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Johnson v. Beard

United States District Court, Third Circuit

November 26, 2013

TIMOTHY R. JOHNSON, Plaintiff.
v.
JEFFREY BEARD, ET AL., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

RICHARD P. CONABOY, District Judge.

Procedural History

This pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 was initiated by Timothy R. Johnson during his prior confinement at the State Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania (SCI-Huntingdon).[1] A n Amended Complaint was filed by Johnson on February 22, 2010. See Doc. 46.

By Order dated July 22, 2010, Inmate Daniel Manchas, III was granted leave to be joined as a Plaintiff in this matter. Manchas' request asserted that he had been subjected to the same alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement as Johnson. See Doc. 75, p. 2. Plaintiff Manchas is still confined at SCI-Huntingdon.

By Memorandum and Order dated March 15, 2011, this Court partially granted a motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint filed by the Commonwealth Defendants. See Doc. 93. Defendant Shoaf's motions to dismiss the claims of the respective Plaintiffs were granted by Memorandums and Orders dated March 22, 2011 and August 23, 2011. The August 23, 2011 Order specifically noted that Manchas' conditions of confinement claims against Defendants Lawler, Garman, Ewell, Williams, and Glorioso would proceed.

By Order dated March 8, 2012, Plaintiff's Johnson's surviving claims were dismissed for failure to prosecute. The Order noted that the surviving claims of Remaining Plaintiff Manchas would proceed.

Presently pending is the Remaining Defendants' motion seeking entry of summary judgment as to the claims raised by Manchas. See Doc. 184. Also pending are Manchas's cross summary judgment motion (Doc. 190) and his second motion requesting leave to file a second amended complaint. (Doc. 187).

Manchas' Claims

Remaining Defendants are the following SCI-Huntingdon employees: Superintendent Lawler; Unit Manager Garman; Safety Manager B. M. Ewell; Utilities Manager Curtis Williams; and Herve Glorioso of the Food Services Department.

The Amended Complaint initially claims that the SCI-Huntingdon cells are not large enough to accommodate two inmates and the prison's screening process which determines which inmates should be celled together is flawed. See Doc. 46, p. 5. In addition, the cells are described as having: poor plumbing, mold, insufficient storage space, poor ventilation, and contaminated drinking water. It is further asserted that the cells are rodent and insect infested and lack window screens as well as radiator covers.

Next, it is alleged that the SCI-Huntingdon chapel is deficient because it lacks a rest room and running water. Plaintiffs also generally contend that the prison's kitchen: is unsanitary due to insect and rodent infestation; has poor conditions in its rest room; serves outdated, non-nutritious, and freezer burned food; and kitchen workers engage in unsanitary handling of food. The Amended Complaint also claims that SCI-Huntingdon has numerous fire and safety code violations, the powerhouse gives off unhealthy emissions, and deficient medical and psychiatric treatment is provided to its inmates.

Summary Judgment

Standard of Review

Summary judgment is proper if "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); See also Saldana v. Kmart Corp. , 260 F.3d 228, 231-32 (3d Cir. 2001). A factual dispute is "material" if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the applicable law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A factual dispute is "genuine" only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis that would allow a reasonable fact-finder to return a verdict for the non-moving party. Id. at 248. The court must resolve all doubts as to the existence of a genuine issue of material fact in favor of the non-moving party. Saldana , 260 F.3d at 232; see also Reeder v. ...


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