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Adderly v. Eidem

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

September 18, 2017

NATHANIEL ADDERLY, Plaintiff,
v.
C. O. EIDEM. et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          ROBERT D. MARIANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Nathaniel Adderly ("Adderly"), an inmate who, at all relevant times, was incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Frackville, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Frackville"), [1] initiated the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). The matter is proceeding via an amended complaint. (Doc. 33). The remaining Defendants are Corrections Officers Cowher, Glenn, Reno, and Alshefski. (See Docs. 95, 96). Currently pending before the Court are cross-motions for summary judgement filed by Adderly on October 7, 2016 (Doc. 98) and by the remaining named Defendants on October 27, 2016 (Doc. 104). For the reasons provided herein, the Court will deny Adderly's motion and grant Defendants' motion.

         II. Summary Judgment Standard of Review

         Through summary adjudication, the court may dispose of those claims that do not present a "genuine dispute as to any material fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "As to materiality, ... [o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         The 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, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Once such a showing has been made, the non-moving party must offer specific facts contradicting those averred by the movant to establish a genuine issue of material fact. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). Therefore, the non-moving party may not oppose summary judgment simply on the basis of the pleadings, or on conclusory statements that a factual issue exists. Anderson, Ml U.S. at 248. "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). In evaluating whether summary judgment should be granted, "[t]he court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3). "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 N. Am., Inc., 974 F.2d 1358, 1363 (3d Cir.1992), cert, denied 507 U.S. 912 (1993).

         However, "facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a 'genuine' dispute as to those facts." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 1776, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007). If a party has carried its burden under the summary judgment rule,

its opponent must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts. Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial. 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. When opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion for summary judgment.

Id. (internal quotations, citations, and alterations omitted).

         "The rule is no different where there are cross-motions for summary judgment." Lawrence v. City of Philadelphia, 527 F.3d 299, 310 (3d Cir. 2008).

Cross-motions are no more than a claim by each side that it alone is entitled to summary judgment, and the making of such inherently contradictory claims does not constitute an agreement that if one is rejected the other is necessarily justified or that the losing party waives judicial consideration and determination whether genuine issues of material fact exist.

Rains v. Cascade Indus., Inc., 402 F.2d 241, 245 (3d Cir. 1968). Thus, "when presented with cross[-]motions for summary judgment, the Court must consider the motions separately, and view the evidence presented for each motion in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party." Borrell v. Bloomsburg Univ., 63 F.Supp.3d 418, 433 (M.D. Pa. 2014) (citations omitted). "[E]ach movant must demonstrate that no genuine issue of material fact exists; if both parties fail to carry their respective burdens, the court must deny [both] motions." Quarles v. Palakovich, 736 F.Supp.2d 941, 946 (M.D. Pa. 2010) (citing Facenda v. N.F.L Films, Inc., 542 F.3d 1007, 1023 (3d Cir. 2008)).

         III. Statement of Undisputed Facts [2]

         The remaining Defendants in this action are Corrections Officers Cowher, Glenn, Reno, and Alshefski, past and present employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at SCI-Frackville. (Doc. 105, Defendants' Statement of Material Facts, ¶ 2; Doc. 113, Plaintiffs Statement of Material Facts, ¶ 2). The remaining claims are as follows: (1) that Defendants Cowher and Glenn issued Adderly retaliatory misconducts on April 10, 2009, and (2) that from April 10, 2009 through April 29, 2010, Defendants Reno and Alshefski failed to provide Adderly with adequate nourishment. (Doc. 105, ¶ 3; Doc. 113, ¶ 2).

         Defendant Cowher passed away on or about August 23, 2016. (Doc. 105, ¶ 4; Doc. 99, Suggestion of Death of Defendant Cowher).

         On February 11, 2016, Adderly's deposition was taken. (Doc. 105, ¶ 5). Adderly was incarcerated at SCI-Frackville from October 9, 2007 to March 2, 2010. (Id.). On January 6, 2010, Adderly was in the Restricted Housing Unit ("RHU"), in EB cell 1. (Id.).

         Adderly asserted that Officer Eidem assaulted him on April 5, 2009 and February 24, 2010.[3] (Doc. 105, ¶ 6; Doc. 113, ¶ 6).

         During his deposition, Adderly initially stated that Defendants Cowher and Glenn did not issue any misconducts to him. (Doc. 105, ¶ 7). He also testified that Defendant Glenn issued a misconduct charging him with assault. (Id.).

         On April 5, 2009, Defendant Glenn issued Misconduct Number B193825 charging Adderly with assault. (Doc. 105, ¶ 7; Doc. 107, p. 42). The parties dispute whether this misconduct was retaliatory. (Doc. 105, ¶ 7). Adderly contends that he appealed the misconduct to final review. (Id.). Adderly admits that he has no documentation of the appeal. (Id.).

         On April 5, 2009, Defendant Cowher issued Misconduct Number B193823 charging Adderly with assault. (Doc. 105, ¶ 8; Doc. 107, p. 46). The parties dispute whether this misconduct was retaliatory. (Doc. 105, ¶ 8). Adderly states that he appealed this Misconduct to final review. (Id.). Adderly states that he has no proof of the appeal because his personal records were lost. [Id.). Adderly denies assaulting Defendants Cowher and Glenn. (Id.).

         The parties dispute whether Adderly was interviewed by a State Police Officer. (Doc. 113, ¶¶ 8-9; Doc. 114, Defendants' Counter Statement of Material Facts, ¶¶ 8-9). Adderly states that he was interviewed by a State Police Officer on April 6, 2009, and complained that he was assaulted by CO Eidem, which was assisted by Defendants Cowher and Glenn. (Doc. 113, ¶ 8). Adderly states that he ...


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