United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
PRINCE D. KEY, Plaintiff,
ROBERT SHANNON, JOSEPH CICHANOWICZ, JOSHUA KOLBO, and GARY BOUGHTON, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Prince D. Key, an inmate at Wisconsin Secure
Program Facility (WSPF), alleges that defendants, all prison
officials at WSPF, violated his rights by failing to provide
him with his medication on four occasions. Key is proceeding
under the Eighth Amendment against all defendants. He is also
proceeding against defendant Robert Shannon under the First
and Fourteenth Amendment and under a Wisconsin-law negligence
have filed a motion for summary judgment. I will grant
defendants' motion for summary judgment in part: I will
dismiss Key's retaliation and equal protection claims in
their entirety, and I will dismiss most of Key's
deliberate indifference claims. But because it is not clear
from Key's medical records whether defendant Shannon
denied Key stomach-pain medication on February 21, 2017, I
will stay a ruling on Key's deliberate indifference and
negligence claims related to this incident and order the
parties to submit supplemental materials.
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
Prince D. Key is an inmate at Wisconsin Secure Program
Facility, in Boscobel, Wisconsin. Defendants are all prison
officials at WSPF. Defendant Robert Shannon is a correctional
officer, defendant Joseph Cichanowicz is a supervising
officer, defendant Joshua Kolbo is a sergeant, and defendant
Gary Boughton is the warden.
suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
anti-social personality disorder, and depression. Key also
suffers from ulcerative colitis, a disease that causes
inflammation in the digestive tract. Key's claims in this
case stem from four incidents in February and March 2017 in
which he was denied or experienced delay in receiving his
medications for both his mental health problems and
ulcerative colitis: February 21, 2017, February 24, 2017,
March 17, 2017, and March 24, 2017.
point in February 2017, Key was prescribed paroxetine, an
anti-depressant, and trazadone, an anti-depressant and
sedative, to treat his mental health conditions. Key was also
prescribed diphenhydramine, an antihistamine prescribed to
treat nausea. Key does not dispute that he was prescribed
these medications, and he says that he was also prescribed
promethazine, an antihistamine used to treat stomach pain.
Defendants dispute that Key was prescribed promethazine on
either February 21 or 24, 2017. Defendants say that Key was
first prescribed promethazine on March 8, 2017. But Key's
“Medication/Treatment Record” appears to show
otherwise. This is a record kept by the prison that lists
Key's medications and contains notations denoting the
specific days when Key received each medication in his cell.
Dkt. 18-7. The meaning of every notation on the record is not
self-evident, and the parties do not fully explain the
information on it. But the document appears to show that Key
was given promethazine a few days in early February.
March 2017, Key was prescribed mirtazapine, an
anti-depressant, in addition to paroxetine to treat his
mental health conditions. Beginning on March 8, 2017, Key
also was prescribed promethazine.
Medication distribution procedure
begin with some background on how medication is distributed
at WSPF. When it is time for “med pass” to begin,
the unit's control center issues a public-address
announcement. To make the med pass run smoother, each inmate
with a prescription is encouraged to use the intercom to
confirm that he indeed wants his prescribed medication. After
the announcement, staff members in the control center compile
a list of inmates who responded to the PA message. Inmates
who do not reply will not be on the list for medication, but
staff should provide medication if an inmate requests it
during the med pass.
conducting a med pass, officers give an inmate medication by
putting it in a paper cup and placing it on the ledge of the
opened “trap” in the inmate's door. Opening
the trap inevitably poses some risk to the officer. For
example, an inmate could attempt to attack an officer with a
weapon or throw urine or feces at the officer. So for the
safety of staff members conducting the med pass, inmates are
required to have their light on and be fully clothed.
incidents complained of in this case all occurred during the
“bedtime” med pass. Because defendant Shannon was
assigned to second shift, working from approximately 2:00
p.m. to 10:00 p.m., he was responsible for dispensing
Key's bedtime medications.
Denied or delayed medications
February 21, 2017
date, Shannon passed out “bedtime” medication to
inmates. Key did not reply to the med pass PA announcement.
When Shannon passed by Key's cell, Key told Shannon that
he wanted his medication. Shannon did not give Key his
then contacted defendant Sergeant Joshua Kolbo. The parties
disagree about precisely what Kolbo did in response, but they
agree that Kolbo approved Shannon's denial. Key did not
receive his medication until ...