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Wilson v. South Carolina Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

September 17, 2018

Garcia Wilson, Plaintiff,
South Carolina Department of Corrections; Warden Richard Cothran; Warden Willie Eagleton; Associate Warden Annie Sellers; Correctional Officer McFadden; Correctional Officer Smith; Correctional Officer Davis; Correctional Officer Sgt. Parker; Correctional Officer Gillespie; Correctional Officer Ocean; and Major Charles West, Defendants.



         Garcia Wilson (“Plaintiff”) filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his constitutional rights during his incarceration in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (“SCDC”). Plaintiff asserts claims against SCDC, Warden Richard Cothran, Warden Willie Eagleton, Associate Warden Annie Sellers, Correctional Officer McFadden, Correctional Officer Smith, Correctional Officer Davis, Correctional Officer Sgt. Parker, Correctional Officer Gillespie, Correctional Officer Ocean, and Major Charles West (collectively “Defendants”).

         This matter comes before the court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment. [ECF No. 14]. The motion having been fully briefed [ECF Nos. 15, 25], it is ripe for disposition. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), this matter has been assigned to the undersigned for all pretrial proceedings. Having carefully considered the record in this case, the undersigned recommends the district judge deny Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         I. Factual Background[1]

         Plaintiff alleges that he has been attacked several times by fellow inmates while in SCDC custody and that SCDC employees have assisted in the attacks and failed to prevent further attacks. Specifically, his complaint lists the following incidents:

         1) On June 30, 2016, while he was housed at Turbeville Correctional Institution (“TCI”), Plaintiff alleges that nine inmates beat him, stabbed him nine times, and then robbed him. [ECF No. 1-1 at ¶¶ 24-26]. Plaintiff alleges he was unconscious for 15 to 20 minutes, but when he regained consciousness and staggered onto the prison wing, he was unable to find a correctional officer. Id. at ¶ 27. When McFadden returned to the wing, an inmate advised him Plaintiff had been hurt and McFadden escorted Plaintiff to the Associate Warden, who instructed McFadden to take Plaintiff to medical. Id. at ¶¶ 28- 29. The nurse examined Plaintiff and instructed the correctional officers to take Plaintiff to the hospital, which they eventually did four hours later. Id. at ¶ 29.

         Plaintiff was transferred to Evans Correctional Institution (“ECI”) a few days later, and was housed on the same wing as one of the inmates that had attacked him. Id. at ¶¶ 30-31. The other inmate again threatened Plaintiff, which he reported to Warden Eagleton, but no action was taken to move Plaintiff or the other inmate. Id. at ¶ 32.

         2) On September 27, 2016, Plaintiff had a disagreement with his roommate, who brandished a knife and threatened Plaintiff. Officer Smith was present during the incident and moved Plaintiff to a different cell, but he did not confiscate the knife or write an incident report. Id. at ¶¶ 35-36. Plaintiff signed a statement about the incident and identified a correctional officer he alleged provided contraband to inmates. Id. at ¶ 37. Plaintiff was advised by Associate Warden Sellers that he should “grow up and take care of the problem himself.” Id. at ¶ 38.

         Plaintiff was advised by his new roommate that there was a “hit out on him, ” and the following afternoon he was attacked by three inmates who struck him with a lock in a sock. Id. at ¶ 39. Plaintiff alleges the medical care following this incident was inadequate. Id. at ¶¶ 42-43. Plaintiff also alleges correctional officers called him a snitch. Id. at ¶ 45.

         3) On October 27, 2016, Sgt. Parker unlocked Plaintiff's cell door, while several inmates just outside of his cell. Id. at ¶¶ 50-51. According to Plaintiff, some of the inmates were not allowed on the wing, but had been let in by Parker. Id. Parker then left and remained in the office while five of the inmates entered Plaintiff's cell, restrained him, beating him with a lock in a sock, and robbed him of his belongings. Id. at ¶¶ 52-53.

         4) On April 24, 2017, Plaintiff was talking on the telephone when he was attacked by six gang members. Id. at ¶ 60-61. The correctional officer on duty locked him in his cell, and he was not seen by medical for four days. Id. at ¶ 63.

         5) On June 2, 2017, Officer Gillespie unlocked Plaintiff's cell door against his wishes and then left the wing. Id. at ¶¶ 68-70. Shortly thereafter, five inmates entered Plaintiff's room with homemade knives and punched him in the face, stabbed him, and robbed him. Id. at ¶¶ 71-72. They advised Plaintiff that they would kill him if he reported the attack. Id. They then instructed Gillespie to lock Plaintiff's door, which she did. Id. Approximately six or seven hours later, he was taken to medical. Id. at ¶ 76.

         6) On August 16, 2017, Plaintiff was conferring with his attorney in a conference room when Major West asked if the attorney could meet with another client who had been brought from lock-up. Id. at ¶¶ 81-83. Plaintiff agreed to wait in the holding cell. After receiving permission to leave the holding cell to use the restroom, he stepped out of the cell, when Major West grabbed him and slammed him against the wall. Id. at ΒΆΒΆ 84-85. He alleges West searched Plaintiff, taking off all of his clothes except for a shirt and boxers, and seized the ...

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