United States District Court, D. Maryland
JIMMY J. 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 to dismiss or, in the alternative,
for summary judgment filed by Defendants D. Kenneth Horning
and David Wade. (ECF No. 98). The issues have been briefed,
and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary.
Local Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, Defendants'
motion, construed as a motion for summary judgment, will be
Jimmy Duncan (“Plaintiff”), a former inmate at
the Maryland Correctional Training Center
(“MCTC”), was severely attacked by another inmate
in the evening 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 while they were walking across the
courtyard from the gym to their housing unit. (ECF No. 33
¶¶ 11-13). The assault by 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 ¶
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. (ECF Nos. 14-2 ¶ 2; 14-3; 14-4; 14-5).
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.”
(Id. ¶ 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”). (Id. ¶¶ 3-4).
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 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),
which was denied, because 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 Nos. 17, at 7; 18).
court appointed pro bono counsel for Plaintiff, who
filed an amended complaint. (ECF No. 33). He asserts that
Defendants deprived him of his Eighth Amendment rights when
they failed 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), and the court
denied the motion because there existed “a genuine
dispute of material fact regarding Defendant Wade's
employment at the time Plaintiff was attacked, and thus
whether Defendant Wade [could] be held liable under §
1983” (ECF Nos. 85, at 9; 86).
again moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary
judgment on January 27, 2017 (ECF No. 97), and Plaintiff
submitted his opposition on May 10 (ECF No. 109).
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
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). To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the
moving party generally bears the burden of showing that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. Liberty
Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248-50. A dispute about a material
fact is genuine “if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Id. at 249. 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. 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), but 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).