United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
(“Report”) of United States Magistrate Judge
Reona J. Daly (Doc. 270), recommending that the motion for
summary judgment filed by Defendants Anthony, Benefield,
Benton, Butler, Carter, Dillingham, Hecht, Hof, Lee, Phelps,
Runge, Schoenbeck, Spiller, and Stolworthy (Doc. 229) be
granted. Plaintiff Fredrick Goings filed an objection to the
Report on February 22, 2019 (Doc. 310), three days
late. For the following reasons, Judge
Daly's Report is ADOPTED.
Frederick Goings filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs, failed to protect him,
failed to intervene, used excessive force, and subjected him
to unconstitutional conditions of confinement in violation of
the Eighth Amendment. He also asserted several state law
claims of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional
distress (Docs. 1, 11). Goings' claims relate to an
incident that occurred on November 5, 2014 at the Menard
Correctional Center when he was violently attacked by his
cellmate, David Sesson. Pursuant to an Amended Complaint, he
is proceeding on the following claims:
Count 1: An Eighth Amendment failure to
protect claim against Benefield for setting in motion the
violent attack by inmate David Sesson.
Count 3: An Eighth Amendment claim for
excessive force and unconstitutional conditions of
confinement against Benefield for subjecting Goings to
dangerous or restrictive conditions and guard brutality.
Count 4: An Eighth Amendment failure to
protect claim against Butler, Schoenbeck, Tracy Lee,
Jeannette Hecht, Michael Hof, Aaron Runge, Erin Carter, Lance
Phelps, Andrew Dillingham, Andrew Spiller, and Brandon
Count 5: A claim of state law defamation
against Benefield for telling other inmates that Goings
dropped a kite about an incident and referring to Goings as a
rat and stool pigeon.
Count 6: A claim of state law defamation
against Benton and former Illinois Department of Corrections
Director Stolworthy for written findings following a
protective custody hearing.
Count 12: An Eighth Amendment claim of
deliberate indifference towards medical needs against Warden
Butler for denying Goings medical care following the attack
by inmate David Sesson.
Count 16: A state law claim of intentional
infliction of emotional distress against Benefield for
setting in motion the attack by inmate David Sesson.
Count 17: A state law claim of intentional
infliction of emotional distress against Butler, Spiller,
Tracy Lee, Schoenbeck, Jeannette Hecht, Michael Hof, Aaron
Runge, Erin Carter, Andrew Dillingham, and Brandon Anthony
for allowing the attack by inmate David Sesson.
Count 20: A First Amendment claim of
retaliation against Benefield for harassing Goings in
retaliation for filing grievances.
(Docs. 79, 82, 112). Defendants, who are or were employees of
the Illinois Department of Corrections, moved for summary
judgment (Doc. 229). Goings filed a response (Doc. 266).
Daly issued a Report setting forth the applicable law and her
conclusions (Doc. 270). She found that there were no material
facts in dispute and that there was insufficient evidence to
support Goings' claims. Thus, she recommends that
Defendants' Motion be granted and that the claims against
them be dismissed with prejudice. Goings filed an objection
to the Report on February 22, 2019 (Doc. 310).
following facts are either undisputed or drawn in a light
most favorable to Goings, the non-moving party, except as
otherwise stated. See Carson v. ALL Erection & Crane
Rental Corp., 811 F.3d 993, 994 (7th Cir. 2016): Goings
was housed at Menard Correctional Center from June 2013 to
June 2016 (Doc. 230-3, p. 3). When Goings first arrived
there, he was prevented from accessing his legal property by
Benefield, a maintenance officer who would “cover the
galleries as a temporary officer, ” and who was
covering the gallery where Goings was initially housed
(Id. 78). Goings submitted a grievance about
Benefield's actions during orientation and continued to
file additional grievances about him
(Id.). Thereafter, Benefield began treating
Goings poorly by preventing him from using call passes to
access his property, being disrespectful, using profanity,
and raising his voice (Id.). It is unclear from the
record how long or if Benefield worked as a temporary officer
in the gallery where Goings was housed after the initial
Fall of 2014, Goings was having issues and he stopped
Defendant Spiller as he was walking by to tell him that he
was thinking about protective custody (Id. 17).
Spiller, who was an internal affairs officer, told Goings
that his department did not handle protective custody but
that he could fill out a request to start the process
(Id.). There is no evidence that Goings filled out a
protective custody request.
Goings heard from other inmates that Benefield was telling
them he had written a kite (or note) about another inmate and
that he was a snitch (Id. 63, 65). Goings, who was a
lawyer prior to being incarcerated, believes that these
accusations diminished his reputation and resulted in a loss
of trust among the prison population (Id. 66). He
did not suffer any physical injury because of the rumor but
did lose friends and associates (Id.).
on October 28, 2014, Benefield was the acting sergeant on
Goings' cell block (Id. 18). Benefield walked
through the gallery claiming that someone tampered with
paperwork (Id.). When he was outside Goings'
cell, he said, “I better not find out who's been
fucking with my shit, or I'm going to come and burn their
house down” (Id.). He then ordered that
Goings' cell be shaken down (Id.). After the
shakedown, Goings' belongings were “trashed”
and certain documents were missing (Id.). When
Goings asked for a shakedown slip, he got into a verbal
altercation with Benefield who said he was “going to
open up that cell and kick [his] ass” and that
“this is what you get when you fuck with me”
(Id. 20). Benefield also commented, “[t]his is
what happens when you piss me off, and I remember when you
filed that grievance about legal property”
(Id. 78; Doc. 82, p. 9-10). Benefield then left. A
shakedown slip dated October 29, 2014 showed that Goings'
cell did not contain contraband, although Goings did not
receive the shakedown slip (Docs. 230-2, p. 1, Doc. 230-3, p.
after the shakedown, Benefield told Goings to pack up his
belongings because he was going to be transferred to another
cell in the North II Cellhouse (Doc. 230-3, p. 21). When
Goings asked for assistance in moving his belongings,
Benefield said no (Id. 59). While he was being
moved, Benefield said “let's see how you like your
next fucking cellmate” (Id. 20). This was the
last interaction that Goings had with Benefield. Benefield
did not accompany Goings to his new cell.
Goings arrived at his new cell, number 311 in the North II
Cellhouse, he was housed with inmate David Sesson
(Id. 21). Sesson told Goings and the correctional
officer who accompanied him that he did not want a cellmate
(Id.). Goings and Sesson avoided each other. While
Sesson did not threaten him, he made clear that he did not
want Goings on the floor while he was on the floor. Goings
tried to keep to himself (Id.).
days later, on November 5, 2014, Goings jumped down from his
bunk onto the floor in order to get ready for chow
(Id. 23). Sesson told him “I told you,
don't be on the floor when I am on this floor”
(Id.). Sesson then attacked Goings, knocking him
down and tackling him to the floor where he proceeded to
strangle Goings with extension cords (Id. 23-4).
Goings lost consciousness. When he came to, he heard another
inmate tell Sesson to cut it out (Id. 24). He then
saw blood on the floor and discovered that he had a gash on
his finger, a missing finger nail, and blood shot eyes
(Id. 25, 52). Goings sought help from an unknown
correctional officer who told him to write a “scribe,
” which he did, indicating that he was just strangled
and needed to be separated from Sesson (Id. 25). He
was not immediately removed from his cell even after he told
another correctional officer about the attack (Id.).
next day, Sesson told Goings not to complain about the
incident (Id. 53). Goings sought medical care by
sending requests to the healthcare unit and asking for care
from healthcare workers (Id. 49-50). Within a week,
he wrote a letter to the Warden, Kimberly Butler, telling her
that an officer had set him up and placed him in the cell
with Sesson knowing that he had threatened to kill his next
cellmate (I ...