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Craddockk v. Samuel

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 2, 2017



          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Corey Bump. (Doc. 85). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         Factual Background

         On June 24, 2013 Plaintiff Jermaine Craddock was awoken from his sleep by his cellmate Frederick Pigram repeatedly stabbing him with a “shiv” (homemade weapon). (Doc. 88, p. 1). Craddock had been housed with Pigram for approximately eight days, from June 17 to June 24, 2013. (Doc. 86-1, pp. 4, 6). Craddock testified the attack was preceded by multiple days of verbal threats, including statements by Pigram that he was going to “fuck me [Plaintiff] up” and “fuck my [Plaintiff] bitch ass up.” (Doc. 86-1, p. 7).

         Defendant, Correctional Officer Corey Bump, was the gallery officer at the Menard Correctional Center where Craddock was housed at the time. (Doc. 86-1, pp. 4, 6). On June 19, 2013 (the second day he was housed with Pigram), Craddock stopped Bump at his cell bars, “explained to him the situation, ” and told him he “wanted to or needed to move out of the cell . . ., that [he] and his guy [were] not getting along and that, you know, the guy was saying things to [him] and stuff like that.” (Doc. 86-1, pp. 6, 8).[1] In response, Officer Bump told him that there was nothing he could do other than talk to his superiors. (Doc. 86-1, p. 6).

         Two days later, Craddock spoke with Bump again at his bars and told him he was being threatened by Pigram and needed to be moved. (Doc. 86-1, p. 9-10). He specifically stated Pigram was threatening to “fuck [him] up” if he didn't change cells, that Pigram was acting strangely, and that he required protective custody. (Doc. 86-1, p. 10). Bump gave Craddock the appropriate form for protective custody, which Craddock filled out and returned to Bump that night. (Doc. 86-1, p. 10). Bump told Craddock he would report the information to his lieutenant, would give the form to the Major, and that Craddock should hear from the Major in the morning. (Doc. 86-1, p. 10).

         Craddock was never visited by the Major and was never transferred to protective custody. (Doc. 86-1, p. 10). Several days later he was attacked by Pigram with a shank. As a result of the attack Craddock suffered stab and slash wounds (requiring minor medical treatment) and psychological trauma. (Doc. 86-1, pp. 23-24). Officer Bump does not recall Craddock or any of the events described above (Doc. 86-2, p. 1).


         Summary judgment is proper only where the moving party can demonstrate that no genuine issue of material fact exists 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, 322 (1986); Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005). All facts and reasonable inferences must be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Blow v. Bijora, Inc., 855 F.3d 793, 797 (7th Cir. 2017) (citing Calumet River Fleeting, Inc. v. Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs, Local 150, AFL-CIO, 824 F.3d 645, 647-48 (7th Cir. 2016)).

         The Seventh Circuit has stated that 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 the events.” Steen v. Myers, 486 F.3d 1017, 1022 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Hammel v. Eau Galle Cheese Factory, 407 F.3d 852, 859 (7th Cir. 2005) (other citations omitted)). The judge's role at summary judgment, however, is not to weigh the evidence or assess the facts, but simply to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 259. The question is can there be only one reasonable conclusion based on the evidence, or could reasonable minds differ? Id. at 250-51.

         Bump raises two bases for summary judgment. First, he argues Craddock has failed to produce evidence that he was aware of a serious risk of danger to Craddock or that he was deliberately indifferent to such a danger. (Doc. 85, p. 1). Second, Bump alleges he is entitled to qualified immunity.

         I. Failure to Protect

         The Supreme Court has been clear the Eighth Amendment creates a duty on the part of prison officials to protect inmates from violence at the hands of other prisoners. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 833 (1994). To establish a failure to protect claim, an inmate must first show he was incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of harm. Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 775 (7th Cir. 2008). The Seventh Circuit has been clear the beating of one inmate by another “clearly constitutes serious harm.” Brown v. Budz, 398 F.3d 904, 910 (7th Cir. 2005). Here, Craddock alleges, and Bump does not appear to contest, that Pigram threatened to harm Craddock and ultimately attacked him with a shiv. (Doc. 86-1, pp. 23-24). Thus, the uncontested evidence is that there was a substantial risk of harm.

         Next, the inmate must show the prison official had actual knowledge of the risk. Gevas v. McLaughlin,798 F.3d 475, 480 (7th Cir. 2015). The official must “both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk or serious harm exists, and he must also draw the inference.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Evidence that the prisoner complained to prison officials about a specific threat to his safety is often sufficient to show the official ...

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