United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar Chief Judge
Plaintiff Jovan Watkins, presently incarcerated at Eastern
Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland, brings this
civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Defendants, Secretary Stephen T. Moyer, Tikaye Parker, and
Lieutenant Janice Brown. See ECF No. 1. Through the
Complaint filed on April 26, 2017, and supplemented on May
10, 2017, Watkins alleges that when he was housed at the
Maryland Correctional Institution-Jessup
(“MCI-J”), Defendants violated his Eighth
Amendment right, as well as their own policy and procedures,
by refusing to escort him to the medical unit for treatment,
as had been directed by a treating physician for a
“serious medical need.” Id. at p. 4; ECF
No. 6. He seeks $550, 000 in monetary damages. Id.
at p. 8.
December 21, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss or,
in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 30.
Watkins filed a response on January 4, 2018. ECF No. 32.
After review of the record, exhibits, and applicable law, the
Court deems a hearing unnecessary. See Local Rule
105.6 (D. Md. 2016). Defendants' Motion shall be
construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment and shall be
states that on June 11, 2015, he was transferred from the
Baltimore City Detention Center to MCI-J. ECF No. 1, p.
While making his bed at MCI-J, he cut the middle finger on
his right hand. Id. Watkins had an urgent visit with
a medical provider on June 19, 2018, at which time his finger
appeared slightly swollen with some blood. ECF No. 30-2, p.
30, 2015, while Watkins was housed in general population, he
saw Dr. Brenda Hall at “K-Hospital” in MCI-J.
Id. at p. 13. A culture was taken from the injured
site and Watkins was given a 30-day pass to go to K-Hospital
for treatment and dressing changes. Id. at p. 14.
Watkins asserts that he followed the medical instructions
while in general population. ECF No. 1, p. 4.
10, 2015, the culture came back positive for
MRSA. ECF No. 30-2, p. 16. As a result, Dr. Hall
placed Watkins on “social isolation” in H-Unit.
Id. Dr. Hall's notes from the medical visit
indicated a plan that included daily dressing changes and a
follow-up appointment in five days. Id. However, the
“Medical Assignment” form that was issued by the
medical provider directed MCI-J staff only to “provide
single cell for ‘Social Isolation' until medically
cleared.” Id. at p. 30. The form was silent as
to the need for dressing changes.
alleges that, from July 10, 2015 through July 15, 2015, MCI-J
staff at H-Unit refused to escort him to K-Hospital for
dressing changes and treatment. ECF No. 1, p. 5. He also
alleges that, from July 10, 2015 through July 14, 2015,
H-Unit staff refused to let him shower and did not provide
running water to his cell for him to wash his hands.
Id. Watkins claims that he was in pain from July 10,
2015 through July 15, 2015, and his finger was swollen and
smelled rotten. Id. He alleges that he requested to
see a supervisor, and spoke to Defendant Parker. Id.
After he told Parker about H-Unit staff's refusal to
escort him to K-Hospital, he still was not escorted to
medical by H-Unit staff. Id.
alleges that he continued to ask to be escorted to medical by
H-Unit staff at MCI-J and was denied. Id. at pp.
5-6. He claims that he spoke with Captain Lilly and still was
not taken to medical. Id. at p. 6. Watkins's
Supplement references Defendant Brown, and alleges that she
spoke with him but that he was still not taken to the medical
department. ECF No. 6, p. 4.
to Watkins, Dr. Hall was informed about the situation on July
15, 2015, at which time she came to see that Watkins was
placed in a cell that had running water, given a shower, and
escorted to K-Hospital for the treatment and dressing change.
ECF No. 1, p. 6. Dr. Hall's notes from that
visit indicated that the “finger has shown
improvement.” ECF No. 30-2, p. 19. She implemented a
plan that included daily dressing changes, daily showers, and
a follow-up appointment in five days. Id. In
addition, a “Medical Assignment” form was issued
directing MCI-J staff to “take patient to medical for
daily dressing change” in the afternoons, and to
“allow [patient] daily showers until off ‘social
isolation.'” Id. at p. 29.
had a follow-up examination on July 24, 2015, and the MRSA
infection was noted to have resolved. Id. at pp.
24-25. In his Complaint, Watkins claims that he suffered
permanent damage to the middle finger of his right hand. ECF
No. 1, pp. 7-8.
filed several requests for administrative remedy regarding
the situation. See generally ECF No. 30-3.
Initially, Watkins filed Administrative Remedy Procedure
(“ARP”) MCI-J-0744-15 on July 10, 2015.
Id. at p. 4. Because it contained multiple issues,
ARP MCI-J-0744-15 was denied on July 22, 2015, and Watkins
was instructed to resubmit. Id. Watkins resubmitted
his request on August 1, 2015, alleging that he was not
provided safe housing and was denied proper medical treatment
from July 10, 2015, to July 15, 2015. Id. at p. 3.
After an investigation, Watkins's request was denied on
September 14, 2015, with the following response:
You were treated appropriately by medical for the infection
in your finger. You were provided medication, dressing
changes and follow up. Medical cannot address the issue with
the linens. If you require additional medical intervention
please follow the facility sick call process.
the Warden issued the response, Watkins filed an appeal on
August 9, 2015, stating that he had not received a response
to his request. Id. at p. 12. At that time, the
appeal was dismissed and Watkins was directed to resubmit the
appeal by September 5, 2015, along with an original copy of
MCI-J-0744-15. Id. Watkins did not resubmit the
appeal until September 15, 2015, at which time it was
dismissed for failure to resubmit by the due date given.
Id. at p. 11.
Watkins filed a complaint with the Inmate Grievance Office,
and an administrative hearing was held on January 7, 2016.
Id. at p. 17. On March 17, 2016, the administrative
hearing officer denied and dismissed Watkins's grievance
after concluding that Watkins failed to establish the MCI-J
staff improperly kept him from visiting the prison medical
unit from July 11, 2015, until July 15, 2015. Id. at
p. 24. The administrative hearing officer also found that