United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
DANNY RAY HENSLEY, Administrator of the Estate of Danny Oscar Hensley, PLAINTIFF,
HEATHER BOSSIO, et al, DEFENDANTS.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT. JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon Defendant Charles
Wilkerson's Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket No. 52].
The matter has been fully briefed by the parties [Docket Nos.
54 and 55]. For the reasons set forth herein, the Court finds
that Defendant Charles Wilkerson is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.
Oscar Hensley died while he was incarcerated at the Little
Sandy Correctional Complex ("LSCC"). He was beaten,
sexually assaulted and strangled to death by another inmate,
day of the murder, Bowman and Hensley entered Bowman's
cell on the second floor of the dorm, in violation of the
LSCC's rules. [Amended Complaint, Docket No. 25 at ¶
43 and Deposition of Heather Bossio, Docket No. 54-5, p. 56].
Also in violation of LSCC's rules, after entering
Bowman's cell, one of them placed a towel over most of
the cell door window. Id. at ¶ 45.
point while they were in Bowman's cell, Bowman assaulted
Hensley. He caused numerous cuts to Hensley's head and
face, and ultimately, Bowman strangled him. Id. at
Bowman told Defendant Derek Maggard, a corrections officer,
that an inmate was dead in his cell. In response, Maggard and
another corrections officer, Defendant Andrew Hayes, went to
Bowman's cell. Id. at ¶ 70. When Maggard
and Hayes arrived at the cell, Hensley was lying naked, face
down on the cell floor. Id. at ¶ 72. Hayes
checked Hensley's pulse, but found none. Id. at
¶ 73. Officers transported Hensley to St. Clair Regional
Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Id. at
November 28, 2016, Bowman plead guilty to the murder of
Hensley and was sentenced to life in prison without the
possibility of parole. Commonwealth of Kentucky v.
Bowman, 16-CR-00037, Elliot County Circuit Court.
Ray Hensley, Hensley's father, filed this action against
Defendants Heather Bossio and Holly Finch. At the time of
Hensley's murder, Heather Bossio was a Classification and
Treatment Officer at LSCC and Holly Finch was a supervisor at
LSCC. Id. at ¶¶ 4-5.[1" name="FN1" id="FN1">1]
Complaint was subsequently amended, upon Plaintiffs motion,
to add additional Defendants who were on duty at LSCC on the
day of Hensley's murder as well as Charles Dickerson, the
Prison Rape Elimination Act ("PREA") Coordinator
for Kentucky Department of Corrections. Id. at
are no allegations that are specific to Wilkerson. Rather,
Plaintiff alleges that all the Defendants violated
Hensley's Eighth Amendment rights through deliberate
indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm to
Hensley, or in the alternative that he made an intentional
decision to place Hensley at a substantial risk of suffering
serious harm. Plaintiff also alleges that the Defendants are
liable in tort for Hensley's death.
Wilkerson seeks summary judgment as to all claims alleged
1986, the United States Supreme Court set forth the standard
for summary judgment in a trilogy of cases: Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc.,477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505');">106 S.Ct. 2505, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986), Celotex v. Cartett, 477 U.S.
317. 106 S.Ct. 2548');">106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986), and
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp.,5 U.S. 574');">475 U.S. 574, 106 S.Ct. 1348');">106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538
(1986). Following this precedent and Fed.R, Civ.P. 56(c), the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law when
"[t]he pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories and admissions on file, together with
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of
material fact." Summary judgment is mandated against a
party who has failed to establish an essential element of his
or her case ...