United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. JOHNSTON, CHIEF JUDGE
before the court is the Motion for Summary Judgment of
Defendants Joe DeLong and Steven Crook. (ECF No. 76.) By
Standing Order entered on April 8, 2013, and filed in this
case on June 19, 2013, this action was referred to United
States Magistrate Judge Dwane L. Tinsley for submission of
proposed findings and a recommendation for disposition. (ECF
No. 3.) The Court VACATES the order filed on
June 19, 2013, (ECF No. 3), designating Magistrate Judge
Dwane L. Tinsley to submit proposed findings of fact and
recommendation. The undersigned will now proceed to consider
Court previously dismissed the claims against the PrimeCare
Medical defendants and Correctional Officer Hunter. (ECF No.
7; ECF No. 72.) Thus, the only claims still before the Court
are Plaintiff Albert William Lacy's (“Lacy”)
Fourteenth Amendment claims against unidentified correctional
officers who allegedly failed to intervene in the alleged
assaults described in the Complaint, and his supervisory
liability claims against Joe DeLong, the former Executive
Director of the West Virginia Regional Jail &
Correctional Facility Authority (“WVRJCFA”), and
Steven Crook, the former Administrator of the South Central
Regional Jail (“SCRJ”), where Lacy's claims
respect to the remaining claims, Lacy alleges that, on an
unspecified date, while he was a pre-trial detainee at the
SCRJ, he was involved in altercations with two unidentified
inmates, lasting for over 25 minutes. (Compl., ECF No. 2 at
12; Dep. of Albert Lacy, ECF No. 76 at 6 [Lacy Dep. p. 14].)
Lacy's Complaint alleges that “Correctional Officer
Hunter instigate[d] an assault on Plaintiff Lacy by telling
two (2) white inmates that the plaintiff was a child
molester.” (ECF No. 2 at 12.) During his deposition,
Lacy testified that, on the day of the assaults, he heard
Correctional Officer Hunter tell an inmate in the cell next
to his that the plaintiff was a “baby raper” or
“was in jail for raping a baby, ” and that this
statement led to his assaults by the other inmates. (ECF No.
76 at 9, 11 [Lacy Dep. pp. 19, 21].) However, Lacy could not
recall in what section of the jail these incidents took
place. (Id. at 9-10 [Lacy Dep. pp. 19-20].)
further alleges that other correctional officers observed
these assaults and had the opportunity to intervene to stop
the same, but failed to do so. However, Lacy is unable to
identify any of those individuals. (Id. at 22-23
[Lacy Dep. pp. 47-48].) Finally, Lacy alleges that Defendants
Joe DeLong and Steve Crook, as the former supervisors of
these correctional officers, should be held liable for the
allegedly unconstitutional conduct of their subordinates
because the jail was overcrowded and staffed by improperly
trained correctional officers.
in this matter concluded on January 15, 2018. On January 25,
2018, Defendants DeLong and Crook filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment, (ECF No. 76), and a Memorandum of Law in support
thereof, (ECF No. 77). On February 5, 2018, Lacy filed a
Motion in Opposition of Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 78.) The
Defendants did not file a reply brief. The motion documents
will be further addressed in detail infra.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
evaluating summary judgment motions, Rule 56(a) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim
or defense - or the part of each claim or defense - on which
summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary
judgment if the movant shows there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the
reasons for granting or denying the motion.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) (2010). Material facts are those
necessary to establish the elements of a party's cause of
action. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986).
judgment is required when a party fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish an essential element of a claim.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986).
The moving party has the burden of establishing that there is
an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's
claim. Id. at 322-23. Once the moving party
demonstrates such a lack of evidence, the non-moving party
must go beyond the pleadings and make a sufficient showing of
facts presenting a genuine issue for trial. Id. at
325; see also Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). Accordingly, summary
judgment will generally be granted unless a reasonable jury
could render a verdict for the non-moving party on the
evidence presented. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48.
must not resolve disputed facts or weigh the evidence, and
may not make determinations of credibility. Russell v.
Microdyne Corp., 65 F.3d 1229, 1239 (4th Cir. 1995);
Sosebee v. Murphy, 797 F.2d 179, 182 (4th Cir.
1986). Rather, the party opposing the motion is entitled to
have his or her version of the facts accepted as true and to
have all internal conflicts resolved in his or her favor.
Charbonnages de France v. Smith, 597 F.2d 406, 414
(4th Cir. 1979). Inferences that are “drawn from the
underlying facts . . . must be viewed in the light most
favorable to the party opposing the motion.” United
States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962).
However, the party opposing the motion may not rely upon mere
allegations or denials of the pleadings, but must set forth
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial. Sprenkle v. Hartford Life Ins. Co., 84
F.Supp.2d 751 (N.D. W.Va. 2000).
contends that Defendants DeLong and Crook operated the SCRJ
in an overcrowded and unsafe condition. More specifically,
Lacy contends that these defendants, as supervisors, failed
“to train correctional officers and shift leaders on
how to create a safe environment and defuse conflict in the
POD[.]” (ECF No. 2 at 11.)
well-established that a government official cannot be held
liable under § 1983 solely on the basis of
respondeat superior.” See, e.g., Monell v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978).
Nonetheless, “[t]he principle is firmly entrenched that
supervisory officials may be held liable in certain
circumstances for the constitutional injuries inflicted by
their subordinates.” Shaw v. Stroud, 13 F.3d
791, 798 (4th Cir. 1994). In such circumstances, liability is
based not on respondeat superior, but upon “a
recognition that supervisory indifference or tacit
authorization of subordinates' misconduct may be a
causative factor in the constitutional injuries they inflict
on those committed to their care.” Slakan v.
Porter, 737 F.2d 368, 372 (4th Cir. 1984) (citing
Orpiano v. Johnson, 632 F.2d 1096, 1101 (4th Cir.
order to establish a supervisor's § 1983 liability,
a plaintiff “must show actual or constructive knowledge
of a risk of constitutional injury, deliberate indifference
to that risk, and ‘an affirmative causal link between
the supervisor's inaction and the particular
constitutional injury suffered by the plaintiff.'”
Carter v. Morris, 164 F.3d 215, 221 (4th Cir. 1999).
In other words, a plaintiff must ...