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Bailey v. Coffman

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

September 28, 2016

SHAWN BAILEY, Plaintiff,
BRITNEY COFFMAN, et al., Defendant.



         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 28].

         I. Background

         Shawn Bailey, (“Plaintiff”), an inmate in the Missouri Department of Corrections, filed a complaint alleging Britney Coffman, Matthew Reed, Christine Henson and Steven Brouk (“Defendants”) used excessive force and were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. [ECF No. 1] Defendants argue Plaintiff cannot show his claims rise to the level of any constitutional violation, and therefore his claims against Defendants fail as a matter of law. [ECF No. 30] Plaintiff has not responded to Defendants' motion, even after the Court issued an order for Plaintiff to show cause why the Court should not grant Defendants' motion order by September 14, 2016. [ECF No. 33].

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff did not respond to Defendants' Statement of Material Facts [ECF No. 29], as required under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 56 and Local Rule 4.01(E). Plaintiff's status as a pro se prisoner does not excuse him from responding to Defendants' motion “with specific factual support for his claims to avoid summary judgment, ”, or from complying with local rules. Beck v. Skon, 253 F.3d 330, 333 (8th Cir. 2001); see Schooley v. Kennedy, 712 F.2d 372, 373 (8th Cir. 1983; Carman v. Treat, 7 F.3d 1379, 1381 (8th Cir. 1993) (failing to allow pro se prisoner to disregard Federal Rules of Civil Procedure). With his failure to respond, Plaintiff is deemed to have admitted all of the facts in Defendants' statement of uncontroverted facts. Turner v. Shinseki, No. 4:08-CV-1910 CAS, 2010 WL 2555114, at *2 (E.D.Mo. Jun. 22, 2010) (citing Deichmann v. Boeing Co., 36 F.Supp.2d 1166, 1168 (E.D.Mo. 1999), aff'd 232 F.3d 907 (8th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 877); Davis v. Webb, No. 4:11-CV-1906-JAR, 2014 WL 1314938, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 28, 2014), reconsideration denied, 2014 WL 1809680 (E.D. Mo. May 7, 2014), and aff'd 590 F.App'x 655 (8th Cir. 2015); Foster v. Lombardi, No. 1:12-CV-116 JAR, 2014 WL 636042, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 18, 2014).

         Summary judgment is not granted for Defendants as a result of Plaintiff's failure to properly respond to Defendant's statement of material facts. Instead, the Court deems the facts set forth by Defendants as true. Reasonover v. St. Louis Cty., Mo., 447 F.3d 569, 579 (8th Cir. 2006). Defendants must still establish they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Autry Morlan Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc. v. RJF Agencies, Inc., 332 S.W.3d 184, 191 (Mo.Ct.App. 2010) (citations omitted). The Court has also reviewed video recordings of the incidents. [ECF Nos. 30-4, 30-5, 30-6, 30-10]. While the videos do not allow for a perfect depiction of what occurred, they generally depict the facts as described by Defendants. The facts are as follows.

         Plaintiff is an inmate incarcerated at Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Missouri, but at all relevant times during his complaint he was incarcerated at Potosi Correctional Center (“PCC”), in the Missouri Department of Corrections (“MDOC”). [ECF Nos. 34, 29 at ¶ 1]. Defendants Britney Coffman, Christine Henson, Matthew Reed, and Steven Brouk were correctional officers employed by MDOC at PCC during all relevant times of this lawsuit. [ECF No. 29 at ¶ 2]

         On December 23, 2014 Defendants Henson and Coffman escorted Plaintiff from his cell to administrative segregation, and Plaintiff began to insult, threaten and spit at Defendants Henson and Coffman. Id. at ¶¶ 3-5. Defendant Reed joined the escort, where Plaintiff continued to be verbally combative. Id. at ¶ 6. Plaintiff was then brought to the medical unit where he refused treatment. Id. at ¶ 7.

         Offenders which spit, threaten or are belligerent pose safety risks to officers and other inmates. Id. at ¶ 8. Outside of the infirmary, Defendant Henson placed Plaintiff against a wall, ordered him to be quiet and Plaintiff continued to be verbally combative and physically resistant. Id. at ¶¶ 10-11. Defendant Henson then forced Plaintiff against a wall, and issued a second warning. Id. at ¶ 11. Plaintiff then attempted to avoid being taken to the ground by Defendants, and it took cooperative effort by more than four additional officers to regain physical control of Plaintiff. Id. at ¶¶ 12-14. As a result of the incident, Defendant Reed sought medical attention for a head injury, Defendant Coffman sought medical attention for an elbow injury, and Plaintiff suffered a minor lip laceration, cuts on his legs and a sore shoulder. Id. at ¶¶ 15-17.

         After Plaintiff was secured in a cell by multiple corrections officers, Defendant Reed attempted to remove Plaintiff's restraints through a food port in the door. Id. at ¶ 18. After having partially removed his restraints, Plaintiff grabbed Defendant Reed's arm and tried to pull it through the port. Id. at ¶ 19. Defendant Reed then pulled back on Plaintiff's arm, since a partially removed restraint may be a weapon, and Plaintiff received scrapes and bruises from the pull. Id. at ¶¶ 20-21. Plaintiff requested a nurse after the incident, requesting the nurse clean blood off of him, refused any additional medical treatment and did not mention any injuries received by any Defendant. Id. at ¶¶ 22 -23, 25. Defendants Coffman, Henson and Reed were not assigned to administrative segregation on this day, and were only tasked with bringing Plaintiff to administrative segregation. Id. at ¶ 24.

         On January 9, 2015, Defendant Brouk witnessed Plaintiff flushing contraband down the toilet, Plaintiff knew this was against the rules, and Plaintiff refused Defendant Brouk's instructions to cease flushing items down the toilet and submit to restraints. Id. at ¶¶ 26-29. Defendant Brouk then sprayed Plaintiff with a short burst of pepper spray, in accordance with policy preventing destruction of contraband. Id. at ¶¶ 30-31. After Plaintiff failed to comply Defendant Brouk sprayed Plaintiff with pepper spray, again. Id. at ¶ 32. Plaintiff then complied, was restrained by Defendant Brouk, and Plaintiff was permitted to see a nurse for eye drops. Id. at ¶¶ 33-34.

         Plaintiff filed an Informal Resolution Request (“IRR”) for the incident on December 23, 2014, alleging he was assaulted by Defendant Henson in anger, requested an immediate transfer away from Defendant Hensen, and requested the video recordings of the incident be reviewed. Id. at ¶ 35, [ECF No. 30-12 at 2]. Plaintiff alleges he filed a grievance, after his IRR was denied. [ECF No. 7]. Plaintiff does not reveal with whom he filed this grievance, and to whom he addressed it. [ECF No. 29 at ¶ 39]. There is no evidence in his file suggesting a grievance was filed. Id. at ¶ 36. After the denial of the IRR, Plaintiff also wrote a letter to Deputy Warden Jamie Crupp, asking why she had not reviewed the video. [ECF No. 30-12 at 5]. Deputy Warden responded she had reviewed the video and believed the violations he received were justified. Id. at 4.

         II. ...

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