United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DISMISSING COMPLAINT AS TO DEFENDANT KAST ONLY (DKT. NO. 49),
AND ORDERING DEFENDANT JOHNSON TO SUBMIT SUPPLEMENTAL
INFORMATION ADDRESSING SPECIFIC FACTS UNDER FED. R. CIV. P.
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Denzel Rivers, who is representing himself, filed a lawsuit
under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the defendants
violated his civil rights at the Waupun Correctional
Institution. Dkt. No. 1. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin
screened the complaint and allowed the plaintiff to proceed
with an Eighth Amendment claim that defendants Doyal Johnson
and Loison Kast showed deliberate indifference to his health
and safety when they failed to respond to his complaints of
his suicidal thoughts on April 20, 2017. Dkt. No. 16 at 5.
The court grants the defendants' motion for summary
judgment as to defendant Kast only, dkt. no. 49,
dismisses defendant Kast and orders defendant Johnson to
submit supplemental information under Federal Rule of Civil
court takes facts from the defendants' proposed findings
of fact, dkt. no. 51, the plaintiff's proposed findings
of fact, dkt. no. 65, and the plaintiff's complaint, dkt.
no. 1, which the court must construe as an affidavit at the
summary judgment stage (Ford v. Wilson, 90 F.3d 245,
246-47 (7th Cir. 1996)).
plaintiff is an inmate at Waupun. Dkt. No. 51 at ¶1.
Loison Kast and Doyal Johnson are correctional officers at
Waupun. Id. at ¶2. Kast was “acting Unit
Sergeant” on April 20, 2017; Johnson conducted
“institution count” and passed out medication
that day. Dkt. No. 65 at ¶¶4-5.
plaintiff was housed in North Cell Hall cell D-37.
Id. at ¶¶1-2. The plaintiff states that he
“was under crisis” and having suicidal thoughts.
Id. at ¶8. Around 8:22 p.m., the plaintiff
asked inmate Scott Meritns to tell Kast that the plaintiff
needed to go to the Psychological Services Unit
(“PSU”). Id. at ¶9. Meritns told
the plaintiff that he had relayed the message. Dkt No. 64 at
1. The plaintiff asserts that he “received no immediate
assistance from Defendant Sergeant Kast.” Dkt. No. 65
at ¶10. The plaintiff then placed a sign on his cell
door that stated, “Call PSU.” Id. at
forty minutes later, at around 9:00 p.m., Johnson conducted
institution count. Id. at ¶12. The plaintiff
loudly told Johnson that he was suicidal and on the verge of
cutting himself. Id. at ¶14. Johnson continued
conducting institution count. Id. at ¶15.
completing institution count, Johnson started to pass out
“controlled” medication. Id. at
¶16. The plaintiff told Johnson a second time that he
was suicidal. Id. at ¶17. Johnson continued
with the medication pass. Id. at ¶19. After
completing the controlled medication pass, Johnson began
conducting a “non-controlled” medication pass.
Id. at ¶19. For a third time, the plaintiff
told Johnson that he was suicidal, but Johnson continued with
the medication pass. Id. at ¶¶20-21.
plaintiff then used his razor “in an attempt to slice
his vein three times.” Id. at ¶22. He
used his sheet to “construct a noose in an attempt to
tie it around his neck to commit suicide.” Id.
at ¶23. The parties dispute the severity of the
plaintiff's injuries. The defendants assert that the
plaintiff inflicted only three “superficial
scratches” on his arms. Dkt. No. 51 at ¶¶3-4,
7-8. The plaintiff says that his injuries caused
“noticeable” bleeding and took
“awhile” to treat. Dkt. No. 67 at
to the plaintiff, Officer Alfred N. Wittrien (not a
defendant) then told Officer Christopher Winters (not a
defendant) about the plaintiff's “crisis.”
Id. at ¶24. At around 9:30 pm, Winters went to
the plaintiff's cell. Id. at ¶25. The
plaintiff states that there was a “noticeable
amount” of blood on his forearms, shirt and hands.
Id. He told Winters that he heard voices telling him
to hurt himself. Id. at ¶26.
told Dr. Kristina DeBlanc (not a defendant) that the
plaintiff had cut himself and had constructed a noose in his
cell. Id. at ¶27. Registered Nurse Mark Jensen
(not a defendant) treated the plaintiff's injuries.
Id. at ¶¶28-29. Dr. DeBlanc placed the
plaintiff on observation. Id. at ¶31.
following day (April 21, 2017), Dr. DeBlanc examined the
plaintiff in observation. Dkt. No. 51 at ¶5. She wrote
in her notes that the plaintiff had inflicted “three
surface level scratches near the webbing on his hand between
thumb and fingers.” Dkt. No. 53-1 at 3. She noted that
the plaintiff had become “agitated after being refused
to shower, stating that he is approved to shower with other
innates who identify as transgendered/Gender
Dysphoric.” Id. He also told DeBlanc that
he'd cut himself, and that he'd constructed a noose
in his cell “though he had not attempted to use
it.” Id. He told DeBlanc that he still was
feeling suicidal and asked to remain in observation.
after that (April 22, 2017), Dr. Torria Van Buren (not a
defendant) examined the plaintiff. Dkt. No. 51 at ¶6.
She wrote in her notes that the plaintiff inflicted
“three superficial cuts to his left hand.” Dkt.
No. 53-1 at 3. She noted that the plaintiff “had
engaged in self-harm in order to ‘relieve stress' .
. . he had been upset about not getting a shower at the same
time as the Transition inmates.” Id. The
plaintiff's injuries did not require any follow-up
treatment. Dkt. No. 51 at ¶7.