United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
Travis Delaney Williams, who is currently representing
himself, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging that his civil rights were violated while he was
incarcerated at the Kenosha County Detention Center (KCDC)
(also referred to by the parties as the Kenosha County Jail).
On September 10, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Pamela
Pepper (the judge assigned to the case at that time) allowed
plaintiff to proceed on his claim that Dr. Karen Butler was
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. ECF No. 12. Currently before
the court is plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, ECF
No. 107, and Dr. Butler's motion for summary judgment,
ECF No. 124. For the following reasons, the court will
deny plaintiff's motion for summary judgment against Dr.
Butler and grant her motion for summary judgment.
was incarcerated at KCDC for about five months, from October
2014, through early March 2015. ECF No. 132 at ¶ 1.
Plaintiff asserts that, during his time at KCDC, he was in
pain and had difficulty walking due to his osteoarthritis.
ECF No. 1 at 4; ECF No. 162 at ¶¶ 48-50.
Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative joint condition that
most people suffer from as they age. ECF No. 132 at
¶¶ 56-57. According to Dr. Butler, osteoarthritis
is not a serious medical condition. Id. at ¶
Butler asserts that, while plaintiff was at KCDC, doctors,
nurse practitioners, nurses, and aides were available and
attempted to assist plaintiff whenever he wanted and/or
needed medical treatment. Id. at ¶¶ 6-7.
However, plaintiff often refused to follow their advice or
treatment plans. Id. at ¶ 8; ECF No. 162 at
¶ 4. For example, Dr. Butler explains that plaintiff
refused to exercise, which she states is the primary
treatment for osteoarthritis, and he often refused to take
prescribed medications. ECF No. 132 at ¶¶ 58-59. In
fact, plaintiff's medical records show that, during his
short stay at KCDC, plaintiff refused treatment, care, and/or
blood pressure checks on more than forty dates. Id.
at ¶ 8.
asserts that he was put into isolation because he refused to
sign a release from medical responsibility. ECF No. 1 at 5.
Dr. Butler denies that he was put in isolation for that
reason (she does not state what the actual reason was), and
she denies that he was not provided medical care while there.
ECF No. 132 at ¶¶ 9-10. Dr. Butler asserts that
plaintiff was seen and offered treatment on a regular basis
during that time, including during regular medical passes.
Id. at ¶ 12. In fact, Dr. Butler states that,
on November 4, 2014, she put in an order for the nurse
practitioner to follow up with plaintiff on a weekly basis.
Id. at ¶ 13.
the time plaintiff was in isolation, medical records indicate
that plaintiff refused to be seen and/or treated by medical
personnel on five days. Id. at ¶ 15. On one
such day, Dr. Butler asserts that she went to plaintiff's
cell to perform a segregation check. Id. at ¶
16. She explains that she called plaintiff's name, and
although he looked right at her, he ignored her and refused
to speak with her. Id. That same day, plaintiff
filed a grievance, wherein he stated, "November 18,
2014, 7:10 am the doctor and nurse came to the door for what?
I wouldn't know, but I made eye contact with them and
they waived [sic] me over to the door, I ignored them, they
kept knocking on the door despite clear body language I
don't want to see them." Id. at ¶ 17.
also alleges that Dr. Butler refused to treat him because he
lacked medical verification. ECF No. 1 at 7; ECF No. 162 at
¶ 8. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that he told Dr.
Butler that he did not want to be treated; he just wanted her
to look at his medical chart and instruct the staff to give
him a no-fish tray, because he was allergic to fish, and a
wheelchair. ECF No. 1 at 7; ECF No. 162 at ¶ 9. Dr.
Butler asserts that she did not deny plaintiff a no-fish
tray. ECF No. 132 at ¶ 23. Rather, despite
plaintiff's refusal to submit to a blood test to
determine the extent of his allergy, medical staff authorized
a no-fish tray diet for him. Id. at ¶ 24; ECF
No. 162 at ¶ 18.
regard to the wheelchair, Dr. Butler explains that, when
plaintiff entered KCDC, he was authorized to use a wheelchair
for long distances as well as a cane for daily use. ECF No.
132 at ¶ 25. Dr. Butler explains that plaintiff
requested that he be allowed to use the wheelchair whenever
he wanted. Id. at ¶ 26. She advised plaintiff
that he would need to be examined to determine whether a
wheelchair was necessary. Id. Dr. Butler states
that, on November 19, 2014, she placed plaintiff on a
seventy-two hour activity log to evaluate plaintiff's
physical abilities. Id. at ¶ 27. According to
the log, plaintiff was seen mopping his cell, including
standing, bending over to wring the mop, and rinsing and
wringing the mop without difficulty and without using a cane,
with even movements at a normal pace. Id. Further,
on November 27, 2014, plaintiff was evaluated, and it was
noted that there was no record he had knee replacement
surgery as he contended, nor was there a scar behind his
knee, as he claimed. Id. at ¶ 29. When the
examiner was unable to find the scar, plaintiff refused
further examination. Id. at ¶ 51. Plaintiff was
again examined on December 29, 2014. Id. at ¶
52. Although he claimed to be in pain, the examiner
determined his knee appeared normal. Id. Dr. Butler
explains that neither her examination of plaintiff nor his
records from Dodge Correctional supported his contention that
he needed a wheelchair for daily use. Id. at ¶
being observed several times moving about his cell without
the use of his cane and with apparent ease, plaintiff was
allowed to continue to use his cane until January 9, 2015
(more than two weeks after he filed his federal lawsuit).
Id. at ¶ 30. On that day, plaintiff struck
another inmate with his cane, causing a hand fracture,
orbital fracture, and corneal abrasion to the other inmate.
Id. As a consequence for attacking another inmate,
KCDC administration took plaintiff's cane from him.
Id. That same day, x-rays were taken of
plaintiff's knees, abdomen, thoracic spine, and c
spine/neck. Id. at ¶ 53. The conclusions were:
grossly unremarkable thoracic spine series; grossly
unremarkable left knee; grossly unremarkable right knee.
Id. According to Dr. Butler, despite plaintiff's
generalized complaints of pain, examinations and x-rays
revealed no significant injuries or ailments. Id. at
also complains that, again because he refused to be seen, Dr.
Butler continued two of his prescriptions for only two weeks.
Id. at ¶ 31. According to Dr. Butler, plaintiff
had submitted a medical request form for minerin cream, which
is used for dry skin, and lactulose, which is used for
lactose intolerance. Id. at ¶ 32. Plaintiff was
offered an alternative to lactulose, but he refused.
Id. The next day, plaintiff was told he would be
given lactulose for two weeks, but, he would need to be seen
in HSU for an assessment if he wanted another refill.
Id. at ¶ 33.
plaintiff alleges that, despite his complaints of knee, foot,
and generalized pain, Dr. Butler extended his Ibuprofen
prescription for only one week. Id. at ¶ 36;
ECF No. 162 at ¶¶ 23-24. Dr. Butler explains that
she required that plaintiff be examined before prescribing
any further prescription extensions due to the risk of
adverse health effects, including fatality, that can result
from prolonged use. ECF No. 132 at ¶ 37. She further
explains that continually prescribing medication to plaintiff
without examining him to ensure his safety would have been
dangerous and potentially fatal. Id. at ¶ 38.
couple of days after extending his prescription by one week,
Dr. Butler examined plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 39. She
noted that plaintiff had a normal musculoskeletal exam and
that he refused to do any of the exercises she had prescribed
or submit to a blood test so she could better evaluate his
health. Id. at ¶¶ 39-40. Even though she
could not diagnose the cause or source of plaintiff's
pain, she prescribed gabapentin 300 mg twice per day as a
safer alternative to Ibuprofen. Id. at ¶ 41;
ECF No. 162 at ¶ 32.
to plaintiff's medical records, he refused six of his
fourteen prescribed doses of medication in October 2014; he
refused twenty-eight of his sixty prescribed doses of
medication in November 2014; and he refused thirty-three of
his sixty-two prescribed doses of medication in December
2014. Id. at ¶ 44. In ...