Wood v. Milwaukee Cnty.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
PartiesSHANON A. WOOD, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MILWAUKEE COUNTY, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date21 August 2023
Docket Number22-3030


SHANON A. WOOD, Plaintiff-Appellant,

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 22-3030

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

August 21, 2023


Submitted August 16, 2023 [*]

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 19-CV-619 Nancy Joseph, Magistrate Judge.

Before DIANE P. WOOD, Circuit Judge MICHAEL B. BRENNAN, Circuit Judge JOHN Z. LEE, Circuit Judge


Shanon Wood spent three days in the Milwaukee County Jail, enduring unpleasant conditions and a skin irritation. Once released, he brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that a lack of medical care and the conditions of confinement


violated his constitutional rights. The court entered summary judgment for the defendants because Wood had insufficient evidence supporting his claims. We affirm.

We present the facts from the record in the light most favorable to Wood. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). Wood was arrested in May 2017 and spent three days in jail. During intake, Wood expressed an intent to harm himself, so he was placed on suicide watch and in a restrictive housing unit. Wood remained on suicide watch for most of his confinement (all but the last eight hours before his release) and in restrictive housing for all of it.

Wood was repulsed by the conditions in his cell. He was cold with only a "skirt" (suicide smock) to wear, had feces-stained and inferior mattresses that caused an itchy allergic skin irritation, and he experienced flooding in his cell for at least three hours when another detainee deliberately blocked a toilet. Wood repeatedly complained to unidentified jail staff about these conditions and asked for treatment for his itchy skin. At one point, Wood had a brief conversation with Kevin Johnson-a sheriff's lieutenant who supervised jail staff but was not a correctional officer-about some of his problems. Wood asked for a new mattress, a blanket, and a cell in unrestricted housing. Jail policy does not allow people on suicide watch to have blankets, but Wood received another mattress within hours of speaking to Johnson.

Wood sued Johnson and Milwaukee County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, contending that the conditions at the jail violated his constitutional rights. (His complaint included other defendants, but they were dismissed at various stages, and Wood does not contest those decisions.) After the district judge screened the complaint, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), Wood proceeded on claims of inadequate medical care and unconstitutional conditions of confinement against Johnson, as well as a claim under Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978), against Milwaukee County. Shortly after screening, a magistrate judge began presiding by consent, 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and Johnson unsuccessfully moved for summary judgment based on a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

After discovery, Johnson filed a second motion for summary judgment, this time joined by Milwaukee County, and the court granted it. The court agreed with the defendants...

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