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Kipp v. Metz

United States District Court, Third Circuit

May 23, 2013

DAVID KIPP, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER ARII L. METZ individually and CORRECTIONS OFFICER MARCIA L. WILLIAMS individually, Defendants.

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

TERRENCE F. McVERRY, District Judge.

This case arose out of an incident at the Allegheny County Jail on October 12-13, 2010 in which Plaintiff David Kipp ("Kipp"), while held as a pretrial detainee, was physically assaulted by a corrections officer. The sole remaining issues in the case involve the damages incurred by Kipp and the amount of default judgment to be awarded against Defendant corrections officers Arii L. Metz ("Metz") and Marcia L. Williams ("Williams").

Procedural History

Kipp filed the original Complaint in this case on December 7, 2011 and filed an Amended Complaint on February 17, 2012 against numerous Defendants. In a Memorandum Opinion and Order dated April 27, 2012, the Court held that the Amended Complaint failed to plead any plausible claims against Defendants Allegheny County, the Bureau of Corrections or Warden Rustin and dismissed each of them as parties. On May 22, 2012, the Clerk of Court entered default against Metz and Williams pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). On March 22, 2013, the Court granted a Stipulation of Dismissal as to Defendants Allegheny Correctional Health Services, Inc., Corrections Officer Timothy Miller, and Dana Phillips. The confidential settlement agreements entered into between Kipp and these Defendants have been provided to the Court by Kipp. The only two Defendants remaining in the case are Metz and Williams.

On April 16, 2013, the Court conducted a hearing on Plaintiff's damages. Defendants Metz and Williams received notice of the hearing. Defendant Metz was present in the courtroom throughout the hearing and was given an opportunity to testify and/or present evidence, which he declined. Williams did not attend the hearing.

In accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 52 and Fed.R.Civ.P. 55, the Court hereby makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law based on the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing and applicable law:

Findings of Fact

1. Kipp testified as to the damages he suffered during the incident on October 12-13, 2010 and submitted photographs and medical records.
2. When Kipp was arrested and taken to the Allegheny County Jail on the night of October 12th, the intake nurse determined that he posed a potential threat to himself. Therefore, Kipp was clothed in a suicide (prevention) garment and placed into an isolated cell.
3. Kipp repeatedly used the intercom/call button in the cell to request a phone call, an attorney, his clothes and his medication for his schizo-affective bipolar disorder.
4. Metz, who was on duty at the jail, became frustrated and threatened to strike Kipp in the face each time he continued to press the call button.
5. Metz later came into Kipp's cell and struck him in the face a handful of times and called him a "fairy."
6. Kipp was then transferred to a different cell, where he received additional physical blows from Metz. ...

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