United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. HOLLANDER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Derrick Mondowney, who is self represented, has filed a civil
rights suit against several defendants, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. He complains that he was denied constitutionally
adequate medical care while he was detained at the Baltimore
County Detention Center (“BCDC”).
Sergeant Ronald Church, Jr. and Sergeant Martin
(“Correctional Defendants”) have moved to dismiss
or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. ECF 38. Their
motion is supported by a memorandum of law (ECF 38-1)
(collectively, “Correctional Motion”) and
exhibits. Defendants Correct Care Solutions, LLC and Zowie
Barnes, M.D. (“Medical Defendants”) have filed a
motion for summary judgment (ECF 49), supported by a
memorandum of law (ECF 49-1) (collectively, “Medical
Motion”) and exhibits. Plaintiff opposes both motions.
ECF 41; ECF 54. The Medical Defendants have replied. ECF 56.
Plaintiff has also filed motions for summary judgment. ECF
53; ECF 55.
hearing is necessary to resolve these motions. See
Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow,
defendants' motions, construed as motions for summary
judgment, shall be granted. Plaintiff's summary judgment
motions shall be denied.
prior Memorandum Opinion, issued by this Court on September
11, 2018, I summarized plaintiff's allegations, as
follows, ECF 35 at 3-7:
Plaintiff alleges that on August 30, 2016, he suffered a
stroke and was sent to the University of Maryland St. Joseph
Medical Center, where he remained until September 2, 2016.
Case II, ECF 1-1 at 4. His discharge
instructions included orders for medication as well as
physical and occupational therapy. Id. On October
12, 2016, he underwent assessment at the University of
Maryland Medical Center Rehabilitation Department, so that a
course of treatment could be developed. Id.
Plaintiff states that as a result of this assessment, several
medical appointments were scheduled for him between October
28, 2016 and November 30, 2016. Id. at 5.
According to plaintiff, on numerous occasions the
correctional escort staff caused him to be late for his
medical appointments. As a result, he missed ten appointments
essential to his health. Id. at 9.
For example, plaintiff asserts that he arrived over an hour
late for his first therapy session, scheduled on October 28,
2016, and therefore he was declined treatment. ECF 1-1 at 5.
He was scheduled for a morning appointment on November 2,
2016, but because he arrived late it was rescheduled to the
afternoon. Id. The afternoon appointment was
cancelled because he was again late. Id. Sgt. Leake,
who is in charge of the processing area at BCDC, on learning
that the appointment was cancelled, advised plaintiff that
“‘if [he] wanted compassion or adequate medical
care, [he] should have stayed home . . . It does not affect
my pay check.'” Id. at 7. Plaintiff adds
that he also missed appointments scheduled for November 4, 9,
11, 18, 23, 25, and 30, 2016. Case II, ECF 1-1 at 7.
Plaintiff is confined to a wheelchair. Therefore, he
expresses concern that the lack of appropriate rehabilitation
will consign him to remain wheelchair bound, without “a
decent quality of life . . . .” Id. at 6;
see also Id. at 8.
On November 11, 2016, plaintiff sent a request to medical
staff regarding the difficulty in his being processed and
transported to his physical therapy appointments.
Id. at 7. Sgt. Church, who was in charge of
processing inmates for transport, was contacted “with
no success.” Id.
Plaintiff was transported to the University of Maryland
Medical Center Rehabilitation Department on November 16,
2016, but again arrived late and was declined treatment.
Id. The physical therapist provided plaintiff a
request to give to Dr. Barnes and Bonita Cosgrove so that
plaintiff could have access to his tennis shoes in order that
plaintiff could practice the exercises he would have
performed during physical therapy. Id. at 7-8.
Plaintiff explains that the tennis shoes were necessary to
provide “sure footing and support” while
performing his exercises, rather than conducting the
exercises in the shower shoes provided by the institution.
Id. at 8. Plaintiff indicates that the request was
not acknowledged and access to his tennis shoes was denied.
Mondowney submitted a grievance regarding the occurrences to
S. Verch, Bonita Cosgrove, and Deborah Richards. Case II, ECF
1-1 at 8. He received a response to the grievance indicating
it was partially substantiated but that no further action
would be taken. Id.
On February 7, 2017, Lt. Chaddick took plaintiff's
rolling walker that had been issued to him pursuant to the
order of Mike Swoboda, the Physical Therapist at the
University of Maryland. Id. at 20. Lt. Chaddick
advised plaintiff that he was acting on the orders of Dr.
Further, plaintiff alleges that on February 9, 2017, Captain
Swainn advised him that the water to the shower in his cell
had been turned off to insure that plaintiff did not use the
shower, because it was not a shower approved under the
Americans with Disabilities Act. Case II, ECF 1-1 at 17. He
was advised that if he wanted to shower he needed to do it
during the 7 am-3 pm shift in a different area. Id.
Plaintiff states that the alternative shower was not ADA
approved either, as it was not wheelchair accessible nor did
it have an attached shower chair. Id.; see also Id.
at 25-34. (Plaintiff's ADA complaint forms filed with the
ADA Coordinator for Baltimore County).
Plaintiff indicates he advised all medical staff of the
numbness in his right leg when he gets out of bed for the
day. Id. at 17. He claims that Dr. Barnes refused to
address the issue despite other medical providers submitting
sick call forms on his behalf. Id. at 17-18.
Further, he claims that he advised medical staff of his
desire to comply with the tasks assigned but needed to do
them when blood was circulating or he had sensation in his
leg. Id. at 18. According to plaintiff, being forced
to shower and exercise during the day shift placed him at a
risk of harm due to the numbness in his leg during that
portion of the day. Id. at 19.
In addition, plaintiff alleges that Dr. Barnes tried to force
him to do exercises and threatened to take his walker away if
he did not do the exercises when she wanted him to.
Id. at 21-23. He claims that Dr. Barnes required him
to complete the physical therapy exercise during specific
times, not at night as he had been doing, despite plaintiff
explaining that “he did not have any feeling in his
right leg.” Id. at 21. Plaintiff also
explained that the physical therapist had directed him to
wait to do the exercises until the “pins and needles
sensation” has subsided.” Id. at 21, 22,
23. Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Barnes directed his therapy be
done in the “‘bull pen'” in the medical
unit on a 1.5 inch pad, which plaintiff indicates is not
appropriate due to the weakness he experiences. Id.
According to plaintiff, as a result of filing a civil rights
case, his walker was removed, physical therapy was decreased,
and his medical documentation revised to indicate he could
walk without an assistive device. Case II, ECF 1-1 at 35. He
also claims that he was transported from BCDC to JCI on the
floor of the vehicle rather than in a seat, and that after
review of his medication documentation at the Jessup Regional
Hospital “it was determined that the previous
treatments, including physical therapy, were not effective
and a consultation with a nerve specialist would be necessary
to determine the next course of treatment.”
defendants have produced numerous exhibits to support their
contention that plaintiff's claims lack merit.
medical note was entered in plaintiff's chart on May 27,
2016, indicating that he was a recent admission to BCDC with
a history of lumbar degenerative joint disease and lumbar
surgery in February 2016. He reported he had occasional right
leg paresthesia. He tolerated Mobic and was on an opiate
detox protocol. ECF 48-3 at 37-38.
28, 2016, plaintiff was able to walk with a steady gait and
with no assistive device. He had no significant issues with
detox. He was cleared for general population, with a bottom
bunk and bottom tier status. His lifting was restricted to
nothing more than 15 pounds and he was also restricted from
using the gym, recreation, or working. ECF 48-3 at 37.
following day, plaintiff was reportedly irate when he was
removed from medical housing to the general population. ECF
48-3 at 37. That same day, plaintiff reported that he was a
fall risk in a general population cell due to the low height
of the bed and toilet and as such he was returned to the
medical ward. Id. The regional medical director, Dr.
Jerkins, approved plaintiff's remaining in the medical
ward for the balance of his sentence based on plaintiff's
reporting that he was a fall risk and because his medication
would be brought to him. It was noted that the toilet heights
are the same throughout the facility. Id. at 36.
30, 2016, plaintiff was found beating on the door of his cell
with a metal rod he had taken from the shower curtain,
complaining that he could not lie down on his bunk, and that
he was suffering pain in the middle of his chest. He also
complained about unspecified things he claimed the doctor had
promised him. ECF 48-3 at 36. Later that day he advised staff
that he would not eat because he wanted to avoid defecating
due to the toilet being too low and his being afraid he would
fall. Id. The following day he was provided a
portable handicap toilet seat which he reported was helpful.
Id. at 35. He also continued to receive treatment
for lower back pain. Id.
medical note was entered on August 20, 2016, stating that
plaintiff was not eating because his meals were not kosher.
He was advised regarding the procedure to have his diet
changed and an unidentified sergeant indicated he would get
plaintiff a bag lunch. ECF 48-3 at 34. On August 23, 2016,
plaintiff refused his meal trays. He advised a nurse:
“I think I had a stroke last week, and ya'll aint
do nothing for me, I aint eating til I get a kosher tray. I
aint eating this gar[b]age food.” Id. But, he
refused to go to the medical unit. Id. On August 25,
2016, plaintiff ate his lunch. Id.
approximately 4:21 p.m. on August 30, 2016, plaintiff was
brought to the medical unit due to his involvement in a fight
with another inmate. ECF 48-3 at 33. No. lacerations or
abrasions were observed. He was offered a cold compress and
pain medication and directed to follow up with medical staff
as needed. Id. He returned to his housing tier.
hours later, at approximately 7:10 p.m., plaintiff retuned to
the medical unit complaining of chest pain radiating to his
left arm over the past hour. He was laid down and given
aspirin and oxygen. An EKG could not be obtained due to
plaintiff's movement. Staff noted that plaintiff's
“right arm became flaccid and appeared to not be able
to grip my hand.” ECF 48-3 at 33. He was described as
sweating profusely and he was given nitroglycerin.
ambulance was called, and plaintiff was transferred from BCDC
to the University of Maryland, St. Joseph Medical Center,
where he was described as presenting with right sided
weakness. ECF 48-1 at 3. Plaintiff initially complained of
“chest discomfort and mild [shortness of breath], after
being involved in some sort of physical altercation where he
was struck in the [right] clavicular area with an open
hand.” Id. He advised staff that he fell back
into a chair and hit the right side of his neck after which
he developed “pins and needles” in his right arm
and leg and then suffered from complete right sided
initial NIH stroke assessment score improved over time.
Id. A CT scan of the head and cervical spine were
both negative for signs of injury. Id. The emergency
room consulted with the neurology department and
was initiated. Plaintiff continued to have minimal movement
of his right leg, but experienced improvement in his right
arm. He was admitted to the ICU for further neurological
monitoring and treatment. Id.
August 31, 2016, plaintiff underwent an MRI of the brain,
which showed no abnormalities. ECF 48-1 at 3. He was started
on aspirin. A complete stroke “work up, ” which
included an ultrasound of plaintiff's carotid arteries,
was negative. An echocardiogram showed no evidence of an
interatrial septal shunt. However, moderately depressed left
ventricular function was observed. During plaintiff's
hospitalization he exhibited bradycardia, and sinus brady
with a heart rate in the 50s. Id. His blood pressure
remained stable. Cardiology examined plaintiff and started
him on Aldactone,  Beta blockers, and other medication to
lower his blood pressure. Plaintiff's cardiomyopathy did
not appear to be due to restrictions in blood supply and it
was noted that it could be related to a viral illness
plaintiff suffered the previous year, given his reported
shortness of breath. Id.
time of his discharge from the hospital on September 1, 2016,
plaintiff's neurological function was described as
unchanged. He continued to have slightly decreased strength
in the right lower extremity, but the upper extremity
deficits had resolved. ECF 48-1 at 3. It was also noted that
plaintiff could bear weight with physical therapy. Neurology
evaluated plaintiff and “thought that there was no
evidence of a clinical stroke.” Id.
returned to BCDC on September 1, 2016. ECF 48-3 at 33. It was
noted that he had been admitted to the hospital for
“CVA,  Cardiomyopathy and
bradycardia.” Id. He was described as stable
with right sided weakness that was more pronounced in his
right leg and he used a wheelchair for mobility. Id.
September 2, 2016, Dr. Barnes entered the following medical
note in plaintiff's chart, ECF 48-3 at 32:
Inmate is a 47 y.o AAM who has been on the radar of medical
for a few days. It is documented that inmate reported having
a stroke to Director of Nursing Rawlerson on 8/23/16 during
which time he was refusing NOT to eat because he wanted a
Kosher Diet. At the same time, Inmate stood up and cursed at
DON Rawlerson while moving all 4 extremities.
It is reported by Security that on the evening in question,
inmate got up from a wheelchair (which was not given to him
by medical), walked to another inmate without difficulty and
struck him. Inmate however goes to the hospital and reports
that he was struck in the right clavicular region and fell
back (which is not documented). Inmate did receive tPA which
should lysed [sic] any clots however all imaging has been
Inmate seen this morning and reporting weakness in his right
leg and numbness in his right hand. Vitals were WNL.
There is significant concern for malingering. Weakness is
very subjective however Inmate's reports and actions have
Will order EMG of the right upper and lower extremities to
document accordingly. Inmate to be transferred to lock up.
Most likely transfer inmate tonight.
notes for September 2-4, 2016, indicate plaintiff was seen in
his bed; that he reported dizziness, lightheadedness, and
right sided weakness; he was able to move all extremities;
and he was instructed to get moving in order to regain his
upper body strength. ECF 48-3 at 31-32. On September 4, 2016,
plaintiff requested a wash basin, which was granted, and
expressed to medical staff his fear of falling in the shower.
ECF 48-3 at 31. It was noted that plaintiff denied medical
attention when offered. Id.
following day, plaintiff was observed using his right arm and
hand without difficulty. ECF 48-3 at 31. Later that day,
plaintiff complained of left mid-sternal chest pain. Later,
he advised a correctional officer that his chest pain had
resolved, and he had gas. ECF 48-3 at 30.
notes from September 6, 2016, show that plaintiff remained on
the medical ward and that he was observed moving his right
upper extremity without difficulty. He also reported
dizziness. Id. That same day, Dr. Barnes entered a
note that plaintiff moved his right leg with assistance and
was able to use his upper body to transfer from the bed to
the wheelchair, despite having reported weakness in his right
upper arm. Id. Dr. Barnes also noted that there
remained concerns about plaintiff malingering and that
overall he was stable and remained on the medical unit due to
his wheelchair use and segregation status. Id.
September 7, 2016, plaintiff reported decreased strength in
his right leg. When asked to push against the nurse's
hand it was reported that both the right leg and right arm
were strong and could push against resistance. He was
encouraged to continue to move to increase his body strength.
ECF 48-3 at 29.
following day it was again noted that strength testing of
plaintiff's right arm and leg were 5 out of 5. ECF 48-3
at 28. On September 9, 2018, staff indicated plaintiff would
be transferred to wheelchair accessible housing, as no acute
interventions were being provided on the medical ward.
September 30, 2016, Dr. Barnes referred plaintiff for a
physical therapy evaluation due to secondary right lower
extremity weakness. ECF 48-2 at 2. He was evaluated by
Michael Swoboda, Physical Therapist, on October 12, 2018.
Id. Plaintiff complained of difficulty walking and
weakness of the right leg. Id. The therapy notes
indicated that plaintiff was ...