Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thomas-El v. Spears

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

November 13, 2013

DARNELL THOMAS-el, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER SPEARS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ROBERT W. GETTLEMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Darnell Thomas-el, filed suit, pro se, against Cook County Correctional Officer Spears and Nurse Humphries. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Spears subjected him to deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm on December 20, 2011, while he was incarcerated at the Cook County Jail. He alleges that other prisoners attacked him and that defendant Spears could have prevented the attack. He alleges that he was stabbed several times in the attack and suffered injuries. Plaintiff further alleges that defendant Humphries subjected him to deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition in her treatment of his resulting wounds.

Presently pending before the court is defendants' motion for summary judgment [#30]. Defendants argue in their motion that plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit, and failed to establish deliberate indifference. For the reasons stated herein, the defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper "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); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986). All of the evidence and the reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the evidence are viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Miller v. American Family Mutual Ins., 203 F.3d 997, 1003 (7th Cir. 2000). Summary judgment may be granted when no "reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, (1986). However, a party cannot defeat summary judgment by relying on unsubstantiated facts or by merely resting on its pleadings. See Hemsworth, II v. Quotesmith.Com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Greer v. Board of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 729 (7th Cir. 2001). Instead, the party that bears the burden of proof on an issue must affirmatively demonstrate, with admissible evidence that a genuine issue of material fact exists that requires a trial. See Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490.

When defendants filed their motion for summary judgment, they included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" as required by Timms v. Frank, 953 F.2d 281, 285 (7th Cir. 1992), Lewis v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100, 102 (7th Cir. 1982), and Local Rule 56.2. This notice clearly set out the requirements of this court's Local Rule 56.1. In particular, the notice explains that plaintiff's response must comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) and Local Rule 56.1.

Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to file:

(A) a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon, and
(B) a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon.

L.R. 56.1(b). The district court may require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Servs., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004); Bordelon v. Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000) (strict compliance with the local rules governing summary judgment is upheld given the importance of local rules that structure the summary judgment process); United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) ("Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs").

Despite being given the L.R. 56.2 notice, plaintiff failed to respond to defendants' Rule 56.1 statement of facts. Consequently, defendants' facts contained in their Rule 56.1 statement, to the extent that they are material, adequately supported by the record, and not controverted by evidence in the record, are deemed admitted.

FACTS

Plaintiff alleges that on December 20, 2011, prisoners attacked him while he was a pre-trial detainee at the Cook County Department of Corrections ("CCDOC"). Plaintiff alleges that Officer Spears, a deck officer in plaintiff's CCDOC living unit, could have prevented the attack, and that Officer Spears failed to protect him, acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm. Plaintiff also alleges that after he was attacked, he was taken to the dispensary health unit where Nurse Humphries acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical condition in treating the injuries he sustained during the attack.

On December 20, 2011, plaintiff was assigned to Division 9, Tier 3D of the Cook County Jail. Division 9, Tier 3D has 22 inmate cells - 11 cells on each of the lower and 11 top levels. On the lower level of Division 9, tier 3D, there is a common area with tables and chairs. Plaintiff was assigned to one of the cells on the lower level of tier 3D. Inmates on tier 3D receive three hours a day outside of their cells - one and a half hours in the morning and one and a half hours in the afternoon.

On December 20, 2011, plaintiff exited his cell during the morning to spend some time outside of his cell. Once outside of his cell, plaintiff went to the second level of tier 3D and had a conversation with another inmate who was restricted to his particular cell. While standing at the other inmate's door, plaintiff noticed that there was a commotion downstairs in the common area of the tier. After plaintiff noticed the commotion, plaintiff went downstairs and got between two fellow inmates to make sure those inmates did not get into a fight. Plaintiff did not know the inmates he was trying to prevent from getting into a fight, but stepped in because he wanted to prevent the tier from going on lockdown.

Plaintiff got along with all of the other inmates on Tier 3D, and did not have any enemies on the tier. Although plaintiff initially tried to defuse the situation in the common ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.