United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Bradley Murray UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Thomas Radford, a prison inmate proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed his seconded amended
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See
Doc. 57). This action was referred to the undersigned
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule
72(a)(2)(R), and is now before the undersigned on
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. After careful
review of the pleadings, and for the reasons set out below,
it is ordered that Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment be granted and that Plaintiff
Radford's action against Defendants Terry Raybon, Chandra
January, and Michael Hoffman be dismissed
Radford is suing the Defendants for acts of cruel and unusual
punishment and deliberate indifference in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. Radford claims that while incarcerated at
Fountain Correctional Facility, Defendants twice assigned him
a job duty that required performing labor beyond the
allowance of his medical profile. (Docs. 57; Doc. 90).
complaint, Plaintiff Radford maintains that on January 24,
2014, Warden Raybon assigned him to work in the laundry room.
(Doc. 57 at 3). Radford claims he informed Warden Raybon (at
that time the assignment was delegated) that he suffered from
back problems which restricted his ability to perform the
physical requirements of the laundry job and that he
possessed a medical profile excusing him from lifting or
bending, to which Warden Raybon responded, “profile[s]
don't work around here.” (Id.). Plaintiff
Radford subsequently accepted the laundry room job assignment
after Warden Raybon warned him that he would receive a
disciplinary charge if he failed to comply with the work
order. (Id. at 3-4). In February 2014, however,
while working in the laundry room, Radford alleges in his
complaint that he “hurt [his] spinal cord again,
” after picking up a bag of laundry that weighed
approximately 200 pounds. (Id. at 4; Doc. 101 at 2).
Plaintiff Radford alleges Warden Raybon assigned him a job
duty beyond the scope of his medical profile, in August of
2014, by ordering him to work in the bathroom(s). (Doc. 57 at
3-4). Again, Radford claims he informed Warden Raybon about
his back injury and work profile limitations. (Id.).
Nevertheless, Warden Raybon insisted Radford report to the
assigned job to avoid disciplinary action. (Id. at
4). While on the job, Plaintiff Radford alleges he attempted
to lift a 75 pound bucket of water and reinjured his back and
spinal cord. (Id.).
Radford also brings suit against Classification Officers
Chandra January and Michael Hoffman, who he alleges were
present at the Job Board hearing when Warden Raybon assigned
him to the laundry room and bathroom work details in January
and August 2014, respectively. (Id. at 7). Plaintiff
Radford claims Classification Officers January and Hoffman
were aware that Radford had a ”no lift” medical
profile at the time the jobs were assigned, yet they failed
“to defend him” and allowed him to be assigned
work duty in the laundry room and bathroom. (Id.).
Plaintiff seeks relief from the Defendants in the amount of
$10, 000 compensatory and $15, 000 punitive damages.
(Id. at 8).
Raybon, Hoffman, and January have answered the suit, denied
the allegations against them, asserted the defenses of
sovereign and qualified immunity,  and filed a Special Report
in support of their position. (Docs. 76, 77, 86, 87). The
Court converted Defendants' Answers and Special Reports
into a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 89), and Plaintiff
Radford has responded in opposition to the motion. (Docs. 78,
101-104). After a thorough review of the record before the
Court, this motion is now ripe for consideration.
Summary Judgment Standard.
Judgment is proper "if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d
265 (1986); Garczynski v. Bradshaw, 573 F.3d 1158,
1165 (2009) ("[S]ummary judgment is appropriate even if
'some alleged factual dispute' between the parties
remains, so long as there is 'no genuine issue of
material fact.'"(emphasis omitted)).
party asking for summary judgment "always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the
'pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact." Celotex, 477 U.S. at
323. The movant can meet this burden by presenting evidence
showing there is no dispute of material fact, or by showing,
or pointing out to, the district court that the nonmoving
party has failed to present evidence in support of some
element of its case on which it bears the ultimate burden of
proof. Id. at 322-24.
Once the moving party has met its burden, Rule 56(e)
"requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the pleadings
and by [its] own affidavits, or by the 'depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, '
designate 'specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.'" Id. at 324. To avoid
summary judgment, the nonmoving party "must do more than
show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538
(1986). On the other hand, the evidence of the nonmovant must
be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in
its favor. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC v. United Forming, Inc.,
926 F.Supp.2d 1286, 1289-90 (S.D. Ala. Jan. 29, 2013)
requirement to view the facts in the nonmoving party's
favor extends only to "genuine" disputes over
material facts. A genuine dispute requires more than
"some metaphysical doubt as to material facts."
Garczynski, 573 F.3d at 1165 (internal citations
omitted). A "mere scintilla" of evidence is
insufficient; the nonmoving party must produce substantial
evidence in order to defeat a motion for summary judgment.
Id. In addition, "[t]here is no burden upon the
district court to distill every potential argument that could
be made based upon the materials before it on summary
judgment." Resolution Trust Corp. v. DunmarCorp., 43 F.3d 587, 599 (11th Cir. 1995). More
importantly, where "opposing parties tell two different
stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the
record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court
should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes of
ruling on a motion for summary judgment." Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 1776, 167
L.Ed.2d 686 (2007); see also Logan v. Smith, 439
Fed.Appx. 798, 800 (11th Cir. Aug. 29, 2011) ("In cases
where opposing parties ...