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Paige v. Murray

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

September 12, 2014

LACEY PAIGE, Plaintiff,
v.
JERRY MURRAY, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., District Judge.

Pending before the Court is plaintiff's motion to compel (#88), defendants' motion for summary judgment (#72), and plaintiff's motion to postpone a summary judgment decision until adequate discovery has been completed (#97).

I. Factual Background

The following facts are undisputed except where indicated. At all times relevant to the complaint, plaintiff was incarcerated at the Southeast Correctional Center ("SECC") in Charleston, Missouri. On or about October 9, 2010, plaintiff discovered fluid leaking from the wall of his cell and reported it to defendant James Hack, a correctional officer. The fluid was brownish with the consistency of water and increased gradually, and plaintiff says that it smelled like sewage. Defendants do not identify the source of the leak or dispute that it smelled like sewage.

Defendant Hack indicated that he would report the leak, and he states that he reported the leak to the "bubble" officer. Defendant Jarrod Walters, another correctional officer, also states that he reported a leak in plaintiff's cell to a bubble officer. Plaintiff requested cleaning supplies, but defendants explained that certain cleaning supplies, including mops, cannot be distributed to inmates for security reasons. Instead, if an inmate has water in his cell, defendants state that old sheets and towels may be used to soak up the water. Plaintiff and his cellmate used their state-issued sheets and towels to soak up the water.

Defendants state that correctional officers do not place work orders to maintenance. Rather, they make such requests to the "bubble officers, " and maintenance supervisors make repairs to cells when they get a work order. Plaintiff testified that he spoke with a maintenance repairman, but does not know who that maintenance repairman was. Plaintiff never spoke with defendant maintenance supervisors Ricky Alley, David Kirkman, David Perkins, and Joe Jones from October 9, 2010 through November 8, 2010 regarding a leak in his cell.

Plaintiff testified that he developed an itchy rash because of the leak in his cell. A nurse examined Plaintiff's rash and provided him with an antiitch cream, which relieved his symptoms. Plaintiff did not request any further medical treatment.

The leak in Plaintiff's cell was repaired on or about November 10 or 12, 2010, approximately 31 days after Plaintiff reported a leak. The Work Request was requested by defendant corrections officer Jerry Murray on November 8, 2010 at 4:41 a.m., and it was completed on November 12, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.

Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on March 5, 2012 against correctional officers Jerry Murray, Jody Arnold, Heath Cooley, James Hack, Michael Hart, Jarrod Walters, and Jackie Waters (in their individual and official capacities), and maintenance supervisors Ricky Alley, David Kirkman, David Perkins, and Joe Jones (in their official capacities only)[1]. All defendants have moved for summary judgment.

II. Legal Standard

Pursuant to Rule 56(c), a district court may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the information before the court demonstrates that "there is no genuine issue as to material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Poller v. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., 368 U.S. 464, 467 (1962). The burden is on the moving party. Mt. Pleasant, 838 F.2d at 273. After the moving party discharges this burden, the nonmoving party must do more than show that there is some doubt as to the facts. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Instead, the nonmoving party bears the burden of setting forth specific facts showing that there is sufficient evidence in its favor to allow a jury to return a verdict for it. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986).

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must review the facts in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion and give that party the benefit of any inferences that logically can be drawn from those facts. Buller v. Buechler, 706 F.2d 844, 846 (8th Cir. 1983). The court is required to resolve all conflicts of evidence in favor of the nonmoving party. Robert Johnson Grain Co. v. Chem. Interchange Co., 541 F.2d 207, 210 (8th Cir. 1976). With these principles in mind, the Court turns to the discussion.

III. Discussion

Government officials have a duty under the Eighth Amendment to provide humane conditions of confinement. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). In order to prevail on his condition of confinement claim, plaintiff must show that the conditions constituted a substantial risk of serious harm or a deprivation of the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities. Crow v. Montgomery, 403 F.3d 598, 602 (8th Cir. 2005); Webb v. Lawrence County, 144 F.3d 1131, 1135 (8th Cir. 1998); Frye v. Pettis County Sheriff Dept., 41 Fed.Appx. 906, 2002 WL 1726919, *1 (8th Cir. 2002). The Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons. Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991). Prison conditions that ...


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