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Dye v. Eric

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

August 9, 2016

JOHN L. DYE, JR., Plaintiff,


          JAMES D. PETERSON District Judge.

         On July 25, 2016, I held a telephone hearing regarding the parties’ dispute over the authorization of the release of plaintiff John Dye’s medical records in this case and in plaintiff’s other recent case before this court, no. 13-cv-284-jdp. This order pertains only to case no. 14-cv-76-jdp, in which defendants have filed a motion to compel plaintiff to authorize the release of his medical records or have the case dismissed. Dkt. 33.

         The major issue discussed at the hearing was the disclosure of “mixed records” containing information about both plaintiff’s physical and mental health problems. In the ’284 case, plaintiff is proceeding only on claims regarding physical harm. But in this case, plaintiff’s claims are not necessarily limited to physical health problems. Plaintiff is currently proceeding with the following claims related to his severe neck pain:

• Defendant therapist Eric ended plaintiff’s therapy sessions for no reason.
• Defendant doctors Loyda Loria and Gaanan failed to change pain medications or attempt further treatment after plaintiff complained about the ineffectiveness of his medication.
• Defendant Dr. Andrade, a psychiatrist, would not treat plaintiff or allow him to get help from others.

See Dkt. 21.

         Plaintiff’s neck problem is a physical one that, at first glance, could be treated the same way as plaintiff’s hand problems in the ’284 case: mental health components of plaintiff’s WRC records could be removed from the records that are released to defense counsel. But there are two reasons that this solution may not work for this case.

         First, defendant Andrade is a psychiatrist, so it is possible that records concerning her treatment of plaintiff will contain mental health information intermixed with information regarding her treatment of plaintiff’s neck problem.

         Second, plaintiff seeks leave to proceed with claims directly involving mental health treatment. I stated the following in screening plaintiff’s second amended complaint:

Plaintiff has also filed a motion for injunctive relief, stating that Andrade has been transferred to the Waupun Correctional Institution and has retaliated against plaintiff by discontinuing one of plaintiff’s psychotropic medications. Plaintiff wants the court to intervene in his psychiatric treatment by reinstating the provision of his medication or by removing Andrade as his psychiatrist. I cannot address the merits of plaintiff’s motion because he is not proceeding on claims regarding Andrade’s psychiatric care in this lawsuit. Because plaintiff could include such a claim in this lawsuit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18, I will give him a short period of time to supplement his complaint with this claim.

Dkt. 21, at 4. Plaintiff responded to that order with a motion for an extension of time to file his response, Dkt. 26, and a supplement to his complaint. Dkt. 27. I will grant plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time and consider his supplement.

         In the supplement, plaintiff alleges that defendant Andrade[1] was transferred to the Waupun Correctional Institution at roughly the same time that plaintiff was, and after plaintiff expressed his desire not to be treated by Andrade while he was pursuing a lawsuit against her, Andrade discontinued one of his psychotropic medications, Depakote. Plaintiff’s claim could be viewed as either a First Amendment claim against Andrade for cutting off the Depakote after plaintiff filed a lawsuit against her and complained about her ongoing care, or an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim because Andrade chose to discontinue the medication for vindictive reasons. Either way, I conclude that plaintiff has stated a claim against Andrade and so I will allow him to proceed against Andrade under both theories.

         Plaintiff also seeks to bring claims against several defendants (the WRC director and other health care staff) already dismissed from the complaint. Plaintiff says that he wrote them letters about doctors Loria’s, Gaanan’s, and Andrade’s treatment. But plaintiff does not suggest that he sought these defendants’ help though formal complaint channels, and he does not suggest that any of them had the power to countermand medical decisions made by the defendant doctors. See Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 595 (7th Cir. 2009) (“[P]risoner’s view that everyone who knows about a prisoner’s problem must pay damages implies that he could write letters to the Governor of Wisconsin and 999 other public officials, demand that every one of those 1, 000 officials drop everything he or she is doing in order to investigate a single prisoner’s claims, and then ...

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