United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. GRIMM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jose Rivera filed this civil rights action, alleging that
Defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his medical
needs. ECF No.1. Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss
or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No.
13. Although advised of his right to do so, ECF No. 14, and
granted three extensions of time, ECF Nos. 16, 18, 20,
Plaintiff has not filed a response to Defendants'
dispositive Motion or presented exceptional circumstances
excusing such delay, and the time to do so has expired. The
matter is now ripe for review. The Court finds a hearing
unnecessary. See Loc. R. 105.6. For the reasons that
follow, Defendants' dispositive Motion, construed as a
Motion for Summary Judgment, is GRANTED.
August 29, 2018, the Court received Plaintiffs fourth Motion
for Extension of Time, in which Plaintiff asserts that he has
been unable to access the facility library to conduct legal
research. ECF No. 21. The Court had granted Plaintiffs three
prior Motions for Extension of Time. ECF Nos. 16, 18, 20. In
granting the second Motion, the Court informed Plaintiff that
no further extensions would be granted. ECF No. 18. However,
when Plaintiff protested that he had limited access to the
library, the Court granted Plaintiffs third Motion for
Extension of Time to respond, extending the time to respond
to August 11, 2018, but cautioned Plaintiff that no further
extensions would be granted. ECF No. 20. Further, in
explaining why resort to the library appeared unnecessary in
this case, the Court explained that "a claim of
insufficient medical care needs to be substantiated by
evidence of the lack of care, not legal analysis."
Id. In view of these warnings, the Court denies
Plaintiff latest Motion for Extension of Time.
January 4, 2018, Plaintiff filed an unsworn Complaint
alleging that "Defendants have provided inadequate
medical treatment for a very painful knee injury, and then
ignored the physician's order for physical therapy. I am
in great pain and having difficulty walking. Defendants have
ignored my sick call requests for the past 18 months."
Compl. 2 (capitalization altered). Plaintiffs Complaint does
not contain any other details; nor did he submit any
additional filings on the merits.
have submitted Plaintiffs certified medical records from May
2015 through his filing of his Complaint. Med. Recs., ECF No.
13-4. The records reflect that Plaintiff has degenerative
joint disease ("DJD") in his right knee which has
caused him to suffer pain in the past. Between May 2015 and
October 2015, Plaintiff had three visits with prison medical
staff regarding his knee pain, underwent an x-ray of his
right knee, and was prescribed medication to alleviate pain.
Id. at 2-9. In November 2015, Plaintiffs right knee
and his right wrist (which Plaintiff does not mention in his
Complaint) were evaluated on site by an orthopedic
specialist, who recommended that Plaintiff be referred to an
outside orthopedic specialist for an arthroscopy. Mat 11-13.
a chronic care visit and an attempted telemed consult in
December 2015, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Krishnaswamy of Bon
Secours Baltimore Health System, who also recommended that
Plaintiff undergo arthroscopic surgery. Id. at
14-18. Dr. Krishnaswamy performed the surgery on Plaintiffs
right knee on March 10, 2016. Id. at 20. At
Plaintiffs follow-up appointment, Dr. Krishnaswamy noted that
Plaintiff reported "feeling a lot better," that the
surgical wounds had healed well, and that Plaintiff had
"a range of motion of 10-100 degrees with increasing
strength." Id. Although the visit notes reflect
that Dr. Krishnaswamy "advised [Plaintiff] to continue
range of motion exercises," there is nothing in the
notes to suggest that Dr. Krishnaswamy ordered Plaintiff to
undergo physical therapy with a medical professional.
January 14, 2017, Plaintiff submitted a sick call complaining
that he twisted his left knee, causing him to suffer pain and
difficulties walking. Id. at 21. Healthcare
personnel indicated that he did not appear for the January
22, 2017 appointment that had been scheduled in response to
the sick call. Id.
April 13, 2017, Plaintiff had a chronic care appointment with
Dr. Yonas Sisay regarding his DJD. Dr. Sisay's notes from
this appointment state "Pt reports doing well, wants
Motrin PRN renewed. Pt says he is actively walking around the
[facility] working. Pt reports tendinitis resolved. [C]ame
walking without limp. Motrin renewed with Zantac."
Id. at 22.
13, 2017, Plaintiff had another chronic care appointment with
Dr. Sisay regarding his DJD. In his notes from this visit,
Dr. Sisay stated "Pt reports doing well, wants Motrin
PRN renewed. Pt says he is actively working & does 200
push up daily. Pt came walking without limp. Motrin renewed
with Zantac." Id. at 24.
September 28, 2017, Nurse Yetunde Rotimi performed a routine
physical exam on Plaintiff. Id. at 26. According to
Nurse Rotimi's notes, Plaintiff "denie[d] any acute
comp[l]aints" and reported that his "right knee
pain [was] controlled with meds" and that the knee
"has swelling, ...