United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
John E. Jones III
Lonnie Spellman (“Spellman” or
“Plaintiff”), a Pennsylvania state inmate,
incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution,
Frackville, (“SCI-Frackville”), Pennsylvania,
commenced this civil rights action on December 3, 2010. The
named Defendants are the former Department of Corrections
Secretary Jeffrey Beard and the following SCI-Frackville
employees: Deputy Superintendent Robert Collins;
Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz; Unit Manager George Evans;
Grievance Officer Peter Damiter; Assistant Coordinators
Joseph Lukashewski and Victor Mirarchi; Unit Manager Joanne
Miranda; Major Michael Lorady; Correctional Officers Michael
Throway, Ralph Johnson, and Kenneth Stutzman; the entire
medical department; Thomas Derfler; and Anthony Kovalchik.
Plaintiff complains that he is a non-smoker and that he would
prefer not to share his cell with someone who smokes. (Doc.
1). On March 14, 2011, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint.
Memorandum and Order dated October 30, 2015, all Defendants
and claims were dismissed, except for Defendants Johnson and
Evans, and Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim based on
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (“ETS”). Doc. 59).
Presently pending is a motion filed by Defendants Johnson and
Evans, seeking summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56. (Doc. 73). For the reasons set forth
below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment will be
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment “should be rendered 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 judgment as
a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Turner v.
Schering-Plough Corp., 901 F.2d 335, 340 (3d Cir. 1990).
“[T]his standard provides that the mere existence of
some alleged factual dispute between the parties
will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for
summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no
genuine issue of material fact.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original); Brown v.
Grabowski, 922 F.2d 1097, 1111 (3d Cir. 1990). A
disputed fact is “material” if proof of its
existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of the
case under applicable substantive law. Id.; Gray
v. York Newspapers, Inc., 957 F.2d 1070, 1078 (3d Cir.
1992). An issue of material fact is “genuine” if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 257; Brenner v. Local 514, United Brotherhood of
Carpenters and Joiners of America, 927 F.2d 1283,
1287-88 (3d Cir. 1991).
party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of showing
the absence of a genuine issue as to any material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986);
Orson, Inc. v. Miramax Film Corp., 79 F.3d 1358,
1366 (3d Cir. 1996). Once such a showing has been made, the
non-moving party must go beyond the pleadings with
affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories or the
like in order to demonstrate specific material facts which
give rise to a genuine issue. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56;
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(stating that the non-moving party “must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts”); Wooler v. Citizens Bank, 274
F. App'x 177, 179 (3d Cir. 2008). The party opposing the
motion must produce evidence to show the existence of every
element essential to its case, which it bears the burden of
proving at trial, because “a complete failure of proof
concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's
case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.”
Celotex. at 323; see also Harter v.
G.A.F. Corp., 967 F.2d 846, 851 (3d Cir. 1992).
“[T]he non-moving party ‘may not rely merely on
allegations or denials in its own pleadings; rather, its
response must . . . set out specific facts showing a genuine
issue for trial.'” Picozzi v. Haulderman,
2011 WL 830331, *2 (M.D. Pa. 2011) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e)(2)). “Inferences should be drawn in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party, and where the
non-moving party's evidence contradicts the movant's,
then the non-movant's must be taken as true.”
Big Apple BMW, Inc. v. BMW of North America. Inc.,
974 F.2d 1358, 1363 (3d Cir. 1992).
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS
was transferred from SCI-Graterford to SCI-Frackville, where
he arrived on or about March 22, 2010. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Upon
his arrival, Spellman notified the reception committee that
he is “not a problem providing [he] was not celled with
a smoker.” Id. Plaintiff was told that
SCI-Frackville is a non-smoking facility. Id. The
Department of Corrections (“DOC”) has a policy
prohibiting smoking inside its buildings. (Doc. 77-4 at 2).
Inmates who smoke in their cells are reprimanded or
disciplined when their identity is disclosed. (Doc. 77-2 at
9) (See also Doc. 82, Inmate Misconducts).
medical intake screening on March 22, 2010, revealed no
allergies, physical disabilities or limitations or chronic
medical conditions. (Doc. 77-6 at 7). Plaintiff's only
complaint of a current condition was of shortness of breath
“since December - mostly with walking far distances to
dining hall.” Id. Plaintiff was taking Prozac
and Trazodone for depression. Id.
March 24, 2010, Plaintiff was seen by the medical department
for chest pain. (Doc. 77-6 at 8). The medical department
scheduled him for an electrocardiogram (“EKG”)
and blood work. Id. The EKG and lab work were
completed on March 31, 2010. Id. Plaintiff was
diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease
(“GERD”). Id. His blood work was
negative for the human immunodeficiency virus
(“HIV”), but did reveal a low white blood count.
Id. When asked about the low white blood count,
Plaintiff responded that he “always has low
WBC's” and that he was “told [he has] sickle
cell trait.” Id.
March 25, 2010 to April 5, 2010, Plaintiff was housed in B
building, A Block, cell 1004. (Doc. 77-3 at 2). Plaintiff was
celled with an inmate who smoked in the cell. (Doc. 1 at 5).
On March 22, 2010, Plaintiff complained to CO Johnson and
Unit Manager Evans. Id. On April 5, 2010, Plaintiff
was moved to another cell and told to find a non-smoker
cellmate by Unit Manager Evans. Id.
April 5, 2010 to April 21, 2010, Plaintiff was housed in B
Building, A block, cell 1005. (Doc. 77-3 at 2). On April 17,
2010, Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding being celled with
a smoker. (Doc. 77-4 at 2). The cellmate denied smoking in
the cell. Id. Unit Manager Evans moved Plaintiff to
another cell to avoid conflict. Id.
April 21, 2010 to September 15, 2010, Plaintiff was housed in
B Building, C block, cell 2049. (Doc. 77-3 at 2). On July 1,
2010, Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding being celled with
a smoker. ...