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Purdy v. Aramark LLC

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

March 21, 2018

KEITH PURDY, Plaintiff,


          Hon. Jane Magntts-Stinson, Chief Judge

         Keith Purdy, a former Indiana State prisoner, filed this civil action alleging that the Defendants, Aramark LLC, Aramark Food Services, [1] and Food Service Director Jason English, violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, Purdy alleges that while he was incarcerated at Putnamville Correctional Facility, Defendants provided him with an insufficient amount of low quality food. In addition, the dining hall was unsanitary because there were birds present and the fans did not work.

         Defendants seek resolution of the claims alleged against them through summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, the unopposed motion for summary judgment, dkt. [30], is granted.

         I. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment should be granted “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a 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). The Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the non-movant's favor. Ault v. Speicher, 634 F.3d 942, 945 (7th Cir. 2011). “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. at 248).

         “[A] party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of ‘the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, ' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). “[T]he burden on the moving party may be discharged by ‘showing'-that is, pointing out to the district court-that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Id. at 325.

         In this case, Defendants have met that burden through their unopposed motion for summary judgment. Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (“[F]ailure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by the local rules results in an admission.”). By not responding to the motion for summary judgment, Purdy conceded to Defendants' version of the facts. Brasic v. Heinemann=sInc., 121 F.3d 281, 286 (7th Cir. 1997). This is the result of Local Rule 56-1, of which Purdy was notified. See dkt. 29. This does not alter the standard for assessing a Rule 56 motion, but does “reduc[e] the pool” from which the facts and inferences relative to such a motion may be drawn. Smith v. Severn, 129 F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).

         II. Undisputed Facts

         Aramark provides food service at the Putnamville Correctional Facility pursuant to a contract between Aramark and the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC).

         The meals provided to the inmates at Putnamville Correctional Facility met, and continue to meet, the caloric and nutritional requirements for inmates and are adequate to maintain good health. The standard daily meals provide inmates with approximately 2500 calories per day. The menus are approved by a registered dietician to meet appropriate dietary and nutritional standards for adult males. They are also approved by IDOC and its medical professionals.

         Jason English is currently employed by Aramark. He has previously been employed as the food services director at Putnamville Correctional Facility. As the former food services director for Aramark at Putnamville, English's job duties and responsibilities included overseeing the day to day operations of the kitchen. English did not make any personal decisions regarding the meals inmates are served.

         The meals are prepared each day according to the menus using specific recipes provided by the dietician. The food is prepared by both Aramark employees and inmate workers. Each day an Aramark supervisor meets with the inmate workers and reviews the food preparation and service protocols. The food is then prepared and served to the inmates or placed on trays to be served to inmates who are in segregated or other housing. This general process is followed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

         The food portions that are served to inmates are served according to the menus. These portions provide for the appropriate nutritional and dietary needs of the inmates. The food sizes are also measured in the production kitchen using specific tools that provide the correct portion size. These tools are called “spoodles.” The inmate workers are also instructed, before every meal, on how to use the spoodles and the specific amount of food to be served.

         The trays, silverware, cookware, and kitchen cooking surfaces and areas used to prepare the food are also cleaned before and after every use. These surfaces and utensils are appropriately washed and disinfected before they are used again. Aramark uses a checklist and cleaning schedule to confirm these processes are ...

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