United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar, Chief Judge.
March 2018, Edwin Charles Krell ("Plaintiff') sued
Tyson Brice and Kyle Braightmeyer ("Defendants") on
a variety of federal and state law claims alleging misconduct
during his arrest. After the close of discovery, Defendants
moved for summary judgment on each of the claims pending
against them. (ECF No. 58.) In October 2019, this Court
granted the motion in part and denied it in part. (ECF No.
pending before the Court is Defendants' motion to
reconsider. (Mot. Recons., ECF No. 82.) Defendants
contend the Court made a clear error of law and fact in not
granting summary judgment on each of the claims pending
against them. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 59, 60.
Specifically, Defendants assert the Court erred in denying
them summary judgment on Plaintiffs deliberate indifference
claim-an error which allegedly infected the Court's
analysis of Plaintiffs equal protection, negligence, and
gross negligence claims. Additionally, Defendants assert the
Court erred in only partially granting summary judgment on
Plaintiffs excessive force claim and in concluding Defendants
were not entitled to qualified immunity on any of the federal
claims pending against them.
has not opposed the motion. No. hearing is required.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). The Court will
deny Defendants' motion to reconsider.
Rule 59(e), a motion to amend a final judgment may be granted
"(1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling
law; (2) to account for new evidence not available at trial;
or (3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice." Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d
1076, 1081 (4th Cir. 1993). Under Rule 60(b), a court may
grant relief from a final judgment or order for the following
reasons: "(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or
excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud
or misconduct by the opposing party; (4) voidness; (5)
satisfaction; or (6) any other reason that justifies
relief." Butler v. DirectSAT USA, LLC, 307
F.R.D. 445, 449 (D. Md. 2015) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)).
Although there may be many valid . reasons to reconsider an
order, "a motion to reconsider is not a license to
reargue the merits or present new evidence" that was
previously available to the movant. Royal Ins. Co. of Am.
v. Miles & Stockbridge, P.C., 142 F.Supp.2d 676, 677
n.l (D. Md. 2001) (citing RGI, Inc. v. Unified Indus.,
Inc., 963 F.2d 658 (4th Cir. 1992)).
prevail on a deliberate indifference claim, a plaintiff must
satisfy two requirements. First, the plaintiff must establish
the "objective" component by illustrating a serious
medical need. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97,
105 (1976). A serious medical need is one that has "been
diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment or is so
obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize the
necessity for a doctor's attention." Scinto v.
Stansberry, 841 F.3d 219, 225 (4th Cir. 2016). Second,
the plaintiff must establish the "subjective"
component by showing deliberate indifference on the part of
the defendant. Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 303
(1991). "Deliberate indifference" lies
"somewhere between the poles of negligence at one end
and purpose or knowledge at the other." Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 836 (1994). To be liable, a
defendant "must both be aware of facts from which the
inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious
harm exists, and must also draw the inference."
Id. at 837. Relief is reserved for cases in which
the official's conduct is "egregious" and
involves an "unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain." King v. United States, 536 Fed.Appx.
358, 364 (4th Cir. 2013) (quoting Wilson, 501 U.S.
contend the Court erred in denying their motion for summary
judgment on Plaintiffs deliberate indifference claims for two
reasons: (1) Plaintiff was not suffering from a serious
medical need at the time of his arrest, and (2) Plaintiff has
not produced sufficient evidence of causation. The Court
addresses each argument in turn.
Serious Medical Need
parties agree that at the time of Plaintiff s arrest,
Plaintiff was experiencing significant shoulder problems.
Plaintiffs medical records reveal that Plaintiff had more
than 100 hospital visits related to his shoulder and that
numerous doctors had informed him prior to his arrest that he
needed shoulder surgery. (M.S J. Ex 7, ECF No. 60.)
Defendants' own expert, Dr. Robert Saltzman, opined after
evaluating Plaintiff and his medical records, that Plaintiff
was already suffering from an "unstable shoulder with a
ruptured subscapularis tendon and atrophic subscapularis
muscle" when he was arrested. (M.SJ. Ex. 6 at 5, ECF No.
59.) Accordingly, the Court concluded at the summary judgment
stage that Plaintiff had a condition that had been
"diagnosed by a physician as mandating
treatment"-in this case, surgery-and as such, he had
sufficiently established he had a serious medical need.
(See M.S.J. Mem. at 12, ECF No. 72).
now contend that Plaintiffs injury could not have been
sufficiently serious because "chronic and on-going"
injuries that do not require "urgen[t]" medical
attention cannot as a matter of law serve as serious medical
needs. (Mot. Recons. at 5.) This is especially true,
Defendants assert, when a plaintiff is only in a
defendant's custody for a short period of time.
misstate the law. Chronic injuries that predate interactions
with law enforcement are regularly held to constitute
sufficiently serious medical needs, even if the injuries do
not require "urgent" medical attention. See,
e.g., Adams v. Sw. Virginia Reg'l Jail Auth, 524
Fed.Appx. 899, 900 (4th Cir. 2013) (concluding that
plaintiffs arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and chronic
pain constituted a serious medical need); Finley v.
Trent,955 F.Supp. 642, 646 (N.D. W.Va. 1997)
(concluding plaintiffs chronic and pre-existing arthritis
constituted a serious medical need); Bellard v.
Barrera, Civ. No. ELH-17-2115, 2018 WL ...