United States District Court, D. Oregon
Christopher Roy Hoffman Pro Se Plaintiff
Rosenblum Attorney General Michael R. Washington Senior
Assistant Attorney General OREGON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Attorneys for Defendants
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Christopher Roy Hoffman brings this civil rights
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants
Collette Peters, Judy Gilmore, Jason Bell, Joshua Patterson,
Greg Wilson, Joseph Godek, Mike McElroy, Matthew Lyons, Jim
Moore, David Platt, Robert Jones, Albert Nasby, and Wendy
Blevins. Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his Eighth
Amendment rights when Defendants did not provide him with a
shower for over 48 hours after exposure to OC spray.
Plaintiff and Defendants now move for summary judgment. For
the reasons below, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion
and grants in part and denies in part Defendants' motion.
entered the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections
(“ODOC”) on August 6, 2015, and was housed at
Snake River Correctional Institution (“SRCI”)
from September 2, 2015 to August 9, 2017. Blevins Decl.
¶ 3, ECF 40. At the time of the events at issue in this
case, Defendants Patterson, Wilson, Godek, McElroy, Lyons,
Moore, Platt, Jones, Nasby, and Blevins were all correctional
officers employed at SRCI. Am. Compl. at 2, ECF 19.
Defendants Gilmore and Bell were both assistant
superintendents at SRCI in charge of supervision of the
segregated housing unit, and Defendant Peters was the
director of ODOC. Id. at 3.
26, 2016, at about 12:30pm, Plaintiff was one of
approximately 35 inmates involved in a dining room riot at
SRCI. First Hoffman Decl. Ex. 1 at 1, ECF 34. Correctional
staff responded to the incident and deployed oleoresin
capsicum (“OC” or “pepper”) spray to
stop the fight. Id. at 2. Plaintiff was sprayed with
OC spray by correctional staff, who then escorted Plaintiff
to the Disciplinary Segregation Unit (DSU) where he was
handcuffed to a wall. Id. Plaintiff was evaluated by
a sick call nurse. Id. at 3; DiGiulio Decl. ¶
5, Att. 1 at 8, ECF 39. The nurse noted in medical records
that Plaintiff denied injury and had been sprayed in the
face. DiGiulio Decl. ¶ 5, Att. 1 at 8. Plaintiff alleges
that he told the nurse he was burning alive and needed a
shower and the nurse responded that a shower would be
provided soon. Am. Compl. at 4. Plaintiff was provided with
clean clothes and a wet towel to decontaminate upon entering
the DSU along with the 34 other inmates who had either been
sprayed or exposed to OC spray. First Hoffman Decl. Ex. 1 at
3. Plaintiff alleges he complained of horrific
burning and pain to officers and was told he would get a
shower soon. Am. Compl. at 4.
thereafter, Plaintiff was placed in a cell in Unit B of the
DSU (“DSB”). Am. Compl. at 4. He alleges that he
complained to Defendants Patterson and Wilson that he was in
pain and had yet to receive a shower. Id. He
requested a shower and was denied. Id. Later, after
swing shift officers arrived, he complained to Defendants
Godek and McElroy that he had been sprayed, was
“burning alive, ” and had yet to be
decontaminated. Id. at 4-5. He requested a shower
from both officers and was denied. Id. at 5. He
contends that he spent the whole night “suffering
horrific burning.” Id. He attempted to
decontaminate by splashing water from the sink in his cell
onto himself, but the spray ran off “into other areas
to make matters worse.” Id. The next morning,
he asked day shift officers Defendants Wilson and Lyons for a
shower but was ignored. Id. at 5-6. He also asked to
speak to a sergeant, but Defendants never contacted one.
Id. at 6.
27, he was transferred to another cell in Unit C of the DSU
(“DSC”). First Hoffman Decl. Ex. 1 at 4.
Showers were conducted for the side of DSC opposite
Plaintiff's cell. Id. at 4-5. Defendant told
Defendants Blevins, Platt, Moore, and McElroy that he had
been sprayed and had yet to receive a shower. Am. Compl. at
6. Defendants Blevins and Platt responded with comments like
“that sucks” and “yea that spray is no
joke” but told Plaintiff he would not receive a shower
until the following day. Id. Again, Plaintiff's
request for new clothes, a towel, and bedding was denied.
Id. Plaintiff suffered a second night of horrible
pain. Id. at 7. He alleges that the spray was in his
skin, that his “eyeballs felt like they were on fire
and melting, ” and that his “eyelids were
sticking to his eyeballs like glue.” Id.
“It felt like Plaintiff was cooking alive.”
Id. His clothing and sheets were contaminated, so
“Plaintiff was constantly burning no matter what he
28, 2016, Defendants Jones and Nasby began conducting showers
on Plaintiff's side of DSC for the upper tier.
Id. Plaintiff's cell was on the bottom tier.
Id. Plaintiff asserts that he complained to both
Defendants Jones and Nasby that he was suffering from the OC
spray. Id. He again requested a shower, and
Defendants stated he would receive one when the next shift
arrived. Id. Plaintiff finally received a shower
later that day, over 48 hours after being sprayed.
Id. at 8; First Hoffman Decl. Ex. 1 at 5. Defendants
assert that they did not have the opportunity to deviate from
the set shower schedule in DSU during this time because of
the influx of 35 inmates from the July 26 riot and the
restrictions used in DSU, such as two person escorts. First
Hoffman Decl. Ex. 1 at 9.
submitted his first formal grievance on August 11, 2016, to
complain that he was denied a shower after being sprayed with
OC spray. First Hoffman Decl. Ex. 6. Lieutenant Jantz
responded a few weeks later, finding that the use of force
and decontamination complied with current training and
standards and noting that services may be limited or
suspended during a major disruption. First Hoffman Decl. Ex.
7. On September 4, Plaintiff appealed his grievance. First
Hoffman Decl. Ex. 8. On October 5, 2016, Defendant Gilmore
responded to Plaintiff's grievance appeal by explaining
that: “During a major disruption of the institution,
services may be limited or suspended based on institutional
need. While not getting the opportunity to shower on your
time line must have been frustrating, you did get a shower at
the institution's earliest convenience.” First
Hoffman Decl. Ex. 9. Plaintiff filed a second grievance
appeal and received a final response on October 27, 2016,
that reaffirmed Defendant Gilmore's decision. First
Hoffman Decl. Exs. 10, 11.
subsequently filed this lawsuit. Plaintiff alleges Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual
punishment when Defendants refused to provide him with a
decontamination shower 50 hours after exposure to OC spray.
Am. Compl. at 9. He asserts Defendants failed to abide by
administrative rules, ODOC policy, and state law, and that
Defendants' actions were “malicious, . . .
sadistic, intentional, diliberate [sic], reckless and
calleous [sic].” Id. In addition, Plaintiff
claims that Defendant Peters, Bell, and Gilmore are liable
for the conduct of their co-defendants by failing to
adequately supervise, train, and discipline their
subordinates, which was the direct and proximate cause of his
injuries. Id. at 10- 13. Plaintiff seeks a
declaratory judgment, compensatory damages of $150, 000, and
punitive damages in the amount of $300, 000. Id. at
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving
party bears the initial responsibility of informing the court
of the basis of its motion and identifying those portions of
“‘the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the