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Bailey v. Robbins

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

July 19, 2017

CHRISTOPHER BAILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
DUSTIN ROBBINS, Defendant.

          ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE

         For the reasons explained in this Entry, the defendant's motion for summary judgment, dkt. [53], is granted.

         I. Background

         This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action was filed on September 8, 2015. The plaintiff is Christopher Bailey (“Mr. Bailey”), an inmate who at all relevant times was confined at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (“Wabash”). The defendant is Correctional Officer Dustin Robbins. Mr. Bailey alleges that Officer Robbins placed him in danger and violated his Eighth Amendment rights when he released another offender from a cell at a time when the plaintiff was supposed to be the only offender out of his cell. The other offender assaulted Mr. Bailey. Mr. Bailey seeks compensatory damages.

         The defendant seeks resolution of the plaintiff's claims through summary judgment. The plaintiff has responded to the defendant's motion for summary judgment and the defendant has replied. The plaintiff filed a surreply. The motion is ripe for resolution.

         II. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary 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. 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).

         A 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 v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). 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).

         III. Discussion

         A. Undisputed Facts

         The following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the standards set forth above. That is, this statement of facts is not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed evidence are presented in the light reasonably most favorable to Mr. Bailey as the non-moving party with respect to the motion for summary judgment. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).

         On February 14, 2014, Mr. Bailey was housed in a segregation unit at Wabash. On that day, Officer Robbins took over the control pod officer duties from another correctional officer mid-shift. At this time, Officer Robbins had been employed at the prison for eight months, working most of that time in a different area of the prison. This was only the second time Officer Robbins operated this particular panel. The control pod is a circular module encased in glass. From the control module, the control pod officer can observe all 6 ranges in B cell house and is responsible for the opening and closing of the doors for each cell and the doors that allow access onto and off of each range.

         An inmate detail worker (also called a range worker) is responsible for cleaning the range, which involves sweeping and mopping, cleaning the showers, cleaning empty cells, and passing out toilet paper and laundry to other inmates on the range. At the time Officer Robbins took over the control pod officer duties, the detail worker, Mr. Bailey, was already out of his cell performing his duties on the range.

         At the time Officer Robbins took over the control pod officer duties, Officer Adam Davis was doing “rounds, ” whereby he walked through each range and did a security check. As part of his rounds, once Officer Davis completed walking through one range he would then proceed to do a security check on the next range. Before the officer walked through each range to do his round, the detail worker on each range was to lock up in either the detail worker's own cell or a shower cell. The detail worker was to ...


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