United States District Court, D. Maryland
THEODORE D. CHUANG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Edward Williams, an inmate at the Eastern Correctional
Institution ("ECI") in Westover, Maryland, has
filed a Complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against Defendant Stephen M. Moyer, the former Secretary
of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional
Services ("DPSCS",, alleging unspecified violations
arising from an incident in which he slipped and fell on
spilled water at a Maryland correctional facility. Pending
before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or, in
the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment ("Motion
for Summary Judgment"). Although Williams was provided
notice of the Motion, he has not opposed it. Upon
consideration of the submitted materials, the Court finds
that no hearing is necessary. See D. Md. Local R.
105.6. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion for
Summary Judgment will be granted.
unverified Complaint, Williams asserts that on April 7, 2016,
while he was incarcerated at the Maryland Reception
Diagnostic Classification Center ("MRDCC",, he
slipped and fell because there was water on the floor of his
cell. When Williams fell, he struck his back, arms, and head
on the floor. Williams claims that the water had been on the
floor of his cell for three days prior to his fall and that
his cellmate, Anthony Phillips had notified Officer Stepney
of the problem.
to Lawrence Walker, the DPSCS Acting Correctional Maintenance
Service Manager, tier logs for MRDCC Housing Unit 5C, where
Williamsss cell was located, reveal that at 9:47 a.m. on
April 7, 2016, a maintenance worker was checking the
sprinkler system in the unit. The water was turned on to
check the sprinkler, causing flooding in cells 24, 26, 27,
and 32. At 9:48 a.m., a call was made to request sanitation
and water clean-up workers. At 10:25 a.m., three sanitation
workers arrived in the unit and used wet vacuums to clean up
the water on the top and bottom tiers of Housing Unit 5C. At
10:56 a.m., Williamsss cellmate reported that Williams had
fallen when he was walking to the toilet in cell 5C-02. At
11:50 a.m., the sanitation workers left the tier for lunch
and returned at 1:20 p.m. There is no record of Williams
leaving the tier for medical attention.
following day, on April 8, 2016, Williams filed an
administrative remedy procedure complaint ("ARP"),
No. 0230-16, regarding his fall. According to Williams, it
was dismissed without a response or a proper investigation.
In fact, on April 11, 2016, the ARP was dismissed pending
resubmission, and Williams was instructed to provide the
following information: the names of staff he notified about
the water on the floor, whether and when he received medical
treatment, and the names of all staff involved. Williams was
given until April 26, 2016 to resubmit his complaint.
April 18. 2016, Williams filed a timely resubmission, but it
was again dismissed pending resubmission. A copy of the
resubmitted ARP is not provided in the record, nor is there
an explanation regarding why the resubmission was inadequate.
Williams did not file a second resubmission.
10, 2016, Williams filed an appeal of the dismissal of his
ARP with the Commissioner of Correction. According to
Williams, this appeal was dismissed two years later, without
a proper investigation. Also on June 10, 2016, Williams
attempted to file an appeal with the Inmate Grievance Office
("IGO") relating to his slip and fall. In that
grievance, Williams described how he slipped and fell on
water on his cell floor on April 7, 2016. In a letter dated
September 1, 2016, IGO Deputy Director Robin Woolford
instructed Williams to submit copies of all ARP paperwork not
previously provided within 30 days in order to assist with a
determination whether he had exhausted administraiive
remedies. Williams was forewarned that the failure to provide
an appropriate response would result in dismissal of his IGO
grievance. Williams responded by providing a copy of his
April 18, 2016 ARP resubmission, which he had filed with the
Warden of MRDCC.
letter dated January 9, 2017, the IGO directed Williams to
submit within 30 days evidence that he had appealed the
Warden's response to the Commissioner of Correction.
Specifically, Deputy Director Robin Woolford advised:
In order for the IGO to determine whether you have properly
exhausted an available ARP remedy, whether you have timely
filed this grievance, and whether you have filed grievance in
the proper manner, COMAR 12.07.01.04(B)(9)(a) requires that
you submit with your grievance at the outset of the grievance
process all related ARP paperwork, including your ARP
complaint to the Warden, any receipt from the Warden, any
response from the Warden, any receipt for the Warden's
response, any ARP appeal to the Commissioner,, any receipt
from the Commissioner,, and any response from the
Commissioner.. I note that you have provided only a copy of
your original ARP complaint to the Warden.
IGO Letter at 2, ECF No. 12-4 at 17. Williams was again
warned that the failure to provide the required paperwork
would result in the dismissal of his grievance "as
having been determined to be wholly lacking in merit, without
further notice." Id.
about January 23, 2017, Williams responded to this letter by
submitting copies of his ARP appeals to the Commissioner, one
filed in June 2016 and one in August 2016, to which Williams
claimed to have received no response. Williams also asserted
that he had never received a response from the Warden to his
resubmitted ARP. Later, Williams provided the IGO with a copy
of a February 1, 2017 letter he had received from Maryland
State Treasurer's Office in response to ...