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Brown v. Wetzel

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

October 29, 2014

LEVAR D. BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN WETZEL, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

NITZA I. QUIÑONES ALEJANDRO, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Before this Court is a motion filed by John Wetzel, Wendy Shaylor, Dorinda Varner, Michael Wenerowicz, Deputy Lane, Captain Campbell, Lt. Zedock, Lt. Terra, Unit Manager Bolton, Sgt. Davidex, and Joseph C. Korszniak (collectively, "Moving Defendants") pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Rule) 12(b)(6), which seeks to dismiss the federal civil rights claims asserted against them in the second amended complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. [ECF 26]. Levar D. Brown ("Plaintiff), acting pro se, has opposed the motion. [ECF 34]. The motion to dismiss is, therefore, ripe for disposition.

For the reasons stated herein, the motion to dismiss is granted.

BACKGROUND

On September 18, 2013, Plaintiff, acting pro se, filed a complaint against the Moving Defendants, which purports to assert claims for alleged constitutional violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. [ECF 1]. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 18, 2014, [ECF 12], and a second amended complaint on June 16, 2014, [ECF 20], to which the Moving Defendants have moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. [ECF 26].

When ruling on a motion to dismiss, this Court must accept, as true, all relevant factual allegations in the second amended complaint. These allegations can be summarized as follows:

On February 26, 2012, Plaintiff, an inmate housed in a maximum security level 5 unit at the State Correctional Institute in Graterford ("Graterford"), was assaulted by another inmate, Ronald Taylor ("Taylor"). (Sec. Amend. Comp. ¶23). According to Plaintiff, sometime prior to the assault, Defendant Officer DeCecco ("DeCecco") informed Taylor of the officer's dislike for Plaintiff due to his numerous filings of grievances. ( Id. at ¶ 26). Taylor stated that he would kill Plaintiff, and DeCecco responded that he would let Taylor out of his cell in order to "f**k Plaintiff up." ( Id. ).
DeCecco allegedly set a mop bucket and broom in the area for Taylor to use in the assault. ( Id. at ¶ 27). DeCecco motioned Defendant Officer Levengood ("Levengood") to open Taylor's cell, which Levengood did without first checking with a higher level supervisor, as required by prison policy. ( Id. at ¶¶ 29-30). According to Plaintiff, Defendant Lt. Zedock ("Zedock"), Sgt. Davidex ("Davidex"), and Unit Manager Bolton ("Bolton") were higher level supervisors, who failed to properly supervise DeCecco and Levengood, thereby permitting them to violate prison policy. ( Id. at ¶¶ 30-31).
Taylor was allowed out of his cell. He grabbed the broom and personal wash bucket which contained feces and urine and went to Plaintiff's cell. ( Id. at ¶35). Taylor threw the entire contents of the bucket into Plaintiffs cell. ( Id. at "¶36). He also threw bars of soap hitting Plaintiff in the face and upper body. ( Id. at ¶7). Taylor jabbed Plaintiff in the face and body with the broom through the bars of the cell door, causing injury to Plaintiffs right eye. ( Id. at ¶ 38).
Following the assault, Plaintiff was escorted to the medical department by two other correctional officers. ( Id. at ¶ 41). According to Plaintiff, he received inadequate care, was not treated by a doctor, nor was he inoculated for exposure to human feces. ( Id. at ¶ 42). Plaintiff was returned to his original cell, which still had the feces thrown at him by Taylor. ( Id. at ¶ 43).
The next day, Plaintiff complained to Defendant Captain Campbell ("Campbell") about the assault, his injury, and the condition of his cell. ( Id. at ¶ 44). Campbell advised that he would discuss a possible cell reassignment with Defendant Bolton, but Plaintiff was never reassigned to a new cell. ( Id.).
Plaintiff was scheduled to see an outside ophthalmologist on April 27, 2012. ( Id. at ¶ 45). Plaintiff missed that appointment and had to reschedule it due to the alleged failure of Defendant Terra ("Terra") to have Plaintiff escorted to the assessment. ( Id.).
Plaintiff asserts that the prison's medical staff, under the supervision of Defendant Joseph C. Kozsniak, "did not properly treat" ...

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