United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DKT. NO. 19), DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT. NO. 29) AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION TO STRIKE (DKT. NO. 44)
PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, representing himself, filed this lawsuit under 42
U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the defendant violated his
constitutional rights. Dkt. No. 1. On February 15, 2018, the
court issued a screening order, allowing the plaintiff to
proceed on a claim that the defendant was deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs after the defendant
allegedly failed to address the plaintiff's self-harm.
Dkt. No. 9. On June 15, 2018, the plaintiff moved for summary
judgment. Dkt. No. 19. On September 17, 2018, the defendant
moved for summary judgment. Dkt. No. 29. During the briefing
on the summary judgment motions, the plaintiff also moved to
strike Lucas Weber's declaration, stating that it was
false. Dkt. No. 44. The court will deny all three motions.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS (DKT. NOS. 19, 29)
time of the events he describes in the complaint, the
plaintiff was an inmate at Columbia Correctional Institution,
and the defendant was a correctional officer there. Dkt. No.
31 at ¶¶1-2.
The Plaintiff's Version of Events
plaintiff alleges that on November 28, 2014, “around
lunch time, ” he informed the defendant that he was
going to cut himself. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶1; Dkt. No. 20-2 at
10. The defendant allegedly told the plaintiff that
hedidn't think the plaintiff was going to cut himself,
then walked away. Id. The defendant came back around
12:15 P.M. to hand out medication. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶2;
Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10. The plaintiff once again told the
defendant that he was going to cut himself, and that either
he needed to see the Psychological Services Unit
(“PSU”) or the defendant needed to call a
“white shirt.” Id. The plaintiff alleges
that he also told the defendant that he needed to be placed
in observation. Id. The plaintiff asserts that the
defendant “was still talking to [the plaintiff] as if
he didn't believe him, ” and left his cell for
about two minutes. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶2.
plaintiff says that he yelled down the hall to the defendant
that he needed his medication. Id. The defendant
came back to the cell, and the plaintiff cut open his left
arm with a sharp metal object while the defendant watched and
in view of the cameras. Id.; Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10.
The plaintiff asserts that the defendant did nothing, leaving
the plaintiff in his cell with an open wound and the sharp
metal object. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶4; Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10.
The plaintiff states that he gave himself a “deep
puncture wound, ” and that he was bleeding and in pain.
Dkt. No. 21 at ¶4; Dkt No. 20-2 at 11. He asserts that
he filed an inmate complaint; it appears that he signed it
the day after the incident, and that the prison staff
received it the following day. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶7;
see Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10. The plaintiff says that he
was interviewed by staff regarding the incident and that he
gave a written statement, but that the “the
defendant's seem to not have these records
anymore.” Dkt. No. 21 at ¶10; Dkt. No. 20 at 3.
The Defendant's Version of Events
defendant says that when an inmate arrives at Columbia, he is
given a handbook that informs him that if he has an emergency
requiring medical or psychological staff, he must immediately
alert unit staff. Dkt. No. 31 at ¶5. In non-emergency
situations, if an inmate wants to see a psychological
services clinician, he must fill out a “green
slip” (a psychological services request). Id.
at ¶6. The defendant states that inmates often request
to see psychological services clinicians, and when they do
so, he instructs them to fill out a green slip. Id.
at ¶7. The defendant explains that when an inmate says
he is going to harm himself or asks to be placed under
clinical observation, the defendant contacts a supervisor,
medical services, or psychological services, depending on
what would best protect the inmate. Id. at ¶9.
The defendant indicates that if an inmate engages in
self-harm, the psychological services unit would be
contacted, and there would be a note in the inmate's
psychological record. Id. at ¶16. The defendant
says he also would have contacted his sergeant or a security
supervisor and asked for help from medical or psychological
staff, and that the incident would have been documented in
the unit logbook. Id. at ¶11.
defendant says that if what the plaintiff alleges had
occurred, the defendant would have contacted a supervisor and
asked for medical or psychological services, and the incident
would have been recorded in the unit logbook. Id.
The defendant states that the plaintiff never told the
defendant that he was thinking of hurting himself or that he
needed to go on observation status. Id. at ¶12.
The defendant argues that that had the plaintiff cut himself
and bled, it would have been recorded in the unit logbook and
someone would have called an inmate worker to come clean the
cell. Id. at ¶13. The defendant asserts that
there is no record of an inmate worker cleaning the
plaintiff's cell on November 28, id. at
¶14, and there is no record of any activity regarding
the plaintiff in the unit logbook for that day, id.
defendant also argues that the plaintiff's psychological
services file does not contain any observation notes or
clinical contact notes, does not indicate that the plaintiff
was in observation on November 28 and does not indicate that
the plaintiff harmed himself on that date. Id. at
¶¶16-18. The defendant notes that the plaintiff was
seen at the PSU several times around November 28, but that
there is no mention of any self-harm taking place on November
28. Id. at ¶¶19-20. The defendant also
states that the plaintiff's health services unit file
does not contain record of any injury from self-harm on
November 28, or a report of such an injury. Id. at
¶21. The defendant further states that there was no
evidence of any prison staff interviewing the plaintiff
regarding his complaint. Dkt. No. 42 at ¶10.