Houck v. Wexford Health Service, Inc
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 8/15/2017. (c/m 8/15/2017 aos, Deputy Clerk)
IN TIlE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COUltt?J'?".~
FOR TIlE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND~'
.IAI\IES E. 1I0UCK,
INC., ef III.,
Ci"i1 Action No. C.1II.16.IJB
elI.: ..- "::u:c
ZOIl AUG I 5 A 10: I 5
~;' ; .... , I L •.••.. J
James Houck. an inmate at the Western Correctional
files this action
I larry B. Murphy. Ph.D .. Melanic (jordon. Jonathan I less. Ronald Shane
the "Mental llealth Detcndants").
and Vincent A. Siracusano.
1983. !lJ!'alleged violations
M.D. Ilouck has filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.c. ~
of his Eight Amendment
For the fl)lIowing reasons. these motions ",ill be granted ,,'ith the exception
or DelCndant Siracusano.
Ilouek is an inmate ",ho is incarcerated
2016. he filed a Complaint
by their counsel.
at WCI in Cumberland.
Maryland. On i\lay 2.
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ~ 1983. ECF No. I." hich he amended
at the direction of the Court. ECF NO.3. The Mental llealth DelCndants.
tiled a Motion to Dismiss or. in the Alternative.
ECF No. 23. and Iiouck libl
and a Motion 1'01'a Preliminary
Ii,r Summary Judgmcnt.
ECF No. 26. Dclcndant
Wcxrord Iiled a Motion to
Dismiss. lOCI' No. 29. Houck thcn liled a Motion ror Summary Judgmcnt.
Motion to Amcnd thc Complaint.
ECF No. 34. Vinccnt A. Siracusano.
to Dismiss Ii))' Failurc to Statc a Claim. lOCI' No. 35. In rcsponsc.
I())' Summary Judgmcnt
ECF No. 25.'
lOCI' I 0.33. and a
M.D .. also Iiled a Motion
Iiouck lilcd a papcr titled
and Rcply," ECF No. 37. \\hich hc latcr supplcmcntcd.
No. 38: ECF No. 40. and a Rcsponsc to the Motion to Dismiss I()r Failurc to Statc a Claim. ITF
B. Factual Background
or Iiouck' s Complaint
treat his bi-polar disordcr and schiwphrcnia.
is that mcdical pnl\'idcrs
and thc mcdication
causcd him to dcvelop
or male brcasts. stomach discoml())'t. and blurrcd vision. ECF No.
I at I: IOcr NO.3. Iiouck also allcgcs hc suflcrs li'om high blood prcssure \\hich should bc. but
is no1. ehcckcd daily. lOCI' No. I at 1-2: ECF 3 at 4. Iiouck e1aims that hc inl(lI'Illcd Dr.
Barrera or Rispcrdal' s ncgativc sidc cflccls and askcd Dr. Barrcra to stop prescribing
it to him. ECF No. I at 2:'
Iiouck asscrts that he has bcen taking Risperdal "I(lr a long timc," ECF NO.3 at 7. Ilc
e1aims that hc filed sick call rcquests to thc WCI Mcntal Ilcalth Scrvicc on August 29. 2016.
14.20 I 0. June 20. 2016. May 4. 20 I 0. Fcbruary 26. 20 I (). ;vlay 5. 20 I (). December
2015. and December
2. 2015. asking to bc takcn orf Risperdal. ECF NO.3 at 4. lie e1aims that on
August 30. 2016. he told "Ms. Karen" about the side e1kcts and asked to stop the Risperdal. lie
of Iiouck"s pro Sl' status. the Court liberallv construes Ilouck"s Iilin!!.s.
is a brand mlllle for the drug risperidonc. f?isperil!ol1L' ((Jrall?(llIfL')~ M.'\ Y<) Cl ,INIC.
http://w\\ w.Jl1ayocl inic .org/drugs-supplclllcnts/rispcridollc-oral-rolilchlcscript
ion'drg<:!006 7189 (last visited J LItle
02. 2017). Other brand names ITltl\' also be used for the dnn!. It!.
3 HOlick dmo's Ilot allege he was n,;rcihly administered the d;ug.
also asserts that he Iiled an Administrative
Remedy Procedure Rcqucst. It/. at 5. As relicL Iiouck
sccks damages 01"$10 million or othcr paymcnt./d
days to lilc an Amendcd Complaint
hc bclic\.cd \V-ercresponsible
to providc thc names 01"thc indi\.iduals
It)]"thc alleged wrongdoing.
2016. Iiouck liled an Amendcd Complaint
ECF NO.2 at I. On Scptcmbcr
which namcd as Dcl"cndants "Wcx Iiml llealth
Scrviccs Inc. and by thc Makcr 01"Mcdication
at 3. On August 23. 2016.thc
Rispcrdal. Inc. by IIcalth Care Stal"f at WCI and
Servicc Stal"I"at WCI by Medical Dcpartmcnt of Psychology
Scrviccs at WCI."
ECF NO.3 at I.
Mindful that Iiouck is scl1~rcprcsentcd
about suffering ncgative side efl"ects li'omusing
and has madc rcpcatcd cm".ts to raisc allcgations
and that in anothcr casc. Houck \'.
/Vex/1m/Health Sources. /nL".. Civil Action No. GJH-15-3639
(D. Md. 2(16). WcxlISCUSSION
A. Mental Health I>efendants'
In order to demonstrate
medical care in violation
..( 1) that objecti\'e1y
serious. and (2) that subjectively
state or mind." See .Johnsol/ \'. Quillol/es.
and the subjecti\'e
. .'. It/. "[DJelibcrate
[but] is sat is lied by something
less than acts or omissions
element "is satisfied
by showing deliberatc
more than mere negligence
Il)r the very purpose or causing harm
or with knowledge
that harm \\ill result." /d, (quoting
( 1(94)), Deliberate
indi rrerenee to a serious medical need requires proor that. ohjecti\'e1y.
shock the conscience
prison starr \\'as ,marc
but lililecl either to provide it or ensure the needed care
See Farlller. 511 U.S. at 837.
Forlller \', Brel/I/al/. 51\ U.S. 825. 835
fi'om a serious medical need and that. suhjecti\'ely.
or the need lor medical attention
145 F,3d 164. I()7 (4th Cir.
element "is satislied
the prison ofticiais acted
lVi/sol/ \'. Seiler. 501 U.S. 294. 298 (1991 )). The objective
by a serious medical condition."
must prove tm) clements:
a basic human need was sufticiently
with a sufticiently
Motion to I>ismiss or, in the Alternative
"must be so grossly incompetent.
or to be intolerable
(4th Cir. 1(90) (citation omitted).
could be drawn that a substantial
See ,lli/lier \'. /IeOI'll. 896 F,2d
must know orand
risk to inmate health or salety, "[Tlhe [Derendantjmust
which the inference
both be aware orlilcts
risk or serious harm exists and he must also
draw the inference:'
511 U.S. at 837. The Mentaillealth
that they did not preserihe
R. Shane Weber. f .. II/C.. 892 1:.2d
(4th Cir. 1989»).
Wex!imi argues that in an earlier libl suit.l!ollck
3639 (D, Md. 2(16). Houck alleged that Wexiimi and its employee
rights under the Eighth Amendment
by acting with deliberate
Civil Action No. (;.111-15-
Dr. Harn:ra violated his
to his serious medical
needs. ECF No, 29-2 at 2. Iiouck alleged. as he does here. that he was prescribed
treat his bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.
that the medication
caused him gynecomastia
other negati,.e side effects. and that his blood pressure was not checked daily. 1<1. On April 26.
2016. Wexlim! and Dr. Barrera filed a Motion to Dismiss or. in the Alternative
by Dr. Barrera' s aflidavit and Houck' s veri lied medical records. In his
Dr. Harrera attested that he did not prescribe Risperdal for Iiouck. did not have
authority to alter Iiouck's
him about Risperdal's
mental health medication
regimen. that Iiouck ne'.er complained
sidc el'ICcts. and had he been made aware by Ilouek of these concerns. Dr.
Barrera would have relcrred Ilouek to his treating mental health providers. See Ilollck.
3639 (ECF No. 31-5 at 2).
Dr. Barrera also stated that Ilouek is regularly evaluated by prison medical providers as a
chronic care inmate. and prescribed
No. 31-5 at 2-4), Medical providers cheek \Iouek's
and monitor his compliance
to manage his blood pressure. !d (ECF
blood pressure. re"iew his blood pressure
with medical orders. !d, Daily monitoring
because Ilouek is on an appropriate
drug regimen lilr hypertension.
stat~d that Ilou~k's
IICL. Id Furth~r. Dr. Ilarrna
is pl"Op~rly ~011l1"01I~d
\\h~n h~ ~omplks
plan of ~ar~. Id Ilou~k lil~d no anidavits
or oth~r ~xhibits to r~fut~ Dr. Ilarr~ra's
m~di~al r~~ords liled by W~xll,rd and Dr. Ilarr~ra in support ofth~ir
7. 2016. this Court grant~d W~x!t,rd and Dr. Ilarr~ra's
.Iudgm~nt as to both claims. See Ilollck. G.lII-15-3639
on th~ m~rits in th~ prior
Ilou~k raiscd thc samc
claims hcrc as in in his prior ~asc. Ilollck \'. 1I'ex/iml. Ci\'il A~tion No. G.lII.15-3(,39.
and (3) an id~ntity ofth~ parti~s or th~ir pri\'i~s. See
'\/eekills. 946 F.2d at 1057. Wexltml satislics all thrc~ rcquircmcnts.
(ECF No. 55: see also ECF No. 5(,).
To ~stablish resjll
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