United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
STEVEN W. PRITT, Plaintiff,
ERIC MCCREARY, et al. Defendants.
ORDER DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART MOTION FOR
PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Steven Pritt, an Indiana inmate, brought this lawsuit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that when he was
confined at the Marion County Jail, he was subjected to
assault by another inmate, endured unconstitutional
conditions of confinement, and denied medical care.
Specifically, Mr. Pritt alleges that Deputy Eric McCreary
provoked another inmate to fling urine and feces on him. He
also alleges that the urine and feces caused an infestation
of cockroaches in his cell. He asked for medical attention
and a shower, but did not receive either. He sues Deputy
McCreary, Sergeant Mullins, and Sergeant Gephart of the
Marion County Jail. His claims are: (1) the defendants failed
to protect him from harm in violation of his Eighth Amendment
rights when Deputy McCreary prompted the other inmate to
assault him with bodily waste; (2) all defendants exhibited
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs when
they did not allow him a shower or medical attention; and (3)
the conditions of his confinement were unconstitutional.
defendants seek partial summary judgment on these claims.
First, they argue that Mr. Pritt's Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference to medical care claim must fail
because Mr. Pritt cannot show that the defendants were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. They
further argue that Mr. Pritt cannot show that defendants
Mullins and Gephart failed to protect him from harm because
he does not allege that they were present on the day of the
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate where there are no genuine disputes
of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). A court must grant
a motion for summary judgment if it appears that no
reasonable trier of fact could find in favor of the nonmovant
based on the designated admissible evidence. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). It
cannot weigh evidence or make credibility determinations on
summary judgment because those tasks are left to the
fact-finder. Miller v. Gonzalez, 761 F.3d 822, 827
(7th Cir. 2014). 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. Skiba v. Illinois
Cent. R.R. Co., 884 F.3d 708, 717 (7th Cir. 2018).
Statement of Facts
following statement of facts has been evaluated based on the
standard set forth above. That is, the statement of facts is
not necessarily objectively true, but the undisputed facts
and the disputed evidence are presented in the light most
favorable to Mr. Pritt as the non-moving party.
July 9, through July 22, 2016, Mr. Pritt was housed at the
Marion County Jail as he awaited a hearing for his Petition
for Post-Conviction Relief. Dkt. 79-1, p. 21. Around July 14
or 15, 2016, Mr. Pritt requested to be moved to suicide watch
and was placed in a cell next to Ramsey Brewer. Id.,
p. 8. On or around July 16, 2016, Deputy Eric McCreary was
passing out food trays. Id., p. 14. Deputy McCreary
gave Mr. Pritt a tray that looked like it had blood on it.
Id., pp. 14-15. 5. Mr. Pritt returned the tray to
Deputy McCreary because of the apparent blood. Id.,
p. 15. Deputy McCreary then showed the tray to Mr. Brewer and
asked him how he got his blood on Mr. Pritt's food tray.
Id. Mr. Brewer then took a cup and scooped urine and
feces out of his toilet, reached outside of his cell, and
flung it on Mr. Pritt. Id. Mr. Brewer flung urine or
feces three or four times at Mr. Pritt. Id. Mr.
Pritt asked Deputy McCreary for a shower and medical
attention, but he did not get a shower and medical attention.
Id., p. 16. Mr. Pritt's cell then became
infested with cockroaches. Id. p. 17. The
cockroaches bit or gnawed on Mr. Pritt. Id. The next
day, Mr. Pritt told medical personnel that he needed medical
attention. Id., p. 16. Nurses make rounds through
the suicide watch block two to three times per day to pass
out medications. Id., p. 25. The nurses saw that Mr.
Pritt had “infected cockroach bites” but did not
do anything about them. Id., p. 18. A mental health
professional makes rounds through the suicide block at least
once per day. Id., p. 22. Between July 16 and 22,
Mr. Pritt told these medical professionals that he needed a
shower and medical attention, however they did not honor his
requests. Id., p. 16. Mr. Pritt asked Deputy
McCreary for medical assistance and asked for medical request
forms. Dkt. 79-2, ¶ 7.
20, 2016, Sgt. Gephart, and Sgt. Mullins entered the suicide
block and Mr. Pritt told them he needed a shower and medical
attention. Dkt. 79-2, ¶ 9. He was told to fill out a
medical request, but they did not provide him with the form
to do so. Dkt. 79-2, ¶ 9-10. Sgt. Gephart and Sgt.
Mullins were not present at the alleged July 16, 2016
incident. See dkt. 79-2, ¶¶ 1-8. On or
about July 22, 2016, Mr. Pritt was taken back to New Castle
Correctional Facility. Dkt. 79-1, p. 43. The cockroach bites
were the size of pencil lead, raw in the center, raised up
and red around the edges. Id., p. 41. Mr. Pritt has
not been tested for infection. Id., p. 51. Mr. Pritt
has no remaining visible physical marks from the cockroach
bites. Id., p. 41.
defendants move for partial summary judgment arguing that
they were not deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
needs and that defendants Sgt. Gephart and Sgt. Mullins were
not present on the day that Mr. Brewer assaulted Mr. Pritt.
defendants argue that they are entitled to summary judgment
on Mr. Pritt's claims that they were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs.
times relevant to Mr. Pritt's claims, 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.”). To establish an
Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to serious
medical needs, “the plaintiff must prove that he
suffered from ‘(1) an objectively serious medical