United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Elkins
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
PRESTON BAILEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pending before this Court is the defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment [Doc. 45], filed December 17, 2018. This
matter is now ripe for decision. For the reasons set forth
below, this Court will grant the Motion.
Jerome Scott is currently a federal inmate incarcerated
within the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). Scott
claims that on April 1, 2017, while at the United States
Penitentiary in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia ("USP
Hazelton") he was raped by another inmate after officers
purposely unlocked his cell door. He reported the alleged
rape on June 16, 2017. The Special Investigative Services
("SIS") Lieutenant, Jamie Canfield, interviewed
Scott the same day as the report [Doc. 46-2 at 3]. Lt.
Canfteld's Declaration [Doc. 46-2] states that, in the
interview, Scott claimed officers were the ones that raped
him. Scott told Lt. Canfield that he believed he had Seen
raped because he woke up to the sound of staff unlocking his
cell door and he felt pain in his anus. Scott told Lt.
Canfield "you can check the cameras and see." [Doc.
46-2 at 3]. Scott claims he changed the story of who
allegedly raped him because he was scared.
Canfield reviewed the video footage of April 1, 2OI7from
12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Lt. Canfield states that no time
during this eight hours did footage show any officer
unsecuring Scott's cell or anyone (officer or inmate)
entering his cell. Further, the range was on lockdown. The
footage has since been deleted due to USP Hazelton's
video-recording system. A senior special agent from the Office
of the Inspector General ("OIG") contacted SIS
regarding similar allegations Scott presented to their
office. Lt. Canfield told OIG that the video footage was
reviewed and that Scott's accounts of the event had
changed multiple times. OIG did not open its own independent
had exhausted his administrative remedies through the BOP. He
asked for compensation for the injuries and that his anus
suffered permanent damage. The BOP denied the claim and
"found no evidence of a compensable personal injury due
to the negligence" of the BOP and there was "no
evidence staff caused you to be assaulted, or ignored any
assault." [Doc. 46-1 at ¶ 8].
filed his instant Complaint against the United States
pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"),
28. U.S.C. § 2671, etseq. Scott alleges
deliberate indifference and intentional infliction of
emotional distress claims. He requests $9, 400, 000 in
damages for "physical pain, psychological disorders,
mental and emotional suffering, permanent injuries, damage
anal [sic], [and] nightmares." [Doc. 8 at 9].
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that summary judgment is
appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law." The party seeking summary
judgment bears the initial burden of showing the absence of
any genuine issues of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). "The burden
then shifts to the nonmoving party to come forward with facts
sufficient to create a triable issue of fact."
Temkin v. Frederick County Comm'rs, 945 F.2d
716, 718 (4th Cir. 1991), cert, denied, 502 U.S.
1095 (1992) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247-48(1986)).
as the United States Supreme Court noted in
Anderson, "Rule 56(e) itself provides that a
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of
his pleading, but must set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial." Id. at
256. "The inquiry performed is the threshold inquiry of
determining whether there is the need for a trial-whether, in
other words, there are any genuine factual issues that
properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because
they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either
party." Id. at 250; see also Charbonnages
de France v. Smith, 597 F.2d 406, 414 (4th Cir. 1979)
(Summary judgment "should be granted only in those cases
where it is perfectly clear that no issue of fact is involved
and inquiry into the facts is not desirable to clarify the
application of the law." (citing Stevens v. Howard
D. Johnson Co., 181 F.2d 390, 394 (4th Cir. 1950))).
reviewing the supported underlying facts, all inferences must
be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing
the motion. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Additionally, the
party opposing summary judgment "must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts." Id. at 586. That is, once the
movant has met its burden to show absence of material fact,
the party opposing summary judgment must then come forward
with affidavits or other evidence demonstrating there is
indeed a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c);
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-25;
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. "If the evidence is
merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary
judgment may be granted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at
249 (citations omitted).
FTCA is a comprehensive legislative scheme by which the
United States has waived its sovereign immunity to allow
civil suits for actions arising out of the negligent acts of
agents of the United States. The United States cannot be sued
in a tort action unless it is clear that Congress has waived
the Government's sovereign immunity and authorized suit
under the FTCA. Dalehite v. United States, 346 U.S.
15, 30-31 (1953). The provisions of the FTCA are found in
Title 28 of the United States Code. 28 U.S.C. §§
1346(b), 1402(b), 2401(b) and 2671-2680.
inmate "can sue under the FTCA to recover damages from
the United States Government for personal injuries sustained
during confinement in a federal prison, by reason of the
negligence of a government employee." United States
v. Muniz,374 ...