Blackshear, Julian v. Giernoth, Michael et al
ORDER granting Plaintiff Julian R. Blackshear leave to proceed on Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims against defendants maintenance supervisor John/Jane Doe, maintenance worker John/Jane Doe, Lieutenant Meyer, and Dr. Castillieo. Pl aintiff's remaining claims are DISMISSED for failure to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. Plaintiff may have until December 22, 2017, to supplement his complaint clarifying the remaining defendants' roles in the events underlying the suit. Signed by District Judge James D. Peterson on 12/1/2017. (jef),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
JULIAN R. BLACKSHEAR,
CAPTAIN MICHAEL GIERNOTH,
JIM SCHWOCHERT, STEPHANIE HOVE,
WARDEN PAUL S. KEMPER,
DEPUTY WARDEN STEVEN JOHNSON,
JASON ALDANA, M. BONES, CAPTAIN
WIEGAND, LT. AMIN, LT. JOHN/JANE DOES,
SGT. HARRIS, SGT. JOHN/JANE DOE,
CORRECTIONAL OFFICER JOHN/JANE DOES,
M. HAGAN, PhD, L. BUHS, PhD, DR. KOZMIN,
DR. BAAS, DR. M. TOKAR, DR. M. WILINSKI,
MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR JOHN/JANE
DOE, MAINTENANCE WORKER JOHN/JANE
DR. SPOTTS, LIEUTENANT MEYER,
CAPTAIN JOHN/JANE DOE,
LIEUTENANT LAUNDERVILLE, DR.
MALROSE, NURSE AMY, NURSE CHRIS, HSU
SUPERVISOR, HSU MANAGER, and DR.
OPINION & ORDER
Pro se plaintiff Julian R. Blackshear is incarcerated at the Racine Correctional
Institution (RCI). He alleges that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to the hazards
present in his observation cell. In an October 31, 2017 order, I reviewed his complaint and
I have updated the caption to reflect the additional parties listed in Blackshear’s amended
concluded that it did not meet the pleading requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.
Dkt. 6. I offered Blackshear an opportunity to file an amended complaint clarifying the
individual defendants’ roles in the events underlying the suit. Now Blackshear has filed an
amended complaint. Dkt. 8. I must screen it and dismiss any portion that is legally frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for money damages
from a defendant who by law cannot be sued for money damages, just as I did with Blackshear’s
Blackshear’s general allegations remain the same. He now alleges that in May and July
of 2017, he was confined to two observation cells at RCI while on suicide watch. One cell,
number 1113, did not have padding or a security camera, and no one was observing it. The
second cell, number 2122, did not have padding, and its security camera only viewed half of
the cell. On six separate occasions, Blackshear found dangerous items in the cells, including “a
large metal bar,” razor shards, needles, staples, and a shank. Id. at 8. Blackshear, who suffers
from multiple mental health disorders, harmed himself with these items, necessitating at least
one trip to the emergency room.
Blackshear continues to allege that each defendant was deliberately indifferent to his
health and safety and failed to maintain safe and humane observation cells. As I explained in
my October 31 order, that’s not enough. He must allege that each defendant knew about the
conditions in his cell and intentionally disregarded the risk of suicide those conditions created.
Blackshear’s allegations concerning some of the defendants are sufficient to state a
claim. He alleges that defendants maintenance supervisor John/Jane Doe and maintenance
worker John/Jane Doe left “a large metal bar” and “razor shards” in observation cell number
1113, despite knowing that suicidal inmates would be housed there; defendant Lieutenant
Meyer was present when Blackshear found dangerous items in an observation cell in May and
took some dangerous items out of one of the observation cells in July, telling Blackshear, “It’s
a big room you’ll probably find more items if you do just give them to staff,” but he did not
write an incident report; and defendant Dr. Castillieo refused to prescribe Blackshear
medication because “he thought [Blackshear’s] mental health history was untrue.” Id. at 11,
19, 20. I can infer that these defendants knew about the dangerous conditions in the
observation cell, were in a position to do something about those conditions, but intentionally
disregarded the substantial risk of serious harm that the conditions posed. So I will allow
Blackshear to proceed on deliberate indifference claims against these defendants.
But Blackshear’s allegations concerning the remaining defendants are insufficient. I still
cannot determine whether the remaining defendants were personally responsible for the
constitutional deprivation. Blackshear alleges that defendant Captain Michael Giernoth was in
charge of the segregation unit where these observation cells were located; defendant Sergeant
Harris worked on the segregation unit and was aware of Blackshear’s mental health history;
defendants Lieutenant Tina Amin, Correctional Officers John/Jane Does, and Sergeant
John/Jane Doe were present during some of the “incidents”; defendant Dr. Baas placed
Blackshear on observation status and was present during some of the “incidents”; defendant
doctors Hagan, Buhs, Tokar, Wilinski, Spotts, Malrose, and Kozmin knew of Blackshear’s
mental health history and knew that he found dangerous items; defendant RCI Complaint
Examiner M. Bones failed to investigate Blackshear’s complaints about the dangerous items in
the observation cells; and defendants Captain Wiegand and Lieutenant Kaminski “affirmed”
some incidents, “stating cell should have been cleaned out.” Id. at 11, 12. But there’s still no
indication that these defendants knew about the dangerous items in the cells but failed to
remove the items or otherwise reduce Blackshear’s risk of suicide, so Blackshear does not state
a claim against them.
Likewise, Blackshear’s allegations concerning defendant nurses Amy and Chris are
insufficient. He alleges that they “failed to aid [Blackshear] when he cut himself and swallowed
a needle and failed to provide proper medical care for [his] injuries,” id. at 19, 20, but there’s
no indication that they knew about Blackshear’s injuries.
Blackshear alleges that defendants Jim Schwochert and Stephanie Hove, administrators
at the Division of Adult Institutions; RCI Warden Paul S. Kemper; RCI Deputy Warden
Steven Johnson; RCI Security Director Jason Aldana; Captain John/Jane Doe; HSU supervisor;
and HSU manager did not properly train staff in suicide prevention. Supervisors can be liable
for failure to train their employees, Kitzman-Kelley v. Warner, 203 F.3d 454, 459 (7th Cir.
2000), but “[s]upervisors who are merely negligent in failing to detect and prevent
subordinates’ misconduct are not liable.” Chaves v. Ill. State Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir.
2001) (quoting Lanigan v. Village of E. Hazel Crest, 110 F.3d 467, 477 (7th Cir. 1997)). The
plaintiff “must show that the defendant knew that his failure to train was likely to lead to
constitutional violations.” Ghashiyah v. Frank, No. 07-cv-308, 2007 WL 5517455, at *2 (W.D.
Wis. Aug. 1, 2007). I cannot infer from Blackshear’s allegations that these supervisors knew
that the training was inadequate, so Blackshear does not state a claim against them.
I will offer Blackshear one final opportunity to supplement his complaint to explain
how each of the remaining defendants are personally responsible for the constitutional
deprivation. He should tell the story of what each defendant knew about the conditions in his
observation cell and what that defendant did (or did not do) to expose him to risk of suicide.
He need not cite laws or repeat legal conclusions such as “deliberate indifference”; he need only
describe what each remaining defendant did. I will stay service of his amended complaint
pending screening of his supplemental complaint. If he does not file his supplemental
complaint by the deadline below, I will order that copies of his amended complaint and this
order be served on defendants maintenance supervisor John/Jane Doe, maintenance worker
John/Jane Doe, Lieutenant Meyer, and Dr. Castillieo, and the case will proceed against only
those defendants. At the preliminary pretrial conference that will be held later, Magistrate
Judge Stephen Crocker will explain the process for Blackshear to identify the names of the Doe
defendants and to amend the complaint to include the proper identities of these defendants.
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff Julian R. Blackshear is GRANTED leave to proceed on Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference claims against defendants maintenance supervisor John/Jane
Doe, maintenance worker John/Jane Doe, Lieutenant Meyer, and Dr. Castillieo.
2. Plaintiff’s remaining claims are DISMISSED for failure to comply with Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 8. Plaintiff may have until December 22, 2017, to supplement
his complaint clarifying the remaining defendants’ roles in the events underlying the
Entered December 1, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
JAMES D. PETERSON
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