United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHRISTOPHER J.M. LEWIS, Plaintiff,
LIEUTENANT SWICKI and CAPTAIN BUTKIEWICUS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
DOMINIC J. SQUATRITO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Christopher J.M. Lewis (“Lewis”),
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S. § 1983, alleging
that the defendants, Lieutenant Swicki
(“Swicki”) and Captain Butkiewicus
(“Butkiewicus”), violated his rights under the
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The
plaintiff, who is an inmate at a facility operated by the
Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”),
claims that the defendants failed to prevent another inmate
from assaulting him. Pending before the Court is the
defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons
stated below, the defendants' motion is granted.
judgment shall be granted “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). “A fact is ‘material' for
these purposes when it ‘might affect the outcome of the
suit under the governing law.'” Jeffreys v.
City of New York, 426 F.3d 549, 553 (2d Cir. 2005)
(quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986)). A dispute about a material fact is
“genuine, ” “if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248.
considering a motion for summary judgment, a court must
construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, drawing all inferences in that party's
favor.” Jeffreys, 426 F.3d at 553. However,
“[t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in
support of the plaintiff's position will be
insufficient.” Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 252.
The nonmoving party “must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).
“[A]fter adequate time for discovery and upon motion,
” summary judgment is appropriate “against a
party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986).
an inmate confined by the DOC, was transferred to Northern
Correctional Institution (“Northern”) after being
identified as being a member of a security risk group and was
placed in Administrative Segregation as part of the Security
Risk Group Threat Member Phase I Program (“SRGTM
program” or “Program”). The SRGTM Program
consists of a heightened security environment because of the
potential for assaultive behavior stemming from gang
affiliation. Inmates in the SRGTM program are at all times
restricted to their cells except for recreation, medical
issues, visitation, and phone calls.
inmates are subject to continuous observation every 15
minutes and are handcuffed from behind their backs and
escorted whenever they leave their cells. DOC policy
requires Program inmates to be searched before they enter the
recreation yard and to participate in recreation while
handcuffed behind their backs. While Program inmates are in
the recreation yard, DOC officers observe them from a window.
2010, Lewis was involved in an incident with two other
Northern inmates, Inmate Mulligan (“Mulligan”)
and Inmate Trabakoulos (“Trabakoulos”). Lewis
described this incident as follows: “[T]here were
discrepancies going on, politics, and we wasn't [sic]
seeing eye to eye.” (Doc. # 47-4, at 23, p. 18:2-3).
During this incident someone threatened Lewis, but he did not
report that threat to anyone. A report concerning this
incident was prepared by Swicki in July 2010.
times pertinent to this action, Swicki was the Intelligence
Supervisor at Northern. At a meeting in August or September
2010 Swicki told Lewis there was “information that an
assault was going to be against you.” (Id. at
38, p. 33:11-12). Prior to his September 2010 transfer to
Butkiewicus' cell block, Unit 2E, Lewis met with Swicki
and Butkiewicus. At that meeting Swicki and Butkiewicus told
Lewis they were aware of the July incident involving Lewis,
Mulligan, and Trabakoulos, and Swicki told Lewis that his
safety “can be at jeopardy.”(Doc. # 47-4, at
40, p. 35:13).
2010, Swicki intercepted written inmate communications in
which Lewis was described as having disagreed with
“PIRU Bloods” rules and had been accused of breaking
them. Those communications also indicated that Mulligan had
reportedly decided that Lewis “was done.” In his
affidavit, Swicki states that he “interpreted this to
mean that Inmate Mulligan had decided to terminate Inmate
Lewis's membership in the PIRU Bloods.” (Doc. #
47-6, at 2, ¶ 5).
Swicki nor Butkiewicus ever told Lewis that Trabakoulos or
any other particular inmate was threatening him with harm.
Lewis testified at his deposition that Swicki and Butkiewicus
told him that “in my organization, which is Piru
[PIRU], somebody is going to attack me.” (Doc. # 47-4,
at 44, p. 39:10-11). Trabakoulos was a member of PIRU. While
Lewis had differences with Trabakoulos, he never told anyone
that he was afraid Trabakoulos would assault him.
November 25, 2010, Trabakoulos and Lewis, both of whom were
housed on Unit 2E, were in the recreation yard at the same
time. Although Trabakoulos was handcuffed behind his back, he
was able to slip one of his hands out of the handcuffs and
place his hands in front of his body. Trabakoulos had been
searched before he went into the recreation yard, but he was
able to smuggle a 4-inch piece of metal into the yard and
used it to assault Lewis. At the time of the attack, Lewis
was handcuffed behind his back and unable to protect himself.
He suffered wounds to his face and neck but did not receive
conducted an investigation of the November 25, 2010 attack.
During the course of his investigation, Swicki interviewed
several Northern inmates. In his report of the investigation,
Swicki noted that one of those inmates, Kareen Mayo
(“Mayo”), “speculated that the assault was
a standing order left by ex-doc inmate Christian Mulligan . .
. who was the leader of the Piru blood set.” (Doc. #
47-5, at 4). Swicki's report went on to note that,
according to Mayo, the July 2010 incident involving Lewis,
Mulligan, and Trabakoulos, led to Mulligan “plac[ing] a
hit on inmate Lewis . . . for his disrespect and violation of
blood rules. Inmate Trabakoulos was to carry out the ...