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Bloomer v. Missouri Department of Corrections

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

July 21, 2017




         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 79). The motion is fully briefed and ready for disposition.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Calvin Bloomer ("Plaintiff) was incarcerated at the Southeast Correctional Center ("SECC") from January 2102 through September 2015. (Defs.' Statement of Uncontroverted Material Facts ["DSUMF"] ¶ 1, ECF No. 81) Plaintiff was placed in the protective custody ("PC") unit upon arrival. (First Am. Compl. ["FAC"] ¶ 19, ECF No. 18) In October of 2013, Defendant Ian Wallace ("Wallace") was the warden at SECC; Defendant Kevin McKay ("McKay") was a lieutenant at SECC; Defendant Jesse May ("May") was a sergeant at SECC; and Defendant Charles Wilson ("Wilson") was a correctional officer at SECC. (DSUMF ¶¶3-6)

         On or about October 3, 2013, Plaintiff took some pills in order to harm himself. (FAC ¶ 20; DSUMF ¶ 10) He was placed on suicide watch and received a conduct violation. (FAC ¶ 20) According to Plaintiff, he was released from suicide watch on October 8, 2013, and Defendant McKay told Plaintiff that he was no longer under PC and would be placed in administrative segregation. (FAC ¶¶ 21-24; DSUMF ¶¶ 11-12) Defendant Wilson handcuffed Plaintiff to a restraint bench, after which Defendant May approached Plaintiff and informed him that there were only two open cells, and Plaintiff would be placed in a cell with Shaun King ("King"). (FAC ¶¶ 23 26; DSUMF ¶¶ 12-13) At that time, Plaintiff was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed around 167 pounds. King measured 6 feet 8 inches and weighed 268 pounds (PL's Additional Statement of Material Facts ["PSMF"] ¶¶ 145-46, ECF No. 82) Plaintiff told May that he believed he was still under PC status; however, Plaintiff did not explicitly ask for protective custody or otherwise have any knowledge of any prior assaults by King. (DSUMF ¶¶ 16, 43, 101; PL's Response to DSUMF ¶¶ 16, 43, 101) If Plaintiff would have told the officers that he was afraid of King or verbally requested PC, Plaintiff would not have been placed in a cell with King. (DSUMF ¶¶ 76, 87, 103)

         Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants McKay and May instructed Plaintiff to be placed in a cell with King around 5:00 p.m. (DSUMF ¶ 15) After the 10:00 p.m. count and after lights out, King gave Plaintiff an option to either fight or have sex. (FAC ¶¶ 37-38; DSUMF ¶¶ 17-18) Plaintiff alleges that King held an object wrapped in toilet paper which King indicated was a knife, and King forced Plaintiff to perform sexual acts with King. (FAC ¶¶ 39-41; DSUMF ¶¶ 19-20) Plaintiff testified that he did not yell for help because he was afraid of King. (DSUMF ¶ 21; PL's Response to DSUMF ¶ 21)

         Once the sexual assault ended, Plaintiff sent three "kites"[1] by placing the word "urgent" on a slip of paper and sliding it under the door for the shift commander to read. (FAC ¶ 42) Correctional Officer Dysinger read the kite and removed Plaintiff from the cell. (DSUMF ¶ 22) Plaintiff was then taken to the hospital for a rape examination. (FAC ¶ 43) Plaintiff was placed in a different housing unit and was never again placed in a cell with King. (DSUMF ¶¶ 23, 25) An investigation of the alleged rape was conducted. (DSUMF ¶ 26; PSMF ¶ 137)

         On March 11, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He filed a First Amended Complaint on April 27, 2015 under § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated his rights under the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. (FAC, ECF No. 18) Specifically, Plaintiff contends in Count I that the Defendants had a duty to protect Plaintiff from a known, credible threat of violence and that they disregarded the substantial risk of sexual assault by King. (FAC ¶¶ 51, 55-58) Plaintiff claims the Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiffs need for safety and, as a proximate result of Defendants' acts and omissions, Plaintiff has suffered damages and injuries. (FAC ¶¶ 58-60) In Count II, erroneously captioned as Count III, Plaintiff contends that Defendant Wallace had a duty to ensure the safety of inmates and failed to properly train SECC employees in reckless disregard or deliberate indifference to Plaintiffs constitutional rights. (FAC ¶¶ 67-75)

         On November 14, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, asserting that there are no genuine issues of material fact, and Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Plaintiff opposes the motion, arguing that the Court should deny Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment because genuine issues of material fact exist.

         II. Legal Standard

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), a court may grant a motion for summary judgment only if all of the information before the court show "there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The court must view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Hutson v. McDonnell Douglas Corp., 63 F.3d 771, 775 (8th Cir. 1995).

         The moving party has the initial burden to establish the non-existence of any genuine issue of fact that is material to a judgment in its favor. City of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa v. AssociatedElec. Co-op., Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir. 1988). Once this burden is discharged, if the record does in fact bear out that no genuine dispute exists, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party, who must set forth affirmative evidence and specific facts showing there is a genuine dispute on that issue. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249(1986).

         When the burden shifts, the non-moving party may not rest on the allegations in its pleadings, but by affidavit and other evidence must set forth specific facts showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Fed. R. Civ .P. 56(e). The non-moving party "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). In fact, the non-moving party must present sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party which would enable a jury to return a verdict for that party. Anderson, 411 U.S. at 249; Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. Self-serving, conclusory statements, standing alone, are insufficient to defeat a well-supported motion for summary judgment. O 'Bryan v. KTIV Television, 64 F.3d 1188, 1191 (8th Cir. 1995).

         III. ...

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