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Mason v. Correctional Officer Sadowski CO II

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 29, 2016

ANTHONY MASON, Prisoner Identification No. 408-326
v.
CORRECTIONAL OFFICER SADOWSKI CO II, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          THEODORE D. CHUNG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Anthony Mason, a self-represented inmate confined at the Baltimore City Correctional Center, has filed suit under 42 U.S.C.§ 1983 against Defendant Michael Sadowski. Pending is Sadowski's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. No hearing is necessary to resolve the issues. See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are presented in the light most favorable to Mason, the nonmoving party:

         I. January 5, 2013 Altercation

         On January 5, 2013, Mason was an inmate at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown ("MCI-H".. That morning, Mason attended a religious service at the MCI-H Chapel with approximately 90 other inmates. When the service ended, Mason walked toward the "D-2 grill." While waiting there, he was attacked from behind and stabbed by several inmates. Mason curled into a fetal position. He estimates that the attack lasted for about five minutes until Sadowski, a correctional officer at MCI-H, arrived on the scene.

         Sadowski had been working at a post from which he watched inmates leave the Chapel, walk down the hall and go downstairs. He followed them, and, as he walked down steps towards the D-2 grill, he observed three inmates, including Mason and Jason Elliott, getting off the ground and backing away from each other. Mason was initially detained by Sadowski, but a few minutes later he was taken to the prison medical department where he received treatment for two abrasions to his right hand; puncture wounds to his right upper arm and left upper back 0.2 and 0.4 millimeters in depth, respectively; seven small punctures to his left upper arm; and two lacerations to the left side of his back 6.5 and 9 centimeters in length. Elliott bore no signs of injury. Shortly after the attack, a correctional officer found four makeshift weapons near the hallway where Mason was stabbed. The third inmate Sadowski saw at the scene was never identified.

         When questioned during an internal prison investigation into the incident, Mason claimed that he did not know who attacked him. He also denied having had any recent arguments or gang affiliations. Elliott disavowed any involvement in the attack. Sadowski cited Mason for disciplinary infractions, but prison officials later cleared Mason of any misconduct, finding that he had been the victim of the attack.

         Sadowski asserts that Mason never expressed to him any fears of an attack. Mason does not claim to have provided Sadowski or any other prison official with any information regarding a risk to his safety. Instead, he asserts that Sadowski negligently abandoned his assigned post. Mason believes that if Sadowski had been positioned properly, he could have prevented the attack. Ronald Brezler, Chief of Security at MCI-H, avers that Sadowski was within his assigned duty area when the assault occurred and that Sadowski responded to and reported the incident in accordance with prison policy.

         II. Procedural History

         On March 11, 2015, Mason filed suit in this Court against Sadowski pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 9 1983, alleging that Sadowski violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by failing to protect him from assault by other inmates. Mason seeks $30, 000 in damages. On October 6, 2015, Sadowski filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. On October 9, 2015, the Clerk of the Court mailed to Mason a letter informing him that Sadowski had filed a motion which, if granted, could result in the dismissal of his case. The letter advised Mason that he could file materials in opposition to the Motion within 17 days and that failure to do so could result in the dismissal of his case without further notice. On November 16, 2015, Mason filed a motion requesting an extension of the deadline to file a response to the Motion. On November 24, 205,, the Court granted Mason's motion, extending his response deadline to December 19, 2015. Mason has not filed a response to Sadowski's Motion.

         DISCUSSION

         In his Motion, Sadowski seeks dismissal or summary judgment on the grounds that he was not deliberately ...


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