United States District Court, D. Maine
DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff alleges Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm to him when
they failed to protect him from an assault by another inmate.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for
partial summary judgment. (ECF No. 37.) Through their motion,
Defendants argue that Plaintiff did not experience more than
a de minimis physical injury and, therefore, Plaintiff cannot
recover damages for mental or emotional pain and suffering.
Defendants further argue that Plaintiff cannot recover money
damages from Defendant Maine Department of Corrections
through a civil action filed in this Court.
a review of the summary judgment record and after
consideration of the parties' arguments, the Court grants
in part Defendant's motion and dismisses Plaintiff's
claim against the Maine Department of Corrections.
Jeremiah Young, a prisoner incarcerated at the Maine State
prison, was injured in an assault by another inmate on July
5, 2016. According to Plaintiff, as a result of the assault,
in addition to the physical injuries he suffered, he has
“suffered a great deal” and has nightmares all
the time. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages.
(Defendants' Statement of Material Facts ¶ 1, ECF
was examined by the prison's medical department
immediately after the assault. The medical record reflects
Plaintiff suffered abrasions to the left ear, the left corner
of the left eye, the right temple, and the upper lip. In
addition, Plaintiff sustained a bite wound on two fingers.
The wound on one finger was closed with three steri-strips
and the other wound only required cleaning. (Id.
¶ 2.) Plaintiff was seen in follow-up the next day for a
bandage change. At that time, a nurse noted swelling and
bruising of a finger and recommended ice. (Id.
days after the incident (July 8, 2016), although the bite
wound appeared to be healing well, because of a question
regarding possible tendon damage to or a fracture of one of
the fingers, an x-ray was ordered. (Id. ¶ 4.)
The x-ray showed a “transverse, minimally displaced
fracture” to one of Plaintiff's fingers.
(Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff was provided a splint and
the finger was taped to an adjacent finger. (Id.
¶ 6.) Plaintiff's finger was still swollen and
painful one month later, though it retained sensation and
Summary Judgment Standard
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “After the moving party has
presented evidence in support of its motion for summary
judgment, ‘the burden shifts to the nonmoving party,
with respect to each issue on which he has the burden of
proof, to demonstrate that a trier of fact reasonably could
find in his favor.'” Woodward v. Emulex
Corp., 714 F.3d 632, 637 (1st Cir. 2013) (quoting
Hodgens v. Gen. Dynamics Corp., 144 F.3d 151, 158
(1st Cir. 1998)).
reviews the factual record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, resolving evidentiary conflicts and drawing
reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor.
Hannon v. Beard, 645 F.3d 45, 47 - 48 (1st Cir.
2011). If the court's review of the record reveals
evidence sufficient to support findings in favor of the
non-moving party on one or more of her claims, a trial-worthy
controversy exists and summary judgment must be denied to the
extent there are supported claims. Unsupported claims are
properly dismissed. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986) (“One of the principal purposes
of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of
factually unsupported claims or defenses.”).
argue they are entitled to summary judgment to the extent
Plaintiff seeks to recover for mental or emotional injury and
to the extent Plaintiff attempts to ...