The opinion of the court was delivered by: MALACHY MANNION, Magistrate Judge
Pending before the court is a motion for summary judgment on
Count II of the plaintiff's amended complaint filed on behalf of
defendants Castaldi, Hennigan, Mulvey, VanLuvender, and Varcoe,
(collectively referred to as "State Police Defendants"), (Doc.
No. 48). Based upon the court's review of the record in this
action, the motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of the
State Police Defendants will be granted.
The plaintiff initiated the instant civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on February 9, 2004, in which he
named only the State Police Defendants. (Doc. No. 1). By order
dated October 6, 2004, the plaintiff was permitted to file an amended complaint adding defendants Tafton
Fire Company, Inc. and Carrick.*fn1 (Doc. Nos. 16 & 17). On
October 21, 2004, the State Police Defendants filed an answer to
the plaintiff's amended complaint. (Doc. No. 18).
On May 16, 2005, the State Police Defendants filed the instant
motion for summary judgment on Count II of the plaintiff's
amended complaint. (Doc. No. 48). A statement of material facts,
(Doc. No. 55), a supporting brief, (Doc. No. 56), and supporting
exhibits, (Doc. No. 57), were filed by the State Police
Defendants on May 27, 2005. The plaintiff filed a brief in
opposition to the State Police Defendants' motion for summary
judgment on June 14, 2005. (Doc. No. 59). In addition, the
plaintiff filed a counter statement of facts, (Doc. No. 60), and
supporting exhibits, (Doc. No. 61). On June 27, 2005, the State
Police Defendants filed a reply brief. (Doc. No. 62).
II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Summary judgment is appropriate if the "pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
The Supreme Court has stated that:
". . . [T]he plain language of Rule 56©) mandates the
entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for
discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's
case, and on which that party will bear the burden of
proof at trial. In such a situation, there can be `no
genuine issue as to any material fact,' since a
complete failure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily
renders all other facts immaterial. The moving party
is `entitled to judgment as a matter of law' because
the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient
showing on an essential element of her case with
respect to which she has the burden of proof."
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317
, 323-24 (1986).
The moving party bears the initial responsibility of stating
the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the
record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact. Id. The moving party can discharge that burden
by "showing . . . that there is an absence of evidence to support
the nonmoving party's case." Id. at 325.
Issues of fact are genuine "only if a reasonably jury,
considering the evidence presented, could find for the nonmoving
party." Childers v. Joseph, 842 F.2d 689, 693-94 (3d Cir. 1988)
(citations omitted). Material facts are those which will effect
the outcome of the trial under governing law. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The court may not
weigh the evidence or make credibility determinations. Boyle v. County of
Allegheny, 139 F.3d 386, 393 (3d Cir. 1998). In determining
whether an issue of material fact exists, the court must consider
all evidence and inferences drawn therefrom in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Id. at 393.
If the moving party meets his initial burden, the opposing
party must do more than raise some metaphysical doubt as to
material facts, but must show sufficient evidence to support a
jury verdict in its favor. Id.
In support of their motion for summary judgment on Count II of
the plaintiff's amended complaint, the State Police Defendants
have submitted a statement of material facts*fn2 supported
by various exhibits, which establish that on August 25, 2003,
defendants VanLuvender and Castaldi were dispatched to
investigate an incident at the Tanglewood Development. (Doc. No.
55, ¶ 5; Doc. No. 57, Ex. C, pp. 8-9, Ex. D, pp. 9-10). This
incident involved fellow State Police Defendants Hennigan,
Mulvey, and Varcoe. (Doc. No. 55, ¶ 6; Doc. No. 57, Ex. C, p. 10,
Ex. D, p. 10).
Defendant VanLuvender testified at her deposition that she was
told "that a man had become combative, they [State Police
Defendants Hennigan, Mulvey, and Varcoe] ended up taking him to the ground at some
point during the situation and he sustained several broken
bones." (Doc. No. 55, ¶ 7; Doc. No. 57, Ex. D, pp. 10-11).
Defendant Castaldi similarly testified at his deposition that he
was told that "Troopers Hennigan, Mulvey, and Varcoe were
involved in an incident at Tanglewood with Tafton ambulance ...