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Morris v. Metzger

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 24, 2019

TYRONE J. MORRIS, Plaintiff,
DANA METZGER, et al., Defendants.

          Tyrone J. Morris, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.



         Plaintiff Tyrone J. Morris, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] (D.I. 1). He appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 7). He commenced this action on February 13, 2018. (D.I. 1). The Court screens and reviews the Second Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(a). (D.I.18).


         The Court screened Plaintiffs original Complaint, dismissed it, and gave Plaintiff leave to amend. (D.I. 13, 14). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint that the Court screened and dismissed, and Plaintiff was given leave to amend. (D.I. 16, 17) In his Second Amended Complaint (D.I. 18), Plaintiff names as Defendants VCC Warden Dana Metzger, Deputy Warden Scarborough, Connections, Dr. Jackson, Nurse Practitioner Carla Cooper, and Dr. Harewood.

         Plaintiff states that he has psoriasis, PTSD, OCD, and anxiety and is not receiving proper treatment. (D.I. 18 at 5, 11). Plaintiff has suffered from psoriasis for many years. He states that from 2011 through 2013 the condition was treated with Humira (a biologic) and "light therapy" with good results. (Id. at 8). When Plaintiff was incarcerated on August 28, 2013, the condition was not treated and it worsened. (Id.) After six months, Plaintiff asked for Humira treatment and was told he could not use the drug because he had contracted hepatitis B. (Id.). An outside physician, Dr. Burke, told Plaintiff that the only thing that would help the condition was light therapy. (Id.).

         While not clear, it appears that Plaintiff was given light therapy by outside physician Dr. Brathwaite, but Dr. Brathwaite closed his office. (Id. at 9). After that, Dr. Burke prescribed Otezla. (Id.). Plaintiff remained on Otezla until July 19, 2017, when he was transferred to Kent General Hospital due to an allergic reaction or infection from the Otezla. (Id.). Plaintiff remained hospitalized until July 26, 2017. (Id.; D.I. 19-1 at 2-8).

         Plaintiff returned to the VCC with no medication, other than ointments, and information that he could not take any more biologies. (D.I. 18 at 10). Dr. Burke ordered Plaintiff ointment, and Plaintiff received it, "but it was never enough to apply as ordered" and his condition slowly worsened. (Id.).

         At the end of March 2018, Plaintiff was sent the infirmary and treated by Dr. Jackson, who administered antibiotics and ointments. (Id.). He remained in the infirmary for five days. (Id.). Plaintiff returned to his dorm, and a week later was back in the infirmary to treat a staph infection. (Id.). Following treatment he returned to his dorm. (Id.) During this time, his mother spoke to Warden Metzger and Deputy Warden Scarborough several times. (Id. at 12). At some point in time, Scarborough spoke to Plaintiff and asked him to ask Plaintiffs mother to stop calling. (Id.). At the same time, Scarborough told Plaintiff that "Medical bought a light therapy box" for him. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that "to this day" he has not seen it. (Id.).

         On an unknown date, Dr. Burke put Plaintiff on a biologic after she saw Plaintiffs condition. (Id.). Plaintiff states, "So now, I'm on a dangerous drug still and I still have not seen this light therapy that has been brought here for me." (Id.) He further alleges that an unnamed nurse indicated that Plaintiff does not need light therapy. (Id.).

         Plaintiff alleges that Nurse Practitioner Cooper refuses to make sure that he receives enough ointments to apply two to three times daily. (Id. at 13). Plaintiff seems to allege that he can only apply the ointment after he showers and, due to the the lack of ointment, he can only shower every three to four days which has caused his condition to become much worse. (Id.) At times he is in pain. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that he has always seen Nurse Cooper and Dr. Harewood and it was always an issue to get needed ointments. (Id.) Plaintiff is "suing Connections for not allowing proper treatment" of his psoriasis. (Id. at 5).

         Exhibits to the Second Amended Complaint[2] indicate that Plaintiff was seen by Medical on September 29, 2017, October 30, 2017, October 31, 2017, January 17, 2018, February 1, 2018, and February 6, 2018. (D.I. 18-1 at 4, 6-10). Documents indicate that Plaintiff submitted grievances for ointment and therapy on June 8, 2016, May 21, 2017, July 16, 2017, September 1, 2017, October 15, 2017, December 30 and 31, 2017, and April 21, 2018. (Id. at 45-49, 64, 69, 71, 72). Finally, the exhibits indicate that Plaintiff was seen and treated by an outside medical provider at Burke Dermatology Dover for his psoriatic condition on August 10, 2017, September 20, 2017, and March 29, 2018. (D.I. 19 at 10-15). The March 29, 2018 notes indicate that he is scheduled for a three month follow-up. (Id. at 15).

         Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief in the form of light therapy and compensatory damages. (Id. at 14).

         SCREENING ...

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