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Beall v. Barrera

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 7, 2017

BRUCE WILLIAM BEALL, Plaintiff
v.
DOCTOR ROBUSTIANO BARRERA, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge

         Pending before the court is a motion to dismiss, or alternatively, for summary judgment filed by Defendants Robustiano Barrera, M.D., William Beeman, R.N., Mahboob Ashraf, M.D. and Krista Bilak, R.N.P. (“Medical Defendants”). ECF No. 7.[1] Plaintiff was informed by the court, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), that failure to file a response in opposition to the motion filed by the medical defendants could result in the dismissal of his complaint. ECF No. 8. To date, Plaintiff has filed nothing in response to the motion. Upon review of the papers filed, the court finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons stated below, the medical defendants' dispositive motion will be granted.

         I. Complaint Allegations

         Plaintiff Bruce William Beall, an inmate currently confined at North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI) in Cumberland, Maryland, filed this verified complaint on August 24, 2016, and alleged that the medical defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. ECF No. 1. Specifically, Plaintiff states that he had to have surgery on his right thumb after he suffered a seizure in 2011 and hit his hand against the sink/toilet in his cell. ECF No. 1, p. 5. He states that medical staff waited so long to treat him that his right thumb “healed crooked” resulting in the need for surgery. Id., p. 6. He states that the surgery consisted of his thumb being re-broken and the placement of two removable pins. Id. Thereafter, the medical department refused to give him tape to hold his ace bandage in place with the result that, “everything fell off and only one of the removable pins could be seen.” Id. He states that he found out that the second pin went through the skin. Id., pp. 6-7. Plaintiff states that he complained about this and x-rays were taken but nothing was done. Id., p. 7.

         Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants stopped his pain medication and when he asked to have pain medication he was advised that it was “a bad idea because of other medication” he was taking. Id., p. 7. He claims that he is in continuing pain and he seeks compensatory damages as well as an injunction providing surgery and pain medication. Id., pp. 7-8.

         II. Defendants' Response

         Defendants contend that the allegations concerning an injury to his thumb in 2011 are time barred and that the complaint otherwise should be dismissed because it fails to allege any specific wrongdoing by any of them particularly as it relates to ongoing complaints of pain.

         The medical defendants indicate that Plaintiff was evaluated by LPN Stella Dale on January 10, 2012, reporting that he injured his left hand on January 9, 2012, during a seizure. ECF No. 7-2, p. 3. Plaintiff's left thumb was bruised and swollen. Id. Plaintiff was evaluated on January 13, 2012, by Colin Ottey, M.D. who noted swelling and bruising of Plaintiff's left hand. Id., p. 4. Ottey ordered Plaintiff to be provided with an ace bandage for three months, directed Plaintiff to ice the thumb in the evenings, and referred Plaintiff to another provider for follow-up in two weeks. Id., pp. 5, 7.

         On January 28, 2012, Plaintiff was again evaluated by Dr. Ottey. Id., p 8. At this time it was noted that Plaintiff was being seen for a follow up for an injury to his right hand. An x-ray of the hand revealed a fracture of the first metacarpal bone with some displacement. Id. Plaintiff was prescribed Ibuprofen and Tylenol-codeine No. 3 to be taken as needed and a consultation request for an orthopedic evaluation was placed. Id., pp. 8-9.

         Plaintiff was seen by Registered Nurse Metheny on February 17, 2012, due to continued complaints of right hand pain. Id., p. 10. It was noted that the request for an orthopedic consultation was approved. Id.

         Plaintiff was seen by an off-site medical provider on February 24, 2012. Id., p. 13. He was returned to the facility with an ace bandage wrap intact and reporting no issues. Id. Plaintiff saw Dr. Ottey on March 10, 2012. Id., p. 15. Ottey noted that Plaintiff had recently been seen by an orthopedic surgeon who recommended open reduction surgery and internal K-wire fixation of Plaintiff's right thumb. Id.

         On April 17, 2012, Plaintiff underwent surgery on his thumb by Dr. Krishnaswamy. Id., p. 17. Plaintiff was placed in a sprint and discharged back to the institution the same day. He was prescribed Ibuprofen and Tylenol-codeine No. 3 for pain relief. Id., p. 18.

         On April 21, 2012, during a follow-up visit with Dr. Ottey, Plaintiff reported pain in his hand. The hand was noted to be improving and swelling was mild. Id. Plaintiff's prescriptions for Ibupofren and Tylenol-codeine No. 3 were renewed. Id.

         On May 22, 2012, Plaintiff reported to Registered Nurse Monica Metheny that he believed a “pin came out of his thumb.” Id., p. 23. He was seen the following day by Physician's Assistant Katie Winner. He reported that he was in a lot of pain. It was noted that he was still wearing the cast that was placed by the surgeon. A consultation request for follow-up ...


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