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.

Krell v. Queen Anne's County

United States District Court, D. Maryland

November 18, 2019

EDWIN CHARLES KRELL, Plaintiff,
v.
QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          James K. Bredar, Chief Judge.

         In 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. 73.)

         Now pending before the Court is Defendants' motion to reconsider.[1] (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.

         Plaintiff 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.

         I. Legal Standard

         Under 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)).

         II. Analysis

         A. Deliberate Indifference[2]

         To 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. at 297).

         Defendants 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.

         1. Serious Medical Need

         The 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).

         Defendants 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. (Id.)

         Defendants 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 ...


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.