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Lenny Short v. Curtis A. Williams

January 14, 2011

LENNY SHORT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CURTIS A. WILLIAMS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. John E. Jones III

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS:

Plaintiff Lenny Short ("Plaintiff" or "Short"), an inmate presently confined at the Huntingdon State Correctional Institution ("SCI Huntingdon") in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, initiated the above action pro se by filing a Complaint under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1.)

Short also has filed an Application requesting leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this action. (Doc. 2.) Based on his request for in forma pauperis status, the Complaint presently is before the Court for screening under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's claims against Defendant "Trojan Boiler Incorporation" will be dismissed with prejudice, and his remaining claims will be dismissed without prejudice to his ability to file an Amended Complaint as directed herein.

I. ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

In his Complaint, filed on November 30, 2010, Short alleges that he was exposed to asbestos on October 28, 2008 while he was an inmate at SCI Huntingdon. He was notified of his potential exposure to asbestos in a letter dated December 19, 2008, which is attached to his Complaint. (See Doc. 1-1 at 1.)

Short names the following Defendants in his Complaint: "Trojan Boiler Incorporation"; Curtis A. Williams, Utility Plant Supervisor; Glen Rosey, Building Maintenance Supervisor; Raymond Lawler, Superintendent; and Robert Bilger. (See id. at 1, 2-3.) He alleges that, "Trojan Boiler Incorporation['s] efforts to prevent exposure to asbestos by improper removal or other improper remedial is the sole purpose of why the procedures to prevent human and environmental contamination was not done in a professional manner." (Id. at 2.) He avers, "I find Trojan Boiler Incorporation partially responsible for causing me to be put in a hazardous environment without the knowledge of knowing the area was contaminated. No prior knowledge was obvious since there were no warning signs in place to inform employees of the present danger." (Id.)

Short alleges that Utility Plant Supervisor Williams "is held accountable due to him having prior knowledge of the fact; that the work environment was contaminated, and this information was provided to him at approximately 10:00 a.m. on October 28, 2008." (Id.) He alleges that no precautions were taken to prevent employees from being exposed to friable asbestos, and that this failure was "clearly negligence, especially since my work shift began at 10:00 p.m." (Id.) He further alleges that Williams "failed miserably by not taking the necessary procedures to prevent employees from being put in harms [sic] way."(Id.)

Short next alleges that Building Maintenance Supervisor Rosey "is held accountable for having knowledge of this incident, but not having the exposure area restricted. Instead, the exposure area was still operated as if the area was not contaminated." (Id.) He again alleges that no protective equipment was available for employees, and "[n]o proper procedures were taken to prevent employees from being exposed to friable asbestos." (Id.)

As to Superintendent Lawler, Short alleges that he "had knowledge of the incident and failed to come up with a solution to resolve the problem." (Id. at 3.) He alleges that Lawler "endangered employees['] health which can result with employees developing numerous complications by being exposed to friable asbestos." (Id.)

Although he names Robert Bilger as a Defendant, Plaintiff does not make any specific factual allegations against him in his Complaint. Bilger's signature appears on an Asbestos Exposure Data Sheet attached to the Complaint, and the Data Sheet states that samples of the materials that were discovered on October 28, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. were given to Bilger and were sent to a lab for testing. (See Doc. 1-1 at 2.)

In the section of his Complaint labeled "Statement of Claim," Plaintiff alleges that asbestos creates health problems if it is inhaled, and that he has to live in constant fear of developing a health problem because he was "not provided with the proper protective equipment to prevent this incident." (Id. at 4.) He alleges that the documents provided by the Department of Corrections employees "clearly indicate that they became aware of the potential problem at approximately 10:00 a.m. on October 28, 2008." (Id.) He further avers that no precautions were taken even when staff became aware of the hazardous environment, and that he was allowed to be "put in harms [sic] way by having me come to work at 10:00 p.m. knowing that the environment was contaminated." (Id.)

In a section of his Complaint entitled "Asbestos Facts," Plaintiff makes a series of allegations regarding the consequences of exposure to asbestos. (Id.) Plaintiff does not identify the source of these "Asbestos Facts."

As relief, Short requests declaratory judgment, money damages, an injunction, "asbestos-related products liability," and ...


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