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FAULCON v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA

September 1, 1998

TERRELL FAULCON, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, ET. AL., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOYNER

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 JOYNER, J.

 SEPTEMBER 1, 1998

 Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Plaintiff's response thereto. Plaintiff's amended complaint sets forth claims variously against the City of Philadelphia, Warden Harry Moore, Lieutenant B. MacDonald, Sergeant Manilla Stidham, Correctional Officer Walter Becoate, and Correctional Officer Ellen Sanford (collectively "Defendants") for failure to protect and provide a safe environment, failure to supervise, failure to train, and other state law claims. *fn1" Defendants seek summary judgment on all counts of Plaintiff's complaint. For the following reasons, the Motion is Granted as to the federal claims and the state law claims shall be dismissed without prejudice.

 BACKGROUND

 On July 10, 1995, Plaintiff, Terrell Faulcon ("Faulcon" or "Plaintiff"), was incarcerated in Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center ("P.I.C.C.") awaiting trial for homicide charges when he was attacked by John Wayne ("Wayne") who was incarcerated in P.I.C.C. having just been sentenced to death after a murder conviction. Plaintiff and Wayne were both housed in the same cell block and shared the same dayroom with the other inmates in their cell block. Wayne, allegedly in an unprovoked attack, stabbed Plaintiff three times in the back and neck while Plaintiff was using the telephone in the cell block's dayroom. A struggle ensued where Plaintiff attempted to prevent Wayne from stabbing him further. The correctional officers assigned to the unit called the floor response team who responded to break up the fight.

 Plaintiff was treated for stab wounds first by P.I.C.C.'s staff and then transported to the Detention Center, where his wounds were thoroughly cleaned and treated. Plaintiff seeks relief claiming that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to the substantial risk of harm presented by housing pretrial detainees with convicted and sentenced murderers.

 DISCUSSION

 I. Summary Judgment Standard

 Summary judgment is appropriate where the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, reveal no genuine issue of material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Our responsibility is not to resolve disputed issues of fact, but to determine whether there exist any factual issues to be tried. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-49, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). The presence of "a mere scintilla of evidence" in the nonmovant's favor will not avoid summary judgment. Williams v. Borough of West Chester, 891 F.2d 458, 460 (3d Cir. 1989)(citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249). Rather, we will grant summary judgment unless "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

 In making this determination, all of the facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party. Id. at 256. Once the moving party has met the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the non-moving party must establish the existence of each element of its case. J.F. Feeser, Inc. v. Serv-A-Portion, Inc., 909 F.2d 1524, 1531 (3d Cir. 1990)(citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986)).

 II. Deliberate Indifference to Substantial Risk of Harm: Failure to Protect

 The Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to take reasonable measures to protect the safety of inmates. In order to obtain relief under the Eighth Amendment a plaintiff must show that the prison officials demonstrated a deliberate indifference to an inmate's health and safety. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S. Ct. 1970, 1977, 128 L. Ed. 2d 811 (1994). The Court in Farmer defined "deliberate indifference" to mean that a prison official must "both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the inference." Id. at 837, 114 S. Ct. at 1979.

 Since Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee, the Eighth Amendment is not applicable. Instead, Plaintiff must seek relief under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, courts have determined that the rights afforded pretrial detainees under the due process clause are at least as great as those afforded by the Eighth Amendment. See Simmons v. City of Philadelphia, 947 F.2d 1042, 1067 (3d Cir. 1991). Therefore, courts analyzing cases by ...


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