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Gibson v. GEO Group

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

April 21, 2017

LIONEL GIBSON, Plaintiff,
v.
THE GEO GROUP, ANGIE PRICE, KEITH BUTTS, ROBERT BUGHER, LAWRENCE ONYESONWU Officer, J. GILMER Officer, S. BECKER Officer, L. STORM Lieutenant, Defendants.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING AMENDED COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING SERVICE OF PROCESS

          LARRY J. McKINNEY, JUDGE

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Lionel Gibson (“Mr. Gibson”), is a prisoner currently incarcerated at the Miami Correctional Facility. All of his allegations arise from incidents that occurred at the New Castle Correctional Facility (“New Castle”). His original complaint, filed on January 10, 2017, was rejected because the claims were misjoined. Mr. Gibson was given an opportunity to file an amended complaint that included only properly related claims.

         Mr. Gibson's amended complaint, filed on March 27, 2017, is now subject to the screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). This statute directs that the Court dismiss a complaint or any claim within a complaint which “(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id.

         To survive dismissal,

[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         II. Discussion of Amended Complaint

         The amended complaint is brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and names the following defendants: 1) the GEO Group; 2) Angie Price; 3) Keith Butts; 4) Robert Bugher; 5) Officer Lawrence Onyesonwu; 6) Officer J. Gilmer; 7) Officer S. Becker; and 8) Lt. L. Storm. Mr. Gibson seeks compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.

         Excessive Force/Failure to Protect Claims

         Mr. Gibson alleges that he was assaulted by two other inmates on January 11, 2016. He alleges that Officer Onyesonwu watched him get assaulted and stopped other offenders from breaking up the fight. Officer Onyesonwu allegedly failed to protect Mr. Gibson from the attack and allowed it to go on for five minutes before calling for assistance.

         When Officers Beck and Gilmer responded, they allegedly used excessive force against and failed to protect Mr. Gibson when they sprayed him in the eye with a form of pepper spray that burned and blinded him, allowing another offender to stab him in the eye with a shank.

         Mr. Gibson alleges that months before the attack, he had told Unit Manager Angie Price that his safety was in jeopardy, but she did nothing.

         Due ...


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