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Davis v. Griffin

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

August 26, 2019

DONALD DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
KATHY GRIFFIN, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBERT L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE

         Donald Davis, a prisoner without a lawyer, proceeds on an Eighth Amendment claim against Counselor Schulz and Officer Kennell for failing to protect him against an attack by his cellmate on June 5, 2017, and on an Eighth Amendment claim against Dr. Marandet and Nurse Practitioner Myers for providing inadequate care for the injuries he suffered as a result of the attack. The defendants filed these motions for summary judgment, arguing that Mr. Davis hasn't demonstrated that Counselor Schulz and Officer Kennell knew that the cellmate presented a substantial risk to his safety and that Dr. Marandet and Nurse Practitioner Myers provided adequate medical care to Mr. Davis.

         FACTS

         Mr. Davis was assigned to a cell with Randall Izquierdo in December 2, 2018. Mr. Davis and Mr. Izquierdo didn't get along; they disagreed often about bed assignments, use of the television, and visitors. Mr. Izquierdo also tried to intimidate Mr. Davis by staring at Mr. Davis as he slept, complaining about Mr. Davis's race, and becoming upset if he heard Mr. Davis urinate in the cell toilet. On December 7, Mr. Davis wrote to Counselor Schulz, stating, “I am having problems with my roommate. Things are not working out with us. I now request to be moved into some other cell.” Counselor Schulz told Mr. Davis the next day that he couldn't be moved for ninety days and that Mr. Davis had to find a new cellmate on his own. Mr. Davis last spoke with Counselor Schulz about his cellmate in January 2017.

         On the morning of June 5, 2017, when the cellhouse was on lockdown, Mr. Izquierdo stuffed newspaper into the toilet and flooded the cell. For hours, he paced the cell and yelled through the door and on the intercom. When Mr. Davis heard staff outside the cell, he yelled through the door for the unit team to come to the room because there was a problem. He yelled that his cellmate was acting out and that he needed to be moved.

         At his deposition, Mr. Davis testified about the assault as follows:

Defense Counsel: Can you tell me generally how long the altercation lasted?
Mr. Davis: I don't know. Like I say, I was writing a letter. After he flooded the room our, he was standing at the front of the door. He mumbled something. I seen him taking his genitals out. I raised up because I was sitting up in the bed with my legs propped, and I was writing a letter. When he took his genitals out, I raised up. And I had just turned on the hotpot then. I said, well, I'm up. I'm going to make some coffee.
So I turned it on. I mixed everything for the coffee. I could see him from my peripheral view standing at the door. He started coming my way, urinating on the floor. But then he didn't get to me, so I moved to the back. And then I put my feet over the side and I raised up. So then he jumped up on the bunk. He jumped back down. He hit the buzzer. I heard the man say, “What?” He started cussing the officer out. And then he's doing all this, and I'm still writing.
So I heard him say, you MF, mother fuckers are pissing me off. And then I seen him reach and grab the hotpot. I knew then I was in trouble. That's when I knew I was in trouble, when he grabbed it.

         Officer Kennell arrived with another officer and ordered the inmates to separate. Mr. Davis was escorted to the restricted housing unit and was redirected to the infirmary.

         Mr. Davis also testified about the threat posed by Mr. Izquierdo before the attack:

Defense Counsel: Can you tell me when the first time he threatened physical ...

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