United States District Court, D. Maryland
JAMES A. HENSON, JR. Plaintiff
BEVERLY McLAUGHLIN, et al., Defendants
K. Bredar, Chief Judge
is a motion to dismiss or. in the alternative, motion for
summary judgment filed by defendants Beverly McLaughlin,
N.P.. Krista Self (f/n/a Swan-Bilak). N.P., Robustiano
Barrera. M.D.. Ali Yahya, M.D., Janice Gilmore, R.N., Ava
Joubert, M.D.. and Colin Ottey, M.D. ECF 26. Plaintiff has
responded (ECF 27) and defendants have replied. ECF 28. Also
pending is plaintiffs Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
(ECF 30) and defendants' opposition. ECF 31.
Upon review of the papers filed, the court finds a hearing in
this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.
Md. 2016). For the reasons stated below, defendants"
dispositive motion will be GRANTED and plaintiffs motion for
injunctive relief DENIED.
case was instituted upon receipt of a civil rights complaint
filed by plaintiff James Henson, an inmate currently confined
at the Western Correctional Institution ("WO"). ECF
1. Plaintiff named as defendants Beverly McLaughlin. N.P..
Krista Self (f/n/a Swan-Bilak). N.P., Robustiano Barrera.
M.D., Ali Yahya. M.D. and Dr. Carlson. ECF 1 at 1. Plaintiff
states that Nurse Practitioner Beverly McLaughlin, Krista
Swan-Bilak. and Dr. Barrera denied him effective
"daytime" medication for his allergies and for his
"severe chronic pain." ECF 1-1 at p. 1. He claims
that he requires a sling or a back brace for his pinched
sciatic nerve, which causes him extreme lower back pain.
Id. He states that he suffers from a "severely
damaged left rotator cuff and right shoulder, left arm/hand
goes limp and numb without warning." Id. He
claims that he has cracked ribs, which cause him numbness.
Id. He alleges that rear cuffing triples the pain.
Id. He claims that defendants and unnamed prison
guards deny him effective pain medication in order to
"cover up year after year assaults
("murder")...." Id. Fie seeks the
prescription of Ultram and Ncurontin to treat his pain, a
sling, back brace. MRI. and surgery. Id.
the filing of this complaint, plaintiff has filed numerous
letters with the court. which were docketed as supplements to
the complaint. ECF 8. 14. 15. 16, 17. 23 & 24. After the
receipt of defendants' dispositive motion, he filed
additional documents. ECF 32-34. Together, these documents
contain a litany of plaintiffs complaints concerning the
entirety of his incarceration. The filings are difficult to
decipher as plaintiff regularly files documents previously
submitted in other cases and writes across them and around
the margins. He references cases, administrative grievances,
and filings dating back to the early 2000s. The tilings refer
to plaintiffs numerous previously filed cases to support his
allegations of regular and continuous problems with prison
staff. Those complaints, to the extent they have previously
been litigated, will not be considered here. Lastly, to the
extent the documents refer to events occurring after the
specific events complained of in plaintiffs initial
complaint, they are not properly before the court and also
will not be considered.
support of their motion, defendants have submitted various
exhibits, including the affidavit of Ava Joubert, M.D., and
74 pages of plaintiff s medical records. ECF 26-4 (Medical
Records); ECF 26-5 (Joubert Affidavit).
updates entered by psychology staff note that throughout
2016, plaintiff was described as reflecting persecutory and
delusional ideas. ECF 26-4 at pp. 1-5. He regularly refused
passes for appointments, made frivolous requests and claims,
and declined to talk to psychology staff. Id.
Joubert avers that plaintiff is a 55-year-old inmate,
currently housed at WCI, who suffers from hypertension and
bilateral shoulder pain. ECF 26-5. ¶ 4. In 2017. it was
observed that plaintiff suffered from reduced range of motion
in both shoulders; however. Dr. Barrera believed plaintiff
was exaggerating his symptoms. ECF 26-5, ¶ 4; ECF 26-4
at p. 15. On March 31. 2017, he was assessed by Roy Carls.
M.D., an orthopedist. CF 26-4 at p. 33. Plaintiff advised
Carls he was diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear after an MRI.
"several years ago." Id. Dr. Carls
assessed plaintiff as likely suffering from a rotator cuff
tear based on his history as well as acromioclavicular
("AC") joint degenerative joint disease.
Id.: ECF 26-5, ¶ 4.
order to treat plaintiffs reported pain, he has been
prescribed a variety of medications over time, including
Tylenol (325 mg and 500 mg). Motrin 800 mg. Amitriptyline
Hcl, Cymbalta, muscle rub. and steroid injections. ECF 26-5.
¶ 4. ECF 26-4 at pp. 7. 11, 17. 20, 21, 26. 28. 31. 34,
37, 43, 48, 57, 60. Other than the steroid injection and
Amitriptyline Hcl. plaintiff denied receiving any
amelioration of his pain relief from these medications. ECF
26-5, ¶ 4; ECF 26-4 at pp. 41. 67 (reporting relief from
injection). Instead, he sought the prescription of Ultram or
Neurontin to treat his reported pain and admitted to medical
staff that he self-medicated with those drugs. ECF 26-5,
¶ 4; ECF 26-4 at pp. 45, 54, 59. Plaintiff refused
medical staffs offer to try Tegretol to alleviate pain. ECF
26-5, ¶ 4; ECF 26-4 at p. 59.
avers that "Ultram is a narcotic-like drug not indicated
for long term treatment of chronic pain. Neurontin is an
anticonvulsant with secondary affects on diabetic nerve pain
that is not indicated in Plaintiffs diagnosed rotator cuff
tear." Id. Joubert also indicates that the use
of Neurontin can "implicate reactions to alcohol use.
which is a consideration for Plaintiff." Id.: see
also ECF 26-4 at p. 60 (indicating plaintiffs
"alcohol reduction is continuing.").
March 31. 2017. Dr. Carls recommended that plaintiff undergo
physical therapy before returning to the orthopedist for
further evaluation. ECF 26-5, ¶ 4, ECF 26-4 at pp. 20,
33. Plaintiff was referred for physical therapy (ECF 26-4 at
pp. 47-48) but did not appear for his scheduled June 15,
2017, physical therapy evaluation. ECF 26-5, ¶ 4; ECF
26-4 at p. 62. There is no indication in the dispositive
motion filed on October 25. 2017. that plaintiff was
scheduled to return to the orthopedist for further evaluation
or that another physical therapy evaluation was scheduled.
hypertension is managed and monitored in the chronic care
clinic. ECF 26-5. ¶5. Joubert reports that plaintiff
responded well to treatment and was taken off hypertension
medication with good results. Id.; see also ECF 26-4
at pp. 26, 59. Staff considered discharging plaintiff from
the chronic care clinic, but on June 13, 2017. his blood
pressure was elevated. ECF 26-5, ¶ 5; ECF 26-4 at p. 59.
As such, it was decided that plaintiffs hypertension would
continue to be monitored in the chronic care clinic. His
blood pressure is described by Joubert as generally within
normal limits without the need for medication, but she notes
that if his condition changes, then he will be placed back on
indicates that plaintiff sought placement on a high calorie
diet but as he has a body mass index that identifies him as
obese, a high calorie diet is contra-indicated. ECF 26-5,
¶6; see also ECF 26-4 at p. 60 (describing
plaintiffs BMI as 36 and his weight reduction ...