United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff and prisoner Mark Brown is proceeding on a claim
that defendants Nancy Garcia and Marirose Howell (both
nurses) failed to give him appropriate treatment for various
symptoms he was experiencing between late September 2015 and
late November 2015, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment, Dkt. 27,
which is ready for review.
complaint, Brown alleged that he was suffering from symptoms
such as high blood pressure, dizziness, blurred vision,
headaches, and an irregular heartbeat, but defendants failed
to schedule a medical appointment for him or conduct any
tests. The undisputed facts show now that defendants were not
aware of many of Brown’s requests for treatment and
that, when they did examine Brown, the treatment they
provided was not blatantly inappropriate. Under those
circumstances, Brown cannot prevail on his claim, so the
court will grant defendants’ motion for summary
the parties finished briefing defendants’ summary
judgment motion, Brown filed a letter that I interpret to be
a request for assistance in recruiting counsel. Dkt. 38. He
says that another prisoner has been helping him with the
case, but he needs a lawyer now because he was transferred to
a different prison. Because the transfer occurred after the
parties completed briefing defendants’ summary judgment
motion and Brown does not ask the court to give him another
chance to file summary judgment materials, I will deny this
request as moot.
following facts are undisputed.
time relevant to this case, plaintiff Brown was a prisoner at
the Waupun Correctional Institution, which is in Waupun,
Wisconsin. Defendant Garcia was an advanced practice nurse
prescriber and was Brown’s primary care provider.
Defendant Howell was a registered nurse.
describe Brown as having “chronic kidney
disease.” Dkt. 35, ¶ 9. At the time Brown entered
the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in 2010, he had been
diagnosed with “hypertension stage II,” or
elevated blood pressure. Chronic elevated blood pressure can
cause kidney damage. Brown’s creatine level was 1.41
mg/DL, which is above the normal range of .50-1.30 mg/DL.
Chronic elevated creatinine levels indicate impaired kidney
the years, Brown has been prescribed medication to control
his blood pressure. His blood pressure, blood sugar, Vitamin
D levels, and parathyroid glands have been monitored to
ensure no further progression of his conditions. He also
received a renal ultrasound.
prisoner wants medical treatment, he may submit what is
called a “health service request. In a request dated
September 28, 2015, Brown said he was experiencing “a
bad headache” and “blur[red] vision.” He
was concerned that his blood pressure was rising. In
response, a nurse checked the box next to “NP/PA”
and wrote “soon” on the form. Dkt. 31-1, at
In a request dated October 1, 2015, Brown wrote that he was
still suffering from a headache and blurred vision. He
believed that his symptoms were the result of high blood
pressure and he wanted to see the nurse. A nurse signed the
request on October 2, but did not otherwise write anything on
October 5, a nurse took Brown’s blood pressure. The
results showed that his blood pressure was 134/98, which
Garcia describes as “slightly higher than
normal.” Dkt. 35, ¶ 32. The nurse scheduled Brown
for an appointment at the hypertension chronic care clinic.
October 7, 2015, Garcia examined Brown. His blood pressure
was still elevated (140/90), so Garcia increased the dose of
his blood pressure medication (Metroprolol) to 50 mg twice a
day. (The parties don’t say what dose Brown was taking
before.) Garcia’s goal was to keep Brown’s blood
pressure under 140/90. When a nurse reported a week later
that Brown’s blood pressure remained elevated (150/98),
Garcia increased his medication again, this time to 100 mg of
Metroprolol twice a day.
October 22, staff conducted lab tests on Brown’s blood.
His creatine level was 1.40, which was about the same as it
was when Brown enter the Department of Corrections in 2010.
the size, shape, and location of the kidneys. Ultrasound may
also be used to assess blood flow to the kidneys.”
“Kidney ultrasound,” available at In a
request dated October 30, 2015, Brown wrote that he was
“having slight back pain on both sides” and that
his urine “come[s] out very very yellowish and [has] a
little smell to it.” Brown wondered whether these
symptoms were being caused by his new blood pressure
medication. Brown also wrote that, while lying down, he could