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Foerderer v. Mathias

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 11, 2019

LEVI FOERDERER, Plaintiff,
v.
T. MATHIAS, J. GOODRICH, R. ROBINSON, and USA, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation (“Report”) of United States Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly (Doc. 57), recommending that the Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants (Docs. 52 and 53) be granted. Plaintiff filed a timely objection (Doc. 58) to which Defendants responded (Doc. 59). For the following reasons, Judge Daly's Report is ADOPTED in part and MODIFIED in part.

         Background

         Plaintiff Levi Foerderer filed an Amended Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) alleging Defendants failed to protect him from his violent cellmate:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Mathias, Goodrich, and Robinson for failure to protect Plaintiff from violence at the hands of inmate Perkins;
Count 2: FTCA claim against the United States for negligence in failing to protect Plaintiff from violence at the hands of other inmates;
Count 3: FTCA claim against the United States for negligence in allowing sensitive information about Plaintiff to be delivered to another inmate in August 2016.

(Docs. 24, 26, and 57). Defendant moved for summary judgment (Docs. 52 and 53). Foerderer filed a response to both motions (Doc. 55) to which Defendants replied (Doc. 56).

         Judge Daly issued a Report setting forth the applicable law and her findings (Doc. 57). She concluded that Defendants Mathias, Goodrich, and Robinson are entitled to summary judgment on Count 1 because Foerderer's claim is barred by the doctrine established in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) and Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641 (1997). She also found Foerderer conceded that Defendant USA is entitled to judgment on the FTCA claims.

         Legal Standard

         Since Plaintiff filed an objection, this Court must undertake a de novo review of Judge Daly's findings and recommendations. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b); see also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). De novo review requires the district judge to “give fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objections have been made” and make a decision “based on an independent review of the evidence and arguments without giving any presumptive weight to the magistrate judge's conclusion.” Mendez v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 661 (7th Cir. 2013). The Court “may accept, reject or modify the magistrate judge's recommended decision.” Id. Consistent with these standards, the Court has reviewed Judge Daly's Report de novo.

         Factual Background

         As the parties do not dispute the facts set forth in Judge Daly's Report, they are incorporated herein. The following highlighted facts are relevant to the limited objection made by Plaintiff: Foerderer was transferred to FCI Greenville on May 4, 2015. For the next year, he spoke to Defendants Mathias, Goodrich, and Robinson on multiple occasions about his general fear of being attacked because he had been a cooperating witness and had been attacked at a county jail.

         On June 17, 2016, Foerderer was assigned a new cellmate, Michael Perkins. They initially got along, but a problem arose when they were issued an incident report for contraband, a tattoo needle that belonged to Foerderer. Both Perkins and Foerderer appeared before a Disciplinary Hearing Officer (“DHO”) and were found guilty of ...


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