rights by failing to protect him against an attack by a fellow
prisoner. Defendants have moved to dismiss based on failure to
exhaust administrative remedies, failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, and qualified immunity. Because
plaintiff has failed to exhaust administrative remedies, as
mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), I will grant defendants'
motion to dismiss.
When ruling on a motion to dismiss, I take the facts
presented in plaintiff's complaint as true, Hishon v. King &
Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 104 S.Ct. 2229, 81 L.Ed.2d 59
(1984), and draw all inferences in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff. Rocks v. Philadelphia, 868 F.2d 644, 645 (3d
Cir. 1989). On February 18, 1998, Hanson was playing dominoes
in the inmate activity area in C-Building at the Frackville
facility. The defendants were the COs on duty at the time. An
inmate named Medina approached Hanson from behind, and without
warning, slashed Hanson across the left side of the neck with a
razor. After a struggle, during which Hanson was slashed again,
Hanson managed to pin Medina on the floor. This part of the
struggle took approximately five minutes. When the defendants
arrived, they verbally ordered both of the inmates to stop.
Hanson responded by letting Medina's hand go free, and Medina
slashed Hanson again. Hanson re-pinned Medina's hand on the
floor. One of the defendants shouted another order to stop.
Hanson complied and relaxed his grip, and Medina slashed him
yet again. The defendants then physically intervened,
restrained Medina and knocked the razor from his hand. Both
prisoners were then handcuffed. After two and one-half minutes,
Hanson was taken to the control station, where he was
questioned for five minutes before being taken to the medical
department. As a result of his injuries, Hanson received
sixty-eight stitches. A misconduct report was issued against
both prisoners. Hanson was charged with fighting and refusing
to obey an order. The latter charge was dismissed, however, and
Hanson was given thirty days for fighting. He was also removed
from the job he had held in the prison kitchen.
Hanson claims that the defendant COs failed to follow proper
procedure in monitoring the inmate activity area, because both
were stationed at the front desk, rather than having one of the
COs walking the periphery of the activity area to watch over
the inmates. He claims that if the COs had been following
proper procedure, Medina would not have attacked him. He also
claims that the defendants should have immediately intervened
physically, rather than verbally ordering the prisoners to stop
fighting, and that he was slashed twice as a result of the
defendants' failure to intervene. Hanson requests damages
— in the form of lost wages following his removal from his
kitchen job and punitive damages; and injunctive relief — in
the form of "cosmetic surgery at the cost of the facility
during the plaintiff [sic] confinement there"*fn2 and an order
transferring him from SCI-Frackville.
II. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
In the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"),*fn3 Congress
mandated that prisoners exhaust administrative remedies before
bringing suit in federal court over prison conditions.
No action shall be brought with respect to prison
conditions under section 1983 of this title or any
other Federal law, by
a prisoner confined in any jail, prison or other
correctional facility until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted.
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). In this case, plaintiff does not contend
that he has exhausted administrative remedies.