United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.
a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 arising out
of an attack against plaintiff Chad Langlois, then an inmate
at the Bristol County House of Corrections, by his cellmate,
Manuel Pacheco. The complaint alleges that the Sheriff of
Bristol County, Thomas Hodgson, and two corrections officers,
Nicholas Drinkwine and Glen Taber, acted with deliberate
indifference and disregard for Langlois's health and
safety. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants
failed to protect Langlois from imminent attack and harm by
moving either Langlois or Pacheco to a different cell or by
searching Pacheco for a weapon.
Hodgson, Drinkwine, and Taber have moved for summary
judgment. For the following reasons, the motion will be
where otherwise noted, the following facts are set forth in
the record and are undisputed.
February 21, 2013, and February 14, 2014, Chad Langlois was
an inmate at the Bristol County House of Correction
(“BCHOC”). (Ds' SUMF ¶ 1; Dirks Aff. Ex.
1 at 10; Ex. 2). While incarcerated at the BCHOC, he acted as
a confidential informant for the Special Investigations Unit.
(Ds' SUMF ¶ 2; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 54-55). On
February 14, 2014, he was transferred from the BCHOC to the
custody of the Massachusetts Department of Correction.
(Ds' SUMF ¶ 3; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 10-11; Ex. 2).
Between February 14, 2014, and December 28, 2016, he was
continuously incarcerated at DOC facilities. (Ds' SUMF
¶ 4; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 10-11).
Bristol County Sheriff's Office operates the House of
Corrections. Thomas Hodgson is the Sheriff of Bristol County.
(Ds' SUMF ¶ 6; Dirks Aff. Ex. 3 at No. 2).
Corrections officers Glen Taber and Nicholas Drinkwine were
employed as sergeants in the BCHOC Special Investigations
Unit in 2013. (Ds' SUMF ¶¶ 7-8; Dirks Aff. Ex.
4 at No. 2; Ex. 5 at No. 2; Drinkwine Aff. ¶ 1).
Following the birth of his son, Drinkwine left for parental
leave on October II, 2013, and did not return until at least
November 4, 2013. (Ds' SUMF ¶ 31; Dirks Aff. Ex. 9;
Drinkwine Aff. ¶ 8).
October 3, 2013, Langlois was transferred to the disciplinary
unit at the BCHOC after a report that he made disrespectful
comments to a nurse. (Ds' SUMF ¶¶ 9-11; Dirks
Aff. Ex. 1 at 46-50; Ex. 2). Manuel Pacheco was assigned to
be his cellmate. (Ds' SUMF ¶ 12; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at
21-22). In the week prior to the assault, Langlois wrote a
letter to Steven Sousa, the Superintendent of BCHOC,
requesting help resolving his disciplinary issue in exchange
for continuing to act as an informant. (Pl.'s SMF ¶
6; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 69-71, 138-139; Pavlos Aff. Ex. 5).
The letter stated that Langlois had information about knives
in the unit and requested a meeting with Taber. He did not,
however, mention Pacheco or any specific threat. (Dirks Aff.
testified that he sent the same letter to Taber. (Pl.'s
SMF ¶ 6; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 69-71, 138-139; Pavlos Aff.
Ex. 5). He further testified that Taber met with him
personally after receiving the letter, and that he told Taber
during that meeting that he was scared of Pacheco. (Pl.'s
SMF ¶ 6; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 76-78, 83-84).
October 15 and October 17, 2013, Langlois filed two
grievances, one about a canteen issue and one about his
disciplinary matter. (Ds' SUMF ¶¶ 61-62; Dirks
Aff. Exs. 12 & 13). Neither grievance mentioned Pacheco,
a weapon, or any threat to his safety. (Id.)
testified that on October 19, 2013, he met with Taber again,
and told him that he knew his cellmate had a knife.
(Pl.'s SMF ¶¶ 7-8; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 81, 84).
October 21, 2013, Pacheco attacked Langlois while he was
asleep, repeatedly stabbing him with a shank. (Ds' SUMF
¶ 44; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 103; Pl.'s SMF ¶ 9;
Pavlos Aff. Ex. 7 at No. 3). He was taken to Saint Luke's
Hospital in New Bedford, where his injuries were treated.
(Ds' SUMF ¶¶ 46-47; Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at
104-06). He suffered numerous lacerations and blood loss as a
result of the attack, and contends that he subsequently has
suffered head trauma, nerve damage, PTSD, panic attacks,
headaches, and loss of sleep. (Pl.'s SMF ¶ 15; Dirks
Aff. Ex. 1 at 117; Pavlos Aff. Ex. 2 at No.
October 31, 2013, Langlois filed a grievance about the loss
of items of personal property that went missing during his
October 21, 2013 hospitalization. (Ds' SUMF ¶ 63;
Dirks Aff. Ex. 1 at 115-16; Ex. 14).
did not file a grievance concerning Pacheco, any risk that
defendants failed to address, the injuries he sustained from
the assault, or the fact that the assault occurred. (Ds'
SUMF ¶ 65). Although he was familiar with the grievance
procedures, he did not think he could grieve defendants'
failure to protect him from Pacheco or the fact of the
assault itself. (Pl.'s SMF ¶¶ 13-14; Dirks Aff.
Ex. 1 at 116).