United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL United States District Judge.
response to Plaintiff Ezra Charles Calloway Jr.'s pro
se civil rights complaint alleging inadequate conditions
of confinement and medical care while incarcerated,
Defendants Warden John Wolfe, Lt. Matthew Mitchell, and
Officer Yeselle Fidderman (collectively, "Correctional
Defendants") filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 17. Defendants
Danielle Ballard, Ruth Pinkney, P.A., Paul Matera, M.D., and
Jason Clem, M.D. (collectively, "Medical
Defendants") filed a similar motion. ECF No.
Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No.
26, which the Court will also construe as an opposition to
Defendants' motions. ECF No. 26. The Correctional and
Medical Defendants have filed responses to Plaintiffs motion.
See ECF Nos. 27, 28. No hearing is necessary to
resolve the matters pending before the Court. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons stated
herein. Defendants' Motions shall be granted and
Plaintiffs Motion denied.
is an inmate committed to the custody of the Department of
Public Safety and Correctional Services and confined at all
times relevant to the complaint to the Eastern Correctional
Institution ("ECI"). Plaintiff claims that he fell
from an upper bunk on August 11, 2016, resulting in an injury
to his fingsr. ECF No. 4 at 3. He states that he was asleep in
the upper bunk, it was "seriously hot without a fan,
" and he "ended up falling off the top bunk."
Id. Plaintiff injured his right pinkie finger,
"splitting it on both sides to the bone and losing [his]
nail." Id. When he landed, Plaintiff claims he
hit the right side of his head, causing "pain and
stiffness in [his] neck on the left side." Id.
alleges that Officers Fidderman and Smith were assigned to
the tier where he was housed and the injury occurred.
Id. When Plaintiff filed an administrative
complaint, or "grievance, " with the "7-3
shift, " Lt. Mitchell refused to sign the receipt
because Plaintiff had raised complaints about more than one
issue. Id. at 3-4. Plaintiff states he initially
filed the administrative complaint on August 24, 2016, but
had to re-write it so many times it "did not get signed
and acknowledged until September 6, 2016." Id.
at 4. Although not clearly stated in the Amended Complaint,
Plaintiff appears to have raised a claim in his
administrative complaint that the double bunk from which he
fell was constructed in such a manner as to make it unsafe
for use. He explains that the bunks have no protective guards
or railing and no ladders. Id. He states the bunks
were originally designed as single beds, but are now welded
together to form bunk beds "with nothing to protect one
from falling off while asleep." Id.
states he was admitted to the "medical ward" the
day after he injured his finger. Id. He claims that
"the entire medical department staff at [ECI] was
responsible for my unadequate (sic) medical care."
Id. Plaintiff alleges he was under the care of
medical staff from August 12, 2016 through August 22, 2016,
and complains he was discharged "without any dressings
for my wound and pain medication relisf." Id.
He claims that medical care was improper because it took 24
hours for him to receive pain medication and another 24 hours
to receive bandages "to keep it covered and clean from
the bacteria." Id. He states that the
"doctor and P.A. was (sic) responsible for prescribing
these things . .. once [he] was discharged."
Id. Plaintiff states that the medical care provided
was improper because he was not sent directly to a hospital
and has not been seen by a "nerve hand specialist."
Id. Rather, he states he has "only seen an
in-house Orthopedist who recommended therapy."
Id. The therapy had just started ir. November of
2016, and Plaintiff claims it was not working and sometimes
made the pain wcrse. Id. He claims he still has pain
in his neck.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
survive a motion to dismiss invoking Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), "£ complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'"
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Co-p. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is lieble
for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice." Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555).
purpose of Rule 12(b)(6) "is to test the sufficiency of
a complaint and not to resolve contests surrounding the
facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of
defenses." Presley v. City of Charlottesville,
464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th C.r. 2006) (citation and internal
quotation marks omitted). When deciding a motion to dismiss
under Rule 12(b)(6), a court "must accept as true all of
the factual allegations contained in the complaint, "
and must "draw all reasonable inferences [from those
facts] in favor of the plaintiff." E.I. du Pont de
Nemours & Co. v. Kohn Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435,
440 (4th Cir. 2011) (citations and internal quotation marks
omitted). The Court need not, however, accept unsupported
legal allegations, see Revene v. Charles County
Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989), legal
conclusions couched as factual allegations, Papasan v.
Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or conclusory factual
allegations devoid of any reference to actual events.
United Black Firefighters of Norfolk v. Hirst, 604
F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979).
motions are styled as Motions to Dismiss, or in the
Alternative, Motions for Summary Judgment. If the Court
considers materials outside the pleadings, the Court must
treat a motion to dismiss as one for summary judgment.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). When the Court treats a motion to dismiss
as a motion for summary judgment, "[a]ll parties must be
given a reasonable opportunity to present all the material
that is pertinent to the motion." Id. When the
moving party styles its motion as a "Motion to Dismiss,
or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment, " as is the
case here, and attaches additional materials to its motion,
the nonmoving party is, of couise, aware that materials
outside the pleadings are before the Court, and the Court can
treat the motion as one for summary judgment. See
Laughlin v. Metropolitan Wash. Airports Auth., 149 F.3d
253, 260-61 (4th Cir. 1998). Further, the Court is not
prohibited from granting a motion for summary judgment before
the commencement of discovery. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a) (stating that the court "shall grant summary
judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact" without distinguishing pre-or
post-discovery). Summary judgment is appropriate if
"materials in the record, including depositions,
documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations ... admissions, interrogatory
answers, or other materials, " show that there is
"no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a« and 56(c); see also Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, Ml U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The party
moving for summary judgment bears the burden of demonstrating
that no genuine dispute exists as to material facts.
Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props.: 810
F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987) If the moving party
demonstrates that there is no evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case, the burden shifts to the
nonmoving party to identify specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex, Ml U.S.
at 322-23. A material fact is one that "might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law."
Spriggs v. Diamond Auto Glass, 242 F.3d 179, 183
(4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby.
Inc.. 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A dispute of material
fact is only "genuine" if sufficient evidence
favoring the nonmoving party exists for the trier of fact to
return a verdict for that party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248. However, the nonmoving party "cannot create a
genuine issue of material fact through mere speculation or
the building of one inference upon another." Beale
v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213, 214 (4th Cir. 1986).
Eighth Amendment prohibits "unnecessary and wanton
infliction of pain" by virtue of its guarantee against
cruel and unusual punishment. Gregg v. Georgia, 428
U.S. 153, 173 (1976). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to provide
him with a safe bed and failing to provide adequate medical
care after Plaintiff fell cut of the bed on August 11, 2016.
Each claim is addressed in turn.
Conditions of Confinement
that "deprive inmates of:he minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities" may amount to cruel and unusual
punishment. Rhodes v. Chapman,452 U.S. 337, 347
(1981). "In order to establish the imposition of cruel
and unusual punishment, a prisoner must prove two
elements-that 'the deprivation of [a] basic human need
was objectively sufficiently serious' and that
'subjectively the officials acted with a
sufficiently culpable state of mind.'" Shakka v.
Smith,71 F.3d 162, 166 (4th Cir. 1995) (emphasis in
original) (citation omitted). "These requirements spring
from the text of the amendment itself, absent intentionality,
a condition imposed on an inmate cannot properly be called
'punishment, ' and absent ...