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Daryon Mcdaniel v. Daniel J. Walsh

February 7, 2011

DARYON MCDANIEL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DANIEL J. WALSH, JR., AND MICHAEL MOORE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCuskey Chief United States District Judge

E-FILED

Monday, 07 February, 2011 02:26:13 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court is the Defendants' unopposed summary judgment motion [29]. Defendants move for summary judgment pursuant to pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and CDIL-LR 7.1(D).

Standard

Summary judgment should be granted "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Any discrepancies in the factual record should be evaluated in the non-movant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In order to be a "genuine" issue, there must be more than "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

"Summary judgment is the 'put up or shut up' moment in a lawsuit, when a party must show what evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of events." Johnson v. Cambridge Indus., Inc., 325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2000). "If a party . . . fails to properly address another party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the court may . . . grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials -- including the facts considered undisputed -- show that the movant is entitled to it." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). A party opposing summary judgment bears the burden to respond, not simply by resting on its own pleading but by "set[ting] out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In order to be a "genuine" issue, there must be more than "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "If [the non-movant] does not [meet his burden], summary judgment should, if appropriate, be entered against [the non-movant]." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Further, "[t]he plaintiff cannot merely allege the existence of a factual dispute to defeat summary judgment .. Instead, he must supply evidence sufficient to allow a jury to render a verdict in his favor." Basith v. Cook County, 241 F.3d 919, 926 (7th Cir. 2001). Specifically, the non-moving party "must present sufficient evidence to show the existence of each element of its case on which it will bear the burden at trial." Filipovic v. K&R Express Systems, Inc., 176 F.3d 390, 390 (7th Cir. 1999). Failure by the non-movant to meet all of the above requirements subjects him to summary judgment on his claims.

Affidavits must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant and "set out facts that would be admissible in evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(4) (emphasis added). Personal knowledge may include inferences and opinions drawn from those facts. Visser v. Packer Eng. Assoc., Inc., 924 F.2d 655, 659 (7th Cir. 1991). "But the inferences and opinions must be grounded in observation or other first-hand personal experience. They must not be based on flights of fancy, speculations, hunches, intuitions or rumors remote from that experience." Visser, 924 F.2d at 659. It is also well settled that "conclusory allegations and self-serving affidavits, if not supported by the record, will not preclude summary judgment. Keri v. Barod of Trustees of Purdue University, 458 F.3d 620, 628 (7th Cir.2006)(citing Haywood v. N. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 121 F.3d 1066, 1071 (7th Cir.1997).

Background

On July 13, 2009, Plaintiff, Daryon McDaniel filed a complaint against Daniel Walsh, the sheriff of Champaign County and Michael Moore, jail superintendent of Champaign County Correctional Center. On August 5, 2009, the court held merit review Hearing of the plaintiff's complaint. On August 19, 2009, this court entered an order allowing McDaniel to pursue a Section 1983 claim against Sheriff Walsh and Moore for alleged deliberate indifference to McDaniel's safety. In his complaint, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, McDaniel alleges that while he was a pretrial detainee at the Champaign County Correctional Center, he fell backwards while climbing to the upper/top bunk in his cell. McDaniel alleges that Sheriff Walsh and Moore were deliberately indifferent to his safety when they did not provide a ladder for him to climb into the upper bunk at the jail. Defendant's filed an answer to the complaint denying the allegations. Defendants request that the court enter an ordering granting summary judgment in their favor and against McDaniel.

UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS*fn1

1. Daniel Walsh is the Champaign County Sheriff. (Daniel Walsh Aff., ¶ 3, attached as Exhibit 1).

2. Michael Moore is the Jail Superintendent for the Champaign County Correctional Center. (Michael Moore Aff., ¶ 3, attached as Exhibit 2).

3. Daryon McDaniel was arrested and taken to the Champaign County Correctional Center sometime around August 23, 2008. (McDaniel Dep., pgs. 27 -- 28, 34 attached as Exhibit 3).

4. During McDaniel's intake/booking interview, he denied being on any medications or under any special orders by any doctors. (McDaniel Dep., pgs. 60 -- 61).

5. McDaniel did not have a special permit for a lower/bottom bunk. (McDaniel Dep., pg. 63).

6. Initially, McDaniel was assigned to a cell which consisted of an empty upper/top and lower/bottom bunk. McDaniel chose the lower bunk. (McDaniel Dep., pgs. 34 -- 35).

7. McDaniel stayed in this cell by himself for a couple of days, occupying the lower/bottom bunk. (McDaniel Dep., pgs. 36 -- 37).

8. On August 25, 2008, McDaniel was instructed that he would be moving cells and getting a cell mate, Mr. Arnett. ...


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