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Mack v. Bilger

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

April 7, 2017

DAVID A. MACK, Plaintiff
v.
ROBERT BILGER, SAFETY MANAGER, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          A. RICHARD CAPUTO United States District Judge

         I. Introduction

         David Mack, a former state prisoner housed at the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon (SCI-Huntingdon), in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, filed this pro se civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on August 20, 2013 while still incarcerated. He filed an Amended Complaint on August 13, 2014. (ECF No. 37, Am. Compl.) Presently before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 66) filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) Defendants.[1] Defendants seek summary judgment on the basis that Mr. Mack failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies as to several claims, failed to state a claim against several Defendants, and failed to state an Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement or medical claim. (Id.) Mr. Mack has failed to respond to Defendants' motion for summary judgment or otherwise communicate with the Court since his June 1, 2015 release on parole.

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         II. Summary Judgment Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is proper where “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The court must determine “whether the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions on file, and affidavits show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and whether the moving party is therefore entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” MacFarlan v. Ivy Hill SNF, LLC, 675 F.3d 266, 271 (3d Cir. 2012)(citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986)). “[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, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2509 - 10, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the court must view all facts and draw all reasonable inferences “in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.” Blunt v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 767 F.3d 247, 265 (3d Cir. 2014)(internal quotation marks omitted).

         To prevail on summary judgment, the moving party must affirmatively identify those portions of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Santini v. Fuentes, 795 F.3d 410 (3d Cir. 2015) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 106 S.Ct. 2553). “A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by citing to particular parts of materials in the record ... or showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A) - (B). To withstand summary judgment, the non-moving party must “go beyond the pleadings” and “designate ‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. at 2553 (citation omitted). The non-moving party “may not rest on speculation and conjecture in opposing a motion for summary judgment.” Ramara, Inc. v. Westfield Ins. Co., 814 F.3d 660, 666 (3d Cir. 2016). Where contradictory facts exist, the court may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 - 51, 120 S.Ct. 2097, 2110, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); Paradisis v. Englewood Hosp. Med. Ctr., No. 16-3616, 2017 WL 728688, at *3 (3d Cir. Feb. 24, 2017).

         III. Statement of Material Facts

         From the pleadings, declarations and exhibits submitted therewith, the following facts are ascertained as undisputed or, where disputed, reflect Mr. Mack's version of the facts, pursuant to this Court's duty to view all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.[2] Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. at 2510.

         David Mack was housed at SCI-Huntingdon during the relevant time period, September 2011 through November 22, 2011. (ECF No. 69, Defs.' Statement of Undisputed Facts (DSMF) ¶ 2.) He was transferred to SCI-Frackville on November 22, 2011. (DSMF ¶ 19.) Mr. Mack was paroled on June 1, 2015. (DSMF ¶ 1.)

         A. Protective Custody

         On September 2, 2011, Mr. Mack informed Lt. Johnson that he feared for his life. (DSMF ¶ 3; ECF No. 69-1, Defs.' Exhs. Summ. J., p. 2.) Mr. Mack was placed in protective custody pending a hearing with the Program Review Committee (PRC). (Id.) On September 7, 2011, the PRC (consisting of J. Keller, M. Garman and J. Eckard), after listening to Mr. Mack, ordered him back to general population. (DSMF ¶ 4 and ECF No. 69-1, p. 4.) From September 7 through September 9, 2011, Mr. Mack was housed on the third tier of D-Block. (DSMF ¶ 5.) On September 9, 2011, Mr. Mack told Deputy Supt. Eckard that he did not feel safe on D-Block. (DSMF ¶ 6.) Mr. Mack was then moved from D-Block to C-Block. (Id.)

         B. September 13, 2011 Fall in C-Block

         On September 9, 2011, Mr. Mack was assigned to the top bunk of cell #3030 on the third tier of C-Block. (DSMF ¶ 7.) The bunkbed in the cell was installed with the ladder and security rail against the wall. (DSMF ¶ 8.) On Saturday, September 10, 2011, Mr. Mack advised Sgt. Emeigh that the bunkbed was improperly installed. (DSMF ¶ 9.) On Monday, September 12, 2011, work order #3295 was filed to have the bunk in Mr. Mack's cell turned. (DSMF ...


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