Wubneh v. Hutchinson

Genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether a former Virginia Department of Corrections employee violated the Eighth Amendment rights of the plaintiff, an inmate. The defendant’s affidavit claims that he didn’t assault or use excessive force against the plaintiff, and he corroborates his version of events with the investigator’s affidavit and investigatory report. However, the plaintiff’s affidavit claims that the defendant yelled at him threateningly and then deliberately slammed his hand in a tray slot. Affidavits from fellow inmates at least partly corroborate the plaintiff’s version. Moreover, the defendant and plaintiff have conflicting accounts of whether the plaintiff was violating any prison rules or acting disruptively.

The defendant points to medical evidence that the plaintiff suffered little to no injury as a result of the alleged incident. This evidence is expressly contradicted in the record by the plaintiff’s statement that his hand was injured by the defendant’s actions. The investigator mentions that the plaintiff was in a sling at the time of his interview. The plaintiff is not required to show significant injury to establish a claim for excessive force.

Motions for summary judgment denied.

Wubneh v. Hutchinson, No. 7:17cv510, Mar. 12, 2019. WDVA at Roanoke (Kiser).

Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Western District of Virginia

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