United States District Court, D. Maryland
BRETT D. KELLY, Plaintiff,
CONMED HEALTHCARE SERVICES, NURSE FELICIA SHONEKAN, HOWARD COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.
W. GRIMM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
civil rights suit, Brett Kelly, who is proceeding without
counsel, alleges that, while he was incarcerated at the
Howard County Detention Center (“HCDC”), he did
not receive proper medical care for his diabetes, in
violation of his Eighth Amendment right to remain free from
cruel and unusual punishment. Am. Compl. 4, ECF No. 3.
Pending are the motion to dismiss or for summary judgment and
memorandum (ECF Nos. 30, 30-1) that Defendants Conmed
Healthcare Services and Nurse Felicia Shonekan
(“Medical Defendants”) filed and the motion to
dismiss and memorandum (ECF Nos. 32, 32-1) that Defendant
Howard County Department of Corrections filed. Although
Plaintiff sought and was granted an extension of time in
which to file oppositions to the pending motions, he has not
filed anything further. See Jan. 8, 2019 Order, ECF
No. 36; July 11, 2019 Order, ECF No. 38; Docket. A hearing in
this matter is unnecessary and the unopposed motions shall be
granted for the reasons stated below. See Loc. R.
105.6 (D. Md. 2018).
March 27, 2018, Plaintiff entered a plea of guilty to a
charge of identity theft and received a sentence of ten
months in the District Court for Howard County, Maryland,
which he has served. See State of Maryland v. Kelly,
No. 0T00099883 (Howard Co. Dist. Ct.),
(last visited July 10, 2019). Plaintiff asserts that he
arrived at HCDC in March of 2018, and shortly thereafter was
identified as a chronic care patient because of his diabetes.
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 2, 6. On or about April 8, 2018,
Plaintiff became lightheaded and dizzy and sought medical
attention. Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiff claims that a
doctor at HCDC, whom he does not name, told him that the
medication he was receiving was ineffective because he was
not taking it in tandem with another medication. Id.
Plaintiff was promised that the second medication, Januvia,
would be delivered to him “as soon as possible.”
Id. Plaintiff claims that, despite that promise, he
“went several days without medication.”
Id. ¶ 8.
to Plaintiff, between April 13 and 29, 2018, he “had
several interactions with Nurse Felicia” regarding his
medication. Id. ¶ 9. He claims that she told
him that she “didn't care if he received his
medication and she wasn't giving him anything.”
Id. On April 24 and 25, 2018, Plaintiff filed formal
grievances, claiming that he had spoken with Lieutenant
Hayhurst about both the failure to provide him the medication
he needed and the manner in which Nurse Shonekan treated him.
Id. ¶ 10; Apr. 24, 2018 Grievance, ECF No. 3-1,
at 3; Apr. 25, 2018 Grievance, ECF No. 3-3. Lieutenant
Hayhurst escorted Plaintiff to the medical unit so that the
matter could be resolved, and again he was told that he would
receive his medication, but by the end of the day he had not
received it. Am. Compl. ¶ 10.
outside primary care physician, Dr. Richard Lilly, was
notified in early May 2018 that Plaintiff still had not
received Januvia. Id. ¶ 11. According to
Plaintiff, he was provided Januvia the following day
“only because [Dr. Lilly] spoke with medical staff and
the Plaintiff paid for the medication out-of-pocket.”
Id. ¶ 12. The “Action” section of
his Grievance states that Plaintiff's “medication
from home was allowed and accepted by Medical Department on
May 2 .” Apr. 25, 2018 Grievance, ECF No. 3-3.
alleges that on May 5, 2018, when Nurse Shonekan was on duty
to hand out medications to inmates, she refused to give him
both of his medications. Am. Compl. ¶ 13. Plaintiff
claims that he saw both medications on the cart, labeled with
his name. Id. Plaintiff informed Correctional
Officer Bolden that Nurse Shonekan refused to dispense both
medications to him. Id.
10, 2018, Plaintiff signed the Action section of the
Grievance, acknowledging that it had been resolved. Apr. 25,
2018 Grievance, ECF No. 3-3; see also Am. Compl. 2
(“Matter was closed because I provided my own
result of Plaintiff not receiving both medications, he
suffered elevated blood sugar levels, nausea, and severe foot
pain. Am. Compl. ¶ 15. Plaintiff also alleges that the
interruption in his medication regimen “could cause
sever[e] long lasting damages to plaintiff's
health.” Id. ¶ 16. He asserts that other
inmates at HCDC have had problems receiving appropriate
health care from Conmed. Id. ¶ 17. As relief,
Plaintiff seeks “immediate oversight” of the
health care provided by Conmed Healthcare Services,
compensatory and punitive damages, and other unspecified
injunctive relief. Id. at 6.
to Rule 12(b)(6), Kelly's claims are subject to dismissal
if they “fail[ ] to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A pleading must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and must state “a plausible claim
for relief, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678-79 (2009). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678. Rule 12(b)(6)'s purpose “is to test the
sufficiency of a complaint and not to resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses.” Velencia v.
Drezhlo, No. RDB-12-237, 2012 WL 6562764, at *4 (D. Md.
Dec. 13, 2012) (quoting Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006)).
purposes of resolving a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts
the plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations as true. See
Aziz v. Alcolac, 658 F.3d 388, 390 (4th Cir. 2011).
While this Court is required to liberally construe documents
that self-represented litigants file and hold them to a less
stringent standard than those that attorneys draft, see
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 US. 97, 106 (1976), the requirement of
liberal construction does not mean that the Court can ignore
a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts that set
forth a claim currently cognizable in a federal district
court, see Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901
F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990). Rather, the Court must also
abide by the “affirmative obligation of the trial judge
to prevent factually unsupported claims and defenses from
proceeding to trial.” Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens
Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 526 (4th Cir. 2003)
(internal quotation marks omitted).