Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dorsey v. Wexford Health Sources Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 19, 2019

TERRY DORSEY, #193579, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          George L. Russell, III United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendants Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”), Brenda Reese, R.N., Mahboob Ashraf, M.D., Holly Pierce, N.P., and B. Cohen's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 12); and Plaintiff Terry Dorsey's Opposition to Defendants Motion to Dismiss and Alternatively Plaintiff's Cross Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (“Cross Motion for Partial Summary Judgment”) (ECF No. 22) and Request for Emergency Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO Motion”) (ECF No. 26).[1] The Motions are ripe for disposition, and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6. (D.Md. 2018). For the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion and deny Dorsey's Motions.

         I. BACKGROUND[2]

         Dorsey is a state prison inmate housed at the North Branch Correctional Institution (“NBCI”) in Cumberland, Maryland. (Compl. at 2, ECF No. 1; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 2).[3]Dorsey's medical history includes Pityriasis versicolor, [4] hypertension, constipation, backache, asthma, and hearing impairment, and a mental health history of personality disorder. (See Dr. Getachew Aff. ¶ 4, ECF No. 12-5; Defs.' Mot. Dismiss Altern. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 4 [“Medical Records”] at 3, ECF No. 12-4).[5]

         In February 1996, an Ear, Nose, and Throat (“ENT”) specialist diagnosed Dorsey with deafness in his left ear. (Suppl. at 6, ECF No. 5, Dorsey Decl. ¶ 3).[6] Dorsey alleges that on August 10, 2016 it was determined that he needed a hearing aid. (Suppl. at 6). Dr. Ross Cushing, an audiologist, saw Dorsey on November 16, 2016 and noted that Dorsey was completely deaf in the left ear and had profound hearing loss in the right ear. (Medical Records at 2; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 4). According to Dr. Cushing, the left ear was unaidable, but he recommended a hearing aid for the right ear. (Medical Records at 2; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 4).

         On January 3, 2017, Dr. Cushing or Nurse Krista Bilak updated Dorsey's chart to note that a hearing aid was requested. (Medical Records at 3; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 5). On January 25, 2017, Dorsey returned to Dr. Cushing for a hearing aid fitting. (Medical Records at 4; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 6). Dr. Cushing advised Dorsey that the battery needed to be taken out of the hearing aid every night and should last approximately six to ten days, depending on the amount of time the aid is used. (Medical Records at 4). At that time, Dorsey “requested to be transferred to Disability Tier” and to have the words “Hearing Loss” placed on his badge. (Medical Records at 4; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 7).

         On February 1, 2017, Nurse James Hunt saw Dorsey during segregation rounds, at which time Dorsey asked to be transferred to a different correctional institution with facilities for the hearing-impaired. (Medical Records at 5). Hunt directed Dorsey to submit a sick call slip regarding his request. (Id.). Hunt noted that Dorsey was able to hear and answer questions through the cell door using normal speaking volume and that Dorsey's cell door had a special designation indicating a hearing-impaired inmate. (Id.).

         On March 6, 2017, Dorsey was scheduled to discuss his audiology visit with medical personnel, but he refused to attend. (Id. at 6). On March 8, 2017, Dorsey was scheduled for a visit to the chronic care clinic to discuss his hearing loss but again refused to attend. (Id. at 7). That same day, however, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip to see a provider regarding his hearing loss. (Id. at 8). Although he was scheduled to see medical personnel on March 9, 2017 to address his concerns, Dorsey refused to see the nurse during the scheduled appointment. (Id. at 9).

         On March 11, 2017, Dorsey submitted another sick call slip regarding his hearing loss. (Id. at 10). On March 14, 2017, Hunt saw Dorsey during segregation rounds, at which time he inquired about seeing a provider for hearing loss. (Id. at 11). Hunt reminded Dorsey that he recently refused two appointments for that purpose and noted that a letter would be sent to him reiterating the need to show up for appointments. (Id.). Later that day, Bilak saw Dorsey to discuss his hearing loss. (Id. at 12). Dorsey requested transfer to another institution as well as access to TTY facilities, but Bilak informed him that the medical staff could not address his concerns and that he would have to raise them with the correctional staff. (Id.). Dorsey stated that he had four inoperable hearing aid batteries, so Bilak placed an order to provide Dorsey with two batteries per week. (Id.). She informed him that the required batteries were not in stock but would be “delivered Thursday.” (Id.). On March 16, 2017, Bilak provided Dorsey with two hearing aid batteries. (Id. at 14).

         On March 27, 2017, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip complaining that his medications had not been renewed. (Id. at 15). Dorsey alleges that on March 28, 2017, he requested the ENT specialist's records and notes regarding his hearing loss and the need for a hearing aid, but “medical records personnel B. Cohen” told him that there were no such records. (Suppl. at 6-7; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 8; Dorsey Decl. Ex. 1). On March 30, 2017, a nurse saw Dorsey and noted that Dorsey's Vitamin E lotion did not expire until April 6, 2017, that he did not have a current prescription for alcohol rub, and that his clindamycin[7]was reordered. (Medical Records at 15).

         On May 5, 2017, Dorsey submitted sick call slips requesting to renew his medications and to be taken off the 2400-calorie diet, but he refused to attend the appointment to review his requests. (Id. at 16-18). Nonetheless, Dorsey's medications were noted as current through July 2, 2017. (Id. at 16). On May 10, 2017, Dorsey submitted another sick call slip asking to be taken off the 2400-calorie diet, a request that the medical staff reviewed on May 12, 2019. (Id. at 20).

         On July 19, 2017, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip complaining that his Neurontin and Baclofen prescriptions for nerve pain had expired two weeks earlier. (Id. at 21). On July 24, 2017, he submitted two sick call slips complaining about dry skin as well as pain and numbness in his left leg. (Id. at 22-23). On July 28, 2017, Bilak[8] noted that Dorsey's prescription for Baclofen had been renewed through September 29, 2017, and his Neurontin prescription had been renewed through November 28, 2017. (Id. at 24).

         On October 10, 2017, Dorsey was scheduled to see Dr. Ashraf at the chronic care clinic, but Dorsey did not attend. (Id. at 27). On October 12, 2017, Dorsey submitted a sick call request to see a provider to renew his medications. (Id. at 29). He alleges that he did not attend the appointment with Dr. Ashraf because a correctional officer refused to take him. (Id.). On October 15, 2017, Nurse Pierce saw Dorsey and noted that he requested Neurontin and Baclofen. (Id. at 30). Dorsey was in no acute distress, his backache was assessed as stable, and his exam was otherwise unremarkable. (Id.). When asked to discuss his inhaler and blood pressure medication, Dorsey “seemed confused and unable to answer, ” so Pierce educated Dorsey on medication compliance. (Id.).

         On October 24, 2017, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip to renew unspecified medications. (Id. at 32). On October 30, 2017, Bilak saw Dorsey at the chronic care clinic, noting that his blood pressure and asthma were stable and that his exam was unremarkable. (Id. at 33). Dorsey was in no apparent distress, and his chart indicated that his Neurontin prescription would continue through November 28, 2017. (Id. at 34-35).

         Dorsey alleges that he requested use of the TTY system[9] and that Defendants told him “that was a custody staff issue.” (Dorsey Decl. ¶ 9). On October 30, 2017, he wrote to custody staff about the issue. (Id.). On November 2, 2017, Case Manager Ms. S. Johnson MS II responded to Dorsey, stating that the medical department must “sign off” on TTY access but had informed her that Dorsey “ha[s] a hearing aid but [is] not deaf.” (Dorsey Decl. ¶ 9; Dorsey Decl. Ex. 2). That same day, Dorsey requested access to the TTY system from Acting Medical Director Nurse Reese but received no response. (Dorsey Decl. ¶ 12; Dorsey Decl. Ex. 4).

         On November 21, 2017, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip seeking renewal of unspecified medications and complaining of numbness in his left hip, leg, and foot. (Medical Records at 36). Dr. Ashraf saw Dorsey regarding those concerns on November 28, 2017 and prescribed a tapering dose of Neurontin scheduled to stop on December 28, 2017. (Id. at 37-39). Dorsey alleges that his prescription for the pain medication Neurontin expired on November 25, 2017 and that Dr. Ashraf did not order substitute medication. (Suppl. at 7). Dorsey states that Dr. Ashraf also tapered off his prescription for the pain medication Baclofen but did not prescribe a substitute. (Id.).

         On December 12, 2017, Dorsey wrote Reese about his untreated pain and received no response. (Dorsey Decl. ¶ 12; Dorsey Decl. Ex. 4). On December 16, 2017, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip complaining that his Neurontin had not been renewed. (Medical Records at 40). On December 18, 2017, Nurse Tammy Buser saw Dorsey for his complaint of back pain. (Id. at 41). Buser noted that Dorsey was able to walk well and had no difficulty getting up on the table. (Id.). In addition, Dorsey had no swelling, strong pedal pulses, no apparent pain with movement, and a range of motion was within normal limits. (Id.). Dorsey asked for an increase in Neurontin, but Buser instructed him to follow up after trying exercises to alleviate his pain. (Id.).

         On January 3, 2018, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip complaining of back pain shooting down to his feet. (Id. at 44). When summoned to nurse sick call for this complaint, Dorsey refused to come, according to correctional custody staff. (Id. at 45). On January 28, 2018, Dr. Ashraf saw Dorsey at the chronic care clinic. (Id. at 46). At that time, Dorsey's asthma and hypertension were stable, he was in no apparent distress, and his exam was unremarkable. (Id.). Dorsey requested to be placed on the 2400-calorie diet, and he was prescribed Tegretol[10] for pain. (Id. at 46-48).

         Dorsey alleges that, beginning in February 2018, he was informed that he would have to fill out a sick call request in order to receive batteries for his hearing aid. (Suppl. at 6). Dorsey alleges that he made two or more sick call requests but was not receiving the batteries. (Id.). On May 22, 2018, Dorsey submitted sick call slips requesting the renewal of unspecified medications as well as hearing aid batteries. (Medical Records at 49-50). On May 25, 2018, Buser saw him at sick call, at which time his batteries were replaced. (Id. at 51). Yet Dorsey alleges that he has not received hearing-aid batteries since January 2018. (Dorsey Decl. ¶ 14).

         On June 3, 2018, Dorsey submitted sick call slips seeking renewal of unspecified medications and complaining of back pain. (Medical Records at 53-54). On June 5, 2018, he submitted additional sick call slips requesting hearing aid batteries and complaining that unspecified medications had stopped. (Id. at 55-56; Dorsey Decl. ¶ 12). On June 8, 2018, Buser saw Dorsey at sick call and noted that Dorsey had a steady gait, his vital signs were stable, he was alert and oriented, he could walk well, and was able to bend over without difficulty. (Medical Records at 57). Nonetheless, Buser referred Dorsey to a medical provider regarding his request for pain medication. (Id.). During that visit, Dorsey refused hearing aid batteries, stating that he had “just received them.” (Id.). Both that day and the following day, Dorsey submitted sick call slips complaining of nerve pain. (Id. at 59-60).

         Dorsey states that around June 28, 2018, he requested batteries from Nurse Pierce, who told him that he had not placed an order for batteries. (Suppl. at 8). Dorsey alleges that Pierce said she would investigate but failed to contact him thereafter. (Id.). Dorsey also states that he contacted Reese about these problems but that she never addressed them. (Id. at 7-8).

         On June 30, 2018, Dorsey submitted a sick call slip complaining of “numerous medical issues, ” to have his asthma inhaler and pain medication renewed, and to obtain hearing aid batteries. (Id. at 61). It was noted that Dorsey's Albuterol, [11] Amlodipine, [12] and Tegretol had expired on May 28, 2018. (Id.).

         On July 2, 2018, Nurse Regina Lease saw Dorsey at sick call regarding his requests for medication renewal. (Id. at 63). Lease contacted a medical provider who renewed Dorsey's prescriptions for Norvasc, Tegretol, and Ventolin and Proair inhalers through November 2, 2018. (Id. at 63). On July 11, 2018, Pierce saw Dorsey at the chronic care clinic, at which time Dorsey's asthma and hypertension were stable, he was in no apparent distress, and his exam was otherwise unremarkable. (Id. at 65).

         On August 16, 2018, Nurse Michael Klepitch saw Dorsey at sick call and he renewed his request to be taken off the 2400-calorie diet. (Id. at 68). On August 28, 2018, Dr. Getachew saw Dorsey via medical teleconference. (Id. at 70). Dr. Getachew noted that Dorsey's hypertension and asthma were well-controlled. (Id.). Dorsey complained of back pain and stated that Tegretol made him drowsy, requesting Neurontin instead. (Id.). Dr. Getachew informed Dorsey that Neurontin is not a drug of choice for back pain and told him that exercises would help the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.