United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. MARIANI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jose Montanez, an inmate who, at all relevant times, was
housed at the State Correctional Institution at Frackville,
Pennsylvania ("SCI-Frackville"), initiated the
instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1).
The matter is proceeding via an amended complaint,
wherein Montanez alleges that his Eighth Amendment rights
were violated because Defendants failed to protect him from
an assault by his former cellmate. (Doc. 21). The remaining
Defendants are Lieutenant Hannon and Sergeant Reed. (See
Docs. 49, 50). Currently pending before the Court is a motion
for summary judgement filed by the remaining named
Defendants. (Doc. 81). For the reasons provided herein, the
Court will grant Defendants' motion.
Summary Judgment Standard of Review
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).
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, 477 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).
"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
Id. (internal quotations, citations, and alterations
Statement of Undisputed Facts 
alleges that in May 2014 he began having trouble with his
cellmate at SCI-Frackville. (Doc. 82, ¶¶ 2, 5). On
May 29, 2014, Montanez and his cellmate were involved in an
altercation and the ceilmate stabbed Montanez with an ink
pen. (Doc. 84-1, pp. 6-7, Declaration of William Reed
("Reed Decl."), ¶ 8).
never spoke to Defendant Hannon about his concerns with his
cellmate. (Doc. 82, ¶ 6; Doc. 84-1, pp. 4-5, Declaration
of Joseph Hannon ("Hannon Decl."), ¶ 5).
2014, prior to May 29, 2014, Montanez spoke with Defendant
Reed about the issue with his cellmate and asked to be moved
out of the cell. (Doc. 21, p. 9; Doc. 82, ¶ 7; Reed
Decl., ¶ 5). Defendant Reed asked Montanez if there had
been any physical altercations, to which Montanez responded
that there had not been. (Doc. 21, p. 9; Doc. 82, ¶ 8).
Montanez allegedly told Defendant Reed that he had "been
threatened" by his cellmate, but provided no further
detail. (Doc. 21, p. 9; Doc. 82, ¶ 9). Defendant Reed
advised Montanez to attempt to find a cellmate on his own,
and that the matter could be discussed with the Unit Manager.
(Doc. 82, ¶ 10; Reed Decl., ¶ 6). This is the
normal protocol followed at SCI-Frackville when cellmates are
generally dissatisfied with each other. (Doc. 82, ¶ 11;
Hannon Dec!., ¶ 4; Doc. 84-1, pp. 8-9, Declaration of
Michael Wenerowicz ("Wenerowicz Decl."), ¶ 8).
inmates prefer a single cell and will often stage fights with
cellmates to attempt to obtain a single ceil. (Doc. 82,
¶ 12; Wenerowicz Deck, ¶ 6). Inmate complaints
about cellmates are carefully scrutinized by the unit team.
(Doc. 82, ¶ 13; Wenerowicz Decl., ¶ 7). Placing
responsibility on the inmates to locate an amiable cellmate
serves to foster their ability to solve problems, assume
responsibility for themselves, and assist with their reentry.
(Doc. 82, ¶ 14; Wenerowicz Deck, ¶ 9).
29, 2014, Montanez and his cellmate were in an altercation
regarding use of the cellmate's television. (Doc. 82,
¶ 15; Doc. 21, p. 9; Reed Decl., ¶ 8). During the
altercation, Montanez's cellmate stabbed him in the
shoulder with an ink pen. (Doc. 82, ¶ 15; Doc. 21, p. 9;
Reed Decl., ¶ 8). This ...