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Conaway v. Stump

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 11, 2018

EDWARD JARELL CONAWAY, #454-281 Plaintiff



         Procedural History

         On May 1, 2017, Plaintiff Edward Jarell Conaway filed this action, Conaway v. Warden, et al., ("Conaway I"), alleging that correctional and medical personnel at the Maryland Reception Diagnostic Classification Center ("MRDCC") in Baltimore, Maryland ignored his medical problems with an infected Foley catheter and his need for medical housing, and requesting unspecified damages.[2] Following supplementation (ECF No. 3), the case proceeded to service of process on the Warden and the Medical Defendants. Dispositive motions were filed and were pending when Conaway was transferred from MRDCC on June 9, 2017. ECF Nos. 15, 18 and 21.[3] Because he failed to provide a new address, the case was dismissed without prejudice on October 11, 2017. Id., ECF No. 21.

         On November 27, 2017, Conaway, who had been transferred to the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, initiated the same action against the Warden of MRDCC and Dr. Dolph Druckman. See Conaway v. Warden of MRDCC, et ah, Civil Action No. RDB-17-3535 (D. Md.) ("Conaway II"). Conaway sought money damages and alleged that medical personnel failed to properly change his Foley catheter, causing a urinary tract infection that went undiagnosed and untreated during the four months Conaway was housed at MRDCC. Taking into consideration that the Correctional and Medical Defendants had incurred the cost of litigation in preparing and filing dispositive motions in "Conaway I, " the second action, "Conaway II, " Civil Action No. RDB-17-3535, was dismissed, and Defendants in "Conaway I" were granted time to move for reactivation of their previously-filed dispositive Motions. ECF No. 23.

         Defendants now move for reactivation of their Motions, which are construed as Motions for Summary Judgment.[4] ECF Nos. 24 and 25. Conaway filed an opposition Response, as supplemented, to Defendant Druckman's dispositive motion (ECF Nos. 29 and 30), to which Druckman has filed an opposition Reply. ECF No. 31. The case is ripe for disposition. After considering the pleadings, exhibits, and applicable law, the Court now rules pursuant to Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016), as a hearing on the Motions is deemed unnecessary. For reasons to follow, Defendants' dispositive Motions, construed as Motions for Summary Judgment, are granted.


         In his unverified May 1, 2017 Complaint, Conaway asserts that he was denied medical housing and medical care. ECF No. 1. He elaborates on these assertions in Supplemental Complaints, stating that he was denied a change of his Foley catheter and pain medication, that the medical department disclosed information about his condition to another prisoners, and that he was denied medical housing at the Maryland Transition Center ("MTC") hospital while housed nearby at MRDCC. ECF No. 3, p. 3; ECF No. 3-1, p. 1; and ECF No. 5.[5] He states that his request to see Warden Stump was ignored, and that unnamed corrections staff never "answered my remedy request slips." ECF No. 1.

         A. Defendant Stump's Response

         Warden Stump submits medical records and Declarations in support of her Motion for Summary Judgment. In her Declaration, Stump avers that medical care for MRDCC prisoners is provided by a third-party contractor, not Division of Correction personnel. ECF No. 19-2, Stump Decl., ¶ 2.

         Despite Conaway's allegation to the contrary, Stump's submissions demonstrate that Conaway's Administrative Remedy Procedure grievances ("ARPs") were addressed by corrections personnel. The first ARP, MRDCC-0148-17, filed on March 17, 2017, alleged a denial of medical care and medical housing, as well as the alleged disclosure by medical staff of his health condition. ECF No. 19-4, Moore Decl., pp. 3-4. The ARP was administratively dismissed and Conaway was asked to provide additional information. Id., p. 3. On April 1, 2017, Conaway submitted ARP MRDCC-0191-17 concerning his Foley catheter. Id., p. 5. The ARP was administratively dismissed and Conaway again was asked to provide additional information. Id. On April 4, 2017, Conaway submitted ARP MRDCC-0192-17, which Stump dismissed on the merits based on the reports, assessments, and judgment of the medical contractor's staff. Id., pp. 6-8; ECF No. 19-2, Stump Deck, ¶ 4. Conaway did not appeal these ARP decisions to the Inmate Grievance Office ("IGO"). ECF No. 19-5, Neverdon Deck

         B. Defendant Druckman's Response In

         response to Conaway's allegations, the Medical Defendant, Dr. Druckman, has addressed claims that medical personnel failed to house Conaway in a medical unit or prison hospital (ECF No. 1), prescribe Tylenol #3 for pain (ECF Nos. 3 and 5), permit Conaway the option of performing catheter changes on his own (ECF No. 3), and keep Conaway's medical information confidential. (ECF No. 5).

         Druckman describes Conaway, who is in bis early 30s, as an individual with mental health issues who since 2005 has suffered from a neurogenic bladder[6] due to a motor vehicle accident that required penile amputation. ECF No. 15-5, Druckman Aff, ¶ 4; DEC No. 15-4, Initial Intake Physical Exam, p. 1. When he arrived at MRDCC on February 23, 2017, Conaway received an admission health assessment from Nurse Practitioner Roslyn Deshields. ECF No. 15-4, p. 1. At that time, he had a suprapubic catheter in place draining clear yellow urine. Id. Conaway reported chronic pelvic pain for which he took oxycodone as needed, and demanded to see a physician for a prescription. Id. He was given a single dose (two tablets) of Tylenol #3, and was referred to a provider for follow up. Id., pp. 1, 4.[7]

         The following day, on February 24, 2017, Conaway was seen by Dr. Sonja Wilson at a chronic care clinic. ECF No. 15-4, pp. 5-9. His suprapubic catheter had been in place since his accident more than a decade earlier. Conaway stated the catheter usually was changed once a month, and that he currently was taking nitrofurantoin[8] for a urinary tract infection. Id., p. 5. Conaway stated he had received care at University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and was treated by Dr. Scipio at Bon Secours Hospital for his condition, and took Tylenol #3 for pain. Id. Examination revealed a suprapubic opening with a catheter present but was otherwise unremarkable. Id. Labs were ordered, nitrofurantoin was continued, nursing daily dressings to the suprapubic catheter opening were ordered, and catheter bags were to be provided as needed. Id., p. 7. The provider called Dr. Scipio to discuss Conaway's case, and was advised that the catheter should be changed every 4-6 weeks, and nitrofurantoin or Bactrim should be prescribed to decrease the chance of a urinary tract infection. Id. A urology consult, to include replacement of the current catheter, was ordered. Id., p. 9.

         On March 6, 2017, Dr. Wilson noted that Conaway's urine culture showed the presence of E. coli bacteria. Id., p. 10. Ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic, was prescribed. Id. Dr. Wilson noted that the Regional Medical Director ("RMD") advised that the utilization management team did not approve an off-site urology visit for changing Conaway's chronic suprapubic indwelling catheter. Id.

         On March 16, 2017, Dr. Druckman examined Conaway during a chronic care clinic for follow-up of the urinary tract infection and replacement of the indwelling catheter. Id., p. 11. Conaway's request for opioids for chronic hip and back pain was denied because he did not require assistance with activities of daily living ("ADL"). Conaway declined the offered NSAIDs and amitriptyline, an anti-depressant used to treat pain. Id.

         On March 17, 2017, Conaway was seen by Annette Belin, R.N., at sick call, where he requested Tylenol #3. Id., p. 12. The note reflects that he saw a physician the previous day for pain management and was in no acute distress. Id.

         Conaway did not appear for his March 28, 2017 chronic care follow up. Id., p. 13. He was seen by Registered Nurse Harlan Woodward on March 28, 2017 at sick call. Id., pp. 14-15. Conaway stated his catheter had been in place for three months and needed to be replaced. After consultation with a physician, Woodward provided a temporary catheter and scheduled Conaway to visit a provider the next day to follow up. Id.

         On April 11, 2017, Conaway was seen by Dr. Druckman. Id., p. 16. Conaway refused assistance in replacing his catheter and insisted on self-catheterizing. He refused to sign a release of responsibility form and refused further contact with Druckman. Id. Plaintiff also insisted a size 8 catheter be used. Id. It was noted that rapport needed to be established regarding catheter replacement, and that if Conaway continued to refuse medical ...

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