United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
CHARLES WILLIAM LATTISAW, JR. #444-499, Plaintiff,
C.O. ERIC ROSS,  CHARLES COUNTY SHERIFF TROY BERRY, CHARLES COUNTY DETENTION CENTER DIRECTOR CAPTAIN RICE, CHARLES COUNTY GOVERNMENT, CHARLES COUNTY DETETION CENTER, Defendants.
J. HAZEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT .JUDGE
Charles William Lattisaw. Jr.. a prisoner confined at Jessup
Correctional Institution, has filed a self-represented civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ij 1983. As amended by
consolidation. the Complaint seeks $5 million in damages
against Charles County Detention Center ("Detention
Center") Officer Eric Ross. Director Captain Rice.
Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry, and Charles County.
is a Motion to Dismiss or. Alternatively, for Summary
Judgment filed on behalf of Ross. Rice. Berry and Charles
County,  ECF No. 17. and Lattisaw's Response.
ECF No. 22. No hearing is needed to resolve the issues
raised. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the
following reasons. Defendants" Motion will be granted.
claims that on February 28. 2014. he was "assaulted in
various ways (physically, sexually, verbally) by CO
Ross." ECF No. 1 at 5. Lattisaw states that Ross turned
the lights and water on and off in the shower area. When
Lattisaw stepped out of the shower to ask Ross to stop
playing with the controls. Ross "stuck up his middle
finger" and laughed at him. Id. Lattisaw
resumed his shower and Ross continued to turn the water and
lights on and off. Lattisaw was struck with "exceedingly
hot" water that burned his "back, neck and
butt." and as he hurried out of the shower, he tripped
and fell in front of "15-20 other inmates" who
frightened him by making "sexual remarks" toward
him. Id. Lattisaw contends Ross's conduct
constitutes "abuse and negligence." and that Ross
ignored his requests for medical treatment and left Lattisaw
on the floor in pain. Id. at 6. Lattisaw states
another officer heard his cries for help and escorted him to
the medical area. Id. Lattisaw asked Sgt. Irby to
review the security camera to verify the incident, which was
witnessed by other inmates. Id. Lattisaw claims he
continues to suffer "[d]epression. anxiety, nightmares,
fear and emotional [instability" because of the
contends that the incident that resulted in Lattisaw's
fall was an accident. Lattisaw was not denied medical care
and in any event was not sexually assaulted or otherwise
injured, and that the video of the incident was overwritten
after review because it did not reveal any wrongdoing.
has submitted an affidavit detailing the layout of the
Men's Classification Unit ("MCU") where the
incident occurred and explaining his actions on the day of
the incident. ECF No. 17-4. The MCU is a two-tiered unit with
24 cells with a common area and a shower on each tier.
Id. ¶ 3. Two officers are typically assigned to
the MCU. one to the first floor control room and the other to
the desk just outside the control room. Id. ¶
4. From the main screen of the computer in the control room,
an officer can control various operations in the MCU.
including the opening and closing of cell doors, lights, and
water to the showers. Id. ¶ 5. There is a speci
Ik-button that controls the lights to the shower on both the
first and second floors. Id. ¶ 6. A separate
mouse-activated button controls the water to the showers.
This button does not control the water flow from the shower
head, but simply acts to turn the water lines running to the
showers on and off. Id. ¶ 7. An officer cannot
control the temperature of the water in the showers from the
control room; the temperature is controlled at the water
heaters. Id. ¶ 8. Because the mouse must be
clicked to turn the lights on and off and also to turn the
water to the showers on and off. the lights and water cannot
be turned on and off simultaneously. Id. ¶ 9.
shower area on the first floor includes an area that has a
toilet, sink, and bench as well as a shower stall. ECF No.
17-4 ¶ 10. The shower stall is separated from the toilet
area by a shower curtain. Id. There is a lip that
inmates must step over to enter the shower that prevents
water from flowing into the toilet area. Similarly, there is
a lip in the entrance to the toilet area that prevents water
from flowing out into the common area. Id. ¶
will not flow from the shower head until the corrections
officer in the control room has turned the water to the
showers on. The showers are not automatically activated when
the shower button is pressed on the computer in the control
room. Instead, the shower heads are activated only when an
inmate presses a button located below the shower head itself.
When an inmate presses the button, the water turns on for
approximately twenty seconds. Consequently, inmates have to
continuously press the button during their showers.
Id. ¶ 12. If the water to the showers is turned
off in the control room while water is flowing from the
shower head, the water will stop flowing. Id. ¶
13. Water will not automatically flow from the shower head
when the water is turned back on in the control room. Once
the water has been turned back on in the control room, an
inmate must press the button below the shower head to turn
the water back on for an additional twenty seconds.
Id. Neither inmates, nor the corrections officer in
the control room, have control over the temperature of the
water that comes from the shower head. Id. ¶
assigned to the MCU are in their cells for approximately
twenty-two hours a day and are allowed into the common area
twice a day. for one hour at a time, once during the morning
shift (7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) and once during the evening
shift (3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.). Id. ¶ 15.
Inmates are allowed to use either of the two showers while
out of their cells. The only restriction is that inmates
cannot take a shower during the morning shift until the
showers have been cleaned and inspected by a corrections
February 28. 2014. Ross was assigned to the Control Room in
the MCU when Lattisaw and fellow inmate Mark Glower decided
to take showers. Id. ¶ 16. Lattisaw was in the
shower on the first floor and Clower was in the shower on the
second floor. Id. After several minutes, Ross told
Clower to finish his shower because he was scheduled to be
taken to the medical unit. Id. ¶ 17: ECF No.
17-3 at 118. When Clower ignored Ross's order. Ross
turned off the tights to the shower areas first, followed by
the water to the showers, then turned each back on. in
roughly three second intervals, repeating the process three
additional times over a two minute period, ECF No. 17-4
¶¶ 17-18. Lattisaw was still in the first floor
shower while this was occurring, Id.
avers that his decision to turn the lights and water off and
on was based solely upon the need to get Clower to the
medical unit, and Lattisaw's presence in the shower did
not factor into this decision. Id. ¶ 19. After
Ross stopped turning the lights and water on and off, he
learned that Lattisaw was complaining of injury.
Id.v 20. Ross did not say anything to
Lattisaw during or after the incident. Id.
was transported by Corporal Fagnani to the medical unit,
id. T 21. where he "stated he fell in the
shower and also stated the water in the shower was hot."
ECF No. 17-3 at 251. Nothing in the record suggests that he
complained to medical staff about being sexually assaulted.
Id. Staff checked Lattisaw's vitals.
Id. The medical records do not include any reference
to Lattisaw sustaining burns on his body or to other obvious
injury caused by his alleged ...