Inmate suit alleging no water for 10 days proceeds

August 11, 2016

An inmate who claims corrections officers at Westville Control Unit refused to provide him water for 10 days in December 2015 may proceed with his suit against them alleging cruel and unusual punishment, a federal judge ruled.

Christopher Scruggs filed a pro se civil rights suit naming several Westville officers who he claims turned the water off in his cell and deprived him of anything to drink for the next 10 days. He alleged he was unable to get anything to drink because he was confined in segregation. He claims he received no liquids to drink with his meals and was given powdered milk and drink mix. He claims pain in his side and difficulty urinating as a result of the withholding of fluids.

“The duration was relatively short, a ten day period. However, the severity of the deprivation was extrement,” Judge Jon E. DeGuilio of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana wrote in Christopher L. Scruggs v. Sgt. SinClair, et al., 3:16-CV-039.

“Giving Scruggs the inferences to which he is entitled at this stage, Scruggs has alleged an Eighth Amendment claim against the defendants for denying him any liquids to drink for ten days,” DeGuilio wrote. He ordered 11 Westville corrections officers named in the suit to respond to Scruggs’ complaint.

The state defendants have yet to answer Scruggs’ amended complaint filed in March.


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