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Golden v. Mahboob

United States District Court, D. Maryland

February 6, 2019

DR. ASHRAF MAHBOOB, M.D, et al, Defendants



         The pro se Plaintiff Randy Golden filed the above-captioned civil rights action alleging he was denied adequate medical care. ECF No. 1. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 12. Plaintiff filed an opposition (ECF No. 17) to which Defendants replied (ECF No. 19). The 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, despite liberally construing Plaintiffs submissions, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), Defendants' dispositive Motion, construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment, is GRANTED.

         I. Factual Background

         Plaintiff Randy Golden, a state inmate, currently confined at the North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI), alleges in his verified complaint that he received constitutionally inadequate medical care while incarcerated at Western Correctional Institution (WCI). ECF No. 1. In support of their motion, Mahboob Ashraf, M.D., Krista Self (f/n/a Bilak), N.P., Kristi Cortez, R.N., and Holly Pierce, N.P. submitted various exhibits, including the affidavit of Asresahegn Getachew, M.D. Medical Director at WCI, (ECF No. 12-5) and relevant portions of Golden's medical records. ECF No. 12-4. The material facts are not in dispute.

         On December 16, 2016, Golden was stabbed in the back of the neck, left chest, and both arms while an inmate at WCI. ECF No. 12-5, ¶ 5; ECF No. 12-4 at p. 2. He was taken to the Western Maryland Health Systems Emergency Room for treatment, which included the suturing and stapling of his wounds. ECF No. 12-5, ¶ 5; ECF No. 12-4 at p. 2. Golden also received a tetanus shot and cephalosporin IV. ECF No. 12-5, ¶ 5; ECF No. 12-4 at p. 2. He returned to WCI the same day and was admitted to the infirmary for observation. ECF No. 12-5, ¶ 5; ECF No. 12-4 at p. 3. It was noted that the emergency room records showed that Golden's urine tested high for opioids but he had not been prescribed opioids prior to his admission. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 3. While in the infirmary he was prescribed Tylenol with Codeine until December 22, 2016, and also had prescriptions for muscle rub and Baclofen. Id.

         He was discharged from the infirmary back to his housing unit on December 17, 2016. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 5. The nursing notes indicate that the "Infirmary Discharge Notification email [was] sent to appropriate supervisory staff." Id. Although Golden had an active prescription for Tylenol with Codeine, the nursing notes indicated that he would be discharged with Tylenol 325 mg. 2 tablets every 6 hours for discomfort. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 7. Golden was directed to follow up with the physician on December 22, 2016. Id.

         For unknown reasons, over the next 5 days Golden was not provided with the Tylenol-Codeine medication. ECF No. 12-5 at ¶ 7. Golden states that on December 17, 2016, he told Nurse Cortez that he was in pain and asked why he had not received his prescribed Tylenol with Codeine. ECF No. 1 at p. 3. He alleges that Cortez advised him that the prescription was only for the previous night and that he would continue to feel pain for a few days but it would go away. Id. Before leaving the infirmary and returning to NBCL Golden saw Nurse Pierce. He inquired about his pain medication but she told him that he did not need any and that Nurse Bilak would take care of him. Id.

         Golden was seen in the medical department at NBCI on December 18, 2016. His wounds were examined, and bacitracin and a band aid applied to his left upper arm. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 8. Golden alleges that during this appointment he told Nurse Evan, a medical provider not a party to these proceedings, that he was in pain. Golden alleges that she expressed shock that he was not receiving pain medication and indicated that she would speak with Bilak. ECF No. 1 at p. 3. No. notes were made in Golden's medical record that he complained of pain during this appointment. Further, the record reflects that he had active prescriptions for the Tylenol-Codeine, muscle rub, and Baclofen at the time of the appointment. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 8.

         Golden submitted a sick call slip on December 21, 2016, complaining of severe pain in both arms, chest, both sides of his neck, left hand and head. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 10. He also indicated he was told he was going to receive antibiotics but had not received them. Id. He was seen the following day by Krista Bilak, RNP. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 11. His sutures and staples were removed, the incisions cleaned and treated with antibiotic ointment. Id. Golden complained of pain. Due to his having tested positive for opiates in the emergency room, he was provided with Naproxen for pain relief. Id. He also had a valid prescription for muscle rub. Id. at p. 12.

         Golden submitted another sick call slip on December 28, 2016, stating that he was trying to get his medication renewed for his foot. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 13. He also complained of severe pain and reported that the Naproxen was not working for his stab wounds. Id. He was evaluated on December 30, 2018. Despite being ambulatory, he reported that he could not plant his foot on the floor due to pain. Id. at p. 14. No. swelling or tenderness was observed, however bruising on the inner heel was seen. Id. He was referred to the provider for further treatment, directed to apply ice and heat, and to immobilize the injury. Id.

         Golden filed another sick call request on January 13, 2017, again complaining of pain in his neck, arms, chest, and the back of his head. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 15. Golden was examined by Bilak on January 18, 2017. Id. at p. 16. He reported numbness at the site of the stab wound in his right upper arm. Id. Bilak noted that the laceration had healed and Golden had equally strong grips. She noted that the "[p]ain [was] not consistent with nature of stabbing." Id. Golden reports that Bilak told him that she would not give him narcotics and "if he was uptown he wouldn't even went to hospital [sic]." ECF No. 1 at p. 3. He was directed to continue taking his prescribed Naproxen and to increase his activity level. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 15.

         Despite Golden's wounds having healed, on February 11, 2017, he filed another sick call slip again complaining of pain. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 18. He indicated that when he laid down he had pain in the back of his head. Id. On February 14, 2017, Baker examined Golden. She noted that Golden previously advised the provider that Naproxen did not work but the provider found no indication for other pain medication. ECF No. 12-4 at pp. 18-19. Baker provided Golden with Motrin and compresses and directed him to follow-up if necessary. Id. Golden's prescription for Naproxen expired on January 23, 2017. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 21.

         Golden filed a sick call slip on March 17, 2017, complaining of pain at his wound sites. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 21. He was seen that day by Baker who observed Golden walking with a steady gait and getting on and off the exam table without difficulty. Id. at p. 22. He reported pain in his head, arms, and neck as 9 out of 10. Id. His prescription for Naproxen was renewed. Id.

         Golden's next sick call slip was filed on April 4, 2017. ECF No. 12-4 at p. 24. At that time, he complained of pain in his right ankle, explaining that sometimes his ankle would go numb and he had no feeling. Id. He was seen by Bilak on April 9, 2017. Id. at p. 25. She noted that Golden walked without a limp and observed no swelling or bruising. Bilak also noted that Golden had a history of opiate abuse and that Neurontin and Tramadol were not indicated. Id. Dr. Getachew avers that given Golden's "history of opioid abuse, careful consideration should be given before prescribing any narcotic opioids or other drug susceptible to abuse such as ...

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