United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
Casey Lamb, who is representing himself, filed this action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants
Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc. (“ACH”),
Julie Sieczkowski, Litisha Ramus, Sarah Hoffman, and Dr. Dan
Hekman (collectively, “the Individual
Defendants”), and Racine County were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical need for dental treatment.
Lamb, who was serving an Illinois prison sentence, was
incarcerated at the Racine County Jail at the time he filed
his complaint, but he has since been returned to Illinois and
completed his sentence. This matter comes before the court on
two motions for summary judgment, one by ACH and the
Individual Defendants (ECF No. 47) and the other by Racine
County (ECF No. 73). For the reasons stated below, both
motions will be granted.
follows is a statement of the undisputed facts as set forth
in the parties' proposed findings of fact, as well as the
documentary evidence submitted by the parties. The Illinois
Department of Corrections transferred Lamb to the Racine
County Jail on February 16, 2017. ACH Defs.' Proposed
Findings of Fact (ACH PFOF) ¶ 1, ECF No. 52. On a
medical screening form completed at the jail at the time of
Lamb's transfer, a box is checked “no” in
response to the question “Do you have a painful dental
condition, ” but Lamb disputes this and states that he
answered “yes.” ACH PFOF ¶ 2 (citing ECF No.
49-1 at 5); Lamb's Proposed Findings of Fact (Lamb PFOF)
¶ 1, ECF No. 69.
submitted two Inmate Request/Complaint forms on February 20,
2017, just a few days after he arrived at the jail. ACH PFOF
¶ 3 (citing ECF No. 49-1 at 11). The first stated that
two fillings in his teeth had fallen out since he had arrived
at the jail, that he had multiple cracks in his teeth leaving
“exposed nerve endings, ” that he was
experiencing pain, and that these teeth were showing signs of
infection that he feared could lead to more serious
complications. Id. ¶¶ 4-5 (citing ECF No.
49-1 at 11). He asked for pain medication, antibiotics, an
oral rinse, and to see a dentist as soon as possible
“for extractions/amalgams.” Id. ¶
6. Lamb's second request that day concerned a request to
obtain a second mattress related to his back injuries.
Id. ¶ 9.
Registered Nurse Sieczkowski examined Lamb on February 23,
2017. Id. ¶ 11; see also ECF No. 49-1
at 12-13. Lamb reported chronic dental pain that had lasted
at least 3 months. ACH PFOF ¶ 12; ECF No. 49-1 at 12.
Sieczkowski's treatment notes state that two fillings
were missing, that Lamb's gums were moist and pink, and
that Lamb reported that his teeth were very sensitive and
tasted and smelled of decay. ACH PFOF ¶ 15; ECF No. 49-1
at 12. Defendant Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP)
Ramus reviewed Sieczkowski's assessment that same day.
ACH PFOF ¶ 18. Her review articulated a specific plan to
address Lamb's dental needs, prescribing a soft diet for
7 days, an oragel packet each day for 7 days, and 1, 000 mg
of Tylenol for 3 days. Id. ¶ 22; ECF No. 49-1
next day (February 24, 2017) Lamb filed another Inmate
Request form. ACH PFOF ¶ 23; ECF No. 49-1 at 14. In the
request, Lamb claimed that during intake he was told that a
nurse would evaluate him free of charge, that he only
received an evaluation from a nurse when he filed a request
form, and that he objected to the $10.00 charge he received
for the evaluation. ACH PFOF ¶¶ 24-25; ECF No. 49-1
at 14. That same day, APNP Ramus reviewed Lamb's request
and wrote a response explaining that, at the jail,
corrections staff performs a routine medical screening during
intake, it is not jail policy to provide a routine medical
evaluation within 72 hours of booking, and the jail charges
$10.00 for non-emergency medical evaluations by a medical
staff member. ACH PFOF ¶¶ 26-27, 29; ECF No. 49-1
days later (February 26, 2017), Lamb filed an Inmate Request
form inquiring into “the status of [his] dental
needs.” ACH PFOF ¶ 30; ECF No. 49-1 at 16. He
wrote, “I need, not want to see a D.D.S. for
extractions/amalgams and any other necessary work/treatment
A.S.A.P.” ECF No. 49-1 at 16. The following day
(February 27, 2017), he submitted another Inmate Request
form, this time requesting that he be given ibuprofen for his
dental and back pain. ACH PFOF ¶¶ 33, 35; ECF No.
49-1 at 18. He clarified, however, that he did not want
ibuprofen if he would be charged for it. ACH PFOF ¶ 34.
Lamb filed yet another Inmate Request form the next day
(February 28, 2017), this time asking that his soft diet be
continued indefinitely past March 3 and that he receive
another Tylenol prescription, although he added that he did
not want to pay for any medication. Id. ¶ 36;
ECF No. 49-1 at 19.
Registered Nurse Hoffman personally evaluated Lamb on March
1, 2017. ACH PFOF ¶ 37. Her dental progress notes
indicate that Lamb's teeth were sensitive to hot and
cold, that he had erythema present at the gum line (a
possible sign of infection), and that there was inflammation
present on his right jaw. Id. ¶ 38; ECF No.
49-1 at 20. Defendant APNP Ramus reviewed NP Hoffman's
evaluation and concluded that Lamb had a dental abscess. ACH
PFOF ¶ 39; ECF No. 49-1 at 21. Ramus ordered the extra
mattress Lamb had requested and prescribed 1, 000 mg of
amoxicillin for 10 days, 1, 000 mg of Tylenol for 5 days, and
an extension of his soft diet for 14 days. ACH PFOF
Inmate Request form on March 6, 2017, Lamb requested a knee
brace and tennis shoes, adding that he would be willing to
pay for the brace, shoes, and medication, as well as another
assessment, if necessary. ACH PFOF ¶¶ 42-43. On
March 7, 2017, Lamb filed an Inmate Complaint form regarding
his desire for dental care. Id. ¶ 44; ECF No.
49-1 at 28. Reiterating his desire for an immediate dental
appointment, he stated that he had filed a federal complaint
under § 1983 alleging that jail officials had shown
deliberate indifference to his serious dental needs. ACH PFOF
Dr. Hekman examined Lamb on March 9, 2017. Id.
¶ 46. In addition to addressing Lamb's physical
complaints, Dr. Hekman observed that Lamb was missing
fillings and had dental nerves exposed. ECF No. 49-1 at 30.
He therefore ordered that Lamb continue his soft diet
indefinitely, and he prescribed 900 mg of Tylenol for 30
days. ACH PFOF ¶ 47. Lamb does not dispute that Dr.
Hekman did not note signs or symptoms of infection during the
March 9 examination, indicating that the course of
antibiotics prescribed on March 1 had effectively treated the
erythema and inflammation previously observed. Id.
¶ 48. Subsequently, on March 15, 2017, APNP Ramus
ordered a dental referral for Lamb in response to his
continued reports of pain following his examination by Dr.
Hekman. ACH PFOF ¶ 50 (citing ECF No. 51 ¶¶
eventually saw outside dentist Dr. Adrian Rivas on May 17,
2017. ACH PFOF ¶ 51. Some of the teeth at issue were
extracted during that appointment. Id. ¶ 50.
Lamb objects to the characterization of the extraction by ACH
and the Individual Defendants, noting that he required
further dental treatment following his appointment with Dr.
Rivas. ECF No. 70 ¶ 51 . By June 2017, Lamb left the
Racine Count Jail and returned to custody in Illinois.
See ECF No. 23. Additional relevant undisputed
factual material will be discussed in the analysis below.
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) (quoted
source and internal quotation marks 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 existence of an element essential to the