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Bennett v. Keel

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

September 20, 2019

STEPHON BENNETT, Plaintiff
v.
LIEUTENANT KEEL, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          ROBERT D. MARIANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Stephon Bennett ("Bennett"), an inmate who was housed at all relevant times at the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield, in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Smithfield"), initiated this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Named as Defendants are Lieutenant Keel, Lieutenant Rhone, Sergeant Wiser, Sergeant Sheetz, Maintenance Technician Feagley, Nurse Lidwell, and Nurse Holden. [Id.).

         Presently pending before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. (Doc. 32). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny 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, 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).

         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).

         III. Statement of Undisputed Facts

         On December 17, 2016, while housed at SCI-Smithfield, Bennett was moved to cell KA1025. (Doc. 34, Statement of Material Facts, ¶ 10; Doc. 40, Counterstatement of Material Facts, ¶ 10).

         Maintenance work may not be performed in any area of an institution without a valid work order. (Id. at ¶ 11). On December 17, 2016, Work Order 2016-SMI-4633 was submitted for cell KA1025. (Id. at ¶ 12). Work Order 2016-SMI-4633 describes the problem as "[t]he cold water in 25 cell on the A2 Pod is not working and the water for the hot is constantly running." (Id. at ¶ 13). Defendants state that Bradley Corrie was assigned to perform the plumbing maintenance for Work Order 2016-SMI-4633, and that the work was completed on December 19, 2016. (Id. at ¶¶ 14-15). Bennett coutners that Defendant Feagley responded to this work order, not Bradley Corrie, and that the cold water was not fixed on December 19, 2016. (Doc. 40, ¶¶ 14-15). He further avers that he complained about no working water in his cell for weeks after December 19, 2016. (Id. at ¶ 15).

         On December 29, 2016, Work Order 2016-SMl-4805 was submitted for cell KA1025. (Doc. 34, ¶ 16; Doc. 40, ¶ 16). The work order describes the problem as "[s]ink continuously runs." (Id. at ¶ 17). Defendant Feagley was assigned to perform the plumbing maintenance for Work Order 2016-SMI-4805. (Id. at ¶ 18). The work was completed on January 6, 2017. (Id. at ¶ 19). Defendants maintain that the water in cell KA1025 was running continuously. (Doc. 34, ¶ 20). Bennett counters that the cold water in cell KA1025 was not running continuously, and the hot water dripped from the faucet one drop at a time. (Doc. 40, ¶ 20). The parties agree that Bennett's toilet was ...


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