United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Christopher Shawn Rooks, a federal prisoner, was assaulted by
another prisoner while confined at the United States
Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana (the “USP Terre
Haute”) on January 8, 2014. Rooks claims that the
attack occurred due to a breakdown in security when Demarco
Releford, an inmate housed in the E-2 unit, was allowed
access to the Gold Corridor, at the same time as him, an
inmate housed in the D-2 unit. Rooks further contends that
BOP staff acted negligently by not being attentive to duty
and not properly monitoring the Gold Corridor during the
mainline movement. Rooks has sued the United States pursuant
to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) to
recover damages for his injuries.
United States moves for summary judgment, arguing that
Rooks' claims are barred by the discretionary function
exception to the FTCA's waiver of sovereign immunity. See
28 U.S.C. § 2680(a). The United States further argues
that even if Rooks' claims were not barred by this
exception, his negligence claim fails as a matter of law.
Rooks has responded by filing a cross motion for summary
judgment and the United States has replied. For the following
reasons explained below, the motions for summary judgment,
dkts.  and  are denied and this action will be
resolved through settlement or a bench trial.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). A “material
fact” is one that “might affect the outcome of
the suit.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). To survive a motion for summary
judgment, the non-moving party must set forth specific,
admissible evidence showing that there is a material issue
for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323 (1986). The Court views the record in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable
inferences in that party's favor. Darst v. Interstate
Brands Corp., 512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It
cannot weigh evidence or make credibility determinations on
summary judgment because those tasks are left to the
fact-finder. O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc.,
657 F.3d 625, 630 (7th Cir. 2011).
dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248. If no reasonable jury could find for the
non-moving party, then there is no “genuine”
dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
“The applicable substantive law will dictate which
facts are material.” National Soffit &
Escutcheons, Inc., v. Superior Systems, Inc., 98 F.3d
262, 265 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S.
Statement of Undisputed Facts
following material facts are not genuinely in dispute and
will be treated as established in this case consistent with
Rule 56(g) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana
(“FCC”) consists of the high security United
States Penitentiary (“USP”), the medium security
Federal Correctional Institution, and the Federal Prison
Camp. USP Terre Haute is made up of four corridors, each of
which is associated with a particular color. As relevant to
this action, the West Corridor is also known as the Green
Corridor and contains, among other areas, the dining hall and
UNICOR (the trade name for the Federal Prison Industries).
The South Corridor is known as the Gold Corridor and contains
the D-1, D-2, E-1, E-2, F-1, and F-2 housing units.
Between Rooks and Releford
to January 8, 2014, Demarco Releford never made any threats
against Rooks. In fact, according to Rooks, both he and
Releford were a part of the “West Coast table”
and would sometimes sit at the same table. Rooks was not
afraid of anybody, including Releford, and, before January 8,
2014, had no reason to believe that Releford would assault
on January 8, 2014
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Rooks was housed in the D-2 Unit,
and Releford was housed in the E-2 Unit, both of which were
on the south side-or Gold Corridor-of USP Terre Haute.
Hamblin was a Senior Officer assigned as the USP D-2 officer
on this day. As the D-2 officer, Officer Hamblin's duties
included providing supervision to the inmates, maintaining
security, contributing to the health and welfare of the
inmates, and insuring inmate accountability.
January 8, 2014, at approximately 7:10 a.m., while Officer
Hamblin was monitoring traffic in the Gold Corridor as the
Unit D-2 officer, he observed Rooks enter the D-2 Unit with
blood on his face and clothing. Officer ...