United States District Court, D. Maryland
MOHAMMED S. ROBLE, Plaintiff
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, Defendant
Paula Xinis United States District Judge
is this personal injury action filed by Mohammed S. Roble in
connection with an accident involving a Federal Bureau of
Prisons (BOP) bus and a tractor-trailer truck (“the
truck”). Roble, a passenger on the BOP bus, brings
claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act
(“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2671, et.
seq., the Maryland Tort Claims Act, and Maryland common
law. Roble also alleges that the BOP was deliberately
indifferent to his safety during transport, giving rise to an
independent claim under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388
(1971). ECF No. 1 at 1; ECF 1-1 at 1, 2. He seeks
compensatory damages and an order requiring the installation
of seat belts in prison transports. Id.
moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment
to be granted in its favor. ECF No. 12. Roble responded,
which the BOP timely replied. The matter is ready for
disposition, and no hearing is necessary. See Loc.
R. 105.6. (D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons, BOP's
motion to dismiss or in the alternative for summary judgment
(ECF No. 12) is granted.
following facts are taken from Roble's Complaint and the
BOP's prison and medical records. Roble is a federal inmate
housed at the Federal Correctional Institution
(“FCI”)-Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New Jersey. On
November 5, 2014, while incarcerated in the Federal Detention
Center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Roble was being
transported via BOP bus. Id. at 2-3; ECF 14-1 at 4.
Although Roble was restrained by cuffs and shackles, the bus
did not have any seat belts. Id. at 3.
transport, the bus was stopped in traffic and the truck hit
the bus from behind. ECF No. 12-5. Although Roble claims that
the bus driver was speeding and otherwise driving recklessly,
the Maryland State Police Vehicle Crash Report determined
that the truck had “failed to control speed and
following distance and rear ended” the bus. ECF No.
14-1 at 33. In other words, Maryland State Police concluded
that the truck, not the stopped bus, was at fault.
Id. at 34.
impact, Roble asserts that he was thrown and hit the seat in
front of him, injuring his face, forehead, knees and back.
Id. After the accident, Roble was immediately
transported to the Emergency Room at the Franklin Square
Medical Center. Id. at 5. Roble reported knee pain
to hospital staff. ECF No. 14-1, at 42, 48. The medical
center treated and released Roble without any medication
prescription, but with direction to follow up with a medical
provider if necessary. Id. at 43, 46, 50.
was then placed on a different BOP bus which, according to
Roble, did not have any seat belts either. Roble claims that
persons within the custody of the BOP are transported across
the country in buses owned by the United States Government
and operated by the BOP, and that none of the buses have seat
belts for prisoners.
arrived at FCC Petersburg the day after the bus accident. ECF
No. 12-4 at 10. During the medical assessment at Petersburg,
Roble did not report any specific injuries arising from the
bus accident. ECF No. 14-1 at 85-89. Nor did he complain of
any pain or complications from the accident during three
subsequent medical evaluations in the following month. ECF
No. 12-4 at 9-10, 14-1 at 80-84 (12/1/2014); ECF No. 14-1 at
75-79 (12/3/2014); ECF 14-1 at 70-74 (12/4/2014).
December, 2014 to January, 2015, Roble was incarcerated at
FCI Berlin in New Jersey. ECF No. 1 at 6. Roble asserts that
he told FCI Berlin medical staff that he was in pain from the
bus accident but nothing was done. The records from FCI
Berlin, however, reflect that he was treated at the mental
health and chronic clinics throughout 2015. ECF No. 14-1,
161-205. Records from those visits reflect that Roble denied
any painful conditions and did not report any injuries from
the motor vehicle accident. Id. Roble also notes
that he spent ten months at the D.C. Jail in 2015, where he
was advised that his right knee injury may be permanent. ECF
13, 2016, Roble told an FCI Berlin medical provider that the
“bump on his left forehead” was from the 2014 bus
accident. ECF No. 14-2, at 230-231. The next month during
transport to FCI-Fort Dix, Roble received three medical
evaluations. At each, he denied experiencing any painful
conditions and did not report any injuries. ECF No. 14-1 at
247-250 (7/14/16); at 242-245 (7/15/16); at 237-240
(7/19/16). Roble did report the lump on his forehead to one
evaluator on July 25, 2016, again attributing it to the bus
accident. ECF No. 14-1 at 216.
at some point was referred for an x-ray on his knee while
housed at Fort Dix. The x-ray was taken on September 27,
2016, and showed no signs of fracture or misalignment.
Rather, Roble was diagnosed with suprapatellar joint
effusion. Id. at 211, 312-313; ECF No. 1-4 at
Roble was evaluated again on October 6, 2016, during which he
reported right knee pain and swelling after exercise. Roble
also attributed these symptoms to injuries sustained in the
bus accident almost two years before. ECF Nos, 1-4 at 3, 14-1
at 211. Thereafter, aside from a January 2017 medical visit
where Roble was prescribed Ibuprofen, Roble had not sought
further medical treatment. Id.
avers that he filed an administrative claim on January 25,
2016, for the personal injuries sustained during the bus
accident. The claim was denied on July 19, 2016. ECF No. 1 at
8; ECF No. 1-5 (claim form); ECF No. 1-6 (denial of claim).
Roble did not file any similar administrative claims for the
BOP's alleged Bivens violations, despite the BOP
having previously provided to Roble information describing
the administrative claim process. ECF 12-4 at 3-4,
¶¶13 & 14; ECF 12-4 at 12, 14-15. ECF 24-2 at