United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
MICHAEL L. GILLUM, Plaintiff,
ARMOR HEALTH CARE, ALYSSA SEKADIO, HOUSE OF CORRECTION, C.O. NASH, LT. MILLICCA, and CAPTAIN SULLIVAN, Defendants.
STADTMUELLER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
April 11, 2018, the Court screened Plaintiff's Complaint
as required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A. (Docket
#8). The Court concluded that Plaintiff failed to state a
viable claim for relief against any of the Defendants.
Id. It granted Plaintiff leave to offer an amended
pleading no later than May 2, 2018. Id.
Plaintiff's amended complaint was received on April 30,
2018. (Docket #9). The amended complaint must also be
screened, and all of the same standards announced in the
Court's April 11 order apply here. (Docket #8 at 1-3).
material allegations of the amended complaint are similar to
those of the original complaint. Compare (Docket #1)
with (Docket #9). Plaintiff was incarcerated at the
Milwaukee House of Correction (“HOC”) in January
2018. (Docket #9 at 1). He says the temperature inside his
cell was 55 degrees, though it is not explained how he knew
this. Id. Plaintiff wore only a t-shirt and linen
slacks. Id. In the early morning hours of January 5,
after sitting in the cold for three-and-a-half hours,
Plaintiff experienced vomiting and diarrhea. Id. He
was sent to the health center and evaluated by Defendant
Alyssa Sekadio (“Sekadio”), who is identified as
his healthcare provider. Id. Sekadio diagnosed
Plaintiff with pneumonia and ordered that he be quarantined.
Id. Plaintiff was not sent to a hospital, but was
instead put on medical observation in the segregation unit.
segregation cell was “full of bio-matter, ”
including human waste from a prior occupant, and it also was
at a “below freezing” temperature. Id.
at 1-2. At some point, Plaintiff soiled himself and his
clothes. Id. at 2. He asked Defendant C.O. Nash
(“Nash”), the guard on duty, if he could take a
shower to wash himself and his clothing. Id. She
repeatedly refused this request. Id. He was also
denied contact with “physic” services, which the
Court interprets as the psychological staff of HOC.
Id. Only when the next guard came on duty were
Plaintiff's requests fulfilled. Id.
amended complaint then shifts its focus to his subsequently
filed grievances. His first was about being sent to
segregation rather than to a hospital. Plaintiff says that
HOC administration commonly sends inmates to segregation for
medical observation, rather than an infirmary or hospital.
Id. He nevertheless asserts that although Sekadio
would be “overridden by prison staff” as to
Plaintiff's placement in segregation, she “could
have expressed her concerns.” Id. Plaintiff
asked her directly why he was being sent to segregation, and
she said it was because HOC was not equipped with an
infirmary. Id. He contends that the lack of an
infirmary meant that he received no healthcare at all.
second grievance was directed at Nash's conduct.
Id. at 3. He says that the grievance process was
ineffective because Nash was called on to respond to the
grievance in the first instance. Id. Plaintiff
further complains that Defendants Lt. Millicca
(“Millicca”) and Captain Sullivan
(“Sullivan”) hindered the grievance process.
Id. Plaintiff claims that their conduct violated his
“due process rights.” Id. Finally,
Plaintiff either filed a grievance against Defendant Armor
Health Care (“Armor”), or Armor's employees
responded to some grievances; Plaintiff does not clearly
describe Armor's involvement. Id. He
nevertheless asserts that “Armor health care nursing
supervisors” offered misstatements in responding to his
concludes by stating that “all defendants play a part
in intentional acts of wrong doing, deception, or not taking
responsibility of there [sic] actions in the cruel and
unusually [sic] punishment that placed my health and life in
jeopardy[.]” Id. He requests $1, 000, 000,
that Millicca and Sullivan be fired, and that HOC change its
policy on placing inmates on medical observation in the
segregation unit. Id. at 3-4.
has again failed to state any viable claims for relief for
the same reasons the Court explained in its prior screening
order. Thus, this latter screening order will be rather
duplicative of the former. Some of the Defendants may be
dismissed summarily. HOC is not a suable entity. See
Smith v. Knox Cnty. Jail, 666 F.3d 1037, 1040 (7th Cir.
2012). Armor is not liable simply because it, through its
employees, generally provides medical services at the HOC,
and neither has Plaintiff alleged a policy claim against
Armor. Maniscalco v. Simon, 712 F.3d 1139, 1145 (7th
Cir. 2013); McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d
611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011). Millicca and Sullivan were not
directly involved in the January 5 incident. Thus, they
cannot bear Eighth Amendment liability stemming from that
incident. Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 595-96
(7th Cir. 2009). Nor could they be liable for their grievance
handling; though Plaintiff may not have liked how they
resolved his grievances, they did not simply send his
complaints to the shredder. Id. at 595.
comes closer to stating claims against Sekadio and Nash, but
still falls short. The Eighth Amendment proscribes the use of
cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff's allegations
invoke two recognized variations of that rule. One is that
prisoners are entitled to a minimal level of healthcare while
in custody. Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 727-28
(7th Cir. 2016). The Eighth Amendment is violated when the
prisoner shows that they “suffered from an objectively
serious medical condition, ” and that “the
individual defendant was deliberately indifferent to that
condition.” Id. at 728. The term
is a subjective standard. To demonstrate deliberate
indifference, a plaintiff must show that the defendant acted
with a sufficiently culpable state of mind, something akin to
recklessness. A prison official acts with a sufficiently
culpable state of mind when he knows of a substantial risk of
harm to an inmate and either acts or fails to act in
disregard of that risk. Deliberate indifference is more than
negligence and approaches intentional wrongdoing. In other
words, [d]eliberate indifference is not medical malpractice;
the Eighth Amendment does not codify common law torts.
Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir.
second variation arises when “prison officials
deliberately ignore conditions of confinement that failed
to meet contemporary requirements of minimal decency.”
Wheeler v. Walker, 303 Fed.Appx. 365, 368 (7th Cir.
2008). The Seventh Circuit explains that “[m]inimal
decency requires the prison to provide reasonably adequate
sanitation and protection from the cold.” Id.
Ultimately, the standards are very similar- they require an
objectively serious deprivation and a sufficiently culpable
mental state on the part of the prison official. See
Haywood v. Hathaway, 842 F.3d 1026, 1030-31 (7th Cir.
claim against Sekadio appears to be for medical deliberate
indifference. Assuming, without deciding, that Plaintiff
suffered a serious medical condition, Sekadio was far from
indifferent to Plaintiff's needs. She evaluated him and
ordered treatment. Whether or not HOC has an infirmary,
Plaintiff did indeed receive medical attention. Further,
prison officials, not Sekadio, were in charge of
Plaintiff's cell assignment. Plaintiff gives no
indication that she could overrule the guards. Though
Plaintiff now says that Sekadio should have “expressed
her concerns” about his cell assignment, he does not
explain how that would have changed anything. Sekadio cannot
be liable for deliberate indifference for failing to engage
in a futile protest.
seems to assert both Eighth Amendment variations against
Nash. A careful review of Plaintiff's allegations reveals
that neither is present here. Plaintiff complained to Nash
about only two things: 1) the need to wash himself, and 2) a
desire to be seen by the “physic” service.
Plaintiff never complained to Nash about the illness which
landed him in medical segregation, whether it was pneumonia
or something else. Further, there is no indication that
Plaintiff had a diagnosable or obvious psychological problem
which mandated involvement by a mental health professional.
Finally, Nash was entitled to rely on the medical care