Inmate-on-inmate violence supports failure to protect claim

In a recent opinion issued by the Tenth Circuit on December 19, 2017, the court was tasked with determining whether an inmate could pursue a claim against two corrections officers and a case manger for failing to protect him from an attack by members of a rival prison gang.

You can access the decision in Wilson v. Faulk et al., here.

Prior to the attack, the inmate-victim told the officers and the case manager of his belief that rival gang-members were out to get him.

The district court held this statement was too vague to put the officials on notice, however, the Tenth Circuit reversed, holding the information, when combined with other information, was adequate to lead a reasonable person to know the inmate faced a potential threat.

The court went on to deny qualified immunity to the case manger.

The denial was based in part on the concept that “[qualified immunity] should not present an insurmountable obstacle to plaintiffs seeking to vindicate their constitutional rights.”

If you have questions about civil rights, inmate-on-inmate violence, or failure to protect, call the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill, 918-935-2777.