United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
MICHAEL F. URBANSKI, District Judge.
Lenton Ferguson, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, raising claims related to the defendants' alleged use of excessive force and failure to protect Ferguson while he was incarcerated at Wallens Ridge State Prison ("WRSP"). Defendant Harold Clarke has moved to dismiss this action, and the remaining defendants have moved for summary judgment. For the reasons stated herein, the court will dismiss Ferguson's claim against defendant Inspector General for failure to state a claim, grant Clarke's motion to dismiss, and grant in part and deny in part the remaining defendants' motion for summary judgment.
Ferguson alleges that on July 7, 2013, Officer Gunther "threw a [food] tray on" Ferguson through the tray slot in Ferguson's cell door. Ferguson states that he told Sgt. Hughes about the incident and showed him the food, but Sgt. Hughes "left without addressing the incident."
Ferguson also alleges that on July 10, 2013, during transportation to outside recreation, Officer Gunther assaulted him "by punching [him] and pushing [his] head into the floor" while Ferguson was handcuffed. Ferguson alleges that Officer Bailey stood behind Officer Gunther, holding a strap that was attached to the handcuffs and restricted Ferguson's movements. After the "assault, " Ferguson alleges that Officers Gunther and Bailey "returned periodically, " threatening to assault Ferguson again if he told anyone about the prior assault. Despite these threats, Ferguson states that he showed Capt. Anderson and Lt. King the head injury he received from the assault and that they "laughed and ignored" Ferguson. Ferguson also states that he showed Nurse Morgan the injury and told her about the assault, but she incorrectly reported in Ferguson's medical records that he hit his head.
Ferguson alleges that on July 11, 2013, Officers Ewing, McCray, Thompson, Hall, and Bailey assaulted him by taking turns punching him in his ribs and stomach repeatedly. Ferguson alleges that Capt. Anderson was present and "supervised the assault."
Ferguson alleges that on July 12, 2013, Lt. King and Officer Davis moved Ferguson to a new cell and that, during the move, Lt. King "instructed" Officer Davis to assault Ferguson. Officer Davis began punching Ferguson on his back and head. Ferguson alleges that "Lt. King then used the assault to force [Ferguson] to withdraw [his] complaint mentioning [King] in it."
Two days later on July 14, 2013, while being transported to the medical department, Ferguson alleges that Sgt. Crabtree began punching Ferguson in his torso causing bruises to Ferguson's chest. Ferguson also alleges that, during the assault, Officer Claudill held the wheelchair that Ferguson was being transported in and did not attempt to stop the assault.
Ferguson alleges that on July 16, 2013, he "found out that Warden Holloway and Unit Manager Collins had told inmates that [Ferguson] was a snitch." Ferguson also alleges that Warden Holloway "directly and indirectly" denied Ferguson grievance forms.
Ferguson alleges that on July 17, 2013, he gave the Inspector General a statement "about all the beatings and mistreatment, " and the Inspector General had an investigator take pictures of Ferguson's injuries, but "no [other] action was taken."
Ferguson alleges that on July 30, August 12, and September 6, 2013, he sent letters to, and his family members called, Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke about the alleged assaults and mistreatment, but "nothing was done." Ferguson does not state whether his family members actually spoke with Director Clarke.
On August 16, 2013, Ferguson was transferred to Red Onion State Prison ("ROSP") and, after arriving, he learned that his television was broken during the transfer. Ferguson does not allege who broke the television but alleges that it was either "purposely placed where damage was an obvious outcome or [it was] broken by physical force."
Ferguson alleges that defendant Inspector General failed to take any action after investigating Ferguson's complaints "about all the beatings and mistreatment." To state a cause of action under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege facts indicating that he has been deprived of rights guaranteed by the Constitution or laws of the United States and that this deprivation resulted from conduct committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42 (1988). Ferguson does not allege how the Inspector General's failure to take action after investigating Ferguson's complaints ...