United States District Court, D. Maryland
DONALD R. PEVIA, Plaintiff
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCE, INC., et al., Defendants
L. Hollander United States District Judge
are plaintiff's motions to add defendants. ECF 25; ECF
32. Plaintiff seeks to add unnamed defendants who he claims
were responsible for denying him a referral to consult with
Roy Carls, M.D. The motion is opposed by defendants. ECF 34.
also filed a “Motion to Supplement and Add Exhibits
Memorandum” (ECF 37), which defendants move to strike
as an improper surreply. ECF 38. Plaintiff opposes the motion
to strike. ECF 39.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), “[a] party
may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within 21
days after serving it, or if the pleading is one to which a
responsive pleading is required, 21 days after service of a
responsive pleading or 21 days after service of a motion
under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f), whichever is earlier.”
F. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1). “In all other cases, a party
may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's
written consent or the court's leave.” F. R. Civ.
dictates that “[t]he court should freely give leave
when justice so requires.” Id. Where the
proposed amendment to the complaint appears to be a futility,
however, this court has the discretion to deny leave to
amend. Futility is apparent if the proposed amended complaint
fails to state a claim under the applicable rules and
accompanying standards. “[A] district court may deny
leave if amending the complaint would be futile-that is, if
the proposed amended complaint fails to satisfy the
requirements of the federal rules.” Katyle v. Penn
Nat. Gaming, Inc. 637 F.3d 462, 471 (4th Cir. 2011)
(citing United States ex rel. Wilson v. Kellogg Brown
& Root, Inc., 525 F.3d 370, 376 (4th Cir. 2008)).
view, the proposed amendments would be futile. In order to
state an Eighth Amendment claim for denial of medical care, a
plaintiff must demonstrate that the actions of the
defendants, or their failure to act, amounted to deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need. See Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). Deliberate indifference
to a serious medical need requires proof that, objectively,
the prisoner plaintiff was suffering from a serious medical
need and that, subjectively, the prison staff were aware of
the need for medical attention but failed either to provide
it or to ensure that it was available. See Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834-7 (1994); see also Heyer
v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 849 F.3d 202, 209-10 (4th
Cir. 2017); King v. Rubenstein, 825 F.3d 206, 218
(4th Cir. 2016); Iko v. Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 241
(4th Cir. 2008). “Deliberate indifference is a very
high standard-a showing of mere negligence will not meet it .
. . . [T]he Constitution is designed to deal with
deprivations of rights, not errors in judgment, even though
such errors may have unfortunate consequences.”
Grayson v. Peed, 195 F.3d 692, 695- 96 (4th Cir.
1999); see also Jackson v. Lightsey, 775 F.3d 170,
178 (4th Cir. 2014) (describing the applicable standard as an
than alleging that the unnamed defendants were responsible
for denying a request for plaintiff to be seen by a
specialist, plaintiff has failed to allege any facts
concerning the conduct of the unnamed defendants.
“[A]ny negligence or malpractice on the part of . . .
doctors in missing [a] diagnosis does not, by itself, support
an inference of deliberate indifference.” Johnson
v. Quinones, 145 F.3d 164, 166 (4th Cir. 1998). Without
an allegation that a doctor linked symptoms with the presence
of a serious medical condition, the subjective knowledge
required for Eighth Amendment liability is not present.
Id. at 169 (actions inconsistent with an effort to
hide a serious medical condition refute presence of
doctor's subjective knowledge).
has failed to allege sufficient facts to state a claim of
deliberate indifference against the unnamed defendants and,
as such his motions to amend will be denied.
plaintiff's self-represented status, plaintiff's
motion to supplement will be granted and the additional
materials will be considered as a supplemental opposition to
the pending dispositive motion. ...