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.

Drewry v. Correct Care Solutions

United States District Court, D. Maine

March 21, 2017

BRANDON B. DREWRY, Plaintiff
v.
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, et al., Defendants

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff Brandon Drewry, currently an inmate at the Maine State Prison, alleges that Defendants acted with deliberate indifference toward his serious medical needs. More specifically, Plaintiff maintains Defendants did not respond appropriately to his need for treatment to reduce the frequency and intensity of nosebleeds resulting from hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), and to his need for treatment to prevent or address Staphylococcus aureus infection.

         The matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 203). Through their motion, Defendants assert (1) that Plaintiff filed suit before exhausting available administrative remedies with respect to his HHT-related claim, and (2) that the factual record cannot support a deliberate indifference finding on any of Plaintiff's claims.

         Following a review of the summary judgment record, and after consideration of the parties' arguments, I recommend the Court grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

         I. Procedural History

         After Plaintiff filed this action on October 3, 2014, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in which motion Defendants argued Plaintiff failed to state an actionable claim. (ECF No. 25.)[1] The Court granted in part and denied in part the motion. (Recommended Decision, ECF No. 90; Order Affirming Recommended Decision, ECF No. 95.) As the result of the Court's order, Plaintiff's complaint was limited to his deliberate indifference claims regarding the treatment of HHT and the staph infection.

         On June 23, 2016, Plaintiff renewed his request for a stay of proceedings and filed a motion to supplement further the pleadings. (ECF Nos. 155, 156.) The Court granted in part the motion and authorized Plaintiff to join Defendants Webster and Cross-Snell without filing a comprehensive amended complaint. (ECF No. 216.) On July 25, 2016, Plaintiff again sought leave to supplement the pleadings. (ECF No. 167.) The Court granted Plaintiff's motion. (ECF Nos. 214/215.) Through the supplemental pleading, Plaintiff alleged Defendants denied him the use of a vaporizer (rather than a humidifier) to assist in the treatment of his conditions.

         II. Summary Judgment Record

         At summary judgment, a court ordinarily considers only the facts included in the parties' statements of material facts, which statements must be supported by citations to evidence of record. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) and District of Maine Local Rule 56(b) - (d) require the specific citation to record evidence. In addition, Local Rule 56 establishes the manner by which parties must present their factual statements and the evidence on which the statements depend. A party seeking summary judgment thus must file, in addition to its summary judgment motion, a supporting statement of material facts setting forth each fact in a separately numbered paragraph, with each factual statement followed by a citation to evidence of record that supports the factual statement. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(b).

         A party opposing a motion for summary judgment must file an opposing statement in which it admits, denies, or qualifies the moving party's statements by reference to each numbered paragraph, with citations to supporting evidence, and in which it may set forth additional facts, in separately numbered paragraphs, with citation to supporting evidence. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(c). If an additional statement is introduced by the non-moving party, then the moving party must file a reply statement in which it admits, denies, or qualifies the non-moving party's additional statements by reference to each numbered paragraph, with citations to supporting evidence. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(d). “Facts contained in a supporting or opposing statement of material facts, if supported by record citations as required by this rule, shall be deemed admitted unless properly controverted.” D. Me. Loc. R. 56(f). Additionally, “[t]he court may disregard any statement of fact not supported by a specific citation to record material properly considered on summary judgment.” Id. Finally, “[t]he court shall have no independent duty to search or consider any part of the record not specifically referenced in the parties' separate statement of facts.” Id.

         A party's pro se status does not relieve the party of the obligation to comply with the court's procedural rules. Ruiz Rivera v. Riley, 209 F.3d 24, 27 - 28 & n. 2 (1st Cir. 2000); Marcello v. Maine, 489 F.Supp.2d 70, 77 (D. Me. 2007). However, in the context of summary judgment, this Court has observed that a prisoner's nonconforming summary judgment submission should be reviewed by the Court and that the facts set forth in a verified complaint or prisoner affidavit should be considered. Clarke v. Blais, 473 F.Supp.2d 124, 128 (D. Me. 2007). In this case, therefore, the summary judgment record consists of the Local Rule 56 record and Plaintiff's sworn statements of record.

         III. Background Facts [2]

         A. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

         At all relevant times, the Maine Department of Corrections maintained a grievance policy regarding medical care. (Defendants' Statement of Material Facts (“DSMF”), ¶¶ 106 - 110.) The policy establishes four steps in the grievance process:

(1) A preliminary stage in which the prisoner and the facility's Health Services Administrator, or her designee, attempt to resolve informally a claim concerning the denial of care, provided that the prisoner must first request the care in a sick call slip or similar request communicated to a prison provider, and provided that the prisoner must provide the administrator with the grievance form the prisoner proposes to file after the requested care is denied. (Policy 29.02, Procedures A.2, B.1.)
(2) If the informal process does not achieve a resolution “for any reason, ” a first level of review, consisting of the filing of a grievance form with the Grievance Review Officer. (Id., Procedure C.1.)
(3) If the first level review is unsatisfactory to the prisoner “after receipt of the response, ” a second level of review, consisting of an appeal to the facility's Chief Administrative Officer. (Id., Procedure D.1.)
(4) If the second level review is unsatisfactory “after receipt of the response, ” a third level of review, consisting of an appeal to the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections. (Id., Procedure E.1.)

         Plaintiff acknowledged that he received and reviewed a copy of the grievance process policy. (DSMF ¶ 111.) The only medical grievance for which Plaintiff complied fully with the grievance review process is his September 8, 2014, grievance regarding Defendants' alleged refusal to examine his staph sores. (Id. ¶ 112; see also Response to Prisoner Grievance Third Level Appeal, Log # 14-Maine State Prison-213, ECF No. 176-7.)

         Plaintiff also initiated a grievance proceeding based on the HHT and his nosebleeds. Through a grievance dated July 23, 2014, Plaintiff described an attempt to resolve informally a “chronic care” issue involving HHT and severe nosebleeds. (ECF No. 176-6.) In the grievance, Plaintiff wrote: “HSA Elisabeth Lamson … has failed to respond to the enclosed attempt to informally resolve the ‘chronic care' issues, as described in the enclosed medical communication form ….” (Id.) In the communication form, addressed to Defendant Lamson, Plaintiff stated that he made “multiple attempts to informally resolve matters, including the matter of his nosebleeds, ” and wrote, “Herewith, I request that you resolve these issues.” (ECF No. 162-7.)

         The form, entitled “Medical - Prisoner Communication Form, ” begins with the following language:

This form is to be used to explain an issue or concern or to ask a question about something that occurred within the past 3 days ONLY!! (for example, you didn't get your meds at the pill line, you didn't get your KOP, you would like to know the results of your tests, etc.)

(Id.)[3] Because the form submitted to HSA Lamson was the medical communication form and not the grievance form, the Grievance Review Officer dismissed the “complaint” as improper. (Id.) Specifically, he checked the box in the dismissal form that reads: “You did not attempt an informal resolution, as required by the Grievance Policy.” (ECF ...


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.