Lane v. Philbin, No. 14-11140 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a Georgia state prisoner with a third-grade education, alleged in his pro se handwritten complaint that he was on his way to the dining hall at the Valdosta State Prison when he was savagely attacked by another inmate who had been threatening him. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state an Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference. According to the complaint, the prisoner attacked plaintiff because he was not a gang member and not Muslim, yet was housed in a dormitory where gang members reigned, weapons were tolerated, and violence ran amuck. Plaintiff said that he had asked certain prison officials to move him to a different dormitory before he was attacked, but they refused his request. The court concluded that the allegations in the complaint sufficed to make out a plausible claim that the officials named as defendants were aware of the serious risk of harm faced by plaintiff. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded with instructions that plaintiff be allowed to formally and properly amend his complaint.