges
or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be
liable to the party injured . . .” 42 U.S.C. §
1983 (emphasis supplied).
 To the extent Plaintiff intended to
implicate the medical care providers for the quality of the
care he received, claims of medical malpractice or negligence
do not state an Eighth Amendment claim. Mere negligence or
malpractice does not rise to a constitutional level.
Russell v. Sheffer, 528 F.2d 318, 319 (4th ...