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Friend v. Wadolowski

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

July 23, 2018

CAPT. WADOLOWSKI, et al. Defendants.


          Benita Y. Pearson United States District Judge

         Pending is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 10). The Court has been advised, having reviewed the record, the parties' briefs, [1] and the applicable law. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff is an inmate at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. He was previously incarcerated at the Trumbull Correctional Institution (“TCI”) in Leavittsburg, Ohio, where the alleged events took place. Defendants Capt. Michael Wadolowski and J. Lewis are Correctional Officers at TCI. Complaint (ECF No. 1) at PageID #: 3.

         On the evening of October 21, 2016, Capt. Wadolowski escorted Plaintiff from his cell to the Transitional Placement Unit (“TPU”). ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 3. Capt. Wadolowski was accompanied by C.O. Lewis. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 4. Plaintiff was handcuffed with his hands behind his back. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 3.

         Plaintiff alleges that Capt. Wadolowski was immediately aggressive. Capt. Wadolowski challenged Plaintiff, asking: “You think you are a tough guy yelling out the doors, huh?” ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 3. As Capt. Wadolowski escorted Plaintiff towards the sallyport exit doors, he shoved Plaintiff into the door with his knee. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 3-4. Plaintiff, still handcuffed, was unable to protect himself and the left side of his face struck a steel door. Upon reaching the second door, Capt. Wadolowski again shoved Plaintiff, pushing the door open with Plaintiff's body. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 4.

         Plaintiff alleges the abuse continued outside. Capt. Wadolowski tossed Plaintiff over his hip, throwing Plaintiff down onto his back. Capt. Wadolowski rolled Plaintiff face-down, pressing his face into the ground. He pressed his thumbs into Plaintiff's neck, attempting to hit pressure points to cause pain and limit Plaintiff's breathing. Other Correctional Officers hurried over, and C.O. Lewis pulled Plaintiff back to his feet. Capt. Wadolowski announced to the other officers that Plaintiff may try to spit at them. When Plaintiff turned his head to speak to other inmates witnessing the incident, C.O. Lewis threw him to the ground again. Plaintiff landed on his left side, hitting his face, chest and shoulder on the ground. The officers pulled Plaintiff back to his feet, causing him more pain to his elbow and hyperextending his shoulders. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 4.

         Plaintiff made repeated demands to be taken to medical due to pain in his elbow, back, face, jaw, and neck. Medical staff examined Plaintiff's head and instructed the officers to bring Plaintiff to the TPU. Later that evening, two officers visited Plaintiff in the TPU and photographed his injuries. After further requests from Plaintiff, a nurse came to clean and dress his wounds. After being treated, Plaintiff was returned to his cell. Plaintiff requested and received mental health treatment following the incident as well. He has had approximately 5 mental health appointments related to the incident. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 4.

         Plaintiff made a “Use of Force” written statement on October 22, 2016 while in the TPU. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 4. Having received no formal response after two weeks, Plaintiff sent his complaint on to Deputy Warden Bowen and was told his grievance had been denied. Plaintiff then filed another grievance with Chief Inspector Frederick, which was also denied. He filed an appeal to the Chief Inspector of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, but received no response as of the filing of the complaint with this Court. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 2.

         Plaintiff was found guilty of violating several rules by the Rules Infraction Board. ECF No. 1-4 at PageID #: 14-16. He appealed the ruling to the Warden. His appeal was denied. ECF No. 1-4 at PageID #: 17.

         A number of inmates witnessed the incident and filed affidavits in support of Plaintiff's version of events. See ECF No. 1-4 at PageID #: 37-39. Additionally, Plaintiff claims the incident was captured on video, but he was informed by the Rules Infraction Board that no video footage had been saved for review. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 5; ECF No. 1-4 at PageID #: 14.

         II. Standard of Review

         In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), the Court must take all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and construe those allegations in a light most favorable to the plaintiff. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citations omitted). A cause of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it lacks “plausibility in th[e] complaint.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 564. A pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677-78 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)). Plaintiff is not required to include detailed factual allegations, but must provide more than “an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Id. at 678. A pleading that offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders “naked assertion[s]” devoid of “further factual enhancement.” Id. at 557. It must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability requirement, ” but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. When a complaint pleads facts that are “merely consistent with” a defendant's liability, it “stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to relief.'” Id. at 557 (brackets omitted). “[When] the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Rule 8(a)(2)). The Court “need not accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation or an unwarranted factual inference.” Handy-Clay v. City of Memphis, Tenn., 695 F.3d 531, 539 (6th Cir. 2012) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

         III. ...

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