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Puerner v. Atkinson

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

August 1, 2017

LESTER PUERNER, Plaintiff
v.
DAWN ATKINSON, Defendant.

          STEPHEN L. CROCKER Magistrate Judge

          Plaintiff Lester Puerner is proceeding pro se on a claim that defendant Dawn Atkinson violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment and state law by denying him adequate compression supports to treat blood clots in his legs. Atkinson has moved for summary judgment. Dkt. 73. Because the evidence shows that Atkinson did not violate Puerner's rights, I am granting summary judgment in her favor.

         UNDISPUTED FACTS[1]

         A.The Parties

         Plaintiff Lester Puerner was incarcerated at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution (OCI) at all times relevant to this case. Puerner has been diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease with a long history of varicose veins, and as a result has worn compression support stockings for many years.

         Defendant Dawn Atkinson is an advanced nurse practitioner, with certification as a family nurse practitioner and geriatrics nurse practitioner. Atkinson has worked at various prisons in Wisconsin pursuant to a contract with Registry of Physician Specialists, a California corporation. In 2014, Atkinson provided medical services at OCI. While there, she provided medical care to Puerner from approximately February 17 to August 28, 2014.

         B.Atkinson's Medical Treatment of Puerner[2]

         Puerner's first appointment with Atkinson was on February 17, 2014. At that appointment, Puerner told Atkinson that he needed new TEDS support stockings that provided 30-40 mmHg support, rather than 20-30 mmHg.[3] (Puerner had received 20-30 mmHg stockings in September 2013 from his then-treating physician, Mary Sauvey, M.D.) Atkinson examined Puerner, noted that his current stockings were loose, and wrote an order for “New TEDS - 30-40 mm - 2 pairs.” That same day, the nurse responsible for fulfilling the order returned it to Atkinson for clarification, noting that “[w]e don't have 30-40 mm TEDS, we have small, med, large, XL, XXL, both knee high and thigh high lengths. If the 30-40 mm is length, he will need Regular or Long.” Atkinson issued a new prescriber order on February 18, 2014, stating, “make TEDS waist high and regular compression.”

         After Puerner received the new stockings, however, he realized he had inadvertently asked Atkinson for the wrong brand. He told health services unit staff that he actually needed JOBST stockings, not TEDS stockings, as the TEDS brand stockings were ineffective for him. Atkinson subsequently discontinued the TEDS order and directed a nurse to measure Puerner for JOBST stockings. On March 3, 2014, Puerner was measured for new JOBST stockings, and on March 10, new JOBST stockings were ordered.

         At some point in March 2014, Atkinson was told that JOBST stockings at 30-40 mmHg were no longer available through DOC's current supplier. Also, in reviewing Puerner's records, Atkinson learned that on one or two occasions he had cut off his JOBST stockings, or parts of them, due to pain from tightness. On March 27, 2014, Atkinson entered a new prescriber order:

3/27/14 Jobst stocking 20-30 mm Hg to PT indefinitely (Cut off 30-40 in past) Verbal order D. Atkinson APNP/ D. Atkinson, APNP.

         On March 31, 2014, Atkinson wrote a prescriber order stating:

Patient to be updated. Will get 20-30 mmHg leg supports as cut off 30-40 in past R/T [related to] tightness.

         On April 2, 2014, Puerner was offered the new 20-30 mmHg JOBST stockings. He refused them, however, stating he would only wear 30-40 mmHg. He also explained that he had not cut off the previous 30-40 mmHg stockings because they were too tight, but ...


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