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Kirk v. Campanella

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 12, 2018

ERIC D. KIRK, Plaintiff,
v.
J. CAMPANELLA et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Eric Kirk, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), brings this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Vienna Correctional Center (“Vienna”). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he was injured when he slipped in a puddle and fell. Following review of the Amended Complaint (Doc. 27), Plaintiff proceeds on the following claims:

Count 1:Defendants Campanella, Dillon, and Love subjected Kirk to unconstitutional conditions of confinement in Building #19, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 2:Defendant Campanella denied Kirk adequate medical care for the injuries he sustained to his neck, back and groin after falling in a puddle of water in Building #19 on November 29, 2015, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 3:Retaliation claim against defendant J. Ramage for threatening to keep Kirk in the Vienna segregation unit unless Kirk withdrew his grievances.

(Doc. 27).

         This matter is now currently before the Court on the defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 60). Plaintiff did not file a response. For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED.

         Factual Background

         Plaintiff Eric Kirk was housed on the third floor of Building 19 at Vienna from August 28, 2015 through December 3, 2016 (Plaintiff's Deposition, Doc. 60-2 at 1). Building 19 housed inmates in an open room, dormitory-style setting (Id.). Kirk alleges that the windows in Building 19 were broken, and the roof would leak when it rained, creating puddles in various areas (Doc. 60-4 at 19). Mop buckets would be set up to catch the majority of the water, but they would not catch all of the water and some would end up on the floor (Id. at 25-26). The heat and fans were broken, so that it was excruciatingly hot in the summer and very cold during the winter (Id. at 22). There were cockroaches and mice, black mold in the showers, and the toilets would backup in the dorm on occasion (Id.).

         On November 29, 2015, Kirk got out of bed to walk to the restroom and slipped and fell in a puddle on the floor (Id. at 39). He hit his head on the floor when he fell (Id. at 46). Other inmates told correctional officers about Kirk's fall, and they in turn called nurses to respond (Id. at 47).

         The nurses took Kirk to the healthcare unit on a stretcher (Id. at 47, 49). He was then taken to Heartland Regional Medical Center (“Heartland”) by ambulance, where he underwent an MRI and received medication for his injuries (Id. at 40, 42, 54). Kirk alleges that his neck, back and groin were injured as a result of the fall (Id. at 39-40).

         When Kirk returned from Heartland, he was housed in the healthcare unit for a period of days (Id. at 56). He took five or six different types of medications for his injuries (Id. at 64). Medical staff at Vienna instructed him to use warm compresses for his groin injury (Id. at 66). Kirk was denied a neck brace and back brace by Vienna medical staff (Id. at 63).

         On December 2, 2015, Kirk filed an emergency grievance stating that he feared for his safety and security in Building 19 due to the building's maintenance problems, and requesting a transfer out of Building 19 (Id. at 106, 60-6 at 4). The next day, Defendant Ramage called Kirk to the second floor to discuss the grievances (Id. at 106, 110). Ramage asked Kirk what he wanted, and Kirk replied that he wanted to be moved out of Building 19 (Id. at 108). Ramage asked Kirk if he would withdraw the grievance if Ramage moved him (Id.). Kirk informed Ramage that he would not withdraw his grievance (Id.). Ramage then told Kirk that he would be moved to segregation because he stated in the grievance that he feared for his health and safety (Id. at 109). Kirk responded that he wanted to be moved to Housing Unit 4, and Ramage told him he would only be moved there if he withdrew the grievance; otherwise, he was being moved to segregation (Id.). Kirk refused to withdraw the grievance and was placed in segregation (Id.).

         A major came to segregation and asked Kirk if he would withdraw his grievance. When he again refused, he was kept in segregation on investigatory status (Id. at 111). Kirk alleges that while in segregation, he missed a healthcare appointment and was unable to contact his family (Id. at 114, 116). He spent ...


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