United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Robert Haughie, an inmate incarcerated at
Western Correctional Institution (“WCI”) in
Cumberland, Maryland, brings this civil action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Acting Assistant Warden Ronald S.
Weber, C.O. II Alicia A. Cartwright, C.O. II James M. Bennett
(collectively, “Correctional Defendants”), and
Odittie,  Burnice Swan, R.N., Brenda Reese, R.N.,
Beverly McLaughlin, N.P., Michael Klepitch, R.N., and Ryan
Browning, L.P.N. (collectively, “Medical
Defendants”). ECF Nos. 1, 6. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants have falsified documents, denied him medication
and a wheelchair that fits, hindered his access to
Administrative Remedy Procedure (“ARP”) grievance
forms, and retaliated against him for filing suit.
Id. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.
April 13, 2018, the Medical Defendants filed a Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment.
ECF No. 27. On June 11, 2018, the Correctional Defendants
also filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion
for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 38. Plaintiff filed responses
opposing Defendants' motions (ECF Nos. 29, 43), as well
his own Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 48, 50), to
which Medical Defendants responded (ECF Nos. 49, 52). After
review of the record, exhibits, and applicable law, the Court
deems a hearing unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6
(D. Md. 2018). Defendants' motions shall be granted and
Plaintiff's motion shall be denied.
a 58-year-old male inmate at WCI, has had brain tumor surgery
as well as diagnoses of sciatica, hypertension, Hepatitis C,
and joint disease. See generally ECF Nos. 27-5,
March 16, 2017, while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Maryland
Correctional Institution-Jessup (“MCI-J”), he was
seen by Dr. Yonas Sisay in the chronic care clinic. ECF No.
27-5 at 2. At that time, Plaintiff had residual motor
weakness on the right side and reported that walking was
becoming more difficult. Id. Plaintiff complained of
one to two headaches per week, with photophobia,
no nausea or vomiting. Id. A cervical spine x-ray
performed on September 30, 2016, revealed extensive
degenerative disc disease. Id. Plaintiff was
prescribed Verapamil for hypertension and migraine prophylaxis.
March 16, 2017, Plaintiff had a case conference with Dr.
Sisay and other medical providers regarding Plaintiff's
request for a wheelchair. Id. at 5. Plaintiff stated
that his leg wobbling was not improving and he felt he was a
fall risk. Id. It was explained to Plaintiff that
MCI-J was not a wheelchair facility and that a prescription
for a wheelchair would result in transfer to another
continued to see Dr. Sisay from March through June of 2017.
See Id. at 6-13. On April 11, 2017, Plaintiff had
another case conference regarding the use of a wheelchair.
Id. at 8. Dr. Sisay agreed that Plaintiff was a fall
risk and that a wheelchair should be ordered. Id.
Plaintiff understood that he would be transferred to a
wheelchair facility. Id.
18, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Sisay at chronic care
clinic. Id. at 10-11. Plaintiff was informed that
his wheelchair had been delivered and that he would be
transferred when a slot at a wheelchair facility became
available. Id. Plaintiff reported that his neck pain
was not controlled by Neurontin and requested that it be changed
to Lyrica. Lyrica was prescribed. Id. In
addition, Plaintiff was informed that a consultation with an
Ear, Nose and Throat (“ENT”) specialist at
University of Maryland Medical System (“UMMS”)
was approved. Id.
5, 2017, Plaintiff received his wheelchair, and on June 6,
2017, he was transferred to WCI. Id. at 12-14. On
June 10, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Holly Pierce, N.P. for a
scheduled visit. Id. at 15-17. Plaintiff was issued
a wooden cane while his walker was being processed in
property department. Id. He was wearing a wrist
brace and requested a knee brace for the left knee, which was
assessed as not indicated. Id. Plaintiff complained
of a small lump in the right hand, assessed as a sesamoid
bone. Id. Plaintiff disagreed with the x-ray
assessment. Id. Plaintiff also had two cysts on his
back for which a surgical consultation was ordered.
Id. A physical therapy consultation for gait
strengthening, as well as the ENT consultation, were
requested. Id. At that time, Plaintiff's
prescription for Verapamil 120mg once daily was continued for
14, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Beverly McLaughlin,
N.P. for a provider sick call. Id. at 18-20.
Plaintiff was noted to have right-sided weakness, numbness to
the right side of the tongue and face, left wrist carpal
tunnel, bilateral knee pain, and numbness to the right lower
leg and top of the right foot. Id. Plaintiff was
advised that his initial Lyrica prescription had not been
approved, and he would be started on Neurontin 600mg 2
tablets twice daily. Id. On June 15, 2017, however,
a non-formulary request for Lyrica was approved and Neurontin
was discontinued. Id. at 20-22.
22, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Stephen Ryan, a physical
therapist. Id. at 23. Plaintiff was able to perform
sit/stand transitions independently and was able to maintain
static standing balance. Id. Plaintiff could
transfer from chair to table with close supervision but was
unable to walk or perform dynamic balance activities.
Id. The physical therapist's goal was to
increase strength bilaterally in the upper and lower
extremities. Id. Plaintiff returned for physical
therapy on June 28 and 30, 2017. Id. at 24-25.
Plaintiff had no complaint of pain, nor did he have any new
complaints during those follow-up sessions. Id.
20, 2017, Plaintiff was again seen by Stephen Ryan.
Id. at 26. Plaintiff was able to stand and transfer
with caregiver assistance, and he was noted to have balance
and cognitive issues. Id. Six additional sessions of
physical therapy were recommended so that Plaintiff could
become independent in static standing and transfers.
31, 2017, Plaintiff's prescription for Neurontin for back
pain was reinstated, and his prescriptions for Fioricet for
headaches, and Verapamil were renewed. Id. at 27-28.
On August 1, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Peggy Mahler, N.P.
at chronic care clinic. Id. at 28-30. She assessed
that Plaintiff's hypertension was controlled with current
medications, his headaches were controlled with Fioricet, and
his Hepatitis C virus was asymptomatic. Id.
Plaintiff stated that his chronic back pain was controlled
with Neurontin 1200mg twice daily, and he no longer needed
August 11, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Mahler for an infected
cyst on his back. Id. at 31-32. Plaintiff was
prescribed Bactrim, an antibiotic. Id.
August 14, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Mahler during a
scheduled visit. Id. at 33-34. Mahler noted the
physical therapist's recommendation for six more sessions
and requested a consultation. Id. At that time, the
infection on Plaintiff's back was assessed as healed and
wound care was discontinued. Id. Plaintiff's
blood pressure was elevated, but he declined a cardiovascular
August 28, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Mahler for his annual
physical exam. Id. at 35-38. Plaintiff reported
facial numbness with sharp pain on the right side of his head
after undergoing brain surgery on January 1, 2016, to remove
a tumor. Id. Plaintiff reported headaches with
nausea but no visual disturbance or vomiting. Id.
Plaintiff stated that Fioricet helped but he would wake at
1:00 a.m. with a headache and “nothing to take.”
Id. Plaintiff refused NSAIDs. Id. He was
prescribed Excedrin Migraine as needed. Id.
September 6, 2017, Plaintiff's chart was updated by
Mahler. Id. at 39. Plaintiff had refused to go to
the ENT specialist at UMMS for a consultation because
“he did not know why he was going.” Id.
Mahler explained to Plaintiff that an ENT assessment of his
speech function was recommended prior to receiving voice
therapy, and Plaintiff agreed to reschedule the appointment.
September 14, 2017, the physical therapist noted that
Plaintiff reached an optimum level of functional mobility and
had obtained the optimum benefit from physical therapy.
Id. at 40. As a result, the physical therapist
recommended a follow-up in 4-6 months for any change in
October 25, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant McLaughlin.
Id. at 41-45. Plaintiff complained that he was not
able to purchase some items from the commissary due to his
peanut allergy. Id. It was explained to Plaintiff
his allergy restrictions could not be discontinued as his
allergy was life-threatening. Id. McLaughlin noted
Plaintiff's history for chronic low back pain, bilateral
knee pain, left wrist pain, and right elbow pain.
Id. Plaintiff was advised that Neurontin would not
be renewed for an extended period. Id. A tapering
dose was ordered and Plaintiff was prescribed
Cymbalta instead. Id.
November 17, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant McLaughlin
at provider sick call. Id. at 46-47. Plaintiff
complained that he had not received the paperwork for his
wrist brace and right elbow and knee sleeves, that his
wheelchair was falling apart, and that Cymbalta did not work
and gave him diarrhea. Id. Plaintiff stated that he
wanted only Neurontin for pain. Id.
December 4, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Michael
Klepitch, R.N. at nurse sick call. Id. at 48.
Plaintiff complained of pain and wanted copies of the orders
changing his medications. Id. Plaintiff
“stormed out” when he was refused copies.
December 10, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Janette Clark, N.P.
at provider sick call. Id. at 49-51. Although
Plaintiff's Cymbalta was not discontinued, Plaintiff
reported that he stopped taking Cymbalta because it gave him
diarrhea. Id. Plaintiff was noted to have chronic
pain in his hips and knees and degenerative changes in his
cervical spine. Id. He was assessed as being
“essentially wheelchair bound” and could transfer
from wheelchair to bed with much difficulty. Id.
Clark requested a consultation with the clinical pharmacist
for a pain management regimen. Id.
January 11, 2018, Plaintiff was seen by Mahler at chronic
care clinic. Id. at 52-55. At that time,
Plaintiff's hypertension was stable, his Hepatitis C was
asymptomatic, and he reported non-radiating low back pain,
bilateral feet and knee pain, and right shoulder pain.
Id. Plaintiff continued to refrain from taking
Cymbalta because it gave him diarrhea; therefore, it was
discontinued. Id. Plaintiff stated he tried Elavil,
nortriptyline, and tegretol but they did not work.
Id. Plaintiff declined steroid injections for his
knees but was agreeable to one for his right shoulder.
Id. On January 15, 2018, a non-formulary request for
another 120 days of Fioricet was placed. Id. at
January 31, 2018, Plaintiff was seen by Dennis Martin, R.N.
at nurse sick call. Id. at 58-59. Plaintiff
complained that he was still being offered Cymbalta but the
provider discontinued it on January 15, 2018. Id.
Martin notified the pharmacy about stopping Cymbalta.
April 7, 2018, Plaintiff was seen by Clark at chronic care
clinic. Id. at 60. Plaintiff's hypertension and
Hepatitis C were stable, and his March 1, 2018 consultation
with UMMS ENT was noted to recommend proceeding with speech
therapy without ENT intervention. Id. Clark noted
that Plaintiff's wheelchair needed repair and she placed
a request for repair. Id. Clark also ordered a new