United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
above-captioned civil rights action was filed by
self-represented Plaintiff James Dillard on January 10, 2018.
Dillard, an inmate currently confined at Western Correctional
Institution (“WCI”), initiated this action
asserting civil rights violations by Medical Defendants
Mahboob Ashraf, M.D. (“Dr. Ashraf”), Brenda
Reese, R.N. (“Nurse Reese”), Dennis Martin, R.N.
(“Nurse Martin”), and Peggy Mahler,
PA/NP (“Nurse Practitioner Mahler”), of the WCI
medical department (collectively “Defendants”).
ECF No. 1, p. 1. Dillard alleges that he was deprived by
Defendants of his diabetes medication and pain medications as
a form of punishment, amounting to an Eighth Amendment
pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
or, Alternatively, Motion for Summary Judgment filed on April
10, 2018. ECF No. 9. Dillard was advised of his right to file
a response, ECF No. 10, and he filed a Motion to Oppose
Defendants' motion on June 6, 2018. ECF No. 14.
Defendants filed a Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition on
June 20, 2018. ECF No. 15. For the reasons stated below, the
dispositive motion is construed as a motion for summary
judgment and IS DENIED without prejudice.
alleges that he has diabetes, neuropathy, and plantar
fasciitis,  as well as a previous spinal injury,
broken arm, and dislocated shoulder. ECF No. 1, pp. 3-4. As a
result of his illnesses and injuries, Dillard has undergone
multiple surgeries on his feet and arm, has screws and a
deformity in his arm, walks with a cane, and required
previous hospitalization which included a six-day,
medically-induced coma. Id. According to Dillard, he
has been declared permanently partially disabled,
id., p. 4, and has taken pain medication for over
five years, id., p. 5.
alleges that on September 29, 2017, a corrections officer
conducted a search of Dillard's cell and confiscated his
seizure medication, Primidone, along with his diabetes
medication, Metformin. ECF No. 1, p. 3. He claims that he was
charged with “hoarding unauthorized medication”
and “intent to sell, ” and placed on disciplinary
segregation. Id. Dillard further claims that, on the
same date, Nurse Reese called Dr. Ashraf to inform him that
Dillard had been caught hoarding medications, and that in
turn Dr. Ashraf ordered Nurse Reese to discontinue three of
Dillard's medications: Primidone, for seizures;
Gabapentin (Neurontin), for nerve pain and neuropathy; and
Tramadol, for pain caused by previous injury. Id.
cellmate Rodney McNeil, by affidavit, states: “On
9-29-17 . . . I observed [the o]fficer . . . confiscate all
of the plaintiffs [sic] medications, including eye drops and
ointments.” ECF No. 14-1, p. 1. A September 29, 2017
medical “Administrative Note” indicates that
Dillard was “hoarding medication, ” and that a
corrections officer found “watch take”
medications in his cell, including 21 Primidone
(Mysoline) pills, Ultram (Tramadol), and Neurontin,
all of which were discontinued at that time per Dr.
Ashraf's orders. ECF No. 9-2, p. 7.
claims that he did not hoard or sell any medication, and that
the Primidone pills were given to him at one time in a
“blister pack” of 30 pills. ECF No. 14-1, p. 2.
His cellmate's affidavit states that, “[w]hile
housed with the plaintiff, [McNeil] never observed him hoard
pills or sell pills to other inmates.” Id., p.
1. On October 8, 2017, Dillard alleges he attended an
adjustment hearing where he was “cleared” of
“hoarding” and “distribution of medication,
” there was a “finding of no wrongdoing, ”
and he was released from disciplinary segregation. ECF No. 1,
p. 4. An October 6, 2017 “Inmate Hearing Record,
” indicates that Dillard was charged with violations of
rules 111, 112, and 114, to which he pleaded not guilty, and
that the Hearing Officer dismissed each, as “[u]pon
preliminary review . . . [the] Institution request[ed]
dismissal due to the fact that the rules charged were not
supported.” ECF No. 14-4.
claims that he was forced to go without his diabetes
medication for 33 days, during which his blood sugar rose
from an average of 100 milligrams per deciliter to 250, and
reached as high as 409. ECF No. 1, p. 5. As a result, he
suffered severe headaches and periods of blindness.
Id., p. 5. Dillard also claims that his pain
medications were never reordered and he now lives in a
“state of constant debilitating pain.”
Id. He further alleges that he suffered from eight
days of withdrawal, including severe cramps, pain, chills,
cold sweats, and discomfort, from September 30, 2017 to
October 7, 2017, because pain medications he had taken for
five years were abruptly stopped. Id.; ECF No. 14,
to Dillard, medical staff have been “well aware of the
severity of [his] medical conditions and resulting
pain.” ECF No. 1, p. 5. After his medications were
seized, Dillard states that he filed multiple sick call
requests and complaints, “to no avail.” ECF No.
1, p. 4. He filed “Sick Call Request/Encounter”
forms on October 1, 16, 21, and 22, 2017, writing that he was
in pain and without his “chronic care”
medications. ECF No. 14-2, pp. 1-4.
October 7, 2017, Dillard was seen by Nurse Martin, ECF No. 1,
p. 4; ECF No. 9-2, p. 10, whom he claims did not treat him,
reorder his diabetes medications, or refer him to a higher
level provider for treatment, ECF No. 1, p. 4.
October 16 sick call request form, Dillard indicated that he
had not received his diabetes medication for 18 days. ECF No.
14-2, p. 2. He wrote again on the October 21 form that he had
been without the medication for 23 days. Id., p. 3.
October 18, 2017 medical visit record indicates that Dillard
was seen by Nurse Tammy Buser, to whom he complained,
“I want my medications.” ECF No. 14-2, p. 5. The
visit record further provides: “The patient was found
to be hoarding medications and his pain medications were
taken. He fought the ticket and states that he won. He is
still not receiving his regular medications. I [am] putting
him in with a provider to get this straightened out.”
October 24, 2017, Dillard was seen by Nurse Practitioner
Mahler, ECF No. 1, p. 4; ECF No. 9-2, p. 12, whom he claims
“failed to reorder [his] diabetic medication despite
[his] complaints and requests, ” ECF No. 1, p. 4. The
October 24 visit record provides: “[Dillard] stated
custody took his CC meds on 9/29/17 . . . [and] now he has
not had any meds for 24 days for his LBP that radiates down
his legs to his feet, . . . ...