United States District Court, D. Maryland
JIMMY D. DUNCAN
D. KENNETH HORNING, et al.
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge.
pending and ready for resolution in this prisoner civil
rights case is a motion for summary judgment filed by
Defendant David Wade. (ECF No. 56). The issues have been
fully briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being
deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following
reasons, the motion for summary judgment will be denied.
Jimmy Duncan ("Plaintiff"), a former inmate at the
Maryland Correctional Training Center ("MCTC"), was
severely attacked by another inmate on November 4, 2010. The
assailant, Raynard Horne, obtained a large rock from a major
excavation site on the MCTC compound, put the rock into a
sock, and beat Plaintiff with it. (ECF No. 33 ¶¶
11-13). Mr. Horne fractured Plaintiff's skull, resulting
in the removal of a piece of his skull and bone fragments;
Plaintiff continues to experience severe medical
complications. (Id. ¶¶ 17-18, 24, 32;
see ECF No. 74-5 ¶ 4(d)).
excavation site from which Mr. Horne obtained the rock was
part of an ongoing construction project at MCTC that included
the digging of trenches for an underground steam loop to
provide heat to the facility. (ECF No. 33 ¶¶ 6-8;
see ECF Nos. 74-1, at 4-6; 74-2 ¶ 2).
Construction crews would unearth rocks but leave them
unsecured and accessible to anyone using the walkway to the
MCTC gymnasium, dining hall, medical department, and various
housing units. According to Plaintiff, corrections officers
guarded the construction site only during the daytime while
workers were present. (ECF No. 33 ¶¶ 8-10).
Otherwise, the site was left "utterly unsecured and not
properly safeguarded, and, thus, accessible to inmates."
(ECF No. 33 ¶ 9).
alleges that, at the time of the attack, Defendant Kenneth
Horning was the Warden of MCTC and Defendant Wade was the
MCTC Chief of Security (collectively, the
"Defendants"). The complaint recites that
"Defendants were responsible for the operation of 
MCTC in a safe and proficient manner, with a duty to exercise
reasonable care to protect the inmates of that
institution." (Id. ¶ 5). Plaintiff alleges
that similar attacks had occurred previously, and that
Defendants "had foreknowledge that the rocks left
accessible to inmates at the subject construction site could
be used to cause serious harm, had already caused harm, and
continued to pose a serious threat to the inmates."
(Id. ¶ 15).
proceeding pro se, commenced this action against
Defendants on February 11, 2013, alleging a violation of 42
U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). Defendants moved to dismiss
or, in the alternative, for summary judgment (ECF No. 12),
and the court denied the motion (ECF Nos. 17; 18). The court
reasoned that there existed "a material factual dispute
as to what actions were taken by Defendants to safeguard the
MCTC site and whether they had constructive notice of safety
issues associated with the debris from the site." (ECF
No. 17, at 7).
court appointed pro bono counsel for Plaintiff, who
filed an amended complaint. (ECF No. 33). He asserts that
Defendants deprived him of rights secured by the Eighth
Amendment to the United States Constitution by failing to
provide reasonable protection at MCTC. (Id. ¶
28). Defendants filed an answer and amended answer. (ECF Nos.
35; 55). Subsequently, Defendant Wade moved for summary
judgment. (ECF No. 56). The pending motion is fully briefed.
(ECF Nos. 74; 77). Discovery is ongoing, and the court
granted a consent motion to extend discovery until August 5,
2016. (ECF No. 84).
Standard of Review
motion for summary judgment will be granted only if there
exists no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986);
Emmett v. Johnson, 532 F.3d 291, 297 (4th
Cir. 2008). Summary judgment is inappropriate if any material
factual issue "may reasonably be resolved in favor of
either party." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 250;
JKC Holding Co. LLC v. Wash. Sports Ventures, Inc.,
264 F.3d 459, 465 (4th Cir. 2001). In undertaking
this inquiry, a court must view the facts and the reasonable
inferences drawn therefrom "in the light most favorable
to the party opposing the motion." Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587
(1986) (quoting United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369
U.S. 654, 655 (1962)); see also EEOC v. Navy Fed. Credit
Union, 424 F.3d 397, 405 (4th Cir. 2005).
moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact. If the nonmoving
party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential
element of his or her case as to which he or she would have
the burden of proof, then there is no genuine dispute of
material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23.
Therefore, on those issues on which the nonmoving party has
the burden of proof, it is his or her responsibility to
confront the summary judgment motion with an "affidavit
or other evidentiary showing" demonstrating that there
is a genuine issue for trial. See Ross v. Early, 899
F.Supp.2d 415, 420 (D.Md. 2012), aff'd, 746 F.3d
546 (4th Cir. 2014). "A mere scintilla of
proof . . . will not suffice to prevent summary
judgment." Peters v. Jenney, 327 F.3d 307, 314
(4th Cir. 2003). "If the evidence is merely
colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary
judgment may be granted." Liberty Lobby, 477
U.S. at 249-50 (citations omitted). In other words, a
"party cannot create a genuine dispute of material fact
through mere speculation or compilation of inferences."
Shin v. Shalala, 166 F.Supp.2d 373, 375 (D.Md. 2001)
(citation omitted); see Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens
Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 522 (4th