United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Robert Henderson, Jr. brought this civil rights actions
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants The GEO
Group, Inc. (“GEO”) and Keith Butts,
Superintendent of New Castle Correctional Facility
(“NCCF”), based on the allegation that there has
been deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and
that there is a widespread custom and practice of failing to
provide appropriate medical care for the serious medical
needs of inmates at NCCF. His claims against Corizon, LLC
were dismissed because he failed to timely exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing this action. Dkt. 22.
What remain in this action are his claims against GEO and
Superintendent Butts. Presently pending before the Court is
defendants' motion for summary judgment. Mr. Henderson
has not opposed the motion for summary judgment. For the
reasons explained below, the motion for summary judgment,
dkt. , is granted.
Summary Judgment Legal 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).
Henderson failed to respond to the defendants' motion for
summary judgment, and the deadline for doing so has long
passed. The consequence is that Mr. Henderson has conceded
the defendants' version of the events. See 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.”);
see S.D. Ind. Local Rule 56-1 (“A party
opposing a summary judgment motion must . . . file and serve
a response brief and any evidence . . . that the party relies
on to oppose the motion. The response must . . . identif[y]
the potentially determinative facts and factual disputes that
the party contends demonstrate a dispute of fact precluding
summary judgment.”). Because Mr. Henderson failed to
respond to the defendants' motion, and thus failed to
comply with the Court's Local Rules regarding summary
judgment, the Court will not consider allegations in Mr.
Henderson's complaint as evidence opposing the motion for
summary judgment. Although pro se filings are
construed liberally, pro se litigants such as Mr.
Henderson are not exempt from procedural rules. See
Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir.
2008) (noting that “pro se litigants are not excused
from compliance with procedural rules”); Members v.
Paige, 140 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 1998) (stating that
procedural rules “apply to uncounseled litigants and
must be enforced”). This does not alter the standard
for assessing a Rule 56 motion, but it 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).
following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the
standard 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. Henderson 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).
times relevant to this action, Mr. Henderson was an inmate at
NCCF. The NCCF has been operated and managed by GEO pursuant
to a Contract for Services between it and the Indiana
Department of Correction (“IDOC”) since 2005.
See dkt. 28-1 at ¶ 8; dkt. 28-2. Superintendent
Butts is an employee of GEO. Dkt. 28-1 at ¶ 3.
no responsibility to provide medical services at the
facility. Dkt. 28-2 at 2, ¶ 1(h). Pursuant to the
Contract for Services between the IDOC and GEO, GEO is not
only contractually prohibited from providing health care and
medical services to inmates, it does not in any manner engage
in the direction or decision-making related to health care
and medical services for inmates. Id.; dkt. 28-1 at
¶¶ 9-10. Corizon served as the service provider for
all medical and health care needs for inmates housed in the
NCCF for the relevant time period. Dkt. 28-1 at ¶ 10.
defendants move for summary judgment on Mr. Henderson's
claims, asserting that they had no duty, contractual or
otherwise, to provide health care and medical services to
inmates at NCCF, including Mr. Henderson, and absent a duty,
there can be no breach of duty. Dkt. 27 at 4-5. The
defendants also assert that the non-medical correctional
facility staff were justified in believing that Mr. Henderson
was under the care of medical staff. Id. at 5. Mr.
Henderson did not respond to defendants' motion for
summary judgment, and the time to do so has passed.
times relevant to Mr. Henderson's claim, he was a
convicted inmate. Accordingly, his treatment and the
conditions of his confinement are evaluated under standards
established by the Eighth Amendment's proscription
against the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment.
See Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993)
(“It is undisputed that the treatment a prisoner
receives in prison and the conditions under which he is
confined are subject to scrutiny under the Eighth
Amendment.”). Pursuant to the Eighth Amendment, prison
officials have a duty to provide humane conditions of
confinement, meaning, they must take reasonable measures to
guarantee the safety of the inmates and ensure that they
receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). To
prevail on an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
medical claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate two elements: (1)
he suffered from an objectively serious medical condition;
and (2) the defendant knew about the plaintiff's
condition and the substantial risk of harm it posed, but
disregarded that risk. Id. at 837; Pittman ex
rel. Hamilton v. County of Madison, Ill., 746 F.3d 766,
775 (7th Cir. 2014). A successful § 1983 plaintiff must
also establish not only that a state actor violated his
constitutional rights, but that the violation caused the
plaintiff injury or damages. Roe v. Elyea, 631 F.3d
843, 846 (7th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted).
is ‘deliberately indifferent' when the official has
acted in an intentional or criminally reckless manner,
i.e., “the defendant must have known that the
plaintiff ‘was at serious risk of being harmed [and]
decided not to do anything to prevent that harm from
occurring even though he could have easily done
so.'” Board v. Freeman, ...