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Kennedy v. Aramark Corporation

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

April 24, 2015

CHAL D. KENNEDY, SR., Plaintiff,
ARAMARK CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.




Before this Court are motions for summary judgment filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 56 by Defendants, [1] [ECF 104, 105, 108, 109, 113, 114, 116], seeking to dismiss the second amended complaint filed by Chal D. Kennedy, Sr. ("Plaintiff'). [ECF 42]. Plaintiff, who is represented by counsel, has not filed a response to any of the motions despite having been given an extension until April 20, 2015, to file a response. Under the circumstances, these motions are ripe for disposition, and for the reasons stated herein, the motions for summary judgment are granted, and Plaintiff's second amended complaint is dismissed as to all Defendants.


In light of Plaintiff's failure to respond to the pending motions, for purposes of the motions for summary judgment, the factual allegations have been derived from Plaintiff's second amended complaint[2] and are viewed in the light most favorable to him. These allegations are summarized as follows:

In the second amended complaint, Plaintiff avers that he was a pretrial detainee in the Philadelphia Prison System ("PPS"), housed at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility ("CFCF") from August 17, 2009, until April 2013, (2d Am. Compl. ¶¶ 4, 39);
City Defendants, collectively, direct, manage, and control the PPS, employ the individually-named PPS administrators and correctional officers, and entered into contracts with Aramark and Corizon Defendants, ( id. at ¶ 15);
Aramark Defendants, through the various Aramark entities, provide food and related facility management services at PPS, ( id. at ¶ 5);

Corizon Defendants provide all medical services to the inmates housed at PPS, ( id. at ¶ 11); and Defendant Dr. Kalu is a Regional Medical Director at Corizon Health, Inc. (Id. at ¶13).

From sometime in the year 2010 until his release in April 2013, [3] Plaintiff worked in the "Retherm Ovens" (a radiant or convection heated oven) located in two housing units at CFCF, eight or more hours per day, seven days per week. (Id. at ¶ 82). According to the second amended complaint, Aramark Defendants compelled him to repeatedly use highly toxic, harmful and hazardous chemicals to clean the ovens without providing any protective gear, such as respirator masks, rubber gloves, goggles, or training on how to decontaminate himself after using the cleaning chemicals. (Id. at ¶¶ 89, 91, 92, 93). Plaintiff claims he was also denied the use of the showers, causing the toxic chemicals to be embedded in his pores and soft tissues. (Id. at ¶ 86). As a result, Plaintiff developed head and skin rashes, blurred vision, persistent coughs, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and headaches. (Id. at ¶ 95). Although Plaintiff made numerous sick call requests related to these symptoms in accordance with PPS's policies and procedures, Plaintiff was told by Corizon Defendants that there was nothing they could do to treat his complaints. (Id. at ¶ 97).

For nine months during his detention at CFCF, Plaintiff was an Inmate Building Representative for his housing units and participated in monthly meetings with Defendants City, Aramark, and Corizon. (Id. at ¶¶ 40, 41). At these meetings, Plaintiff repeatedly told Defendants that inmates were not offered protection from the harmful chemicals they were compelled to use to clean the ovens, and that many inmates were complaining of adverse health effects. (Id. at ¶42). Plaintiff contends that Defendants, however, had decided and agreed amongst themselves to ignore Plaintiff's complaints; and that City Defendants have not investigated or audited Aramark Defendants' compliance with workplace safety rules and regulations at PPS. (Id. at ¶¶ 48, 49).


On May 16, 2013, Plaintiff filed a 250-page complaint against Defendants alleging violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the First, Fifth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, unidentified federal statutes, and state tort laws. Therein, Plaintiff sought to obtain the implementation of medical monitoring, injunctive relief, and punitive damages. [ECF 1]. On May 30, 2013, Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed, without prejudice, as frivolous and for failure to comply with Rule 8(a)(2). [ECF 10].[4] On June 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. [ECF 11]. On July 22, 2013, this matter was reassigned to the undersigned judge. Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint on September 13, 2013. [ECF 42].

On December 4, 2013, a Scheduling Order was issued setting forth the procedural deadlines. [ECF 59]. This Order was revised on June 9, 2014, setting forth that all fact discovery was to be completed by October 23, 2014, expert reports were to be filed by November 20, 2014, dispositive motions were to be filed by ...

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