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Wilson v. Dittman

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

October 11, 2019

DAVID M. WILSON, Plaintiff,



         Pro se plaintiff David M. Wilson filed this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the adequacy of his medical treatment by employees of Columbia Correctional Institution (“Columbia”). Plaintiff specifically alleges that several correctional officers and sergeants violated his Eighth Amendment and state law rights by handing him the wrong medications on several occasions, and their supervisors failed to correct their deficient practices. Since filing his complaint, Wilson has also filed a motion to amend his complaint to add additional allegations with respect to one defendant (dkt. #23), and a motion for preliminary injunction (dkt. #21). The court will grant plaintiff's motion to amend and deem his allegations in that motion a supplement to his complaint. Having reviewed Wilson's complaint and supplemental allegations for purposes of screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, however, the court concludes that while it may be possible for Wilson to articulate constitutional and state law claims, he will be required to amend his complaint that corrects the deficiencies described in this order if he wants to proceed with this lawsuit. The court is also denying Wilson's motion for a preliminary injunction.


         A. Parties

         Plaintiff David M. Wilson is currently incarcerated at Columbia, where the events comprising his claims occurred and where defendants were employed. He names nine defendants: Warden Michael Dittman; Health Services Unit (“HSU”) Manager Meredith Mashak; Unit Manager Ms. Fry; Correctional Officers (“CO's”) Arnold, Dittman, Zahrte and Ahlers; and Sergeants Chatman and Nowak.

         B. Incidents of Receiving Incorrect Medication

         It is unclear what condition or conditions Wilson suffers from, but he receives certain medications throughout the day. During the evening medication pass on January 22, 2016, CO Arnold came to Wilson's cell and gave him two unknown pills. Wilson corrected Arnold, who then retrieved the correct medication card and gave him his medications. On January 25, 2016, CO Dittman gave Wilson the wrong medication during evening pass. Wilson corrected him, and Dittman gave him the correct medication. On January 26, 2016, the same thing happened with CO Zahrte. On February 20, 2016, Arnold repeated his mistake from January 22, but it appears that Wilson corrected him that time as well.

         On March 4, 2016, Wilson was being held on temporary lock-up status, which is a restrictive status typically imposed on prisoners who are under investigation pending a conduct report. Sergeant Chatman came to Wilson's cell and placed two medication bubble packs in his cell's trap door. Wilson noticed that they were not his medications, and he yelled to Wilson that they were not his. Chatman responded “you are a Wilson, so I got it half right.” (Compl. (dkt. #1) ¶ 5.) Wilson has not alleged whether Chatman corrected his mistake.

         On August 31, 2017, Sgt. Nowak gave Wilson a No. of pills during the evening medication pass. Wilson swallowed all of the pills with water, and then Wilson noticed that one of the medications was not his. Wilson told Nowak about the mistake, and she responded that she had never done that before. Nowak told him to sit down and said she would call a nurse. Nowak called the Health Services Unit (“HSU”) and talked to a nurse, who said that Wilson would be okay. Wilson claims that the nurse said this to Nowak without reviewing his medical file. At about 10:40 p.m. that night, Wilson started having painful stomach cramps, diarrhea and headaches. He alerted CO Kratz that he had taken the wrong medication, and Kratz responded that he would inform the captain on duty. Later, Kratz informed Wilson that Capt. Boodry told him to monitor Wilson throughout the night, and a nurse would see him in the morning.

         On December 31, 2017, Wilson was in line for a medication pass in the HSU, and CO Ahlers pulled out Wilson's medication card for gabapentin, one of Wilson's medications. While Wilson told her he was supposed to take gabapentin at that point, Ahlers disagreed. Wilson told her to look at the directions on the medication card, and when Ahlers looked at it, she took a marker and changed the time he was supposed to take it. Wilson later filed a complaint about what happened.

         C. Wilson's Complaints

         Wilson complained about these incidents to his unit manager and the HSU Manager. Specifically, on January 20, 2016, Wilson wrote to HSU Manager Mashak, complaining that the CO's were delivering the wrong medication, and she responded that the CO's have all been through training. However, when Wilson asked a non-defendant CO about his training, that CO responded that they received a few pages to read, but mainly, they learned how to pass out pills on the job. On January 25 and February 20, Wilson wrote to Unit Manager Fry about getting the wrong medication, and she responded that she would look into the issue and make sure it did not happen again.

         Finally, Wilson claims that Warden Dittman was made aware that there was a pattern of CO's giving prisoners the wrong medication, but he failed to do anything to address the issue. However, he ...

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