United States District Court, D. Maryland
THEODORE D. CHUANG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Chris Murray, an inmate presently incarcerated at Maryland
Correctional Institution-Hagerstown in Hagerstown, Maryland,
has filed a civil action against Defendants Dr. Mahboobeh
Memarsadeghi and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., asserting a
violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States
Constitution arising from the alleged failure to provide
adequate medical care to Murray while he was housed at the
Roxbury Correctional Institution ("RCI") in
Hagerstown, Maryland. Pending before the Court is
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative,
Motion for Summary Judgment. Although the Motion was fully
briefed, Murray has filed a Motion for Leave to File a
Surreply. Upon review of the submitted materials, the Court
finds that no hearing is necessary. See D. Md. Local
R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth below, Murray's
Motion for Leave to File a Surreply is GRANTED, and
Defendants' Motion, construed as a Motion for Summary
Judgment, is GRANTED.
has a significant medical history of hypertension, benign
prostatic hyperplasia, urinary tract obstruction or
contracture, asthma, diabetes mellitus, and a mental health
history of anti-social personality disorder. On September 28,
2015, while he was residing at RCI, Murray saw Dr.
Memarsadeghi during a scheduled visit to discuss his
long-standing complaint of a burning sensation upon
urination, or dysuria, and occasional swelling of his
scrotum. Dr. Memarsadeghi stated that she would review the
results of a June 2018 cystoscopy and advised Murray to
return in two weeks if the condition worsened or did not
November 5, 2015, Murray was seen by Dr. Ava Joubert-Curtis
at the chronic care clinic. During that visit, Murray
complained of left flank and lower back burning and cramping
pain, as well as a dribbling, hesitant, and interrupted
urinary stream. There was, however, no change in urine color,
cloudy urine, decreased stream, or hematuria, the presence of
blood in his urine. Dr. Joubert-Curtis noted that Murray had
a prior history of urinary tract infections and had
previously had a transurethral resection of the prostate, a
surgical procedure to treat urinary problems resulting from
an enlarged prostate, which Murray believed aggravated his
symptoms. During her examination, Dr. Joubert-Curtis found no
abnormalities with the penile shaft, urethral opening,
scrotum, and testes, and that there was no urethral
discharge. There were no abnormal groin lymph nodes,
testicular masses, or costovertebral angle tenderness or
suprapubic tenderness. Dr. Joubert-Curtis ordered blood tests
and a urine culture.
November 18, 2015, Murray had a medical visit with Crystal
Jamison, a physician's assistant, to follow up on his
complaints of dysuria, frequency of urination, and nocturia,
or waking up at night because of the need to urinate. Jamison
noted that Murray was in no apparent distress during the
visit. She informed him that the urine culture was not
successfully processed, so a new urine sample was taken with
follow up to occur in two weeks.
to Murray, in early December 2015 he experienced cramps and
pain in his lower abdomen, swelling of his testicles, blood
in his urine, and difficulty urinating. On December 4, 2015,
Murray reported to the RCI medical department for an
appointment with Dr. Memarsadeghi and, by telemedical
conference, Dr. Scipio, a urologist. At that time, Murray
reported suffering from a "cough productive of yellowish
sputum for more than a week," for which a Zithromax pack
was prescribed. Med. Records at 11, Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1, ECF
No. 12-4. As to Murray's complaints of testicular
swelling and dysuria, Dr. Scipio recommended that Murray take
the antibiotic Bactrim DS for 15 days, have a sitz bath twice
daily, and take pyridium, a pain reliever for the lower part
of the urinary tract, until the burning sensation stopped.
Murray was advised to follow up with the medical staff if his
condition worsened or did not improve within 14 days.
to Murray, Dr. Scipio had requested that if symptoms did not
improve within 14 days, Murray was to be sent to see Dr.
Scipio at Bon Secours Hospital. He asserts that he informed
Dr. Memarsadeghi at an unspecified time that the symptoms
were continuing, but she did not refer him for an appointment
with Dr. Scipio. Dr. Memarsadeghi, however, asserts that Dr.
Scipio did not request such a referral and notes that no such
order is documented in the medical records. She also states
that she does not recall any report from Murray of recurring
symptoms and discounts Murray's claim that he reported
symptoms during an encounter in the hallway because medical
staff are instructed not to provide advice in such situations
but to direct inmates to the sick call process. Dr.
Memarsadeghi also reports that she was out of the United
States from December 25, 2055 to January 2, 2016.
December 25, 2015, Murray saw Jamison at sick call and
complained of urinary urgency and incontinence. He did not,
however, report pain in urinating, and no blood was found in
his urine. Murray was advised to use the sick call process if
the symptoms did not subside or if they worsened. On December
30, 2015, Murray reported for a sick call visit with Nurse
Carmen Griffith and complained of testicular pain. Griffith
referred Murray to a medical provider for a follow up in
result, on January 13, 2016, Murray was examined by Dr.
Memarsadeghi for his complaints of a urinary tract infection.
Although Murray reported pain while urinating, tests showed
no blood or white blood cells in Murray's urine. Dr.
Memarsadeghi advised Murray to use the sick call process if
his symptoms did not subside or if they became more severe.
At a Division of Correction physical examination by a
different doctor on January 17, 2016, urine tests again
showed no blood in Murray's urine.
January 20, 2016, Murray was seen by Dr. Joubert-Curtis at
the chronic care clinic. Based on her discussions with Murray
and her examination, Dr. Joubert-Curtis concluded that Murray
was experiencing frequency of urination, hesitancy, urgency,
dysuria, decreased urine stream, nocturia, left back pain,
flank pain, and incontinence. He did not have blood in his
urine, his scrotum was normal, and his testes were symmetric,
not tender, and had no testicular masses. Although Dr.
Joubert-Curtis suggested to Murray that some of his abdominal
pain could be the result of scars from a past surgery for
intestinal obstruction, Murray dismissed that theory.
February 20, 2016 at 10:26 a.m., Murray was seen by Dr.
Nimely during a sick call visit. Murray stated that he had
been vomiting all night, experienced spurts of terrible pain
in his abdomen, and felt as if he needed to have a bowel
movement but could not. The medical staff gave Murray Pepto
Bismol and Mylanta, and within 40 minutes, his pain resolved,
and no vomiting occurred. Murray returned to his housing unit
in stable condition.
p.m. that same day, Murray returned to the medical unit
complaining that he had had vomited three times since
returning to his housing unit and that he still felt like he
needed to defecate. Murray reported pain of 5 on a scale of
1-5 in the right lower quadrant of his abdomen, which was
tender to the touch. Dr. Nimely placed an order for a 10 mg
prochlorperazine intramuscular injection and referred Murray
to Dr. Dolph Druckman, who directed staff to monitor Murray
for three hours. At approximately 5:24 p.m., Dr. Druckman
ordered that Murray be sent to the emergency room.
February 21, 2016, an emergency physician at the Meritus
Medical Center in Hagerstown, Maryland diagnosed that Murray
had a small bowel obstruction and a possible closed loop
obstruction that required surgery. Murray was then
transferred by ambulance to Bon Secours Hospital in
Baltimore, Maryland for surgical managemen.. A CT scan of