United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
JUAN F. RUIZ JR, Plaintiff,
GARY BOUGHTON, SANDRA McARDLE, and JOLINDA WATERMAN, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Juan F. Ruiz Jr, an inmate incarcerated at
Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF), alleges that
defendants, all prison employees, violated his rights by
misdiagnosing him with diabetes. Dkt. 1. He has made an
initial partial payment of the filing fee for this action in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
next step is to screen the 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 and 1915A. In screening any pro
se litigant's complaint, the court must read the
allegations of the complaint generously. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972) (per curiam).
conclude that Ruiz has not stated a claim against any of the
defendants. Ruiz's complaint seems to be premised on the
view that any misdiagnosis violates his rights, but that is
incorrect. The bottom line is that Ruiz doesn't allege
that he suffered any harm or was even subjected to a serious
risk of harm, so he hasn't stated a claim under state or
federal law. Therefore, I will dismiss his complaint in its
the following facts from Ruiz's complaint, and I accept
them as true at the screening stage.
April 2018, Ruiz began to feel dizzy and lightheaded while
working at his prison job. After describing his symptoms to
correctional officers, the shift captain explained that it
sounded like Ruiz was suffering from low blood sugar level.
The captain asked whether he was a diabetic, but Ruiz said
that he wasn't.
next day, prison staff sent Ruiz to the Health Services Unit.
A nurse examined Ruiz and told him that he may be a diabetic,
but Ruiz again said that he wasn't.
following day, prison staff sent Ruiz to see defendant Sandra
McArdle, a nurse practitioner at WSPF. McArdle informed Ruiz
that he was a diabetic, according to his prison medical
records. McArdle prescribed diabetic medications for Ruiz to
take and ordered him to check his blood sugar levels daily.
Ruiz left the examination “in a confused state of
checked his blood sugar every day, for two weeks, but his
levels were always normal. (Ruiz doesn't say whether he
ever took any of the prescribed medication.) Ruiz then
obtained a copy of his medical records, which included the
medical records of a different prisoner, who was a diabetic.
After an investigation, prison staff confirmed that Ruiz was
not, in fact, a diabetic.
Gary Boughton is the warden at WSPF and, among other duties,
supervises the implementation of health services at the
prison. Defendant Jolinda Waterman is the Health Services
Manager at WSPF and supervises the treatment decisions made
by medical caregivers at the prison.
understand Ruiz to be contending that defendant McArdle
violated his rights by providing unneeded medical treatment
and that defendants Boughton and Waterman violated his rights
by failing to supervise McArdle. Ruiz does not include any
legal theories in his complaint, but I see three potential
claims: (1) a violation of his right to humane conditions of
confinement under the Eighth Amendment; (2) a violation of
his right to refuse unwanted medical care under the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and (3)
conclude that Ruiz hasn't stated a claim under any of
these theories. As to defendant McArdle, Ruiz's claims
fail because he doesn't allege that she knew she had
misdiagnosed Ruiz, that he tried to refuse treatment, or that
he was harmed. As to defendants Boughton and Waterman, Ruiz
doesn't allege that they have any involvement in this
case other than as McArdle's supervisors. ...