United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, J.
Eugene Williams (“Plaintiff”) brings this action
pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking damages for the
conditions of his confinement at the Montgomery County
Correctional Facility (“MCCF”), where he was
temporarily housed from December 3, 2015, through January 13,
2016, to facilitate an appearance in the Montgomery County
Court of Common Pleas. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges in his
complaint that he is handicapped and was forced to shower
without a chair at MCCF.
Julio M. Algarin (“Defendant”), who is and was
the prison warden at MCCF at all times relevant to this case,
filed a motion for summary judgment that Plaintiff opposed.
For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant the motion,
dismiss all claims, and enter judgment in favor of Defendant
in this case.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
arrived on crutches at MCCF on December 3, 2015, after a
brief hospitalization for back injuries he claimed to have
suffered while being transported in a paddy wagon from
SCI-Graterford to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas
the previous day. See Williams Dep. at 12:16-22, 14:10-13,
19:20-24, Feb. 14, 2017, ECF No. 19-4. Following his arrival,
Plaintiff was housed in section F-3, where he was restricted
to a bottom bunk for sleeping and a bottom-tier cell
assignment. Id. at 20:14-21:3.
only shower that Plaintiff ever used at MCCF was the shower
on the bottom tier of the F-3 housing section. Id. at
24:21-25. This shower is equipped with a grab bar and
non-skid rubber mat. Id. at 22:10-19; 24:12-16
(describing “stainless steel” grab bar and
“a black rubber mat . . . there to keep you actually
from slipping on the wet surface”); Julio M. Algarin
Aff. at ¶ 4, Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 2, ECF No.
19-3. When Plaintiff first arrived at MCCF on December 3,
2015, no shower chair was available for the bottom tier F-3
shower. Williams Dep. at 26:5-11. As a result, Plaintiff
suffered minor injuries from three separate falls in the
shower. Id. at 48:13-50:20.
spoke with his caseworker counselor, Channel Moore, about the
lack of a shower chair, and he was furnished with an inmate
handbook detailing the grievance process at MCCF.
Id. at 27:2-24; Moore Aff. at ¶¶ 3-5,
Def.'s Supplemental Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 3, ECF
No. 30-3. Approximately five to seven days after his arrival
at MCCF, Plaintiff claims, he submitted a formal written
request for a shower chair. Williams Dep. at 30:18-22. At the
top of the request form, he wrote the word
“grievance.” Id. at
four or five days of submitting the formal request form,
Plaintiff allegedly had conversations with two different
prison officials, Captain Scott Moyer and Major Reginald
Brown,  about his need for a shower chair.
Id. at 30:23-31:22. Captain Moyer informed Plaintiff
that the neighboring F-2 housing section had a shower chair
that Plaintiff could share, and he personally brought the
chair from F-2 to Plaintiff. Id. at 28:21-29:1;
Captain Scott Moyer Aff. at ¶¶ 6-8, Def.'s
Supplemental Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1, ECF No. 30-1.
three weeks after Plaintiff's arrival at MCCF, a chair
was made available to be shared between the F-2 and F-3
housing sections. Williams Dep. at 43:23-44:20. From that
point forward, the shower chair was kept in a maintenance
closet on the F Cell Block. Id. at 44:21-45:12.
Plaintiff testified that he “always used the chair when
it was available.” Id. at 48:11-12.
applied to the Court to proceed in forma pauperis on August
22, 2016. ECF No. 1. On September 1, 2016, the Court granted
Plaintiff's request, ECF No. 2, and his complaint was
filed the same day, ECF No. 3. Defendant filed a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim on October 31, 2016. ECF
a hearing held on the record with both parties on December
16, 2016, the Court issued an order granting in part and
denying in part Defendant's motion to dismiss. ECF No.
11. In the same order, the Court directed Defendant to take
Plaintiff's deposition and attach it to a motion for
summary judgment. See id.
filed a motion for summary judgment on March 20, 2017, ECF
No. 19, and Plaintiff responded in opposition on April 3,
2017, ECF No. 23. The Court held a status conference on the
record with Plaintiff and counsel for Defendant on April 24,
2017. See ECF No. 28. Following this conference, the Court
ordered Defendant to supplement his motion for summary
judgment and afforded Plaintiff an opportunity to supplement
his response, if he so desired. ECF No. 29. In accordance
with this order, Defendant filed a supplemental memorandum
supporting his motion for summary judgment on May 10, 2017.
ECF No. 30. Plaintiff did not file any supplemental
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “A
motion for summary judgment will not be defeated by
‘the mere existence' of some disputed facts, but
will be denied when there is a genuine issue of material
fact.” Am. Eagle Outfitters v. Lyle & Scott Ltd.,
584 F.3d 575, 581 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986)). A fact is
“material” if proof of its existence or
nonexistence might affect the outcome of the litigation; a