United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is a Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF 13) filed by Defendants Warden Kathleen
Green and Warden Ricky Foxwell, two of four named Defendants
in this case. Upon review of the papers filed, this
Court finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons
stated below, the dispositive motion, with respect to the
Defendants Green and Foxwell is construed as a Motion for
Summary Judgment and IS GRANTED.
case was instituted upon receipt of a civil rights complaint
filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by Plaintiff Melvin
Wayne Murray, a Maryland state inmate. ECF 1. Plaintiff
alleges that he has been denied adequate medical care.
Id. at p. 2. He indicates that the Defendant Ruth
Pinkney, as a Physician's Assistant, is the health care
provider he sees most frequently during his Chronic Care
Clinic visits. Id. at p. 4. He complains that he
suffers from a respiratory condition, Tardine Dyskinesia-a
chronic eye nerve condition, and a hernia, for which Pinkney
has not provided adequate medical care. Id. at p.
4-7. He states that he has asked to see a physician but
instead is frequently seen by Pinkney who refuses to refer
him to the physician. Id.
also alleges that former Warden Kathleen Green and current
Warden Ricky Foxwell did not resolve his complaints about his
medical care when he filed administrative remedy requests.
Id. at pp. 4-5. He claims that the Wardens did not
investigate his complaints or involve themselves in his
medical care. Id.; ECF 22-1 at p. 1-2.
Foxwell and Green each aver that they are not licensed
medical providers and that medical services at ECI are
provided by Wexford, the medical contractor. ECF 13-2, ¶
3 (Foxwell Affidavit); ECF 13-3 ¶ 3 (Green Affidavit).
They each deny having personal involvement in providing
medical care to Plaintiff and further deny having had the
authority to make any decisions regarding Plaintiff's
medical care or the authority to direct the medical staff to
perform any particular medical procedure or provide any
particular treatment. Id. Foxwell and Green further
state that as Wardens they were not responsible for
monitoring the provision of medical services to inmates.
Id. They each aver that they generally deferred to
the expertise of medical staff regarding the provision of
medical care to inmates and that when responding to an
inmate's complaint they each relied upon the reports,
assessments and judgments of the trained medical staff to
prepare a response for their signature. ECF 13-2 ¶¶
3 & 5; ECF 13-3 ¶¶ 3 & 5. They each deny
interfering with, hindering, or delaying medical care to
Plaintiff. ECF 13-2 ¶ 6; ECF 13-3 ¶ 6.
grievance regarding the denial of medical care was
investigated, his medical records were reviewed, and as a
result a communication was sent to the medical provider to
review the ophthalmologist recommendations. Additionally,
Plaintiff was advised he would be followed in the chronic
care clinic as needed. ECF 22-4 at p. 7.
and Green indicate that inmates may request medical care by
filling out sick call slips which are collected and reviewed
by medical staff who are responsible for determining
appointment dates and times. ECF 13-2 ¶ 4; ECF 13-3
motion for summary judgment will be granted only if there
exists no genuine issue as to any material fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The moving party
bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue as
to any material fact. However, no genuine issue of material
fact exists if the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient
showing on an essential element of his or her case as to
which he or she would have the burden of proof.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23. Therefore, on those
issues on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof,
it is his or her responsibility to confront the summary
judgment motion with an affidavit or other similar evidence
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.
judgment is appropriate under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure when there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact, and the moving party is plainly entitled to
judgment in its favor as a matter of law. In Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., the Supreme Court explained that,
in considering a motion for summary judgment, the
“judge's function is not himself to weigh the
evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to
determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.”
477 U.S. at 249 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is
genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Id. at 248. Thus, “the judge must ask himself
not whether he thinks the evidence unmistakably favors one
side or the other but whether a fair-minded jury could return
a verdict for the [nonmoving party] on the evidence
presented.” Id. at 252.
simply it is well established that the doctrine of respondeat
superior does not apply in § 1983 claims. See
Love-Lane v. Martin, 355 F.3d 766, 782 (4th Cir. 2004)
(no respondeat superior liability under § 1983).
Liability of supervisory officials “is not based on
ordinary principles of respondeat superior, but rather is
premised on ‘a recognition that supervisory
indifference or tacit authorization of subordinates'
misconduct may be a causative factor in the constitutional
injuries they inflict on those committed to their
care.'” Baynard v. Malone, 268 F.3d 228,
235 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Slakan v. Porter, 737
F.2d 368, 372 (4th Cir. 1984)). Supervisory liability under
§ 1983 must be supported with evidence that: (1) the
supervisor had actual or constructive knowledge that his
subordinate was engaged in conduct that posed a pervasive and
unreasonable risk of constitutional injury to citizens like
the plaintiff; (2) the supervisor's response to the
knowledge was so inadequate as to show deliberate
indifference to or tacit authorization of the alleged
offensive practices; and (3) there was an affirmative causal
link between the supervisor's inaction and the particular
constitutional injury suffered by the plaintiff. See Shaw
v. Stroud, 13 F.3d 791, 799 (4th Cir. 1994).
than a simple allegation that a Defendant held a position
that ostensibly imposed a duty upon them to insure their
subordinates did not engage in misconduct is required.
Neither Foxwell nor Green participated in the alleged failure
to treat Plaintiff and there is no evidence that Foxwell or
Green authorized an unconstitutional act. The uncontroverted
evidence is that Foxwell and Green investigated
Plaintiff's complaints regarding his medical care and
that they relied upon the expertise of medical staff to
determine the appropriate course of ...