Murphy v. Soltas et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 9/8/2017. (c/m 9/8/2017 tds, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURif S
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND, ::
lGIl SEP -8
EDDIE MURPHY, #306651
Case No.: G,/H-16-3077
NICOLAS SOLTAS, CO II,
CO II CRAIG SAUTER,
CO II .IASON FRANTZ,
CO II CHRISTOPHER
CO II RONALD SAVILLE,
SGT. WILLIAM GILLUM,
SGT. WALTER ISER,
R.N. KRISSI CORTEZ,
GREG FLURY, P.A.
of NBCI employees.
of 42 U.S.c.
at 3.' The Complaint
him with inadequate
filed a Complaint
Ii.lr exposure to pepper spray. ttl.
Ii.lrce and failure to protect raised against
stalT Jason Frantz. William Gillum. Walter Iser. Christopher
against a number
~ 19&3. ECF No. I. Specitically.
also ineludes claims of exeessive
Craig Sauter. Ronald Saville. Nicholas
Murphy. then an inmate at North Branch
alleges that DeICndants Greg Flury. I'.A .. and Kristi Cortez. R.N .. (collectively
Orlt. John Portmess.
Soltas. and Bradley Wilt (collecti\'e1y
at 7. On August 8. 2017. Murphy requested
a sixty-day extension
of time to
I Pin cites to documents filed on the Court"s electronic filing system (CM/ECF) refer to the page !lumbers generated
by Ihal system.
rcspond to thc Statc Dcfendants' Motion to Dismiss Or. in thc Alternativc. Motion Itl!' Summary
Judgment. ECI' No. 48. which shall be granted. Thus. Murphy's claims against thc Statc
Defendants are not ready for adjudication and will be considered at a later time.
On February 10.2017. the Mcdical Defendants tiled a Motion to Dismiss or. in thc
Alternative. Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion It)r Attorney's Fees and Costs. ECF No.
20. Murphy liled a Response in opposition on March 13. 2017. which he supplemcnted a wcek
later on March 20. 2017. ECF No. 29: ECF No. 30. On March 23. 2017. the Medical Defcndants
liled a Reply. ECI' No. 31.
Murphy's claims against the Medical Defendants arc ready Itl!'disposition. No hcaring is
rcquired. See Local Rulc 105.6. For reasons sct forth below. the Court grants thc Medical
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or. in the Altcrnative. Motion Itlr Summary Judgment. ECI' No.
20. The Medical Defendants' Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs is denied without prejudice
to the motion being re-tiled after the disposition of the State Defendants' claims ..
A. Procedural History
On October 9. 2013. Murphy. who was then incarcerated at North Branch Correctional
Institution in Cumberland. Maryland.2 liled a complaint in a separatc suit alleging the same
violations as in the prescnt case. MII/I)l1y
LI. Bradley Will. el. al .. Civil Action No. WDQ-13-
2975 (D. Md. 2014). In that case. Defendant Kristi Cortez tiled a Motion to Dismiss or. inthc
Altcrnative. Motion It)r Summary Judgment on February 4. 2014. /iI. ECF No. 13. Greg Flury
was not a defendant in the earlier case. On March 21. 2014. belt)re the Court ruled on Cortez's
Motion. Murphy moved to withdraw thc Complaint without prejudice because he wanted to
was released Irolll prison
July 31. 2017. ECF Nu. 48.
pursue his claims alier his release from incarceration. It!. ECr NO.2!. On March 24. 2014. the
Court issued an Ordcr granting Murphy \cave to withdraw thc Complaint without prejudicc. and
eautioncd him that ifhc wcre to commcncc another action based upon or including the same
claim against Cortez. he could bc rcquired to pay the costs of the dismissed action in accordance
with Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(d). Murph)' \'. Will. el al.. Civil Action No. WDQ-13-2977. ECF No. 22.
On September 2. 2016. Murphy filcd this Complaint. allcging that the Medical
Defendants violated his rights under the Eighth Amendmcnt by providing inadequate trcatment
to him alicr he was exposed to pepper spray on Septcmbcr 25.2013. ECr No. I.
In the instant Complaint. Murphy claims that alicr correctional offiecrs peppcr sprayed
him on September 25.2013. he was cscorted to the mcdical unit where Greg Flury. a physician's
assistant. chceKcd his vital signs. ECr NO.1 at 3. ~ 5. Murphy alleges that although he was
obviously suffering pain and burning. with discharge oftcars Irom the pepper spray. Flury I~liled
to flush his eyes. Jd. Murphy aCKnowledges that Flury gave him ibuproleli for pain relief. Jd
Murphy alleges that Flury should havc "communicated with Lt. Wilt that [Murphy]"" should
"rcccive a proper decontamination showcr:' !d. at 3. '1 5.
Murphy aCKnowledges that alier he leli thc medical unit. correctional ofticers in !(let gave
him a shower. Id. '16. Murphy maintains the showcr was "Ii.lr about two seconds" and did not
rclievc the efleets ofthc peppcr spray. It!. Murphy claims that hc told Lt. Wilt that the shower
was inadcquatc. but Wilt refused to allow him a longer decontamination shower. It!. 3
Murphy was thcn placed in an isolation. or "strip:' ccll for seven days. It!. at 4.
Murphy eomplaincd of pain to Nursc Krissi Cortez when she conductcd medical rounds on the
Murphy's claims against Lt. Bradley Wilt arc not ripe for disposition. See supra pp. 1-1.
segregation housing unit. but he claims "nothing was done:' It!. at ~i As relief: he seeks
compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $500.000 against each defendant. jointly
and severally. It!. at 8.
C. Medical Defendants' Response
Attached to their Motion to Dismiss. the Medical Defendants provided verified copies of
Murphy's medical records; and atlidavits executed by Defendant Kristi Cortez" and Robustiano
Barrera. M.D .. Regional Medical Director of NBC I. ECF No. 20-0: ECF No. 20-7: lOCI'No. 22.
According to Murphy's medical records. on September 25. 2013. Murphy was scen by
Flury liJr exposure to pepper spray. and reported a burning sensation Irom the pepper spray. ECF
No. 22 at 9-11. Flury observed that Murphy's eycs were tearing. a common side effcct of pcp per
spray. but he was otherwise not in distress. 1
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