United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm United States District Judge.
pending and ready for review is Defendant Ermanno
Costabile's unopposed renewed Motion for Summary Judgment
which is supported by an affidavit and verified medical
records. ECF No. 26. No hearing is necessary. Local
Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the following reasons, the
Motion will be granted.
Derrick Davis was a pre-trial detainee at the Baltimore
County Detention Center (BCDC) at all times relevant to this
case. He alleges that on or about October 31, 2017,
Costabile, a physical therapist at BCDC, inappropriately
fondled areas of his body that had “nothing to do
with” his knee injury. ECF No. 1 at 3. When Davis
questioned Costabile why he was touching him between his
thighs and brushing against his testicles when it was his
knee that was injured, Costabile allegedly replied that
“he was trying to see if [Davis'] muscles was [sic]
okay.” ECF No. 1 at 3. Davis asserts “this
incident was continuous, the probing of my private
area.” Id. Davis claims Costabile started
making inappropriate gestures and unprofessional statements
about him after this time, although he does not specify what
Costabile said nor does he describe the gestures. As relief,
he seeks award of monetary damages for psychological and
emotional trauma. ECF No. 1 at 4.
February 21, 2019, I dismissed Davis' negligence claims
without prejudice and granted in part and denied in part
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 24;
see also ECF No. 23 at 5, 7. I granted summary
judgment in favor of PrimeCare Medical Inc. and denied
summary judgment without prejudice as to Costabile, subject
to renewal within twenty-eight days. On March 26, 2019,
Costabile filed the instant dispositive motion supported by
his affidavit and Davis' pertinent physical therapy
records. ECF No. 26.
judgment is proper when the moving party demonstrates,
through “particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations, . . .
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials,
” that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), (c)(1) (A); see
Baldwin v. City of Greensboro, 714 F.3d 828, 833 (4th
Cir. 2013). District courts must “thoroughly analyze[
]” even an unopposed motion for summary judgment.
Maryland v. Universal Elections, Inc., 729 F.3d 370,
380 (4th Cir. 2013) (citing Robinson v. Wix Filtration
Corp., 599 F.3d 403, 409 n.8 (4th Cir. 2010)).
“Although the failure of a party to respond to a
summary judgment motion may leave uncontroverted those facts
established by the motion, the moving party must still show
that the uncontroverted facts entitle the party to ‘a
judgment as a matter of law.'” CX Reinsurance
Co. Ltd. v. Heggie, ELH-15-1674, 2016 WL 6025488, at *5
(D. Md. 2016) (quoting Custer v. Pan Am. Life Ins.
Co., 12 F.3d 410, 416 (4th Cir. 1993)).
harassment or abuse of an inmate by a prison medical provider
does not serve a legitimate penological purpose; may result
in severe physical and psychological harm; and amount to
“unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain”
proscribed by the Eighth Amendment. See e.g.,
Freitas v. Ault, 109 F.3d 1335, 1338 (8th Cir. 1997)
(citing cases). Because Davis was a pretrial detainee at the
time of the alleged incident, his claims arise under the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects a
pretrial detainee from punishment.” Kingsley v.
Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2473 (2015) (internal
citations omitted). “Pretrial detainees (unlike
convicted prisoners) cannot be punished at al; . . . .”
Id. at 2475. “[S]uch [impermissible]
‘punishment' can consist of actions taken with an
‘expressed intent to punish.'” Id.
at 2473 (quoting Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 538
(1979)). Absent “an expressed intent to punish, ”
however, “a pretrial detainee can nevertheless prevail
by showing that the actions are not ‘rationally related
to a legitimate nonpunitive governmental purpose' or that
the actions ‘appear excessive in relation to that
purpose.'” Id. (quoting Bell, 441
U.S. at 561).
affidavit, Costabile states that Davis required physical
therapy after undergoing surgery on his left quadriceps
tendon on April 13, 2017. The goal of the physical therapy
was to increase range of motion and strength in Davis'
left leg. Costabile Aff. ECF No. 26-3 at 2 ¶ 8; Med.
Records, ECF No. 26-4 at 9. Costabile states that during the
October 31, 2017 physical therapy session, Davis performed
strength training exercises under the supervision of a
physical therapist. Any physical therapy assessment was by
observation only. ECF No. 26-3 at 2-3 ¶ 9. Notably, the
medical record does not indicate Costabile was the
supervising physical therapist or otherwise present during
the October 31, 2017, session. ECF No. 26-4 at 9. Costabile
attests “'[a]t no time did I fondle areas of
Derrick M. Davis' body or engage in sexual
misconduct.” ECF No. 26-3 ¶11.
does not controvert the facts as demonstrated by the verified
records and affidavit supporting Costabile's Motion for
Summary Judgment, leaving no genuine dispute as to any
material fact to premise a Fourteenth Amendment due process
claim. Accordingly, Costabile is entitled to summary judgment
in his favor as a matter of law.
these reasons, Costabile's Renewed Motion for Summary
will be ...