United States District Court, D. Maryland
STEPHEN B. JONES Plaintiff
K. Bredar, Chief Judge.
Stephen B. Jones, an inmate committed to the custody of the
Maryland Division of Correction and confined in the Maryland
Correctional Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland, filed
this civil rights suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging he was being denied adequate medical care. ECF 1,
ECF 8 (supplemental complaint). In response, the only named
defendant, Wexford Health Sources, Inc., moves to dismiss the
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. ECF 10. The motion is opposed by Jones. ECF 12.
No hearing is necessary to address the pending matters.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the reasons
that follow, the motion to dismiss will be granted and the
complaint shall be dismissed.
states that he suffers from chronic low back pain for which
he receives chronic care. ECF 1-1 at p. 2. He states that on
November 9, 2017, Dr. Tessema discontinued a prescription for
Elavil he had been taking for pain management,
explaining that he was concerned about Jones's age and
the potential for developing heart problems while taking that
was seen by Lori Slavick, P.A., on December 16, 2017, to
receive a replacement for the Elavil he had been taking, but
he claims she refused to help him. Id.
January 10, 2018, Jones was seen by "Dr. Yvonne,"
who discussed indications for Neurontin with Jones and
notified him that he would be weaned off that medication and
placed on Cymbalta instead. Id. Jones states he did
not agree with the change in his medication because Cymbalta
is "a mental health drug, not a pain medication."
Id. at p. 3. Nevertheless, he began taking Cymbalta
on January 12, 2018, but stopped taking it four days later,
citing nose bleeds and dizziness as his reasons for stopping
the drug. Id.
January 30, 2018, Jones was seen by Dr. Nimely for a chronic
care visit. Dr. Nimely prescribed Elavil for Jones's back
pain, but made no mention of it causing heart trouble, or
problems with blood pressure, due to Jones's
Id. Although Jones states he was prescribed Elavil,
he also states in an administrative remedy procedure
complaint (ARP) date February 2, 2018, that he was only
receiving Baclofen for pain at that time. Id.
ARP dated January 23, 2018, Jones claimed that a nurse lied
to him about referring him to a doctor for review of his
medications after he stopped taking the prescribed medication
that was making him sick. ECF 1-1 at pp. 7-8. There is no
response on the section of the form reserved for a response;
Jones indicates that he has been without medication for his
lower back pain for two months. Id. In response to
an earlier-filed ARP, however, the Warden indicated that
while Jones's Elavil prescription was discontinued on
November 19, 2017, his Baclofen prescription was increased to
a twice daily dose. Id. at p. 32. In yet another ARP
response, it is noted that in addition to the increased
Baclofen dosage, Jones's prescriptions for Neurontin and
Naproxen remained in place. Id. at p. 34.
January 31, 2018, Jones filed another ARP complaining that
medical staff took away his pain medication and replaced it
with mental health medication that is ineffective in treating
his pain. ECF 1-1 at pp. 9-10. He threatened that if the
Warden did not look into the situation, he would leak the
story to "all the news stations around here."
Id. at p. 10.
ARP dated January 16, 2018, Jones referenced a rule violation
for which he received 40 days cell restriction. ECF 1-1 at
pp. 14-16. He claimed he did not "disrespect" the
nurse with whom he spoke, but only disagreed with her plan
not to refer him to a physician for review of his
medications. Id. In another ARP, Jones denied
telling the nurse to "go f*ck yourself."
Id. at p. 20.
ARP attached to Jones's complaint, the response from the
Warden indicates that his complaint alleging he had been
denied medical treatment was being dismissed. The response
indicated that the complaint was investigated and it was
determined that: Jones became belligerent and refused a
physical assessment to assist in addressing his requests for
pain medication on December 16, 2017; when he was seen again
on December 31, 2017, he became confrontational again; and
finally when he was seen on January 10, 2018, the indications
for Neurontin were discussed with Jones and he was informed
he would be started on Cymbalta. ECFl-latp.21.
seeks compensatory damages as relief for his claim that the
discontinuation and changes in his pain medications
constitute cruel and unusual punishment. ECF 1 at p. 3.
Jones's supplemental complaint, which also consists
largely of ARP complaints he has filed concerning his pain
medication, he alleges he is being denied care for
discriminatory reasons. ECF 8-1 at pp. 3-4. In an April 11,
2018, ARP response, the Warden again indicated Jones's
complaint was investigated and it was determined that Jones
was currently receiving Baclofen, Amitriptyline, and
Ibuprofen for his pain. Id. at p. 4. The balance of
the supplemental complaint reiterates his position that
medical staff at MCTC are taking pain medications away and
substituting "mental health medications" for them.