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Campbell v. D.O.C./Patuxent Inst.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

December 4, 2018

OLANDUS CAMPBELL, N4/13-L 440-149, Plaintiff
v.
D.O.C./PATUXENT INST., and DR. CHARLES CHONG-HWA HONG, M.D.[1] Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Paula Xinis, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Olandus Campbell brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Division of Correction (“DOC”) and Patuxent Institution (“Patuxent”) (collectively, the “Correctional Defendants”) and Charles Chong-Hwa Hong, M.D. (“Dr. Hong”), who provides psychiatric services to prisoners under a contract between his employer and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (“DPSCS”).[2] Campbell, who is housed at Patuxent, contends that Defendants violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution by prescribing to him multiple psychiatric medications, causing side effects sufficiently serious to require hospitalization in July of 2017. ECF No. 1 at 4, ECF No. 9 at 1, 2. As damages, Campbell demands $1, 000, 000. ECF No. 1 at 4.

         Presently pending before the Court are Defendants' motions to dismiss or in the alternative for summary judgment in their favor.[3] ECF Nos. 14 and 21. The Court has reviewed the pleadings and finds no hearing necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons, Defendants' dispositive motions are GRANTED.

         I. Factual Background

         The following facts are not disputed. On April 26, 2016, shortly after Campbell was transferred to Patuxent, Campbell was evaluated for complaints of auditory homicidal hallucinations. ECF No. 21-1 at 186-187. Campbell also reported suicidal ideation and hallucinations to psychiatrist Saeed Salehinia who prescribed Campbell risperidone[4] and Cogentin.[5] Id. at 184. Dr. Salehinia diagnosed Campbell with major depression with recurrent psychosis and noted improvement with the medication. Id. at 185. Campbell was thereafter prescribed Paxil[6] in addition to the risperidone and Cogentin. Id. at 185.

         On June 3, 2016, Dr. Hong met with Campbell. Dr. Hong noted that Campbell had been admitted on fifteen prior occasions for psychiatric illnesses and had been previously diagnosed with antisocial and borderline personality disorder and depression. Dr. Hong continued Campbell on Risperdal and Cogentin. Campbell evidently was also taking Prozac, [7] the dosage of which Dr. Hong increased. Id. at 182-183. Campbell was also taking Zoloft, [8] the dosage of which Dr. Hong also increased when he next saw Campbell on June 24, 2016. Dr. Hong also prescribed Zyprexa Zydis, [9] and continued Campbell on Risperdal and Cogentin. Id. at 181.

         Campbell continued to meet regularly with psychiatrists, including Dr. Hong and other staff, over twenty times between June 3, 2016, and July 6, 2017. See ECF No. 21-1 at 127-183. Throughout, psychiatric staff adjusted, added, and discontinued Campbell's medications in an effort to treat his psychotic episodes while also managing known side effects.[10] ECF No. 21-1 at 140, 152, 154-157, 159, 161, 163, 165-166, 169-170, 177, 180-181.[11]

         As of July 6, 2017, Campbell was taking the following five medications:

Benztropine Mesylate[12] (Cogentin)

Prescribed 03/25/2016

Previously used 09/19/2008 to 03/31/2010

Prozac

Prescribed 05/03/2016

Previously used 09/19/2008 to 10/27/2010

Vistaril[13]

Prescribed 03/13/2017

Geodon[14]

Prescribed 12/23/2016

Abilify [15]

Prescribed 04/04/2017

ECF No. 21 at 8; ECF No. 21-1 at 124-125. Campbell also was receiving medications to control stomach upset (omeprazole and Tums), dry skin (Lubri-skin), nerve pain (Gabapentin[16]), asthma (Qvar[17] and albuterol sulfate Hfa), constipation (colace), dry mouth (Biotene), and other illnesses. Id.

         On July 6, 2017, Campbell saw Nurse Wung Geh, who noted that Campbell was suffering from body tremors and was confused, disoriented, and unsteady. ECF No. 21-1 at 123-125. Campbell was taken by ambulance to Bon Secours Hospital where he was evaluated and treated. Dr. Hong attests that this evaluation included brain and abdominal MRI scans (ECF No. 21-2 at ¶ 9), which Campbell denies. ECF No. 16 at 8, 10. Campbell was admitted to Bon Secours and remained hospitalized until July 9, 2017. Id. at 117; ECF No. 21-2 at ¶ 9. On July 22, 2017, having returned to Patuxent, Campbell reported to Dr. Yonas Sisay, M.D. that he felt well. ECF No. 21-1 at 94.

         The parties do not dispute that complications from Campbell's having taken multiple medications likely caused the symptoms that led to Campbell's emergency hospitalization. ECF No. 16 at 10-12; see also ECF No. 21-1 at 97. As treatment for this adverse reaction, Campbell was taken off most psychotropic medications, and as a result, experienced increased psychotic symptoms including auditory hallucinations. ECF No. 21-1 at 57, 64, 97. Since Campbell's release from Bon Secours until the filing of the Complaint, Campbell has received treatment from mental health specialists on more than 30 occasions. ECF No. 21-1 at 1-125. During that time, Campbell discontinued psychiatric treatment with Dr. Hong and his case was reassigned to another psychiatrist. ECF No. 21-1 at 53; ECF No. 21-2 at ¶ 4.

         Campbell contends that he suffered an array of side effects from having been prescribed multiple medicines between April 1, 2017 and August 12, 2017, to include substantial weight loss (28 pounds), lack of appetite, and becoming “grey” and jaundiced. ECF No. 1 at 5. Campbell further avers that Dr. Hong “admitted to my sister that he gave me too much medication two different times, ” and that Hong knew about Campbell's the loss of appetite. Id. at 6-7. Campbell has no memory of his hospitalization at Bon Secours, and disputes such hospitalization occurred, but does believe he was “thrown into a bed at Jessup Regional Hospital (JRH) for 3 days” without sustenance. Id. at 7; see also ECF No. 16 at 6, ECF No. 23 at 1.

         II. Analysis

         A. Standard of Review

         The parties have submitted evidence beyond the four corners of the Complaint. Accordingly, the Court treats this motion as one for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). Pursuant to Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment shall be granted if the movant shows that no genuine dispute exists as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. “By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original). The non-movant may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials, but rather must demonstrate that a genuine triable issue of fact exists. See Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc.,346 F.3d 514, 525 (4th Cir. 2003). The Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and draw all ...


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