United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AS TO DEFENDANT JOHNSON (DKT. NO. 49)
PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
6, 2019, this court partially granted the defendants'
motion for summary judgment and dismissed the complaint
against Defendant Loison Kast. Dkt. No. 74. The court ordered
that by July 12, 2019, defendant Doyal Johnson must address
the plaintiff's assertion that Johnson had reason to know
that the plaintiff was at substantial risk of self-harm on
April 20, 2017. Id. at 15-16. On July 12, 2019,
Johnson submitted a surreply and accompanying documents in
support. Dkt. Nos. 77-80. The plaintiff has replied to
Johnson's filings and filed his own proposed findings of
fact and accompanying documents. Dkt. Nos. 81-83. The
plaintiff styled his proposed findings of fact as a motion.
Dkt. No. 82. The court will grant the motion to the extent
that it will review the plaintiff's proposed findings of
fact and consider them in deciding the motion. The court will
deny Johnson's motion for summary judgment. Dkt. No. 49.
order granting summary judgment as to defendant Kast, the
court recounted the facts leading up to the events of April
20, 2017. Dkt. No. 74. The court takes the additional facts
in this section from the defendants' supplemental
proposed findings of fact, dkt. no. 78, the plaintiff's
proposed findings of fact, dkt. no. 82, and the parties'
declarations and other documents, dkt. nos. 79, 80-1, 81-1,
The Plaintiff's Mental Health History
plaintiff has been an inmate at Waupun Correctional
Institution since January 19, 2017. Dkt. No. 78 at ¶9.
In June 2008, during an earlier period of incarceration, the
plaintiff was classified as “MH-0, ” the lowest
mental-health classification, and he denied having a history
of mental-health problems or suicide. Id. at
¶33. In July 2014, he was re-classified as
“MH-1” and diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder
with Depressed Mood, Mood Disorder and ADHD. Id. In
October 2016, he was reclassified as MH-2a. Id.
plaintiff reported up to twenty “serious
attempts” of suicide, but the defendants indicate that
some of his clinicians have noted that his self-reporting has
been inconsistent or not supported by his medical records.
Id. at ¶34. The plaintiff had two recent
“serious” suicide attempts, one on August 3, 2014
at Fox Lake Correctional Institution and one on October 4,
2016 at the Milwaukee County Jail. Id. The
plaintiff's records indicate that in December 2016, the
plaintiff informed the psychiatric unit of his facility (not
Waupun) that “he [was] not suicidal and that he had
secondary gain for his complaints of suicidality.”
Id. at ¶35. In April 2017, while at Waupun, he
reported having “chronic thoughts and behaviors of
cutting, ” though he also “met the criteria for a
specifier of Malingering.” Id. at
indicates that as of April 20, 2017, he had had little
interaction with the plaintiff and was unaware of his mental
health status or any current or past issues with his mental
or physical health. Id. at ¶14. Johnson also
asserts that he did not have access to any inmate's
medical records. Id.
to Johnson, when an inmate at Waupun tells an officer he is
going to harm himself, or if the inmate is in the process of
harming himself, security staff notifies a supervisor over
the radio and remains at the inmate's cell until
assistance arrives. Id. at ¶31. If an inmate is
having suicidal thoughts and wants to speak with someone in
the Psychological Services Unit (“PSU”), but does
not suggest he is going to harm himself or that he already
has, the officer notifies the supervisor (not necessarily via
radio), and the supervisor notifies PSU or the
Health-Services Unit (“HSU”). Id.
The Parties' Versions of April 20, 2017
April 20, 2017, the plaintiff was housed in the North Cell
Hall, which is a general population residence hall at Waupun.
Id. at ¶15. Inmates whom Waupun staff have
deemed at risk of self-harm are placed on
“Observation” status and are not housed in the
North Cell Hall. Id. Johnson asserts that he
“knew” the plaintiff was not on “heightened
suicide” watch on April 20 because, if he were, he
would have been placed on observation and not housed in the
North Cell Hall. Id. The plaintiff does not dispute
that he was in general population on April 20. Dkt. No. 82 at
parties differ in their version of other events of April 20.
Johnson contends that he first interacted with the plaintiff
around 9:30 p.m., when he was conducting institution count.
Dkt. No. 78 at ¶21. He says that the plaintiff told him
that he was having thoughts of suicide and wanted to talk
with PSU. Id. at ¶22. Johnson told the
plaintiff he would notify the sergeant. Id. Johnson
did not see a sign on the plaintiff's cell that said,
“Call PSU.” Id. at ¶24. He says
that the plaintiff was not harming himself and did not tell
Johnson he was going to harm himself. Id. at
¶¶23, 25, 29. Johnson says that he “left
immediately” to notify the sergeant on duty.
Id. at ¶25. A sergeant or other officer told
Johnson that “they were already aware of the
situation” and had called HSU. Id. Johnson
says that the plaintiff notified him only once that he was
feeling suicidal and that the plaintiff did not communicate
that he was intending to harm himself. Id. at
¶¶27, 32. Johnson did not believe that the
plaintiff was expressing an intent to harm himself-Johnson
thought the plaintiff was informing him that the plaintiff
was thinking of suicide and wanted to speak to someone in
PSU. Id. at ¶32. Johnson says he did not
believe that the plaintiff was in imminent danger.
Id. Johnson says if he had believed that
the plaintiff was in imminent danger, he would have radioed
for assistance or waited at the plaintiff's cell for
assistance to arrive. Id. Johnson says that he did
not have another interaction with the plaintiff that night.
Id. at ¶28.
plaintiff states that the initial interaction between him and
Johnson took place at 9:00 p.m. and not 9:30 p.m. Dkt. No. 82
at ¶4. The plaintiff avers that the “Call
PSU” sign was in his cell window at that time.
Id., ¶6. He states that he was not placed on
suicide watch or crisis until 10:00 p.m. that evening, when
Dr. K. DeBlanc placed him on Observation. Id. at
¶3. The plaintiff says that when Johnson arrived to
conduct institution count at 9:00 p.m., the plaintiff was
feeling suicidal and “was under Suicide Crisis.”
Id. at ¶4. The plaintiff claims to have
interacted with Johnson three times: first during count
around 9:00 p.m., a second time when Johnson was passing out
controlled medication from the medication cart and a third
time when Johnson was passing out non-controlled medication.
Id. at ¶¶7, 21. The plaintiff says that he
told Johnson on all three occasions that he was suicidal and
told him during the second interaction that he was about to
cut himself. Id. at ¶22. The plaintiff says
that after Johnson walked away from the cell, the plaintiff
cut himself and constructed a noose. Id. at
¶24. He asserts that Officer C. Winters found the
plaintiff bloody in his cell at 9:30 ...