Johnson v. Rimmer, No. 18-1321 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Johnson suffers from mental ailments, including paranoid schizophrenia, major depressive disorder recurrent, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Starting in mid-2011, he had been admitted intermittently to Milwaukee County Medical Health Complex (MHC) for treatment. During one stay, on March 18, 2012, Johnson substantially harmed himself, leading to this present suit. Johnson brought suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that constitutionally inadequate medical care led to his self-mutilation. Johnson included “Monell” claims that the institutional defendants maintained unconstitutional policies, procedures, and customs that caused his injuries and claimed that defendants engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the constitutionally inadequate care. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of all defendants. While Johnson’s medical condition was objectively serious and the doctor knew of his condition, no reasonable fact-finder could find that the doctor’s decision to remove him from observation was outside the bounds of a competent medical professional’s judgment. The fact that one of three nurses may have left scissors in Johnson’s bathroom is not enough to establish individual liability.