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Winkfield v. Dean

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 5, 2017

LARRY WINKFIELD, R74765, Plaintiff,


          STACI M. YANDLE United States District Judge

         Before the Court is the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Defendants David Dean and David Folsom. Plaintiff Larry Winkfield is an inmate within the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) prison system and the defendants are IDOC correctional officers. In his Complaint, Winkfield claims that on August 20, 2013, the defendants subjected him to excessive force while in the Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”) segregation unit.

         Winkfield filed suit on May 21, 2014 (Doc. 1), and he now proceeds on his Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 46). He asserts an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Defendants, as well as state law assault and battery claims. For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.


         Plaintiff Larry Winkfield entered IDOC custody in late 2012. (Winkfield Deposition, Doc. 107-1, p. 3). After a brief stay at Stateville Correctional Center, he was transferred to Shawnee. Id. The incidents that give rise to this litigation occurred on August 20, 2013, while Winkfield was in the Shawnee segregation unit. Id. Inmates are generally placed in segregation for disciplinary reasons, and the segregation inmates have fewer privileges than those in general population. (Dean Deposition, Doc. 107-2, p. 4). The segregation unit is also physically separated from the general population units. Id.

         As of August 20, 2013, Winkfield had been housed in segregation for “a couple of weeks, ” and was scheduled to use the showers on that date. (Doc. 107-1, p. 4). At approximately 10:48 A.M. (see Disciplinary Report at Doc. 107-3), Defendant Dean arrived at Winkfield's cell so that he could escort Winkfield and his cellmate to the shower area. (Doc. 107-1, p. 4). Winkfield placed his hands behind his back and through the cell door chuckhole so that Dean could handcuff him. Id. Winkfield's cellmate, inmate Gibson, did the same. Id. After the two were handcuffed, Dean opened the cell door and Gibson exited the cell. Id. At this point, Defendant Folsom arrived at Winkfield's cell and noticed that Winkfield possessed a bottle of body wash. Id. Dean testified at his deposition that liquid soap is not allowed in the segregation unit due to safety reasons. (Doc. 107-2, p. 6). However, Winkfield testified at his deposition that he thought it was permitted. (Doc. 107-1, p. 4).

         Folsom asked Winkfield why there was body wash in his cell, and the two began to argue. Id. at pp. 4-5. Folsom then forcefully pushed Winkfield's head against the cell wall. Id. at p. 5. Winkfield turned around to face Folsom and Folsom punched him in his left eye. Id. at p. 5. At that point, Dean used his body to pin Winkfield up against the cell wall. Id. Winkfield testified at his deposition that Dean never hit him and he does not recall suffering any injuries from Dean's use of force. Id. at p. 6. Winkfield also testified that he “might have tried” to kick Folsom at that time, but was unable to do so because he was pinned to the wall. Id. at p. 6.

         After Winkfield was pinned to the wall, the defendants latched an extra set of handcuffs to the existing set that were already on Winkfield. Id. at p. 6. Dean and Folsom then exited the cell, leaving Winkfield in the cell by himself. Id. at p. 6. While the two exited the cell, they were able to drag Winkfield to the cell door. Id. at p. 5. Dean then began to uncuff Winkfield. Id. at p. 7. Winkfield testified that as he was being uncuffed, his arm was aggressively pulled through the cell door chuckhole, thereby cutting his arm. Id. at p. 7. The Warden and Shift Commander arrived at Winkfield's cell a short time later. Id. at p. 6. They told Winkfield to cuff up and Winkfield was escorted to a stripped down cell. Id. at p. 6.

         The following day, Winkfield was examined in the Shawnee Health Care Unit by Nurse Debbie Perkins. (Doc. 107-5). Nurse Perkins drafted an “Offender Injury Report” that states in part:

How did the injury occur?: Inmate states right arm cut when cuffed. Right arm pulled by Sergeant Folsom. Inmate self reports right eye bumped at this time.
S (Subjective Findings): Inmate self reports while being cuffed in cell right arm was hit on cell door chuckhole causing cut to right arm area. Complains of swelling to right eyelid head bumped during cuffing of inmate. Inmate self reports officer cuffing inmate was Sergeant Folsom. No complaints of blurred vision. No redness no bruising.
Noted right arm superficial abrasion approximately 3 centimeters by ...

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