Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Pitts v. Druckman

United States District Court, D. Maryland

January 4, 2019

JAMES PITTS, Plaintiff
v.
DOLPH DRUCKMAN and WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PAUL W. GRIMM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff 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.[1] ECF No. 16.

         I 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.

         BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiffs Complaint

         Plaintiffs 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. at 5.

         Plaintiff 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.

         Plaintiff 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.

         B. Defendants' Motion & Exhibits

         Defendants 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.

         Druckman's 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..

         Records 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.[2] 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.

         On 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.

         On May 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."[3] 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.

         On June 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.