United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Thomas Wood (“Wood” or “Plaintiff”),
at all times relevant a state inmate incarcerated at the
State Correctional Institution at Benner Township
(“SCI-Benner”), Bellefonte, Pennsylvania,
commenced this action on September 10, 2018. (Doc. 1).
Currently pending is Defendant Brown's
(“Brown”) motion (Doc. 36) pursuant to Rule 56 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking an entry of
summary judgment on all claims. The motion is accompanied by
a statement of facts (Doc. 37), brief (Doc. 38) and exhibits
on Wood's failure to oppose the motion, an Order (Doc.
41) issued on September 13, 2019, directing Wood to oppose
the motion on or before September 30, 2019. The Court
cautioned him that his failure to file an opposition brief
and statement of material facts would render the motion
unopposed and would result in an admission to Defendant's
statement of material facts. (Doc. 41). He has neither
opposed the motion nor sought an extension of time in which
to do so. The motion is therefore unopposed and
Defendant's statement of facts is deemed admitted. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant
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).
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
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 Wood failed to oppose Defendant's
statement of facts, all facts contained therein are deemed
action arises out of a July 7, 2018 incident that occurred
while he was housed in the Restricted Housing Unit
(“RHU”) at SCI-Benner. (Doc. 38, ¶¶ 1,
2; Exhibit 1, Complaint, p. 4, 5, ¶¶ B, C; Doc .
39-1, p. 20, lines 20-23, 25, p. 21, lines 1-4). On that
date, Brown and another unidentified corrections officer
arrived at Wood's assigned RHU cell to escort him to
triage for a haircut. (Id. at 3, 4; Doc. 39-1, p.
20, lines 17-20, p. 53 lines 12-14).
incident occurred in an area which is under video
surveillance. (Id. at 5, Doc. 39-2, pp. 2-4,
Declaration of Holly Quist (“Quist Decl.”) and
video). The video depicts Defendant Brown and the other
corrections officer removing Wood from his cell. (Exhibit 3,
9:24:50). Upon exiting the cell, Wood is observed speaking to
Defendant Brown in an aggressive manner and repeatedly
turning around; Defendant Brown attempts to move him in a
forward direction along an elevated walkway. (Id. at
9:24:50 to 9:25:40). It takes nearly a minute for Defendant
Brown and the other corrections officer to walk Wood a short
distance to a set of stairs. (Id. at 9:24:50 to
9:25:40). When they arrive at the top of the stairs, Wood
makes a sudden movement and turns away from the stairs.
(Id. at 9:25:41). Defendant Brown responds by
pushing Wood away from the stairs and against the wall behind
them. (Id. at 9:25:41-9:25:43). The other officer is
seen radioing for assistance. (Id. at 9:25:44).
After a brief scuffle, the officers are able to regain
control and Wood is again walking with Brown and the other
corrections officer. (Id. at 9:25:41 to 9:25:56).
Wood continues to turn around and speak as the officers are
attempting to move him forward; they are unable to move him
down the stairs. (Id. at 9:26:00). A third
corrections officer arrives. (Id. at 9:26:12). Wood
continues to turn around and speak to Brown. (Id. at
9:26:00 to 9:26:35). The three corrections officers are
eventually successful in walking Wood down the stairs and
through a door off the common area. (Id. at
9:26:56). Wood returns to the common area approximately nine
minutes later. (Id. at 9:35:16). He has no apparent
injuries. He is escorted back to his cell without incident.
(Id. at 9:35:15 to 9:37:20).
taken on that date do not show significant injuries. (Doc.
39-3, Declaration of Michael Bell (“Bell Decl.”),
Safety Manager, SCI-Benner, ¶ 2-4; pp. 4-12).