United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Donald Buford, an inmate confined at the Waupun Correctional
Institution, filed a pro se complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the defendants violated his
constitutional rights. Buford has paid the $400 filing fee.
This order screens his complaint.
Screening the Complaint
Federal Screening Standard
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court must screen
complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a
complaint if the prisoner raises claims that are legally
“frivolous or malicious, ” that fail to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
determining whether the complaint states a claim, the court
applies the same standard that applies to dismissals under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Cesal v.
Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2017) (citing
Booker-El v. Superintendent, Ind. State Prison, 668
F.3d 896, 899 (7th Cir. 2012)). To state a claim, a complaint
must include “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must contain enough
facts, accepted as true, to “state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows a court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that someone deprived him of a right
secured by the Constitution or the laws of the United States,
and that whoever deprived him of this right was acting under
the color of state law. D.S. v. E. Porter Cty. Sch.
Corp., 799 F.3d 793, 798 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing
Buchanan-Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824,
827 (7th Cir. 2009)). The court construes pro se
complaints liberally and holds them to a less stringent
standard than pleadings drafted by lawyers. Cesal,
851 F.3d at 720 (citing Perez v. Fenoglio, 792 F.3d
768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015)).
filed a forty-seven-page complaint against defendants Nurse
Mark Jensen, Lieutenant Cory Sabish, John Doe, and Health
Services Unit Supervisor Belinda Schrubbe. When the incident
giving rise to this case occurred, Buford was incarcerated at
the Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) and the defendants
alleges that on June 19, 2013, he suffered an asthma attack
while sitting at a computer in his math class. He fainted,
fell forward, and hit his head on the keyboard. Buford then
fell backward and heard a loud “pop sound” as he
landed on the floor on his tailbone. He felt extreme pain in
his lower back and also felt pain in the back of his neck
from hitting his head on the keyboard. He rolled over and
tried to breathe, which was difficult due to the asthma
attack, and asked for his inhaler. Buford's teacher sat
on the floor with him and told him to hold on and that his
inhaler was coming.
minutes later, defendant Nurse Mark Jensen arrived. Buford
told Nurse Jensen he was having an asthma attack and needed
his inhaler. Jensen “put some little thing on my
finger, looked at it and said to me, your blood is low in
oxigen [sic] cause you are hyperventilating. You don't
need no inhaler.” (ECF No. 1 at 6.) He told Buford to
breathe slowly or not breathe at all. As Buford was still
gasping for air, he told Jensen he was still in pain and that
his back hurt. Jensen told Buford he would have to get up and
walk back to his cell. Buford tried but could not walk.
Jensen denied Buford his inhaler and denied him medical
treatment for his back and neck pain. Jensen pushed Buford in
a wheelchair to his cell hall and had staff help Buford crawl
up the stairs and down a long hallway to his cell. He did not
give Buford medical treatment.
put Buford on the list to be seen by the medical doctor the
next day. That left Buford to suffer in pain for twenty hours
in his cell until he was seen by the doctor the next day. The
day after the injury, Dr. Manlove examined Buford and
diagnosed him with an acute back sprain. Dr. Manlove ordered
that Buford receive an injection of Toradol right after
seeing him and also prescribed Buford Naproxen for pain. Upon
transfer to the Wisconsin Resource Center, Buford continued
to receive treatment for his back and neck injury.
Sabish and John Doe were present when Jensen refused to give
Buford an inhaler for his asthma and when he refused him
treatment for his back and neck injury. They were also
present when Buford was forced to crawl up the stairs and to
his cell, and they knew that Buford was not going to get
treatment until the next day.
Schrubbe made and enforced a rule at WCI that asthma inhalers
are not allowed in school. Buford talked to her about this
rule and was told that, if inmates have an asthma attack in
school, staff would consider it to be hyperventilating.
Schrubbe's intentional disregard for inmates' need
for asthma inhalers at school caused her to make and enforce
this rule, which allowed and caused Jensen to deny Buford an
inhaler as he was having an asthma attack ...