On July 17, 2020, SMS attorneys Lou Ann Cyrus and Caleb David obtained dismissal of Eighth Amendment claims on behalf of four West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation administrators in Russell v. Butcher, et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The plaintiff, an inmate, alleged that he was assaulted by another inmate and that, in a separate incident, excessive force was used against him by correctional officers. The plaintiff’s claims against the administrators were based upon allegations of negligent supervision, training, and retention and alleged failure to adopt appropriate policies and procedures to protect inmates. Ms. Cyrus and Mr. David filed a Motion to Dismiss on the basis of qualified immunity, arguing that, under West Virginia law, broad categories of training, supervision, and retention fall within the category of discretionary governmental functions. The Court agreed with the defendants’ argument and also agreed that the plaintiff’s complaint failed to establish that the administrators violated any clearly established law. Examining the plaintiff’s claims under the Federal law standard, the Court ruled that the plaintiff’s complaint failed to plausibly allege that the administrators possessed the requisite intent to deprive the plaintiff of clearly established. The Court found that the plaintiff’s complaint failed to connect the administrators’ alleged actions to the alleged injuries of the plaintiff. Therefore, the Court dismissed all claims against the four administrators.