United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. GRIMM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
James Pitts, an inmate at Roxbury Correctional Institution,
has brought this civil rights action against the Maryland
correctional system's health care provider, Wexford
Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford"), and one of its
physicians, Dr. Dolph Druckman (collectively,
"Defendants"). The suit alleges Defendants violated
the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual
punishment, as incorporated in the Fourteenth Amendment,
through their deliberate indifference to Plaintiff s medical
needs. Compl., ECF No. 1. Defendants have filed a Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary
Judgment. ECF No. 16.
conclude that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against
Wexford because the Complaint does not allege that Wexford
knew or had constructive knowledge that the medical care
provided to Plaintiff was deficient. Accordingly, the claim
against Wexford is dismissed. I also conclude that the record
does not establish, as a matter of law, that Druckman had the
subjective knowledge required for an Eighth Amendment
violation under these circumstances. For this reason, with
regard to the claim against Druckman, I grant summary
judgment for Defendants.
unsworn Complaint alleges that "as early as May 3,
2016," he had been complaining to medical staff of a
urethral stricture. Compl. 4. On that date, Plaintiff was
seen by Physician's Assistant Wanda Lumpkins "when
it was determined that [Plaintiff] was positive for low urine
output and decreased urine stream." Id.
Although Plaintiff was told that a urology consult would be
considered, the consult never occurred. See Id. at
4, 6. Plaintiff was prescribed unspecified medication, which
he reports did not improve the condition. Id. On
July 22, 2016, he was told his "condition did not
warrant any additional urology evaluation." Id.
states that he subsequently "complained of a split urine
stream as a result of his condition." Id. at 4.
He reports that his "condition" had become worse
over time, and that the advice of medical providers to
increase his fluid intake had not improved the problem.
Id. at 4-6.
filed suit in this Court on November 23, 2017, seeking relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. at 7-8. The
Complaint states that "as of [the date of filing], and
for the past year, Mr. Pitts is experiencing lower abdominal
pain and pain while urinating." Id. at 6.
Plaintiff contends that had he been referred to a urologist,
"he may have been able to receive proper
treatment." Id. He requests that he be
"seen by a urologist in a timely manner" and
awarded $5.5 million in damages. Id. at 7.
Defendants' Motion & Exhibits
have filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion
for Summary Judgment, which is supported by Plaintiffs
certified medical records and an affidavit from Defendant
Druckman. ECF Nos. 16, 16-4, 16-5.
affidavit refutes Plaintiffs contention that he had a
urethral stricture as early as May 3, 2016. Druckman Aff. 2,
ECF No. 16-5. It states that Druckman examined Plaintiff in
January 2016, after Plaintiff complained of a split urine
stream, which, according to Druckman, "may be benign or
symptomatic of other underlying conditions."
Id. According to Druckman:
Plaintiff was negative for other accompanying symptoms such
as: change in urine color, cloudy urine, dysuria, flank pain,
foul odor in urine, frequency, reduced volume, groin mass,
hematuria, hesitancy, incontinence, nocturia, passage of
stones, polyuria, or urgency. Plaintiffs exam, and his
urinalysis and urine cultures, were otherwise unremarkable.
In Affiant's opinion to a reasonable degree of medical
probability Plaintiffs reported condition of only having a
split urinary stream was a condition to be monitored but did
not warrant further urology intervention. Plaintiff was not
clinically assessed as having a split urine stream and was
not diagnosed with a urethral stricture.
Id. Defendants have not included Plaintiffs medical
records from January 2016..
of Plaintiffs subsequent examinations indicate he was seen by
Physician's Assistant Crystal Jamison on March 23, 2016,
at which time he reported he was "not experiencing any
relief of split [urine] stream with [his] current
treatment" of Flomax, which he began taking January 5,
2016. Medical Rs. 2, ECF No. 16-4. Jamison noted
that Plaintiff denied experiencing hematuria (blood in the
urine) and that "previous urine cultures and
[urinalysis] [were] unremarkable. No abdominal or suprapubic
tenderness. GU [genitourinary] system addressed and examined
by RMD [regional medical director] in January with
unremarkable exam findings." Id. Jamison noted
that she would discuss Plaintiffs "concerns with RMD to
determine if additional evaluation is indicated."
Id. There is no indication whether Jamison conferred
with Druckman following this appointment.
April 7, 2016, Plaintiff had a scheduled sick call
appointment with Registered Nurse Carmen Griffith.
Id. at 3. Plaintiff complained of a split stream of
urine, and Griffith referred Plaintiff to a provider for this
issue and advised him to request a sick call if his symptoms
did not subside. Id.
3, 2016, during a scheduled provider visit with Lumpkins,
Plaintiff complained of split-stream urination and diminished
urine output and requested that he be seen by a urologist.
Id. at 4. Lumpkins recorded that Plaintiff was
"[n]egative for change in urine color, cloudy urine,
dysuria, flank pain, foul odor in urine, frequency, groin
mass, hematuria, hesitancy, incontinence, nocturia, passage
of stones, polyuria, [or] urgency." Id.
There is no indication in Lumpkins's notes that she
submitted, or indicated she would submit, a request for a
urology consult. Id. The notes do state that
Plaintiff was to be referred to a provider in one week for
"test of cure," but this appears to refer to
Plaintiffs treatment for an unrelated bacterial infection in
his stomach. Id. at 4-5.
1, 2016, Plaintiff submitted a sick call request stating:
"I was told that I was referred to see the
[physician's assistant] two week[s] ago. I've been
having pain in my stomach due to an ongoing bacterial
infection. Also, I've been having problems with my
urethra and would like to see a urologist." Id.
at 5. The sick call request contains an illegible signature,
indicating that a provider reviewed the form the following
day, but there is no indication of what action was ...