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Stacy v. Rice

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division

March 28, 2018

MICHAEL ALAN STACY, ADC #127239 PLAINTIFF
v.
MATT RICE, et al. DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections:

         This Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to Judge Susan Webber Wright. Any party may file written objections to this Recommendation. Objections must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for the objection. To be considered, all objections must be received in the office of the Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation.

         If no objections are filed, Judge Wright can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By not objecting, parties may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact.

         II. Background:

         Plaintiff Michael Alan Stacy, an inmate that was housed at the Faulkner County Detention Center (“Detention Center”), filed this lawsuit without the help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket entry #1) In his complaint, Mr. Stacy raises a conditions-of-confinement claim, alleging that he was exposed to black mold and rust in the showers at the Detention Center.[1] (#2, #5)

         Defendants have moved for summary judgment on all claims. (#38) Mr. Stacy has filed a response. (#42)

         III. Standard:

         In a summary judgment, the court rules in favor of a party without the need for a trial. A moving party is entitled to summary judgment if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the party on the other side of the lawsuit, shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any fact that is important to the outcome of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322B23, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986). Here, the Defendants have moved for summary judgment, so they bear the burden of coming forward with evidence showing that there is no real dispute as to the facts.

         IV. Facts:

         Mr. Stacy alleges that over the five-and-a-half months he was housed at the Detention Center, he was exposed to black mold in the showers; he also alleges that rust from the shower ceiling fell into his eye causing him to suffer blurry vision. (#2, #5) According to Mr. Stacy, Defendant Spikes brought bleach to kill the mold, but the mold grew back. (#2, #5) Mr. Stacy alleges Defendants Williams, Andrew, Spikes, Bryant and Overman knew about the mold and rust, but failed to correct the unsafe conditions. (#5) Mr. Stacy sues Defendant Rice as the acting sheriff of Faulkner County because according to Mr. Stacy, it is his job to run the county jail. (#42)

         Defendants attached the affidavit of Chris Riedmueller, the Detention Center administrator, in support of their motion. (#40-1) According to Mr. Riedmueller, detainees clean the showers daily. Three time per day, detainees are provided cleaning supplies, including mops, brooms, soap, and liquid cleaning agents. In addition to daily cleaning, the shower areas are power-washed weekly.

         Mr. Riedmueller states that he has not found black mold or rust during his inspections of the Detention Center; and representatives from the Arkansas Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee inspected the detention center in September of 2016 and in May of 2017 and did not find evidence of black mold. (#40-1) In response to the Defendants' motion, Mr. Stacy disputes that inmates clean the showers daily or that they are regularly provided cleaning supplies. (#42)

         On November 19 and 20, 2016, Mr. Stacy filed grievances complaining that he was experiencing blurry vision as a result of cleaning rust from the showers. (#41-1, p.4-5) According to the affidavit of Dr. Gary Stewart, however, on December 8, 2016, he examined Mr. Stacy. At that appointment, Mr. Stacy did not complain about, or mention, any problems with his eyes. (#40-2)

         V. ...


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