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Fleming v. Daryman

August 4, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James M. Munley United States District Court

(Magistrate Judge Smyser)


(Judge Munley)

Before the court are the defendants' objections (Doc. 31) to the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser (Doc. 30). Magistrate Judge Smyser proposes that we deny the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 19) and list the case for trial. Having been briefed, this matter is ripe for disposition.


The events that gave rise to Plaintiff Fleming's claim took place in April 2007 at York County Prison where he was incarcerated. (Complaint (Doc. 1) at ¶ 1)(hereinafter "Complt."). The plaintiff was housed in the medical department of the prison after entering with a gunshot wound, a bullet still lodged in his calf, a broken right femur, and a rod with screws in his leg. (Id. at ¶¶ 1-3).

On April 29, 2007, while in the medical courtyard, the plaintiff was allegedly approached by another inmate, who asked him why he told Defendants Carroll and Smith that he was going to hit that inmate in his colostomy bag. (Id. at ¶¶ 5-6). Although the plaintiff told the other inmate that Defendants Carroll and Smith were lying and trying to start a fight, the inmate hit the plaintiff on the top of the head, causing the plaintiff to lose grip of his crutches and fall to the ground in pain. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-7). The plaintiff alleges that he was then handcuffed by Defendant Daryman, who told the plaintiff that he would be made to appear as the aggressor. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8). The plaintiff was then placed on suicide watch for over twenty-four hours with no medical assistance to attend to his aggravated injuries. (Id.)

Subsequently, Defendants Carroll and Smith moved the plaintiff by wheelchair into a small room across from the medical department, where they allegedly began smacking the plaintiff and pulling on his right ear, while demanding that the he keep his mouth closed about the day's events. (Id. at ¶ 10). Upon the arrival of Defendant Daryman, the plaintiff alleges he was moved to the Behavior Adjustment Unit ("BAU") for thirty days after being given a false misconduct for assaulting the other inmate. (Id. at ¶ 4). In the BAU, Plaintiff Fleming was allegedly stripped of his clothing by Defendants Carroll and Smith, pushed face down into the flooring, and called a "pussy." (Id. ¶¶ at 12-13). That same day, the plaintiff filed a grievance against the defendants using the prison administrative system. (Id. at ¶ 9).

The plaintiff also alleges that from April 29, 2007 to May 13, 2007, he had to shower in the BAU with no handicap accessible equipment to accommodate his leg injuries, although a medical note was later issued to the plaintiff, providing him with a shower chair. (Id. at ¶ 14). Moreover, the plaintiff puts forth that on May 27, 2007, he fell face first in the shower and was rendered unconscious, but received poor treatment in the medical department. (Id. at ¶ 15).

Plaintiff Fleming filed this complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.§ 1983 ("Section 1983") alleging constitutional violations on June 7, 2007. (Id.) Magistrate Judge Smyser issued a report and recommendation on September 5, 2007 recommending that the warden and four members of the prison medical staff be dismissed from this action. (Doc. 11). We subsequently adopted that report and recommendation in an order dated May 13, 2008. (Doc. 17). On December 16, 2008, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment to which Magistrate Judge Smyser issued his report and recommendation on April 20, 2008. Subsequently, the defendants filed objections, bringing the case to its present posture.


Because this case is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.").


In disposing of objections to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district court must make a de novo determination of those portions of the report to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1)(C); see also Henderson v. Carlson, 812 F.2d 874, 877 (3d Cir. 1987). This court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. The district court ...

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