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Rubio v. McI-H 2010 Staff

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

November 26, 2013

ISIDOR ALEXANDER RUBIO, Plaintiff,
v.
MCI-H 2010 STAFF, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROGER W. TITUS, District Judge.

Pending are Warden Wayne A. Webb, Chief of Security Ronald B. Brezler, and Medical Supervisor Salik Ali's[1] Motions to Dismiss, or in the Alternative for Summary Judgment.[2] ECF Nos. 15 & 30. Plaintiff has responded. ECF No. 32. Upon review of the papers and exhibits filed, the Court finds that an oral hearing in this matter is unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons stated below, the motions will be granted.

Background

Plaintiff, in his Amended Complaint (ECF No. 4), states that on June 2, 2010, while incarcerated at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland ("MCI-H"), he was attacked by three gang members. As a result of the attack, he suffered a broken right hand for which he was allegedly denied adequate medical care. Plaintiff states that nine months after the attack, he underwent surgery at Bon Secours Hospital where his hand was re-broken as part of the surgical procedure. He alleges that he was denied physical therapy for his hand and states that the delay in his treatment was the result of Defendant Salik Ali's "medical negligence." ECF Nos. 1 & 4. He claims that he has now lost feeling in his hand. Id.

Additionally, Plaintiff makes a claim that the Court interprets as an allegation that prison officials failed to sufficiently protect him. In support of this claim, the Plaintiff alleges the following sequence of events. After his first "attack, " Plaintiff states that he requested to be "single-celled" at MCI-H as his broken hand rendered him defenseless, but the request was never honored. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he was then placed on administrative segregation at MCI-H pending transfer because he had many enemies. Instead of transferring him to another prison, however, on November 2, 2010, prison personnel placed him back in the general population. Only one hour after returning to the general population, Plaintiff was allegedly attacked by members of the same gang that had perpetuated the first attack. Id. Plaintiff states that he advised Jackelin Shank, the case management supervisor, of these issues "but received no help or attention." Id.

Plaintiff was subsequently transferred to the Roxbury Correctional Institution ("RCI") where he says his renewed requests for physical therapy were ignored. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff states that on February 2, 2012, he got in a fight with members of a different gang and was placed on disciplinary segregation. The Warden assured Plaintiff's family that he would be placed on administrative segregation pending investigation into where he could safely be held, but at the end of his disciplinary segregation term, he was told he would be returned to the general population. Plaintiff, however, refused this return and was given a ticket. The next day, the charge was reduced to an incident report and Plaintiff was placed on administrative segregation. Plaintiff requested a single cell on administrative segregation due to his concern about being assigned a cellmate who was a possible enemy, but his request was allegedly ignored. Id.

In response to Plaintiff's Complaint, Defendants state that they did not, in fact, work at MCI-H during the relevant time period. Plaintiff was housed at MCI-H from March 27, 2008 until June 2, 2011, when he was transferred to RCI. ECF No. 30, Ex. A. Defendant Webb became Warden at MCI-H on December 19, 2011, six months after Plaintiff left MCI-H. Id. Defendant Brezler transferred to MCI-H from RCI on July 1, 2011, one month after Plaintiff left MCI-H. Id. He did not become Security Chief at MCI-H until January 18, 2012. Id. Defendant Ali did not begin working at MCI-H until May of 2011, well after the surgery and related treatment of Plaintiff's broken hand. ECF No. 15, Ex. 1. Dr. Ali avers that he has never met nor provided any medical treatment to Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff generally disputes these dates but offers no evidence that the named Defendants were employed at MCI-H during the time period at issue. ECF No. 32.

As to the failure to protect claim, Defendants state that following the June 2, 2010 incident, the inmates who assaulted Plaintiff were placed on his OBSCIS Enemies List to ensure separation. ECF No. 30, Ex. A, pp. 41-42. The inmates involved in the November 2, 2010 incident did not appear on Plaintiff's OBSCIS Enemies List prior to the assault but were placed on the list thereafter. Id. Record evidence demonstrates that staff members were aware of the June 2, 2010 incident and took steps to keep Plaintiff away from the three inmates who attacked him. Id., p. 51.

Plaintiff submitted four administrative remedy requests ("ARPs") while housed at MCI-H in 2010 and 2011, none of which concerned Plaintiff's claim that staff failed to protect him or concerns regarding his housing status. Id., Ex. B. Only one related to his medical claims and was promptly responded to. Id.

Standard of Review

A. Motion to Dismiss

The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) is to test the sufficiency of a plaintiff's complaint. See Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). To survive a motion to dismiss, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotations omitted). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint. Id. at 563. The court need not, however, accept unsupported legal allegations, see Revene v. Charles County Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989), legal conclusions couched as factual allegations, see Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to actual events, see United Black Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979).

B. Motion for Summary Judgment

Summary Judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) ...


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