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 an Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against defendants Nurse Practitioner
Rebecca Swenson, Nurse Julie Bennett, and Nurse Meghan Keefer
(the Medical Defendants). ECF No. 12. Currently before the court
is plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, ECF No. 107,
and the Medical Defendants' motion for summary judgment,
ECF No. 116. For the following reasons, the court will
grant the Medical Defendants' motion for summary judgment
and deny plaintiffs motion for summary judgment.
complaint relates to events that allegedly occurred between
October 2014, when plaintiff arrived at KCDC, and December
2014, when plaintiff filed his federal lawsuit. ECF No. 158
¶ 1. On October 31, 2014, plaintiff informed health
services that he had a fish allergy, and he requested that he
be given fish-free meal trays. Id. ¶ 44; ECF
No. 145 ¶ 9. According to defendants, plaintiff refused
to identify the doctor who diagnosed the allergy, refused to
authorize staff to obtain relevant records establishing an
allergy, and refused a blood test to verify the allergy. ECF
No. 158 ¶ 44. Regardless, despite no medical support,
plaintiffs diet was changed on November 7, 2014, so that he
did not receive fish. Id. ¶ 45.
plaintiff entered KCDC, he was receiving 800mg of Ibuprofen
three times per day to address complaints of back, shoulder,
hip, and knee pain. See Id. ¶¶ 27, 42; ECF
No. 145 ¶ 24. Although not entirely clear when, the KCDC
doctor reduced the dosage and ordered that it be offered only
twice per day. See ECF No. 158 ¶ 41. Plaintiff
subsequently complained that he wanted the dosage to be
increased to what he had received at his previous
institution. See Id. ¶ 42; ECF No. 145
¶¶ 24, 27. On November 19, 2014, Swenson attempted
to talk to plaintiff about his desire for the Ibuprofen
dosage to be increased and his refusal to be examined. ECF
No. 158 ¶ 41. Plaintiff asserts that he was in the
shower while Swenson came to talk to him and that she
threatened him in order to force him to sign a release of
liability form that she had previously given him.
Id. Plaintiff asserts that he told Swenson that he
"wipe[d] his butt with the [forms] Swenson had sent,
" so he could not sign them. Id. Swenson
asserts that she told him he could receive Ibuprofen three
times per day, but he needed to be examined first, but
plaintiff refused to be examined and told Swenson to just
change the order. Id.
explains that, despite plaintiff refusing to be examined, his
Ibuprofen was increased to three times per day: 600mg in the
morning, 400mg in the afternoon, and 600mg at night.
Id. ¶ 42. Plaintiff was not satisfied with this
new prescription because he wanted to receive 800mg three
times a day as he had been prescribed before he entered KCDC.
Id.; ECF No. 145 ¶ 27. Swenson informed
plaintiff that he should take the Ibuprofen only when needed
and warned him that Ibuprofen can cause stomach upset and
increase blood pressure. ECF No. 158 ¶ 43. She told him
to notify health services if he had any questions or wanted
to be examined. Id.
November 17, 2014, plaintiff was informed (it is not clear by
whom) that he would need to be examined before he would be
given a wheelchair. Id. ¶ 48. Although not
entirely clear, it appears that a few days later, plaintiff
was placed on a seventy-two hour activity log, during which
time officers monitored and recorded plaintiffs activity
without plaintiffs knowledge. Id. ¶ 49. During
that time, plaintiff was observed moving around his cell,
bending, walking, and standing without difficulty.
Id. Shortly thereafter, health services obtained
plaintiffs medical records from his previous institution.
Id. ¶ 52. According to the Medical Defendants,
the records did not support plaintiffs contention that he
needed surgery to address his hip and knee pain. Id.
Plaintiff explains that the doctor at his previous
institution declined to consider surgery only because he
found out plaintiff was scheduled to leave the institution.
November 27, 2014, plaintiff was examined (again, it is
unclear who examined plaintiff); medical records indicate
that there was no documented evidence of a knee replacement
surgery, nor was there a scar behind plaintiffs knee.
Id. ¶ 50. Plaintiffs request for a wheelchair
was then denied. Id. ¶ 47. An order was entered
for plaintiff to be seen by the doctor every week and for the
KCDC nurse practitioner to see him twice per week, but
plaintiff often refused to see them. Id. ¶ 51.
Plaintiff explains that he had no reason to see them, until
they threatened to stop his medication unless he agreed to be
November 27, 2014, Keefer explained to plaintiff that the
doctor was willing to refill his Ibuprofen prescription for
only two more weeks. Id. ¶ 58. She told him
that, if he wanted further refills, he needed to be examined
by the doctor. Id. That same day, plaintiff
requested minerin cream, which is used for dry skin, and
lactulose, which is a laxative used by those who are lactose
intolerant. Id. ¶ 60. The Medical Defendants
assert that plaintiff was offered an alternative to
lactulose, but he refused. Id. The next day,
plaintiff was given lactulose for two weeks, and told he
needed to be examined before the prescription would be
extended further. Id. ¶ 61. Plaintiff indicates
that his prescriptions for minerin cream and lactulose were
discontinued on January 20, 2015. ECF No. 14 ¶¶
December 6, 2014, the doctor changed plaintiffs Ibuprofen
prescription to 800mg twice per day for seven more days.
Id. ¶¶ 29-35; ECF No. 145 ¶ 28. The
next day, Bennett informed plaintiff that he needed to see
the doctor if he wanted to receive Ibuprofen after that
seven-day period. ECF No. 158 ¶ 35.
According to Bennett, plaintiff was not denied his prescribed
medications; he refused to take all of his morning
medications except for Omeprazole. Id. ¶ 36.
Plaintiff argues that the doctor erred when she decided to
reduce his Ibuprofen dosage from three times per day to two
times per day. He explains that he is not paralyzed, so his
ability to move around his cell should not have been used as
a basis for reducing his pain medication. Id.
¶¶ 29-31. He also argues that he had been told
on November 27 that his prescription would be continued for
two weeks, and so it was improper for the doctor to adjust
the prescription before that two-week period had passed.
agreed to be examined by the doctor on December 9, 2014.
Id. ¶ 38. The doctor noted that plaintiffs
musculoskeletal exam was normal. Id. She opted to
change plaintiffs pain medication from Ibuprofen (which
plaintiff asserts worked) to Gabapentin (which plaintiff
asserts did not work). Id. ¶ 35.
December 2014, Swenson asserts that repeated attempts were
made to evaluate or treat plaintiff, but he often refused to
be seen. She asserts that, during that month, he was seen
daily during medication pass. Id. ¶ 14. On at
least five days, he refused to take his medications; on four
other days he refused to see a nurse practitioner; and on one
day he refused to see the doctor. Id. ¶ 55.
Plaintiff does not dispute that he refused medications or
evaluations, but he explains that he either did not need what
was being offered or, because he did not want to get into a
confrontation with medical staff, he would just walk away and
ignore them. See, e.g., Id. ¶¶ 9, 12, 16,
judgment is appropriate when the moving party shows that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). All reasonable inferences are construed
in favor of the nonmoving party. Foley v. City of
Lafayette,359 F.3d 925, 928 (7th Cir. 2004). The party
opposing the motion for summary judgment must “submit
evidentiary materials that set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Siegel v.
Shell Oil Co., 612 F.3d 932, 937 (7th Cir. 2010)
(citations omitted). “The nonmoving party must do more
than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to
the material facts.” Id. Summary judgment is
properly entered against a party “who fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the ...