Failure to protect.

14. Failure to Protect U.S. Appeals Court Blades v. Schuetzle, 302 F.3d 801 (8th Cir. 2002). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 PRISONER ON action against prison officials, alleging that PRISONER ASSAULT they failed to protect him from a fellow inmate, and that a correctional officer discriminated against him because of his race. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the officials' decision to release the inmate into the general prison population did not rise to the level of deliberate indifference, nor did their failure to notify the prisoner that another inmate had threatened him. The court noted that the prisoner's own statements to officials, that the inmate posed no risk of harm to him, barred his failure-to-protect claim. The appeals court found that the alleged offensive statements made by a correctional officer, ridiculing the color of the prisoner's palms and telling the prisoner to smile so that he could be seen in the dark, did not rise to an actionable level under the Fourteenth Amendment, although the statements were "thoroughly offensive and utterly reprehensible." (North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) U.S. District Court Bultema v. U.S., 195 F.Supp.2d 1001 (N.D.Ohio 2002). A federal prisoner brought an action PROTECTION against the United States under the Federal Tort FROM HARM Claims Act (FTCA), claiming negligence after he fell from an upper bunk bed and severely injured his knee. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that the alleged negligence of the prison warden fell within the discretionary function exception of FTCA. The court found that the prisoner's contributory negligence, by failing to tell his unit officer that he was entitled to a bottom bunk, was the proximate cause of his injuries. Prison personnel had medically determined that the prisoner was required to sleep on a bottom bunk, but the warden decided to have the inmate tell unit officers that the had a bottom bunk pass, rather than requiring medical personnel to inform the officers. The court found that the warden's decision to refrain from using ladders or guardrails on upper bunk beds in the prison was within the discretionary function exception of FTCA, even though the inmate stated that prisoners frequently fall from upper bunk beds and hurt themselves. The court noted that there were valid safety and security concerns relating to the use of ladders or guardrails with the bunk beds, since the rails and ladders can be broken and used as weapons or escape devices. (Federal Correctional Institution, Elkton, Ohio) U.S...

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