United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar Chief Judge
response to the civil rights complaint filed against them,
defendants Krista Bilak, Mahboob Ashraf, M.D., Holly Pierce,
and Wexford Health Source, Inc., move for dismissal or for
summary judgment. ECF 20. Plaintiff Juan Barnes opposes the
motion. ECF 21. No. hearing is necessary for the disposition
of this case. Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons
that follow, the motion shall be granted.
an inmate confined to North Branch Correctional Institution
in Cumberland, Maryland, claims that he has hypertension that
has gone untreated for three months, despite his request for
a renewal of his medication. ECF 1 at p. 1. He states that
neither Krista Bilak, RN, nor the medical contractor, Wexford
Health Source, Inc., can dispute that his hypertension has
gone untreated because he passed out and fell to the floor
when he was lightheaded. Id. Barnes does not state
when he passed out or where he was in the institution. Barnes
claims that “a real live stroke is underway” if
he does not receive treatment for his hypertension and he
believes that the falls he has experienced were “light
strokes” but does not explain why he believes this.
Id. at p. 3.
first amended complaint, Barnes claims that his hypertension
medication was allowed to expire, causing him injury. ECF 5.
Although it is not all together clear, Barnes seems to assert
that he stopped receiving care for his hypertension beginning
December 17, 2016. Id. at p. 3.
states that on April 12, 2017, after he was denied chronic
care clinic attention for hypertension, he passed out.
Id. at p. 3. Barnes claims that when he passed out
his cellmate had to revive him and he hurt his right arm.
Id. He further alleges he was having trouble
breathing and his feet were swollen, but when Officer Seville
called for medical assistance he was told that if Barnes was
on his feet he would need to put in a sick call slip to be
seen. Id. Barnes put in a sick call slip and
threatened to sue if he did not receive his
“metaprolol pills.” Id. at pp. 3-4. The
following day he received his medication. Id.
20, 2017, Barnes claims his hypertension medication was again
stopped and he did not receive them for “13 days or
more.” Id. at p. 4. He seeks punitive and
compensatory damages. Id.
second amended complaint, Barnes asserts that Holly Pierce
has “neglected my serious medical needs to the
fullest” and that he is “living in pain every
single minute of the hour.” ECF 11 at p. 2. He states
that on November 29, 2017, he reported that he required
emergency care because he was throwing up all of his food and
liquids and that he was “underweight.”
Id. Pierce had Barnes's blood taken and a stool
sample and claimed she ordered medication for him, but he did
not receive it. He states that he needs hospital care because
he sees “blood in my stool and my throw up.”
Id. Despite those symptoms, Barnes claims that
Pierce did nothing for him and that medical staff are just
waiting for his death. Id. He insists that
“something is wrong” with him. He claims that
when he asked Pierce to reinstate his hypertension
medication, she told him his blood pressure was not high at
that time. Id.
further alleges that he has “not had my hypertension
medication since June” and that “this has happened
two times in 18 months.” ECF 11 at p. 8. He claims he
experienced two incidents where he lost consciousness and
struck his head because of the failure to provide him with
regarding sleep apnea
addition, Barnes claims that he has sleep apnea, which he
describes as a serious medical condition that causes him to
stop breathing when he is asleep. Barnes claims that the
medical provider at Western Correctional Institution (WCI)
requested a sleep study twice and both requests were denied.
ECF 1 at p. 1. In his first amended complaint, Barnes claims
that “Wexford Headquarters” denied two requests
for sleep studies in 2014 and another request made in October
of 2016 was ignored. ECF 5 at p. 2. He states that their
“excuse” for denying the studies was that he
should lose weight. Id. Barnes claims that not only
does the condition present a threat to his health, it is also
a problem for his cellmates who cannot sleep due to his
snoring. He claims he has been assaulted by cellmates because
of the condition. Id.
first amended complaint, Barnes adds a claim that Wexford has
denied him treatment for chronic migraines. ECF 5 at p. 5. He
states that on May 20, 2017, he complained about having
chronic migraines to a nurse and she told him she ordered
Excedrin for Barnes, but he states he never got it.
18, 2017, Barnes saw another nurse who also told him that
Excedrin had been ordered for him, but he claims he never got
1, 2017, Barnes saw the nurse again and claims she lied to
him again. Id. He states he still has chronic
migraines, but his request for an MRI of his brain has been
ignored and he is being denied any treatment for his
migraines. Id. Barnes adds that “a migraine
headache is serious pain” and “the head is
something they should not play with could be a tumor.”
regarding chronic pain management
claims that “Wexford Health” refuses to monitor
and follow up on his “chronic pain.” ECF 5 at p.
6. He states that he has not been seen for his chronic pain
since January 1, 2017, which violates the policy requiring
chronic care patients to receive follow-up care every 30
days. Id. He alleges that the sick call slips he
sent in requesting treatment were thrown away and medical
staff claim nothing was ever requested regarding this issue.
further states that he has “been on every pill 3
times” and only one medication worked, but he is denied
it because he was found guilty of possessing
buprenorphine two years ago. Id. He claims that
he is “okay” with not receiving the one
prescription but claims the medical staff are using the prior
guilty finding to deny treatment all together. Id.
Barnes takes issue with medical staff not permitting the use
of “alternative treatment” and states he
doesn't want to take pills if he “can't have
the only pill that worked.” Id.
second amended complaint, Barnes claims that Dr. Ashraf is
improperly “prescribing a psychosis medication for pain
called Cymbalta.” ECF 11 at p. 7. He claims the
medication does not work, that he has a “real
injury” with metal in his leg, and he has not received
treatment for the pain for one year due to Holly Pierce
stopping his Neurontin prescription “out of pure
evil.” Id. He further avers that Wexford
Health has put him on “several psychosis medication[s],
” which he claims “may have destroyed [his]
stomach” and that he “may need surgery.”
second amended complaint, Barnes alleges that Sgt. Forney
interfered with his attempts to file a medical complaint. ECF
11 at p.3. He claims he gave someone a copy of a two-page
complaint and Barnes was told it was given to Sgt. Forney,
but Forney never gave Barnes a copy of the complaint.
Id. Barnes claims this is a denial of access to
courts and adds that Sgt. Forney “does not give ARP
complaints out to tier reps” for the purpose of
limiting complaints. Id. Barnes claims that Forney
is attempting to stop inmates from accessing the courts by
denying them ...