United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division
ROBERT D. KORNAGAY, Plaintiff,
WARDEN ACOSTA, et al., Defendants.
D. Kornagay, Pro Se.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A
FEDERICO A. MORENO DISTRICT JUDGE.
D. Kornagay-a. pro se Plaintiff-filed this civil
rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to recover for
injuries suffered when fellow inmates attacked him in the
prison yard at Everglades Correctional Institution. Because
Kornagay is a prisoner seeking redress against governmental
employees or officers, his pleadings are subject to screening
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court finds that Kornagay's Complaint fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). Accordingly, it is ADJUDGED that the Complaint is
Statement of Facts
alleges that on December 6, 2016, he was suddenly attacked
when he unknowingly walked into a "blind
spot"-i.e. an unguarded and unmonitored area of
the prison yard. Describing the attack, Kornagay states that
a group of approximately five other inmates rushed him from
behind, knocked him to the ground, stabbed him in the head,
and then robbed him of his personal belongings. He contends
that the incident caused excruciating pain, noting that he
incurred a head wound requiring nine stiches, and that he
continues to suffer from blurred vision and headaches. In
addition to those physical injuries, Kornagay claims that he
suffers from mental and emotional distress, sleeplessness,
embarrassment, and paranoia as a result of the attack.
alleges that the Defendants-Warden Acosta and Captain
Lovett-are responsible for his injuries because they failed
to take reasonable measures to remedy the risk of harm caused
by the blind spot. He contends that both Defendants were
employed at Everglades Correctional Institution, and that,
prior to this incident, they were made aware of the blind
spot on the jogging track and knew it created a substantial
risk of serious injury. According to Kornagay, "Prior to
December 6, 2016 ... a large number of assaults, robberies,
and stabbings  took place in this particular area on a
frequent basis." (Compl. ¶ 8.) He argues that
Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his safety
by failing to "develop any methods to curb the violence,
" such as (i) "placing monitor devices in this
high-risk area, " (ii) "providing adequate security
on the recreation yard, " or (iii) "putting up a
fence blocking off this high-risk area." (Id.
¶ 10.) He seeks compensatory, nominal, and punitive
Legal Standards A. Motion to
survive a motion to dismiss, plaintiffs must do more than
merely state legal conclusions, " instead plaintiffs
must "allege some specific factual basis for those
conclusions or face dismissal of their claims."
Jackson v. BellSouth Telecomm., 372 F.3d 1250, 1263
(11th Cir. 2004). When ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court
must view the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff and accept the plaintiffs well-pleaded facts as
true. See St. Joseph's Hosp., Inc. v. Hosp. Corp. of
Am., 795 F.2d 948, 953 (11th Cir. 1986). This tenet,
however, does not apply to legal conclusions. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
Moreover, "[w]hile legal conclusions can provide the
framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations." Id. at 1950. Those
"[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that
all of the complaint's allegations are true."
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545
(2007). In short, the complaint must not merely allege
misconduct, but must demonstrate that the pleader is entitled
to relief. See Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950.
by pro se plaintiffs, however, are held to a less
stringent standard and will be liberally construed.
Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263
(11th Cir. 1998).
Civil Rights Claims Under 42 U.S.C. §
'[t]o prevail on a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff
must demonstrate both (1) that the defendant deprived [him]
of a right secured under the Constitution or federal law and
(2) that such a deprivation occurred under color of state
law.'" Bingham v. Thomas, 654 F.3d 1171,
1175 (11th Cir. 2011) (quoting Arrington v. Cobb
County, 139 F.3d 865, 872 (11th Cir. 1998)). The Eighth
Amendment of the United States Constitution-which is
applicable to the states through the Fourteenth
Amendment-forbids "cruel and unusual punishments."
U.S. Const. amend. VIII. The Eleventh Circuit has interpreted
this to include prisoners' claims for deliberate
indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm. See,
e.g., Caldwell v. Warden, FCI Talladega, 748 F.3d 1090,
1099 (11th Cir. 2014).
Deliberate Indifference to a Substantial Risk of Serious
Court must decide whether Kornagay's Complaint alleges
sufficient facts that-if true-would establish each
element of a deliberate indifference claim. To establish an
Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference, a
plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to show "(1) a
substantial risk of serious harm; (2) the defendants'
deliberate indifference to that risk; and (3)
causation." Lane v. Philbin,835 ...