Pate v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 031919 OHCA10, 18AP-142

Docket Nº:18AP-142
Opinion Judge:KLATT, P.J.
Party Name:Donald Pate, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Defendant-Appellee.
Attorney:On brief: Donald Pate, Jr., pro se. On brief: [Dave Yost], Attorney General, and Howard H. Harcha IV, for appellee.
Judge Panel:BROWN and SADLER, JJ., concur.
Case Date:March 19, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Ohio
 
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2019-Ohio-949

Donald Pate, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 18AP-142

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

March 19, 2019

APPEAL from the Court of Claims of Ohio No. 2017-211

On brief: Donald Pate, Jr., pro se.

On brief: [Dave Yost], Attorney General, and Howard H. Harcha IV, for appellee.

DECISION

KLATT, P.J.

{¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Donald Pate, Jr., appeals from a judgment of the Court of Claims of Ohio granting summary judgment to defendant-appellee, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction ("ODRC").

I. Factual and Procedural Background

{¶ 2} On March 7, 2017, Pate, an inmate at the Warren Correctional Institution ("WCI"), filed a complaint against ODRC. In the complaint, Pate alleged that he was assaulted by Jason Goudlock, another inmate at WCI. He stated the Goudlock used a clothing iron to beat him in the head and face. He claimed that ODRC negligently provided Goudlock access to the clothing iron without securing or fixing it to any part of the standing structure of the housing unit. Pate further alleged that ODRC was aware that a clothing iron could be used as a weapon because it had happened at other prisons. He sought to recover for his injuries and pain and suffering and requested an award in excess of $50, 000.

{¶ 3} ODRC filed an answer on March 30, 2017. In December, ODRC filed a motion for summary judgment. It argued that it could not be held liable for the intentional attack by Goudlock on Pate because it did not have notice of any conflict between the two inmates. In support of it motion, ODRC submitted two affidavits. Greg Craft, employed by ODRC as a warden's assistant, stated in his affidavit that inmates are provided with access to a clothes iron as part of the day-room activities. An inmate must present an ID card to a corrections officer to obtain an iron and ironing board. Craft also stated that following the incident between Goudlock and Pate, a separation order was issued to prevent Goudlock and Pate from being housed in the same unit. Goudlock was ultimately transferred to another institution.

{¶ 4} In the second affidavit, Janet Smith, employed as a corrections specialist at WCI by ODRC, stated that she has access to inmates' entire records. According to her, Pate and Goudlock were housed in the same unit at Ross Correctional Institution from July 25, 2016 through October 30, 2016. They both arrived at WCI on December 5, 2016. Neither Pate nor Goudlock had filed any complaints or grievances alleging misconduct by or fear of the other. Both inmates had filed complaints and grievances in the past demonstrating they were aware of the procedures. Smith stated that there was nothing in either file to alert ODRC of a possible...

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