United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY JUDGE.
Angel Franqui-Pagan (“Franqui-Pagan” or
“Plaintiff”), a state inmate who, at all times
relevant, was incarcerated at the State Correctional
Institution at Benner (“SCI-Benner”), Bellefonte,
Pennsylvania, commenced this action on October 13, 2015.
(Doc. 1). The sole defendant in the action is Sergeant John
pending is Jackson's motion (Doc. 48) for summary
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(a). A brief (Doc. 49) in support of the
motion, statement of material facts (Doc. 51), and supporting
exhibits (Doc. 50) were filed on that same date.
Franqui-Pagan failed to oppose the motion. An order issued
directing Plaintiff to file both a brief in opposition to the
motion and a statement of material facts specifically
responding to Defendant's statement. (Doc. 63). He was
cautioned that his failure to file a brief and statement of
material facts would result in the motion being deemed
unopposed and Defendant's statement of material facts
being admitted. (Id. at ¶¶ 1, 4).
Franqui-Pagan has failed to file either an opposition brief
or a statement of material facts. Consequently, the motion is
deemed unopposed and Defendant's statement of material
facts is deemed admitted.
reasons set forth below, the motion for summary judgment will
be deemed unopposed and granted.
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.”
Id. 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
motion for summary judgment filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56
shall be accompanied by a separate, short and concise
statement of the material facts . . . as to which the moving
party contends there is no genuine issue to be tried.”
See L.R. 56.1. The opposing party shall file a
separate statement of the material facts as to which it is
contended that there exists a genuine issue to be tried.
Id. “All material facts set forth in the
statement required to be served by the moving party will be
deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement
required to be served by the opposing party.”
Id. Because Franqui-Pagan failed to oppose
Defendant's statement of material facts, all facts
contained therein are deemed admitted.
November 4, 2014, Franqui-Pagan was housed in a cell in the
Secure Special Needs Unit (“SSNU”) at SCI-Benner
because he was experiencing mental health issues for which he
was taking psychological medications. (Doc. 51, ¶¶
1, 3). He was housed in the same cell with Ronald Green
(“Inmate Green” or “Green”), an
inmate who had previously been diagnosed with paranoid-type
schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder and who was classified
with a mental health stability rating of D, which
“designates the most serious need for mental health
services.” (Id. at ¶ 1). Inmate Green was
suicidal and “liked to cut himself a lot.”
(Id. at 2).
to November 4, 2014, Inmate Green had never harmed any other
inmates and was not on razor restriction. (Id. at
14). Franqui-Pagan had been celled with Inmate Green since
his arrival on the SSNU, approximately a month or a month and
a half earlier. (Id. at 9). Inmate Green never
threatened or attempted to hurt Franqui-Pagan. (Id.
at 10). Nor had he attempted to harm himself, despite making
statements indicating a desire to do so. (Id. at
11). When Green intimated that he may hurt himself,
Franqui-Pagan would calm him down and convince him not to
hurt himself. (Id. at 12). Franqui-Pagan never told
any DOC staff member that he thought Green would hurt him and
never reported to any staff member Green's threats to
harm himself. (Id. at 13).
evening of November 4, 2014, Franqui-Pagan was playing cards
outside of his cell, when he saw an unidentified corrections
officer stop in front of the cell he shared with Inmate
Green. (Id. at 6). Inmate Green had cut himself
several times with Franqui-Pagan's razor and was drawing
on the walls with his blood. (Id. 4, 8). The
unidentified corrections officer summoned Defendant Jackson,
who was at the desk in the SSNU. (Id. at 7). Inmate
Green was removed to a psychiatric observation cell
(“POC”) and issued Other Report No. 574045, which
“identified [him] as a danger to himself or others,
” and placed him in administrative custody.
(Id. at 4).
Green was in the POC, Franqui-Pagan spoke with Defendant
Jackson about the November 4, 2014 incident and requested
that Green not be returned to the cell because he did not
“want to be the cause of him cutting himself.”
(Id. at 15). He did not “want to be [the]
person in the cell with him if he's going to cut himself
again.” (Id. at 16). Jackson advised him that
cellmate decisions were not up to him. (Id. at 17).
was released from the POC on November 6, 2014, and returned
to the cell with Franqui-Pagan. (Id. at 18).
Defendant Jackson was not working at the time. (Id.
at 19). Three or four days after Green returned,
Franqui-Pagan informed Jackson “I don't want this
dude in my cell, because he had just cut himself with my
razor. I don't want him to hurt himself. I don't want
to feel like I'm the cause of him hurting himself or me
as well. He just only did 24 hours of observation in that
cell. I'm not sure what is up with him. I don't want
him to hurt himself or hurt me.” (Id. at
20-22). Either Defendant Jackson or the unit manager advised
him that they could not make any moves because SCI-Benner was
in the process of transitioning the SSNU to a new unit.
(Id. at 23). He never ...