United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Jamahl Rice filed the above-captioned civil
rights action alleging a variety of claims against medical
and correctional staff at Eastern Correctional Institution
and Metropolitan Transition Center. ECF No. 1. Defendants
filed Motions to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary
Judgment. ECF No. 22 (motion filed by correctional staff);
ECF No. 30 (motion filed by medical staff).Although notified
of his right to do so, ECF Nos. 23, 31, Plaintiff has not
responded to either Motion, and the time for doing so has
expired. Nevertheless, his submissions have been liberally
construed. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
matter is now ripe for review. The Court finds a hearing in
these matters unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6. For
the reasons that follow, Defendants' dispositive Motions,
construed as Motions for Summary Judgment, are GRANTED.
Complaint identifies several unrelated incidents that
occurred at Eastern Correctional Institution (ECI) and
Metropolitan Transition Center (MTC). ECF No. I. To
facilitate review of these claims, the Court identifies each
of Plaintiffs claims followed by Defendants' response (in
the form of affidavits and sworn records). (1)
Incident with Sorenson & Mathews
alleges that when he arrived at ECI on July 17, 2017, he
informed an unnamed nurse who was responsible for medical
clearance that he had a dislocated shoulder. The nurse
ignored him and cleared him to be housed in general
population. ECF No. 1 at 1. Plaintiff was then returned to
his "side of the prison," where he again was
reviewed by medical staff, including Nurse Sorenson.
Id. Plaintiff claims that he showed Sorenson medical
paperwork from another institution stating that his shoulder
was dislocated, but Sorenson told Plaintiff he "was
lying" and "took [Plaintiffs] paperwork."
Id. at 1. Plaintiff raised his voice at Sorenson,
prompting Lieutenant Mathews to place Plaintiff on "lock
up .. . for disrespect." Id. at 2.
records reflect that, on July 14, 2017, an outside medical
provider performed a surgical procedure on Plaintiffs left
shoulder. ECF No. 30-4 at 21-22. After being temporarily
housed at Jessup Correctional Institution, Plaintiff arrived
at ECI-West on July 17, 2017. Id. at 23-25. He was
initially evaluated by Amanda Morris who consulted with Dr.
Clem before clearing Plaintiff to return to regular housing.
Id. at 25. Thereafter, he was sent to the east side
of the facility (the apparent location of Plaintiffs unit),
where he saw Sorenson before he was to be placed in general
population. The notes of Plaintiff s encounter with Sorenson
Inmate returned to the west side after being cleared to
return to his unit after an off site visit; inmate insists
that he is due for a dose of oxycodone which I explained he
had no order for and it is not available on the compound.
Inmate continues to argue that he needs it and it is ordered.
Inmate is moving his affected arm without any issues and will
not put his sling on as instructed by myself and the RN.
ECF No. 30-4 at 27.
Defendants have submitted a copy of the notice of infraction
authored by Mathews relating to this incident. ECF No. 22-3
at 4. The notice alleged that Plaintiff yelled and made
aggressive facial expressions" at Sorenson, and that
"[a]fter speaking with the medical staff It was
determined that [Plaintiff] misrepresented his medical
condition by presenting medical documentation that he was not
allowed to have from a previous institution.”
Id. At his disciplinary heanng. Plaintiff entered
into an informal resolution with the institutional
representative through which the charges were dismissed and
Plaintiff was sanctioned with 10 days of cell restriction.
Id. at 8.
Westbrook & Infractions
Plaintiff s Allegation
states that, after arriving on lock up, "I told Officer
Westbrook about the pain I was in and I explained the process
I went through up till that point, so I was ignored by
Officer Westbrook." ECF No. 1 at 2. Plaintiffs Complaint
also alleges that Westbrook frequently harasses him and
''has given [him] at least 6 or 7 infractions for no
reason at all." Id. Plaintiff alleges that
Westbrook"s actions have "resulted in [him]
losing [his visits] and good days.'' Id.
avers that he reported Plaintiff “for violations of
rules governing inmates on a number of occasions, including
during July and August 2017I reported inmate Rice's
conduct based on my observations, familiarity with rules
governing inmate conduct, and duties to promote institutional
safety and security." ECF No. 22-8. Defendants have also
submitted copies of four notices of inmate rule violation
issued against Plaintiff by Westbrook, charging Plaintiff
with violations resulting from Plaintiffs refusal to follow
instructions to remove his arm from the cell slot. ECF No.
22-3 at 13, 22, 31, 40. As to each of the four rule
violations, Plaintiff reached an informal agreement with the
institutional representative at the disciplinary hearing
whereby Plaintiff pled guilty to at least some of the charges
and received a sanction of 60 days' cell restriction.
Id. at 18-19, 27-28, 36-38, 45-46. None of the
informal agreements involved the loss of accrued good time
Sick Calls Ignored/General Medical Claims
alleges that upon arriving on lock up following his
interaction with Sorenson and Matthews (no date provided), he
immediately filed a sick call slip regarding his dislocated
shoulder, but "17 days went by" without a response.
ECF No. 1 at 2. Plaintiff further claims that, as a
consequence of his sick call request being ignored for more
than two weeks, the "emergency room Doctors would not
touch" Plaintiff when he was sent to the hospital for
treatment of his arm on an unspecified date. Id. at
2. The doctors at the outside hospital told Plaintiff to
return "in 7 days to discuss emergency surgery. The
prison did not honor these instructions. So now [Plaintiff]
need[sj surgery because of the neglect." Id.
Plaintiff reports that, as of the date he mailed his
(undated) Complaint, he still had a dislocated shoulder
requiring surgery and he remained in a great deal of pain.
Id. at 2-3. He makes broad allegations that medical
staff have failed to treat his shoulder injuries over a
period of several months. Id. at 1, 3. Plaintiff
does not connect these allegations about his sick calls being
ignored or general problems with his medical treatment to any
Plaintiff does not provide the relevant date, the exhibits
submitted by Defendants suggest that his placement on
administrative segregation occurred on July 17, 2017.
See ECF No. 22-3 at 4 (date of Matthew's
infraction notice); Corr. Defs' Ex. 4 at 15 (date of
interaction with Sorenson). According to Plaintiffs medical
records, he was seen by medical providers numerous times in
the days following his placement on lock up, including
spending several days in the institutional infirmary. Corr.
Defs' Ex. 4 at 17-18, 20-21, 32, 34-39 (seen by providers
July 19, 20, 24, 25).
September 1, 2017, Plaintiff was sent to the emergency
department at the University of Maryland Medical Center
(UMMC) where he underwent a closed reduction of his left
shoulder under sedation. Id. at 67-68. He was told
to follow up with an orthopedic specialist at UMMC in one to
two weeks. Id. However, Plaintiff was already
scheduled to see a different orthopedic doctor at Johns
Hopkins Hospital (JHH) on September 28, 2017, to address
problems with the same shoulder, so no follow-up appointment
was made with UMMC. Id. at 82.
Plaintiffs general claims that his medical needs have been
ignored, Defendants' exhibits reflect that Plaintiff was
evaluated by institutional medical providers scores of times
between July 17, 2017 and the filing of this action in early
December 2017, including a two-and-a-half month stay for
monitoring at the Division of Corrections' infirmary at
MTC. ECF No. 30-5 (affidavit from Dr. Clem); see
generally Corr. Defs' Ex. 4. Plaintiff was sent to
outside medical providers on several occasions, where he
underwent orthopedic procedures on his shoulders and medical
imaging. See Corr Defs' Ex. 4 at 67-72 (closed
reduction and x-ray of left shoulder at UMMC on September 1,
2017); id. at 77-78 (office visit at JHH on Sept.
28, 2017 regarding his left shoulder); id. at 91
(seen by Dr. Mathew at St. Joseph's Hospital for consult
on October 16, 2017); id. at 154 (sent to JHH on
October 22, 2017, where medical imaging and attempted closed
reduction on right shoulder were performed); ECF No. 30-6
(closed manipulation of shoulder at Bon Secours Health System
by Dr. Krishnaswamy); see also ECF No. 30-5. During
this time, Plaintiff regularly received medication to treat
his pain. See ECF No. 30-5 at 9; Corr. Defs'
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