United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendant Thomas Mezo. (Doc. 50.) Plaintiff is an inmate with
the Illinois Department of Corrections. Defendant is a
correctional officer employed by the Illinois Department of
Corrections. On November 18, 2014, Plaintiff filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging Defendant
violated his constitutional rights. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff
proceeded on his Complaint with the following claims:
Count 1: An Eighth Amendment claim of excessive force against
Defendant Mezo for slamming Plaintiff's arm into the cell
chuckhole and stabbing him with keys on February 13, 2014.
Count 2: A state law claim of intentional infliction of
emotional distress based on the incident described in Count
seeks summary judgment on both counts. For the following
reasons, Defendant's motion is GRANTED.
is an inmate who was incarcerated at Menard Correctional
Center. (Doc. 56-2 at 6.) Defendant Mezo worked as a
correctional officer at Menard. (Doc. 56-6 at 8.) At Menard,
inmates are prohibited from placing their arms in cell
chuckholes as an institutional safety measure to prevent
inmates from stabbing, grabbing or throwing bodily fluids.
(Id. at 87-88.)
February 12, 2014, Plaintiff was moved into a cell in the
segregation unit with prisoner Darrian Daniels, who had a
history of physical altercations with his cellmates. (Doc.
56-2 at 21-22; Doc. 61-1.) On the morning of February 13,
2014, Daniels told Plaintiff that he would assault him if
Plaintiff did not leave the cell. (Doc. 56-2 at 21.) When
Defendant came by Plaintiff's cell, Plaintiff informed of
Daniels' threat and requested a transfer. (Id.
at 30.) Later that morning as Defendant distributed lunch
trays, Plaintiff reiterated his request to Defendant who
responded that he had notified the sergeant and proceeded
down the hall. (Id. at 32-33.)
Defendant returned to collect the trash, Plaintiff placed his
arm in the chuckhole. (Id. at 34-35.) Defendant
instructed Plaintiff to remove his arm from the chuckhole and
Plaintiff replied that he would not until Defendant notified
the sergeant or removed Plaintiff from the cell.
(Id. at 35-36.) Defendant then said to Plaintiff,
“We can either do this the hard way or the easy way,
” to which Plaintiff did not respond. (Id. at
38.) At that point, Defendant grabbed Plaintiff's arm,
slammed it against the chuckhole four times, bent it and
stabbed it with keys until Plaintiff removed his arm from the
chuckhole. (Id. at 38-39.) Defendant then slammed
the chuckhole closed and continued collecting trash.
(Id. at 39.)
the incident, a physician assessed minimal lacerations of
Plaintiff's right middle and ring fingers and decreased
sensation in the right hand. He prescribed ibuprofen for
pain. (Doc. 56-5.) Plaintiff has sought and received mental
health treatment as a result of this incident and has been
diagnosed with unspecified anxiety disorder. (Doc. 61-4.)
moves for summary judgment against Plaintiff on both counts.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) states that the Court
“shall grant summary judgment 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.”
When considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court
shall “examine the record and all reasonable inferences
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.”
Spurling v. C & M Fine Pack, Inc., 739 F.3d
1055, 1060 (7th Cir. 2014). Summary judgment must be denied
“if a material issue of fact exists that would allow a
reasonable jury to find in favor of the non-moving
1- Excessive Force
argues that he is entitled to summary judgment because he
used force to restore order rather than to maliciously or
sadistically to cause harm. The Eighth Amendment to the
United States Constitution protects prisoners from cruel and
unusual punishment. U.S. Const., amend. VIII. In excessive
force cases, “[t]he central question is “whether
force was applied in a good faith effort to maintain or
restore discipline or maliciously and sadistically for the
very purpose of causing harm.” Fillmore v.
Page, 358 F.3d 496, 503 (7th Cir. 2004). “In
making that determination, several factors are relevant,
including the need for the application of the force, the
amount of force applied, the threat an officer reasonably
perceived, the effort made to temper the severity of the
force used, and the extent of the injury that force caused to
an inmate.” Id. at 504. “Unless it
appears that the evidence, ...