United States District Court, D. Maryland
MARTIN CORNELL MCCLAIN, Inmate Identification No. 419-803, Plaintiff,
WARDEN GRAHAM, et al., Defendants.
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Motions to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment filed by Medical Defendants
Joubert, Pierce, Barrera, Mahler and Prior (ECF No. 33) and
Correctional Defendants Graham, Weber and Baucom (ECF No.
39), to which Plaintiff Martin McClain has filed opposition
responses (ECF Nos. 41, 48). Additionally, McClain has filed
a Motion requesting summary judgment and preliminary
injunctive relief (ECF No. 47). The Court, having reviewed
the Motions and supporting documents, finds no hearing
necessary. See Local Rule 105.6. (D.Md. 2016). For
the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant the Motions
filed by the Medical and Correctional Defendants, and deny
the Motion filed by McClain.
Complaint filed on August 18, 2017, Plaintiff Martin Cornell
McClain stated that prison health care providers are
deliberately indifferent to his medical needs because they
have not provided an egg crate medical mattress, a right hand
brace, a right knee brace, new wheelchair seat and back
cushions, a cell with handicap rails, and pain medications.
McClain, whose Complaint was construed as a civil rights
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, requests money damages
and injunctive relief by which he is provided the medication
and supplies sought. (Compl. at 5, 8-9, ECF No.
states these supplies are needed to address his medical
issues, including chronic nerve damage, arthritis, and
problems caused by being wheelchair-bound. (Id. at
5). He asserts the items he now requests were provided to him
while he was housed at Jessup Correctional Institution
(“JCI”), and most of these items were taken from
him when he was transferred to Western Correctional
Institution (“WCI”) on January 18, 2017,
“by the above named defendants.” (Id. at
He states he was provided a wheelchair and cane, but was not
given a handicapped cell or a medical mattress needed to
provide sufficient spine support. (Id.).
further claims he was unable to lift himself out of a
non-medical bed and was therefore forced to sit in his
wheelchair to sleep for a period of 45 days, (id.),
and that his pain management regimen was discontinued without
explanation on June 10, 2017. (Id. at 7). He asserts
the assistant warden approved the issuance of his medical
supplies on August 4, 2017, but the approval was ignored.
(Id.). McClain states that Department of Public
Safety and Correctional Services (“DPSCS”)
directives mandate that upon transfer all ordered medical
treatments are to follow the prisoner. (Id. at 7-8).
is a fifty-year-old prisoner with a significant medical
history of Hepatitis C, morbid obesity, hypertension, chronic
pain syndrome, and asthma. (Joubert Affidavit ¶ 3, ECF
No. 33-5). He was transferred to WCI on January 24, 2017, and
was seen by Nurse Practitioner Beverly McLaughlin on February
20, 2017, at the chronic care clinic. (ECF No. 33-4 at 3-6).
His hepatitis was stable. McClain a history of spinal
stenosis since 1994, a history of right knee displacement,
and several gunshot wounds ("GSW") (shot a total of
18 times on two occasions). He was wheelchair dependent due
to frequent falls. (Id.). McClain reported that his
left hip and back “go out, ” and that he urinated
frequently due to bladder reconstruction following a gunshot
wound. (ld.). He also reported problems getting to
the commode on time. McClain's blood pressure was
elevated and his lower limbs were swollen. (Id.). He
was prescribed Hydrochlorothiazide and his Neurontin
prescription was adjusted to 800 mg twice daily, because WCI
provided pill call only twice a day.
requested an egg crate mattress and bed rails, and was told
the medical provider would speak with a medical team to see
what was available. (Id.). Nurse Practitioner
McLaughlin noted on February 23, 2017 that egg crate
mattresses were deemed a fire hazard and not permitted, and
that a gel overlay mattress would instead be ordered.
(Id. at 7-9). McClain received the mattress on March
21, 2017. (Id. at 10).
March 27, 2017, McClain told a nurse at sick call that his
gel cushion on his wheelchair had broken and had been taken
by corrections personnel. (ECF 33-4 at 11- 12). The complaint
was referred to a provider. (Id.). On April 3, 2017,
McClain was seen at sick call because housing unit personnel
reported he was unable to move. (Id. at 13-14). Dr.
Barrera ordered an injection for Toradol and McClain returned
to his housing unit. (Id.). Two days later, on April
5, 2017, McClain reported to Nurse Practitioner Mahler he
felt increasing low back pain radiating down his buttocks and
legs to his knees, starting in January 2017. (Id. at
15-18). He told Mahler he had been on Elavil, but was found
unconscious while taking it in April 2014. (Id.).
McClain stated he had tried physical therapy multiple times,
but it did not help. (Id.). He denied fever,
dysuria, blood in his urine, bowel or bladder incontinence, a
history of back surgery, or recent injury, and indicated he
had multiple gunshot wounds requiring bladder reconstruction,
a history of spinal stenosis, and a right knee replacement.
(Id.). A previous thoracic x-ray taken in September
2016 showed no acute osseous abnormality, but noted metallic
bullet fragments along the pelvic bone. (Id.). A
lumbar x-ray taken July 2016 showed mild degenerative disc
disease but no acute osseous abnormality. (Id.).
McClain was on Neurontin and Baclofen, which he claimed were
ineffective in stopping his pain. (Id.). He stated
he used Percocet and Oxycodone when he was on the street and
wanted them again. (Id.). McClain used a wheelchair
for distance, could only walk a few feet, and was morbidly
obese. He was advised to lose weight, do back stretching
exercises, do no heavy lifting, continue Neurontin and
Baclofen, and start Tramadol, 650 mg twice daily for 60 days.
(Id. at 75, 77). Examination revealed no spasm, pain
during straight leg raises at 30 degrees, and mild tenderness
to palpation of the thoracic and lumbar spine.
April 22, 2017, McClain complained at sick call of a cold,
and requested wrist braces and a wheelchair seat cushion. He
was referred to a provider for evaluation of the wrist brace
and wheelchair cushion requests. (Id. at 9-20).
16, 2017, McClain was seen at sick cell by Nurse Practitioner
Janette Clark due to his ongoing cough. Clark prescribed
Zantac for 30 days to see if the cough was caused by
esophageal reflux, and a chest x-ray was ordered.
(Id. at 21-22). The request to replace McClain's
leaking wheelchair pad was sent to the Director of Nurses,
and McClain was told to follow up with a provider in two
weeks. (Id.). The x-ray results showed no acute
cardiopulmonary disease. (Id. at 23).
11, 2017, Nurse Practitioner Pierce saw McClain. X-rays of
the hip and spine showed no osseous abnormality, showed
bullet fragments along the pelvic bone, and revealed that
vertebral body heights and disc spaces were preserved.
(Id. at 22, 24- 28). McClain was taking Neurontin
and Baclofen, and requested an increase of Tramadol, a
replacement seat cushion, and wrist braces, because pushing
his wheelchair caused wrist pain. (Id.). A consult
for physical therapy to strengthen McClain's gait was
placed, and he was prescribed Cymbalta 30 mg for 7 days,
increasing to 60 mg daily, while tapering McClain off
Neurontin and Baclofen. (Id.). The wheelchair
cushion and wrist braces were delayed pending evaluation by
the physical therapist. (Id.).
2, 2017, McClain complained at sick call of dizziness,
lightheadedness and headache. (Id. at 29-31). He
admitted to not taking his blood pressure medication for ten
days, and was given Norvasc, a blood pressure medication, on
verbal orders of Physician's Assistant Terri Davis. His
blood pressure medication was renewed and Amlodipine
(Norvasc) was prescribed. (Id.).
later, on July 3, 2017, McClain was seen by Physician's
Assistant Terri Pryor for complaints of knee, back, and hip
pain that were “ten out of ten.” (Id. at
33- 34). He stated he needed Tramadol and Neurontin as they
are the only medications that work, and was told they would
not be prescribed because they were not appropriate for him.
5, 2017, McClain complained his medications were changed
during his wheelchair assessment. (Id.). On July 10,
2017, he was seen by Nurse Practitioner Mahler, complaining
of radiating low back pain and that Cymbalta did not work.
McClain indicated he wanted Neurotin and Baclofen, and was
told the medications would not be renewed and that Cymbalta
was more appropriate for his pain. Mahler's offer to
increase the Cymbalta was declined. The consult for physical
therapy was scheduled for presentation at collegial review
that week, and McClain was advised to lose weight, avoid
heavy listing, and do back exercises. His concerns about the
use of Tylenol were addressed. (Id. at 36-38).
27, 2017, McClain told a physical therapist he had not walked
in two years. He was able to transfer from his wheelchair to
his mattress independently.McClain was assessed as having
declining mobility and being morbidly obese, and therapeutic
exercises and activity were ...