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Bowman v. Mazur

June 3, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Kim R. Gibson

Chief Magistrate Judge Amy Reynolds Hay

Re: Dkt. [36]



It is respectfully recommended that the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, Dkt. [36] be granted.


Shannon Boyd ("Plaintiff") was convicted in federal court in August 1994 of being a leader of an organization that sold crack cocaine. Consequently, he was sentenced to serve 299 months of incarceration in a federal prison. While serving this sentence, Plaintiff came to be in FCI-Loretto. While there, Plaintiff engaged in a fist fight with another inmate which resulted in Plaintiff being housed in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU"). On December 21, 2006, Plaintiff was moved to a different cell in the SHU, and he was issued a top bunk in that cell.

As a result of his diabetes, Plaintiff experienced a hypoglycemic event on January 2, 2007, wherein he experienced symptoms of shaking while he was in his top bunk. Plaintiff's cellmate called for help and Defendant Mazur brought food to the cell to redress Plaintiff's low blood sugar. However, when Plaintiff attempted to alight from the top bunk in order to get the food, he fell off the bunk and allegedly injured himself.

Plaintiff then initiated this civil rights action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) against three defendants. Dkt. [3]. The first defendant is Mazur, the "Number One [Correctional] Officer" in the SHU. Dkt. [3] at 2, ¶ 8. The second Defendant is Daniel Leonard, the clinical director at FCI-Loretto. The third defendant is J. Yost, the warden of FCI-Loretto. Plaintiff alleges that these three Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights against deliberate indifference because he was medically entitled to have a bottom bunk and told them of his need for a bottom bunk but they ignored his requests. Because there is no evidence to support the subjective prong of an Eighth Amendment claim, given that Plaintiff failed to show that the Defendants knew he was entitled to have a bottom bunk, the Defendants' summary judgment should be granted.

Standard of Review

Summary judgment may be granted against a party who fails to adduce facts sufficient to establish the existence of any element essential to that party's case, and for which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986). The moving party bears the initial burden to show or point out why there is no genuine issue of material fact. Walters ex rel. Walters v. General Motors Corp., 209 F.Supp.2d 481, 484 (W.D. Pa. 2002). Once that burden has been met, the burden shifts to the non-moving party who must set forth "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial..." or the factual record will be taken as presented by the moving party and judgment will be entered as a matter of law. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

An issue is genuine only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). "Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a reasonable trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial." Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587. The inquiry involves determining whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law. Brown v. Grabowski, 922 F.2d 1097, 1111 (3d Cir. 1990). If a court, having reviewed the evidence with this standard in mind, concludes that "the evidence is merely colorable... or is not significantly probative," then summary judgment may be granted. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50.

Moreover, it is not enough for the non-movant to show that there is some dispute as to some facts. Rather, the "substantive law governing the dispute will determine which facts are material, and only disputes over those facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." DeHart v. Horn, 390 F.3d 262, 267 (3d Cir. 2004)(internal quotations omitted).

In reviewing the summary judgment evidence, the Court has no duty to search the record for triable issues; rather, it need rely only on those portions of the evidentiary record to which the nonmoving party directs its attention. Guarino v. Brookfield Township Trustees, 980 F.2d 399, 404 (6th Cir. 1992); Northwestern National Insurance Company v. Baltes, 15 F.3d 660, 662-63 (7th Cir.1994)("judges are not archaeologists. They need not excavate masses of papers in search of revealing ...

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