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Dixon v. Wexford Medical

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 18, 2018

WILLIE DIXON, #370-835, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD MEDICAL, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Catherine C. Blake United States District Judge

         On August 25, 2017, self-represented plaintiff Willie Dixon, presently incarcerated at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland, filed this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford"), the prison healthcare provider. ECF No. 1. Dixon claims that he has been taking the drug Humira and therefore needs annual medical checkups with Dr. Siaton, which Wexford allegedly denies. Id. at 4-5. He seeks an order directing Wexford to allow the yearly visits. Id. at 4.

         On December 22, 2017, Wexford filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 12. Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court informed Dixon that the failure to file a response in opposition to Wexford's Motion could result in dismissal of the Complaint. ECF No. 13. Dixon did not respond. After review of the record, exhibits, and applicable law, the court deems a hearing unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). Wexford's Motion shall be construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment and shall be granted.

         Background

         Dixon is a 52-year old male inmate with a medical history significant for Behcet's syndrome, [1] panuveitis, [2] and cataracts. See ECF No. 12-4; ECF No. 12-5 at ¶4.[3] He states that he has been taking the drug Humira[4] for almost three years and is, therefore, required to have annual visits with Dr. Bernadette Siaton, an off site rheumatologist who, he alleges, can best examine the effects of the drug on his bones. ECF No. 1 at 4; ECF No. 1-1. Dixon claims that Wexford has failed to provide adequate medical care by denying him the required visits. Id.

         Dixon's medical records reflect that on January 18, 2017, he was denied a follow-up visit with an off site rheumatologist, and the alternative treatment plan was to monitor his condition on site. ECF No. 12-4 at 3. On January 22, 2017, Dixon saw a nurse and inquired about the status of his rheumatologist consult. Id. at 1. The nurse emailed the scheduler and provider to research the status of the consult. Id. On January 26, 2017, Dixon was referred to a provider for a determination of the consult disposition. Id. at 3.

         On February 3, 2017, Dixon was seen by Ava Joubert, M.D. Id. at 4-5. Dixon complained of continued right lower quadrant pain and discomfort, associated with occasional nausea and dysuria, [5] and stated that he often had dark urine and had lost about 20 lbs. in the past year. Id. Dixon believed that his symptoms were possibly related to taking Humira. Id. At that time, Dr. Joubert noted that Dixon had persistent neutropenia[6] and a recent rise in the AST.[7] Id.

         On February 14, 2017, Dixon had a follow-up visit with Dr. Joubert, who requested an abdominal ultrasound. Id. at 6-7. By that time, Dixon had been taking Bactrim for three months without alleviating his prostatitis[8] symptoms. Id. During the visit, Dixon told Dr. Joubert the rheumatologist had stated that the symptoms might be related to his pancreas. Id. Dr. Joubert planned to complete the ultrasound first, and then submit a request for a follow-up with the rheumatologist. Id. She advised Dixon to continue taking Humira. Id.

         On March 8, 2017, Dixon had the abdominal ultrasound. Id. at 8. On March 17, 2017, Dixon was seen by Mahboobeh Memarsadeghi, M.D. Id. at 9-11. Again, Dixon was noted to have been on Humira for two years but continued to have right lower quadrant pain and discomfort, associated with occasional nausea and dysuria, no hematuria. Id. Dixon's ultrasound was unremarkable except for bilateral cysts in the kidneys, one measuring 19mm in the right, and two, measuring 1.4cm and 2cm, in the left. Id.

         On March 22, 2017, Dixon was denied a follow-up rheumatology consult and a course of urine dip sticks with follow up in three months was recommended as an alternative treatment plan. See Id. at 12-13, 16.

         On April 19, 2017, Dixon saw Crystal Jamison, P..A. to review his ultrasound results. Id. at 14. On May 16, 2017, Dixon again saw. Jamison, who reviewed his urine dip stick and urinalysis treatment plan. Id. at 16-17. At that time, Dixon expressed dissatisfaction and felt that he should see a rheumatologist. Id. Jamison informed Dixon he could successfully be monitored onsite. Id. Dixon refused to give a urine specimen or to have his vitals taken, and stated that he was going to self-terminate taking Humira. Id. Jamison advised Dixon to continue taking his medication. Id.

         On June 6, 2017, Dixon saw a nurse during a sick call to inquire about the urinalysis. Id. at 18. He stated that he had stopped taking all his medications due to the renal cysts. Id. In response, the nurse educated Dixon on cysts and advised him to comply with his medication orders. Id. Dixon agreed to take his medications. Id.

         On June 14, 2017, Dixon saw Dr. Memarsadeghi at chronic care. Id. at 20-22. Dixon had no complaints but wanted to know how much longer he needed to be on Humira. Id. Again, he indicated a belief that the renal cysts were related to Humira. Id. Dr. Memarsadeghi informed Dixon that the conditions were separate and not caused by his medication. Id. A urinalysis was ordered. Id.

         On August 25, 2017, Dixon initiated this action. ECF No. 1. Soon thereafter, on August 30, 2017, Dixon saw Dr. Memarsadeghi at chronic care. ECF No. 12-4 at 23-25. At that time, Dixon's Humira medication was on hold due to neutropenia and fever. Id. Dixon also had diarrhea and nausea. Id. He was started on an empirical course of antibiotics, chest x-rays and lab work were ordered, and a consult for rheumatology was submitted. Id.

         On September 6, 2017, the rheumatology consult was approved. Id. at 35. On September 20, 2017, Dixon again saw Dr. Memarsadeghi. Id. at 26-28. Dixon's lab work was negative for invasive organisms, his white blood cell count had returned to normal, and he was afebrile. Id. Dixon ...


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