United States District Court, D. Colorado
FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER OF
Kristen L Mix United States Magistrate Judge
case was tried to the Court on March 28-29, 2019. The parties
subsequently submitted post-trial briefs [# 158, #160],
which the Court has considered. For the reasons set forth in
this Order, the Court generally resolves the issues in favor
of the Defendant.
the time of the events which led to this lawsuit, Plaintiff
Gabriel Rodriguez-Aguirre (“Mr.
Rodriguez-Aguirre” or “Plaintiff”) was an
inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood,
Colorado (“FCI Englewood”). [#159] at 1.
December 26, 2012 at approximately 9:00 a.m., Plaintiff
slipped and fell in the Education Building at FCI Englewood.
[#159] at 2. The Education Building houses the Education
Department. Plaintiff fell during an inmate movement period.
Inmate movement periods occur every hour throughout the day
beginning at 7:00 a.m. [#159] at 8.
December 26, 2012, the weather in Englewood, Colorado, was
sunny and cold. There was some accumulated snow on the ground
outside the Education Building from prior snowfall. [#159] at
There was water on the floor of the Education Building at the
time and in the location of Plaintiff's fall. [#161-1] at
Plaintiff did not see the water before he fell. [#161-1] at
Plaintiff fell because he slipped in the water. [#161-1] at
Plaintiff was 67 years old at the time of the fall. He had a
history of chronic injuries and illnesses including
dizziness, vertigo, syncope, diabetes, low back pain, kidney
disease, headaches, left shoulder degenerative joint disease,
peripheral polyneuropathy, reflux disease, hypertension,
epicondylitis and postural hypertension. [#159] at 11.
Plaintiff severed the quadriceps tendon in his right leg as a
result of the fall. He received medical treatment, including
surgery, following the fall. [#132] at 3. Plaintiff suffered
pain in his right leg as a result of the fall and thereafter.
The functioning of his right leg is permanently impaired as a
result of the fall. [#161-1] at 19-20. Plaintiff's
medical care relating to the fall was paid for by the United
States Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). [#159] at 16.
source of the water on the floor of the Education Building on
December 26, 2012 is unknown, as is the exact time when the
December of 2012, FCI Englewood had an Institution Plan
Housekeeping/Sanitation policy (the “Institution
Plan”). [#159] at 7.
Education Department had a staff of approximately 15 to 23
inmate orderlies who were responsible for maintaining the
floors in the Education Building, including cleaning the
floors and ensuring that they were dry during inclement
weather. [#159] at 3.
inmate ORDER lies were primarily supervised by Education
Technician Shellie Taylor. [#159] at 4. Ms. Taylor was not at
work in the morning on December 26, 2012 when Plaintiff fell.
[#161-1] at 15.
inmate orderlies received training on how to perform their
jobs, including using caution signs to mark wet floors,
placing floor mats on the floors, and cleaning the floors in
the Education Department so ...