Case: Washington v. Denney

5:14-cv-06118 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri

Filed Date: Oct. 15, 2014

Closed Date: April 1, 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 15, 2014, the plaintiff, an inmate at Crossroads Correctional Center, filed this complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The plaintiff brought this suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against prison administrators, including the warden and guards, for violating his Eighth Amendment rights. The plaintiff filed pro se, but requested representation.Specifically, the inmate alleged that he was forced to inhale second-hand cigarette smoke which jeopardized his he…

On October 15, 2014, the plaintiff, an inmate at Crossroads Correctional Center, filed this complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The plaintiff brought this suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against prison administrators, including the warden and guards, for violating his Eighth Amendment rights. The plaintiff filed pro se, but requested representation.

Specifically, the inmate alleged that he was forced to inhale second-hand cigarette smoke which jeopardized his health in general and aggravated his asthma. He alleged that prison staff acted with deliberate indifference to the dangers cigarette smoke posed to his health, and even encouraged the smoking by selling large amounts of cigarettes to inmates. Moreover, he noted that the prison had a policy against indoor smoking, but this regulation was rarely if ever enforced. The inmate sought an injunction to stop the smoking at Crossroads and other correctional centers, as well as prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in prisons.

On May 8, 2015, the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction was denied because the complaint called for post-judgment relief. On June 8, 2015 the case was dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to state a claim, however, he was able to reopen the case by filing an amended complaint on June 30, 2015.

On October 7, 2015, the plaintiff filed an appeal in the Eighth Circuit to challenge the district court’s denial of preliminary injunctive relief. The Circuit Court assessed a $505 fee for the appeal, which the plaintiff was unable to pay. Therefore, on October 15, 2015 the plaintiff requested the appeal be dismissed, which the court granted on October 20, 2015.

Months later, on July 11, 2016, the district court appointed private counsel to represent the plaintiff in this case. The parties subsequently entered into mediation to try reaching a settlement. However, these mediation talks fell apart in late October 2016, and the parties began to prepare for trial.

On April 12, 2017 the trial was held before a jury. The jury delivered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff awarding him $40,000 in compensatory damages and $71,000 in punitive damages. Following the trial the plaintiff filed a motion for attorney’s fees and expenses. On May 10, 2017, however, the defense filed a motion with the court requesting a judgment as a matter of law in their favor or a new trial. Both requests were denied on June 26, 2017. The court found that deliberate indifference was evident, in part, because the plaintiff was able to show he had previously filed eight grievances with information about his suffering health. Defendants did not do anything to alleviate the problem, and the court found that a reasonable jury could conclude that serious injury could result from such treatment. The damage amount remained in place and the Court found no evidence to support the defendants’ motion for a new trial.

On June 27, 2017, the court advised the parties to enter mediation concerning the injunctive relief. 2017 WL 2773709. While mediation continued, defendants appealed the amount of damages to the Eighth Circuit on July 26, 2017. On September 21, 2017, the two parties indicated they had reached an agreement regarding the implementation of injunctive relief sought by the plaintiff, and together made a joint motion for post judgment injunctive relief, which was then affirmed by the court, issuing an order for post judgment injunctive relief. The court ordered that all correctional facilities across Missouri should remove cigarette products from their facilities on or before April 1, 2018.

On October 3, 2017 the court awarded plaintiff’s counsel $161,681.02 in attorneys fees. The plaintiff was also ordered to pay $11,100, which was ten percent of the award granted to him by the jury. 2017 WL 4399566.

In 2018, the Eighth Circuit issued their opinion. 900 F.3d 549. They held that, while plaintiff showed that defendants were sufficiently indifferent to his well-being to justify damages, plaintiff did not provide evidence that defendants were malicious in their treatment toward him, so he was not owed punitive damages. The court vacated the award of punitive damages and remanded for further proceedings.

On April 1, 2019, the plaintiff filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice.

Summary Authors

Will McCartney (2/8/2018)

Jack Hibbard (5/25/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6108147/parties/washington-v-denney/


Judge(s)

Laughrey, Nanette Kay (Missouri)

Loken, James B. (Minnesota)

Smith, Lavenski R. (Arkansas)

Wollman, Roger Leland (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Foster, Michael S. (Missouri)

Zeeck, Phillip James Richard (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lockhart, Lynnette Nefertiti (Missouri)

Sankar, Dion F. (Missouri)

Stoppy, Lynn Merle (Missouri)

Taulbee, Nicolas (Missouri)

Judge(s)

Laughrey, Nanette Kay (Missouri)

Loken, James B. (Minnesota)

Smith, Lavenski R. (Arkansas)

Wollman, Roger Leland (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Foster, Michael S. (Missouri)

Zeeck, Phillip James Richard (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lockhart, Lynnette Nefertiti (Missouri)

Sankar, Dion F. (Missouri)

Stoppy, Lynn Merle (Missouri)

Taulbee, Nicolas (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

April 1, 2019 Docket
1

Complaint Under the Civil Rights Act of 42 U.S.C. 1983

Washington v. Denny

Oct. 15, 2014 Complaint
18

Amended Complaint

Washington v. Denny

June 12, 2015 Complaint
195

Order

June 26, 2017 Order/Opinion
215

Stipulated Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Postjudgment Injunctive Relief

Sept. 21, 2017 Order/Opinion
217

Order

Oct. 3, 2017 Order/Opinion
240

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

900 F.3d 549

Aug. 13, 2018 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6108147/washington-v-denney/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2014 PACER
2

Financial Affidavit

Oct. 15, 2014 PACER
3

Inmate Account Statement

Oct. 15, 2014 PACER
4

Motion for Order

Oct. 15, 2014 PACER
5

Motion for TRO

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2014 PACER
7

Inmate Account Statement

Nov. 4, 2014 PACER
8

Order

Nov. 4, 2014 PACER

Receipt

Nov. 24, 2014 PACER
9

Order

Dec. 5, 2014 PACER

Receipt

Jan. 20, 2015 PACER
10

Affidavit

Feb. 20, 2015 PACER

Receipt

Feb. 23, 2015 PACER

Receipt

March 9, 2015 PACER

Receipt

April 9, 2015 PACER
12

Statement

April 30, 2015 PACER

Receipt

May 8, 2015 PACER
11

Order on Motion for TRO

May 8, 2015 PACER
13

Amended Complaint

May 28, 2015 PACER
14

Order

June 8, 2015 PACER
15

Clerk's Judgment

June 8, 2015 PACER

Receipt

June 9, 2015 PACER
16

Motion to Reopen Case

1 Proposed Amended Complaint

View on PACER

June 12, 2015 PACER
17

Order on Motion to Reopen Case

June 30, 2015 PACER
18

Amended Complaint

June 30, 2015 PACER

Remark

July 7, 2015 PACER
19

Order to Show Cause

July 7, 2015 PACER

Receipt

July 15, 2015 PACER
23

Notice of Interlocutory Appeal

July 20, 2015 PACER
20

Notice of Appearance

Aug. 6, 2015 PACER
21

Motion for Extension of Time

Aug. 6, 2015 PACER
22

Order on Motion for Extension of Time

Aug. 7, 2015 PACER

Receipt

Aug. 11, 2015 PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

Aug. 13, 2015 PACER
25

Order

Aug. 14, 2015 PACER

Summons Issued

Aug. 17, 2015 PACER
26

Order

Aug. 17, 2015 PACER
27

Motion to Dismiss Case

1 Exhibit Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Exhibit Exhibit B

View on PACER

Aug. 17, 2015 PACER
28

Order on Motion to Dismiss Case

Aug. 18, 2015 PACER
29

Notice of Appearance

Aug. 25, 2015 PACER
30

Answer to Amended Complaint

Sept. 1, 2015 PACER
31

Scheduling Order

Sept. 1, 2015 PACER
32

Reply

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Sept. 8, 2015 PACER
33

Certificate of Service

Sept. 17, 2015 PACER
34

Certificate of Service

Sept. 17, 2015 PACER
35

Notice of filing

Sept. 17, 2015 PACER
36

Certificate of Service

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Sept. 17, 2015 PACER
37

Certificate of Service

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Sept. 17, 2015 PACER
38

Certificate of Service

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Sept. 17, 2015 PACER
39

Certificate of Service

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Sept. 17, 2015 PACER
40

Inmate Account Statement

Sept. 30, 2015 PACER
41

Order

Sept. 30, 2015 PACER
42

Transmission of Notice of Appeal Supplement to US Court of Appeals

Sept. 30, 2015 PACER
43

Motion to Strike

Oct. 5, 2015 PACER

USCA Case Number and Briefing Schedule

Oct. 7, 2015 PACER
44

Order

Oct. 7, 2015 PACER
45

USCA Order

Oct. 7, 2015 PACER

Receipt

Oct. 9, 2015 PACER
47

Response

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Oct. 14, 2015 PACER
48

CERTIFICATE of service of initial Rule 26 disclosures

Oct. 14, 2015 PACER
49

Certificate of Service

Oct. 14, 2015 PACER
50

Certificate of Service

Oct. 14, 2015 PACER
51

Notice of filing

Oct. 14, 2015 PACER
46

CERTIFICATE of service of initial Rule 26 disclosures

Oct. 16, 2015 PACER
52

USCA Judgment and/or Opinion

Oct. 20, 2015 PACER
53

USCA Mandate

Oct. 20, 2015 PACER
54

Order

Oct. 22, 2015 PACER
56

Return of Service of Complaint Executed

Oct. 26, 2015 PACER
55

Order

Oct. 29, 2015 PACER

Remark

Nov. 5, 2015 PACER
57

Reply Suggestions to Motion

Nov. 9, 2015 PACER
58

Order on Motion to Strike

Nov. 9, 2015 PACER
59

Certificate of Service

Jan. 8, 2016 PACER

Receipt

Jan. 11, 2016 PACER
60

Motion for Order

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Jan. 19, 2016 PACER
61

Order

Jan. 26, 2016 PACER

Receipt

Feb. 16, 2016 PACER
62

Suggestions in Opposition to Motion

Feb. 16, 2016 PACER
63

Order

Feb. 18, 2016 PACER
64

Reply

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

March 3, 2016 PACER
65

Motion to Appoint Counsel

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

March 3, 2016 PACER
66

Motion for Order

March 3, 2016 PACER
69

Request

March 7, 2016 PACER

Receipt

March 9, 2016 PACER
67

Order on Motion to Appoint Counsel

March 10, 2016 PACER
68

Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

March 10, 2016 PACER
70

Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

March 18, 2016 PACER
76

Motion to Appoint Counsel

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

March 28, 2016 PACER
77

Request

March 28, 2016 PACER
78

Motion for Order

March 28, 2016 PACER
79

Affidavit

March 28, 2016 PACER
80

Request

March 28, 2016 PACER
81

Request

March 28, 2016 PACER
82

Request

March 28, 2016 PACER
83

Response

March 28, 2016 PACER
84

Affidavit

March 28, 2016 PACER
85

Affidavit

March 28, 2016 PACER
86

Motion for Hearing

March 28, 2016 PACER
87

Motion to Continue

March 28, 2016 PACER
88

Motion for Summary Judgment

March 28, 2016 PACER
89

Exhibit

March 28, 2016 PACER

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 15, 2014

Closing Date: April 1, 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmate at CrossRoads Correctional Facility

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Cross Roads Correctional Center (Cameron, Clinton), None

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 201681.02

Content of Injunction:

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Failure to discipline

Failure to supervise

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Type of Facility:

Government-run