United States District Court, D. Maryland
Xinis United States District Judge
before the Court are Correctional Defendants Maryland
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
(“DPSCS”), Warden Richard J. Graham, Chief of
Security Bradley O. Butler, and Correctional Officer Alicia
A. Cartwright, and Medical Defendants Nurse Practitioner
Janette Clark and Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
(“Wexford”) unopposed Motions to Dismiss or in
the alternative for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 14, 18. The Court
finds no need for a hearing. See Local Rule 105.6
(D. Md. 2018). For reasons that follow, Defendants'
motions, construed as Motions for Summary Judgment, shall be
committed to the custody of DPSCS and currently confined at
the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland
(“WCI”), alleges denial of medication to treat
pain following surgery following a compound fracture to his
leg. ECF No. 1 at 3. Liberally construed, Locklear's
pro se claim alleges violation of his Eighth
Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
Locklear asserts that his leg is swollen and cannot
comfortably support his weight. ECF No. 1 at 5. He seeks
$500, 000.00 in damages and injunctive relief
“mandating the condition . . . be corrected” and
that the prison be subject to “federal oversight”
and a “probe targeting corruption.” ECF No. 1 at
prison medical records corroborate that Locklear suffered a
compound fracture to the left tibia (shin) “years ago,
” which was repaired surgically with open reduction and
internal fixation. Locklear was prescribed Neurontin for
nerve damage. ECF No. 14-1 at 4. On March 21, 2017,
while housed at the Metropolitan Transition Center
(“MTC”), medical personnel examined Locklear and
documented that Locklear had normal range of motion and
intact sensation in his leg. No swelling was apparent, and
Locklear denied numbness, tingling, or tenderness.
Id. at 4. Locklear refused Tylenol and Motrin for
discomfort and was told he would be referred for his pain
management needs. Id.
March 27, 2017, while at MTC, Locklear complained of nerve
pain and a lack of sensation around his scar. He requested
and received a prescription for Neurontin. ECF No. 14-1 at
6-9. The prescription was renewed again on April 25, 2017,
July 20, 2017, and September 5, 2017. Id. at 10,
October of 2017, Locklear was transferred to WCI. ECF No.
14-1 at 24. Defendant Clark, a nurse practitioner, examined
Locklear on November 17, 2017 in the chronic care clinic.
Clark noted that Locklear walked without a limp and was able
to climb on and off the exam table without difficulty or
discomfort; that his daily activities were not impaired; and
that his extremities appeared normal, with no signs of
redness or swelling. Id. at 27. Clark informed
Locklear that any request to renew his Neurontin prescription
may not be approved. Id. at 31. DPSCS State Medical
Director had previously identified Neurontin as a drug
susceptible to misuse, overuse or abuse due to its sedative
and euphoric effects. ECF No. 14-2, ¶ 12 (Aff. of Dr.
Asresahegn Getachew). Accordingly, DPSCS limited
Neurontin's use to treat seizure disorders and
neuropathic pain (nerve pain) caused by herpes virus or
shingles (herpes zoster) per FDA rules. Id. ¶
requested approval to renew Locklear's Neurontin
prescription which was denied. ECF No. 14-1 at 30-35.
Locklear thereafter was weaned off Neurontin, with the doses
tapered to 600 mg twice a week for one week, 400 mg twice a
week for one week, 200 mg twice a week for one week, and 200
mg once a day for one week. Id. The ultimate medical
plan was to substitute Nortriptyline for the Neurontin.
than two months later, on December 3, 2017, Locklear
complained to Clark that his lower left leg ached and burned.
Locklear also vigorously disputed the wisdom of tapering his
Neurontin. ECF No. 14-1 at 36-39. He stated other pain
medications such as Elavil,  Nortriptyline, and Cymbalta,
caused restless leg syndrome, and instead requested Lyrica,
which was prescribed. Id. at 39-40.
January 24 and 25, 2018, Locklear again complained of leg
pain by submitting written sick call slips. Id. at
57-58. On January 27, 2018, Dennis Martin, RN examined
Locklear. Martin's records reflect that Locklear had
normal range of motion in the leg, normal gait, and could
bear weight fully on the leg. Id. at 44.
February 8, 2018, Nurse Practitioner Peggy Mahler examined
Locklear who complained to Mahler about left leg pain from
below the left knee down to the ankle. ECF No. 14-1 at 45-47.
Locklear also noted that Motrin did not ease his pain. Mahler
proposed that Locklear try Tegretol,  but Locklear declined, again
expressing a preference for Neurontin or Lyrica. Id.
Mahler found mild tenderness below the knee and left leg
without any obvious swelling, skeletal tenderness, or joint
deformity. Mahler further noted that Locklear enjoyed normal
range of motion, walked without a limp, and could lift
himself onto and off the exam table without difficulty.
Id. Mahler ordered an x-ray, advised Locklear to
refrain from running and jumping, and referred Locklear to
the Regional Medical Director for evaluation for pain
management. Id. An x-ray taken on February 12, 2018
revealed metallic hardware in the tibia, normal anatomical
alignment, and no indication of acute injury or bony
abnormality. Id. at 63.
February 23, 2018, Locklear submitted a sick call slip
requesting to be seen for pain medication. Id. at
59. On February 27, 2018, Michael Klepitch RN saw Locklear
and noted that Locklear was angry because he could not obtain
his desired pain medications. Id. at 48-49. On March
18, 2018, nurse Clark examined Locklear. He complained of
intermittent and variable left ankle pain which was made
worse by bending, moving, and walking. Id. at 50-52.
Again, Clark noted that the pain had not affected
Locklear's daily living activities. Nor did Locklear have
any trouble getting on and off the exam table, and his leg
was not swollen or red. Id.
visit, Locklear suggested that he would no longer wanted
Neurontin, but persisted in his quest for Lyrica to treat his
“nerve damage.” Id. at 50-52. Locklear
was offered Depakote ER to treat his nerve pain, but he that
declined that prescription. Id. Plaintiff also
refused Elavil, Nortriptyline and Cymbalta. Id.
Since that time, Locklear has not complained of nerve pain
related to his leg injury.