United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Caroline Paula More contracted clostridium
difficile (C. Diff.), an intestinal infection, while she was
in custody following her arrest. More alleges that her
illness was caused by medicine provided to her during her
not a prisoner, but she is proceeding in forma
pauperis, so I will screen her proposed complaint and
dismiss any portion that is legally frivolous, malicious,
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or
asks for money damages from a defendant who by law cannot be
sued for money damages. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). I must
construe More's pro se complaint generously. See
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521 (1972) (per curiam).
With these principles in mind, I conclude that More fails to
state a claim. But I will allow More to amend her complaint
to address the problems discussed in this order.
the following facts from the allegations in More's
complaint, Dkt. 1, and accept them as true for purposes of
this preliminary screening of the complaint.
24, 2014, defendant Steve Michek, a deputy sheriff for Iowa
County, arrested More for an unidentified reason. Michek went
through More's belongings and found some prescription
medicine that belonged to More. According to More, Michek:
proceeded to give pills to Uplands Hills Health (hospital)
and they in turn provided various prescriptions to Tellurian
Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Furthermore, the prescriptions
were transferred to Winnebago Mental Health Institute, with
Id. at 2. I take More to mean that Michek sent
More's medicine to defendant Uplands Hills Health, and
based on the pills provided, some medical professional at
Uplands prescribed either the same medicine or some other
medicine for More to take while she stayed at defendants
Tellurian and Winnebago Mental Health Institute. I also infer
that Uplands was a medical care provider for More while she
was in custody.
contracted C. Diff. after ingesting the medicine prescribed
by Uplands and suffered physical and mental injuries as a
result. She was treated for C. Diff. for several months, and
one of her medical care providers told her that “she
was a treatment failure.” Id. at 3.
indicates that she is bringing claims against defendants
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 “does not
establish a system of vicarious liability, ” and
defendants in Section 1983 cases are not liable for acts or
omissions committed by others. Aguilar, 2017 WL
2784561, at *2. Instead, a plaintiff must show that a
defendant personally participated in the constitutional
deprivation at issue. Perez v. Fenoglio, 792 F.3d
768, 781 (7th Cir. 2015).
More does not allege any personal involvement by any
defendant other than an unnamed medical professional at
Uplands. More alleges that defendant Michek went through
More's belongings, found the prescription drugs Mores
already had, and sent them to Uplands. More does not explain
why she believes that these actions violated her rights or
led to her injuries. Nor does More explain how she was
wronged by Michek's deputies, medical staff employed at
the Iowa County Sherriff's Department, the State of
Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Justice Department, Tellurian, and
Winnebago Mental Health Institute.
claim against Uplands requires a slightly different analysis.
I take More to mean that medical care provided by an Uplands
employee was deficient. But under the Seventh Circuit's
precedents, an employer is not liable for acts or omissions
of its employees under Section 1983. See Collins v.
Al-Shami, 851 F.3d 727, 734 (7th Cir. 2017). So More
cannot proceed against Uplands under the theory of vicarious
liability. More does not name any medical professional at
Uplands as a defendant, but I have considered whether More
states a claim against a potential Doe defendant at Uplands.
I conclude that she does not.
More was a pretrial detainee, the Fourteenth Amendment
governs More's claim against a medical professional at
Uplands. Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment, a plaintiff may challenge a state actor's
medical care in two ways. One way is the familiar
deliberate-indifference claim imported from Eighth Amendment
cases: a plaintiff must to show that a defendant was
deliberately indifferent to her objectively serious medical
condition. Pittman ex rel. Hamilton v. County of
Madison,746 F.3d 766, 775 (7th Cir. 2014). More fails
to state a ...