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Hamby v. Farmer

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 20, 2014

CHARLIE HAMBY and MICHAEL ZENK, Appellants-Defendants,
v.
JAMES FARMER, Appellee-Plaintiff

Editorial Note:

These opinions are not precedents and cannot be cited or relied upon unless used when establishing res judicata or collateral estoppel or in actions between the same party. Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 65(D).

APPEAL FROM THE HENRY CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Mary G. Willis, Judge. Cause No. 33C01-1203-CT-17.

KIRSCH, Judge. FRIEDLANDER, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION - NOT FOR PUBLICATION

KIRSCH, Judge

Charlie Hamby (" Hamby" ) and Michael Zenk (" Zenk" ) appeal the trial court's denial of their motion for summary judgment against James Farmer (" Farmer" ), contending that the trial court erred when it denied summary judgment in their favor and found that there were genuine issues of material fact as to Farmer's claims.

We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Farmer is a handicapped offender who, in 2011, was housed in the " A" Unit at the New Castle Correctional Facility (" the Facility" ) located in Henry County, Indiana. In 2011, Hamby was employed by The GEO Group, Inc. as the Facility Manager of the Facility. In his capacity as Facility Manager, Hamby was responsible for maintenance issues at the Facility. In 2011, Zenk was the Superintendent of the Facility and had no personal involvement in the day-to-day maintenance issues at the Facility.

On July 10, 2011, Farmer, who uses a wheelchair, was taking a shower in the A-2 " south shower farthest one back." Appellants' App . at 44. While sitting on the shower seat, the seat collapsed, and Farmer fell to the shower floor. On July 12, 2011, a work order related to the remounting of shower seat A-2 was created, and the work order was completed on July 26, 2011 by drilling new holes in the wall and using new hit nails to remount the seat. Id. at 52, 55. Previously, on March 22, 2011, a work order related to a necessary bracket repair to shower seat A-2 was created, and the work order was completed on May 5, 2011 by welding the seat together after a bracket had fallen off and remounting the seat to the wall. Id. at 52, 54. Both work orders were completed by the same maintenance technician at the Facility. Hamby concluded that the work completed by the maintenance technician was performed in accordance with standard maintenance procedures utilized at the Facility. Id. at 53.

As a result of his fall from the shower seat, Farmer experienced back pain. On May 9, 2012, Farmer filed a " Notice of Lawsuit" with the Henry County Circuit Court, alleging deliberate indifference and negligence on the part of Hamby and Zenk regarding the condition of the A-2 shower seat. Id. at 9-10. On March 14, 2013, Hamby and Zenk filed a motion for summary judgment, and a hearing was held on the motion. On June 27, 2013, the trial court issued its order denying the motion for summary judgment filed by Hamby and Zenk and finding that " there are genuine issues of material fact regarding the issues of deliberate indifference or negligence claim [sic] regarding reasonable care and any breach of duty to repair the toilet and seat at issue." Id. at 7. Hamby and Zenk now appeal.

DISCUSSION AND DECISION

When reviewing the denial of summary judgment, our standard of review is the same as that of the trial court. Wellpoint, Inc. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co., 952 N.E.2d 254, 258 (Ind.Ct.App. 2011), trans. denied . We stand in the shoes of the trial court and apply a de novo standard of review. FLM, LLC v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 973 N.E.2d 1167, 1173 (Ind.Ct.App. 2012) (citing Cox v. N. Ind. Pub. Serv. Co., 848 N.E.2d 690, 695 (Ind.Ct.App. 2006)), trans. denied . Our review of a summary judgment motion is limited to those materials designated to the trial court. Ind. Trial Rule 56(H); Robson v. Tex. E. Corp., 833 N.E.2d 461, 466 (Ind.Ct.App. 2005), trans. denied . Summary judgment is appropriate only where the designated evidence shows there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. T.R. 56(C). For summary judgment purposes, a fact is " material" if it bears on the ultimate resolution of relevant issues. FLM, 973 N.E.2d at 1173. We view the pleadings and designated materials in the light most ...


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