United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56
by Defendants Indiana Department of Correction
(“IDOC”), Plainfield Correctional Facility
(“PCF”), Superintendent Stan Knight
(“Superintendent Knight”), and Correctional
Officer Crowe (“Officer Crowe”) (collectively,
“Defendants”) (Filing No. 62). While an
inmate at PCF, Plaintiff Norman Gambrel
(“Gambrel”) was violently attacked by a fellow
inmate and injured as a result of the attack. Gambrel filed
this action against the Defendants as well as Correctional
Officer John Doe 1-10 for violating his Eighth Amendment
rights by failing to protect him, failing to properly train
officers, failing to properly assign officers, and having a
deliberate indifference toward his safety. Gambrel also
asserted related state law tort claims. The Defendants filed
their Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, asserting various
arguments that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of
law on Gambrel's federal claims. For the following
reasons, the Court grants the
Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but as
required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, the facts are
presented in the light most favorable to Gambrel as the
non-moving party. See Zerante v. DeLuca, 555 F.3d
582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).
an Indiana governmental agency, and PCF is a medium-security
IDOC correctional facility located in Plainfield, Indiana
(Filing No. 1 at 3). Superintendent Knight operates,
manages, directs, and controls PCF. Id. at 2.
Officer Crowe is employed by IDOC as a correctional officer
at PCF. Id. Gambrel was incarcerated as an inmate at
PCF on February 20, 2015, the date of the assault.
Id. at 2-3.
worked in the PEN Products area at PCF and had been employed
there for approximately three months prior to the assault.
The PEN Products area is a distribution warehouse from which
all IDOC facilities get their commissary. Gambrel's job
in the PEN Products area was to work as a “picker,
” which consisted of filling individual commissary
orders by taking an order form, filling a box with the items
listed on the order form (such as candy bars, chips, soup),
and placing the box and the order form on a conveyor belt. He
would then take another order form and box and repeat the
steps for that order. His shift was from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30
p.m., Monday through Friday (Filing No. 63-1 at
was familiar with his assailant, Raymond Kestner
(“Kestner”), prior to the assault. They lived in
the same dorm. Kestner approached Gambrel and accused him of
being a tattletale or snitch. Gambrel told a correctional
officer-he believes it was Officer Crowe-that he needed to
move to a different dorm because he feared Kestner was going
to beat him up. Gambrel was immediately moved to another
dorm. Prior to the assault, Gambrel did not have any other
run-ins with Kestner or even see Kestner again after being
moved into another dorm. Gambrel began working in the PEN
Products area approximately one month after being moved to
another dorm and away from Kestner. Id. at 17-20.
had been working in the PEN Products area for approximately
three months prior to the assault. On the morning of the
assault, he woke up around 5:00 a.m., ate breakfast, and then
went to work. This was his normal routine for the previous
three months, and there was nothing unusual about how his
morning started. Id. at 12, 16-17.
did not know that Kestner had started working in the PEN
Products area until he saw Kestner on the day of the assault.
He had not seen Kestner since he had been moved out of the
dorm nor had he talked to Kestner. Around 8:30 a.m., as
Gambrel was filling orders, Kestner approached him, spit on
him, and continued walking by. At some point, Kestner also
kicked the box that Gambrel was working on filling. Gambrel
left his work station to get a napkin and wipe the spit off.
He also told a correctional Officer Yousefi what had just
happened and stated that Officer Yousefi needed to keep an
eye on them. Id. at 17, 21-24, 26; Filing No.
68-1 at 2.
returned to the picking line and continued working.
(Filing No. 63-1 at 25). Officer Yousefi informed
Officer Crowe-who was the senior officer on duty and in
charge of the PEN Products picking area-that Gambrel was
being threatened by Kestner. Officer Crowe asked Officer
Yousefi to identify who was the threatening offender and who
was the victim, which Officer Yousefi did. Officer Crowe
directed Officer Yousefi to remove Kestner from the area and
into the hallway. Officer Crowe remained in the picking area,
standing by the door. Officer Yousefi began escorting Kestner
toward the door to the hallway. He was not touching or
physically restraining Kestner because he had not observed
anything that would require him to restrain Kestner, and
Officer Crowe told him that he would remove Gambrel from the
picking area. Yet, Officer Crowe did not remove Gambrel from
the area. Instead, as Officer Yousefi and Kestner were
approaching the door, Gambrel finished filling a box and was
about to start working on a new order form, when he found
himself in the direct path of Kestner and Officer Yousefi
(Filing No. 68-1 at 2-3). Kestner came up behind
Gambrel and punched him four or five times in the jaw
(Filing No. 63-1 at 25). After Kestner began
attacking Gambrel, Officer Yousefi intervened and restrained
Kestner. Officer Yousefi noticed that Officer Crowe stood by
without intervening (Filing No. 68-1 at 3). As a
result of the attack, Gambrel suffered multiple fractures of
facial bones, including broken top and bottom jaws, a
shattered sinus cavity, and a broken eye socket. He was
placed in medical segregation following the assault
(Filing No. 68-2 at 1-2).
has never met or spoken to Superintendent Knight.
Superintendent Knight had no personal involvement in the
events of February 20, 2015 (Filing No. 63-1 at
35-37). Gambrel is no longer incarcerated at PCF, having
been released to parole. Id. at 33.
February 16, 2017, Gambrel filed a Complaint against IDOC,
PCF, Superintendent Knight, Officer Crowe, and Correctional
Officer John Doe 1-10 (Filing No. 1). In his
Complaint, Gambrel asserts Count I against Officer Crowe and
Correctional Officer John Doe 1-10 for deliberate
indifference under the Eighth Amendment pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1983, 1985. Count II is brought against IDOC,
PCF, and Superintendent Knight for their failure to train.
Count III is brought against IDOC, PCF, and Superintendent
Knight for their failure to properly assign staff. Count IV
is brought against all Defendants for conspiracy to violate
constitutional rights afforded by the Eighth Amendment.
Counts V and VI are brought against Officer Crowe and
Correctional Officer John Doe 1-10 under Indiana tort law for
negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Id. at 4-10. The Defendants filed their Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment, asserting that they are entitled to
judgment as a matter of law on Gambrel's federal claims,
and the Court should decline to exercise its supplemental
jurisdiction over Gambrel's pendant state law claims and
dismiss those claims without prejudice.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
purpose of summary judgment is to “pierce the pleadings
and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a
genuine need for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that summary
judgment is appropriate if “the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487,
489-90 (7th Cir. 2007). In ruling on a motion for summary
judgment, the court reviews “the record in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party and draw[s] all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor.”
Zerante, 555 F.3d at 584 (citation omitted).
“However, inferences that are supported by only
speculation or conjecture will not defeat a summary judgment
motion.” Dorsey v. Morgan Stanley, 507 F.3d
624, 627 (7th Cir. 2007) (citation and quotation marks
omitted). Additionally, “[a] party who bears the burden
of proof on a particular issue may not rest on its pleadings,
but must affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual
allegations, that there is a genuine issue of material fact
that requires trial.” Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at
490 (citation omitted). “The opposing party cannot meet
this burden with conclusory statements or speculation but
only with appropriate citations to relevant admissible
evidence.” Sink v. Knox County Hosp., 900
F.Supp. 1065, 1072 (S.D. Ind. 1995) (citations omitted).
much the same way that a court is not required to scour the
record in search of evidence to defeat a motion for summary
judgment, nor is it permitted to conduct a paper trial on the
merits of [the] claim.” Ritchie v. Glidden
Co., 242 F.3d 713, 723 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations and
quotation marks omitted). “[N]either the mere existence
of some alleged factual dispute between the parties nor the
existence of some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts
is sufficient to defeat a motion ...