March 26, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Illinois. No. 3:15-cv-1278-SMY-RJD - Staci M.
BAUER, ROVNER, and BRENNAN, Circuit Judges.
ROVNER, Circuit Judge.
Williams, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department
of Corrections, sued a number of prison officials under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that they violated his Eighth
Amendment rights by providing inadequate nutrition through a
"brunch" program that served only two meals a day.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants. Because the record establishes without dispute
that the brunch program was adequate as designed and also
because Williams lacks evidence that any of the defendants
knew that he was allegedly not receiving adequate nutrition,
the relevant time period, Williams was incarcerated at
Pinckneyville Correctional Center in southern Illinois.
During four or five months of Williams' stay at
Pinckneyville, the facility participated in a pilot
"brunch" program designed by Suzann Bailey, a
licensed dietician and the Food Service Administrator for the
Illinois Department of Corrections ("Department").
Prior to the brunch program, Illinois prisons used a regular
meal plan that consisted of three meals per day, with
"Master Menus" formulated by Bailey to provide
approximately 2200 to 2400 calories per day, including a
minimum of six ounces of protein per day. Dietary Managers at
each correctional facility in Illinois were required to
follow Bailey's Master Menus as closely as possible,
making substitutions when necessary and replacing unavailable
items with comparable foods.
brunch program provided two meals per day rather than three,
combining breakfast and lunch into a single meal. Bailey
designed a set of Master Menus for the brunch program that
were formulated to provide the same 2200 to 2400 calories per
day as the three-meal plan, including at least eight ounces
of protein (a two ounce increase over the regular three-meal
plan), and at least five servings of fruits or vegetables per
day. As with the regular meal plan, Dietary Managers at the
correctional centers were charged with implementing these
Master Menus as closely as possible, again with allowances
for substitutions of like items when planned foods were not
available. In Bailey's professional opinion, two meals
containing 2200 to 2400 calories, including eight ounces of
protein, would provide adequate nutrition to individuals who
were otherwise healthy and not in need of specific dietary
accommodations for medical conditions. For persons having
special dietary needs, the Department allowed therapeutic
dietary trays as prescribed by physicians. At Pinckneyville,
the brunch meal was served at 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. and dinner
was served approximately six hours later.
was subject to the pilot program from his arrival at the
prison in July 2015 until the brunch program terminated in
December 2015, apparently due to cost concerns. During that
time, Williams filed multiple grievances complaining that the
prison's food was making him ill. He mainly objected to
the use of soy protein, asserting that it caused him stomach
pain, constipation, diarrhea, migraine headaches, and
excessive gas. He sometimes added in his grievances that he
received only 1600 calories per day or fewer than 2800
calories per day, and requested that he be served
breakfast. He also com plained that nurses on medical
call mistreated him, and that the prison's physician
refused to prescribe a soy-free diet and would not provide
medical tests that Williams believed he needed. The primary
relief that he sought was the cessation of the soy-based
diet, thyroid testing and money damages, but he sometimes
requested that he be served three meals per day and more
grievances were not resolved to his satisfaction and he filed
suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Food Service
Administrator Suzann Bailey, Warden Jacqueline Lashbrook,
Department Director John Baldwin, and Dr. Vipin Shah, the
prison's doctor. Williams asserted that: (1) Baldwin,
Bailey and Lashbrook violated his Eighth Amendment rights by
serving him soy-based meals that made him ill; (2) Shah
violated his Eighth Amendment rights through deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs; and (3) Baldwin,
Bailey and Lashbrook violated his Eighth Amendment rights by
instituting a nutritionally inadequate brunch program. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants. Williams appeals.
appeal, Williams challenges the judgment only as it relates
to the brunch program count against defendants Baldwin,
Bailey and Lashbrook. We review the district court's grant
of summary judgment de novo, examining the record in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff and construing all
reasonable inferences from the evidence in his favor.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255
(1986); Lapre v. City of Chicago, 911 F.3d 424, 430
(7th Cir. 2018). Summary judgment is appropriate when there
are no genuine disputes of material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48; Lapre, 911
F.3d at 430.
prison official's 'deliberate indifference' to a
substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate violates the
Eighth Amendment." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 828 (1994). The Eighth Amendment places both restraints
and duties on prison officials, and one of those duties is to
ensure that inmates receive adequate food. Farmer,
511 U.S. at 832. In order for a prison official to be liable
under the Eighth Amendment, two requirements must be met.
First, the inmate must demonstrate that the deprivation
suffered was, objectively, "sufficiently serious."
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834 (quoting Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991)). That is, the prison
official's act or omission must result in the denial of
the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities.
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834; Wilson, 501 U.S.
at 298. We have recognized that, in some circumstances, the
withholding of food may be sufficiently serious to satisfy
the objective component of the Farmer test. Reed
v. McBride, 178 F.3d 849, 853 (7th Cir. 1999). See
also Jams v. Illinois Dep't of Corrections, 684 F.3d
667, 670 (7th Cir. 2012) (adequate food is among the minimal
civilized measures of life's necessities); Mays v.
Springborn, 575 F.3d 643, 648 (7th Cir. 2009) (under the
Eighth Amendment, a prisoner's diet must provide adequate
nutrition). To assess whether the particular withholding of
food meets Farmer's objective prong, a
"court must assess the amount and duration of the
deprivation." Reed, 178 F.3d at 853. See
also Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 734 (7th Cir.
2001) (noting that the withholding of food can in some
circumstances meet the objective prong of Farmer
depending on the amount and duration of the deprivation, as
well as the medical condition of the inmate).
the inmate must demonstrate that the prison official had a
sufficiently culpable state of mind. In a case involving
prison conditions, that state of mind is deliberate
indifference to inmate health or safety. Farmer, 511
U.S. at 834. The Supreme Court ...