United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT, DISMISSING ACTION,
AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Patrick Hanlon United States District Judge.
Devon Sterling, an inmate at Pendleton Correctional Facility,
filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging that the
defendants subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment by
housing him in the same unit as an inmate who had previously
attacked him. The Court screened and dismissed Mr.
Sterling's original complaint but allowed him an
opportunity to amend. Dkt. 9. Mr. Sterling has filed an
amended complaint. The clerk is directed to re-docket Mr.
Sterling's amended complaint, dkt. [11-1], as the Amended
Complaint. It is now the operative complaint in this action
and is subject to screening.
Court must dismiss the amended complaint if it is frivolous
or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). In determining whether the
amended complaint states a claim, the Court applies the same
standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Cesal v.
Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2017).
amended complaint names three defendants: (1) Aaron Long, (2)
Warden Dushan Zatecky, and (3) Chairman of Classification.
Sterling alleges that he was stabbed by another inmate on
October 19, 2017. The amended complaint does not name the
other inmate, but attachments and publicly available records
reveal that his name was Ezekiel Jones. In February 2018, the
defendants placed Mr. Sterling and Mr. Jones in the same
to Mr. Sterling, Mr. Jones attacked him again on July 11,
2018. Mr. Sterling does not allege that he suffered any
injuries from this attack, but the amended complaint alleges
that the attack “resulted in ‘irreparable
harm,' (Death).” Dkt. 11-1 at 5. The Indiana
Department of Correction website reveals that Mr. Jones died
on July 11, 2018.
Sterling alleges that the defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his safety when they allowed him to be housed
with Mr. Jones following the October 2017 attack. He seeks
the Eighth Amendment, prison officials have a duty “to
‘protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other
prisoners.'” Santiago v. Wells, 599 F.3d
749, 758 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 833 (1994)). But a constitutional tort, like
any other tort, requires a showing that the defendant's
actions caused the plaintiff's injury. Flint v. City
of Belvidere, 791 F.3d 764, 770 (7th Cir. 2015).
Sterling alleges that he suffered injuries in the October
2017 attack. Dkt. 11-1 at 3-4 (“[T]his petitioner
sustained injuries on October 19th, 2017, including
abrasions, stab wounds, and bruising to the face and body
areas.”). But he does not allege that the defendants
caused those injuries. Mr. Sterling does not allege any
injury that he suffered in the July 11, 2018, attack, though
his filings suggest that Mr. Jones sustained fatal injuries
Mr. Sterling fails to allege that the defendants' actions
caused him any injury, his Eighth Amendment claims are
DISMISSED for failure to ...