United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division
GLEN D. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
JOHN HUTTON, et al., Defendants.
K. KALLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
magistrate judge filed a report on January 10, 2019,
recommending the Defendants' motions for summary judgment
be granted. Doc. 31. Glen Johnson filed objections to the
report and recommendation on February 19, 2019. Doc. 36. In
his objections, Johnson restates his claims that ADOC
Defendants Jefferson Dunn, Willie Thomas, Deborah Toney,
Willie Bennett, John Hutton, LePaul Sewell, and Thomas
Harbison failed to protect him from an inmate attack on
February 10, 2017, and retaliated against him for his
complaints. Id. at 1-2, 4-5. Johnson also realleges
his claims that medical Defendant Shondrell Johnson failed to
adequately treat his injuries. Id. at 3-5.
the facts in a light most favorable to Johnson, the ADOC
Defendants are entitled to summary judgment because there is
no evidence that these defendants were subjectively aware
that inmate David Rogers posed a substantial risk of serious
harm to Johnson or knew that Rogers would attack
Johnson. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832-37 (1994); Brooks v. Warden, 800 F.3d 1295,
1301 (11th Cir. 2015); Brown v. Hughes, 894 F.2d
1533, 1537 (11th Cir. 1990). Neither does Johnson demonstrate
a causal link between his complaints concerning the assault
and his transfer to another facility in order to state a
claim for retaliation against the ADOC Defendants. See
Douglas v. Yates, 535 F.3d 1316, 1321 (11th Cir. 2008).
while Johnson established that he suffered serious medical
needs due to the injuries he sustained as a result of the
inmate attack, the evidence does not show that Shondrell
Johnson was deliberately indifferent to Johnson's needs.
At most, Shondrell Johnson may have been negligent in failing
to employ additional methods in administering care to
Johnson, but mere negligence in diagnosing or treating a
medical condition is insufficient to support a constitutional
claim. See Adams v. Poag, 61 F.3d 1537, 1545 (11th
carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the
materials in the court file, including the
report and recommendation and the objections thereto, the
magistrate judge's report is hereby
ADOPTED and the recommendation is
ACCEPTED. Accordingly, finding no genuine
issues of material fact exist, the court concludes that the
Defendants' motions for summary judgment on Johnson's
Eighth Amendment claims are due to be granted. The court
further concludes that Johnson's state law claims are due
to be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
 Johnson requests that the court compel
the Defendants to submit the video surveillance of the
attack. Doc. 36 at 2. However, the ADOC Defendants have
already stated in their motion for summary judgment that the
video of the attack was not preserved. Doc. 25-6, Hutton Aff.
Moreover, Rogers' attack on Johnson is not in
Johnson also alleges that Defendant John Hutton and
Investigator Terry Loggins, who is not a defendant in this
action, failed to conduct an investigation into the assault.
Doc. 36 at 2. Johnson reasons that Hutton's failure to
investigate demonstrates deliberate indifference to his
safety. Id. However, Hutton's failure to
investigate does not implicate any constitutional right to
which Johnson is entitled. See generally Vinyard v.
Wilson, 311 F.3d 1340, 1356 (11th Cir. 2002) (finding
there is no constitutional right to an investigation
concerning an excessive force claim); see e.g., Stringer
v. Doe, 503 Fed. App'x 888, 890-91 (11th Cir. 2013)
(finding no substantive due process right to an internal
investigation by law enforcement); Mallory v.
Hetzel, No. 2:12-cv-1011-WHA, 2016 WL 5030469, at *14
(M.D. Ala. 2016) (failing to properly investigate an
inmate's complaint does not rise to the level of a
separate constitutional violation because inmates do not
enjoy a constitutional right to an investigation of any kind
by government officials).
In reviewing the evidence in the
record, the court did not consider the impermissible legal
conclusions included in six affidavits submitted by
Defendants Thomas, Toney, Bennet, Hutton, Sewell, and
Harbison. See docs. 25-2, 25-3, 25-4, 25-5, 25-7, and 25-8
(Each affidavit identically ends with the statement “At
no time did I violate the constitutional rights of inmate
Glen D. Johnson.”). The Eleventh Circuit and Federal
Rule of Evidence 701 prohibit a “lay person [who] is
not qualified to make conclusions of law.” See
Montgomery v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 898 F.2d
1537, 1541 (11th Cir. 1990) (“A witness also may not
testify to the legal implications of conduct; the court must
be the jury's only source of law.”); Hamilton
v. Coffee Health Grp.,949 F.Supp.2d 1119, 1128 (N.D.
Ala. 2013) (“A plaintiffs opinion that discrimination
motivated an employment action is not an admissible lay
opinion because it is not helpful in that it merely tells the
jury what result to reach.”); KW ...