United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
CHRISTOPHER D. JONES, Plaintiff,
CHRISTOPHER MANTHEI, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DKT. NO. 22) AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT. NO.
PAMELA PEPPER United States District Judge
plaintiff, representing himself, filed this lawsuit under 42
U.S.C. §1983. Dkt. No. 1. The court screened the
complaint and allowed him to proceed on claims that the
defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they
failed to follow a no-work restriction that had been put in
place by medical staff. Dkt. No. 9. The parties filed
cross-motions for summary judgment. Dkt. Nos. 18, 22.
Christopher Jones is incarcerated at the Waupun Correctional
Institution. Dkt. No. 31 at ¶1. During the events the
plaintiff described in the complaint, the defendants were
employed at Waupun. Id. at ¶2. Christopher
Manthei and Nicholas Sanchez worked as correctional
sergeants, Brenda Rilling worked as a bakery chef and Aimee
Wilson worked as the food services administrator.
February 2017, the plaintiff worked as a window server in the
kitchen at Waupun. Id. at ¶4. His primary
duties included distributing trays of food to inmates and
cleaning up after meals. Id. At that time, the
plaintiff was on a light activity restriction because of
chronic left knee pain from a basketball injury. Id.
at ¶5. A “light activity” restriction
allowed the plaintiff to do his kitchen job-he could work at
his own pace, and could tell staff if there were job duties
and assignments that he couldn't perform. Id. at
February 24, 2017, the plaintiff was seen in health services
for an injury to his right knee that he suffered while
playing basketball the night before. Id. at ¶7.
The nurse instructed the plaintiff to rest, ice and elevate
his knee. Id. She also gave him a no-work
restriction until March 1, 2017. Id. The nurse's
notes reflect that she updated the prison's computer
system to reflect a no-work restriction, but the notes did
not indicate that she told any of the four defendants about
the no-work restriction. Id. at ¶8.
days later, a nurse contacted the plaintiff and told him that
the x-ray of his knee was normal. Id. at ¶9.
She also told him to stay off of work until after his
scheduled follow-up appointment on March 1, 2017.
Id. On March 1, 2017, before his appointment, the
plaintiff reported to his work assignment in the kitchen.
Id. at ¶10. The plaintiff explains that his
name was on the schedule for that day, and inmates are not
free to decline to report to work once they are called.
Id. Instead, an inmate must report to his worksite
and then discuss with the sergeant at the worksite any
concerns he has about working. Id. The plaintiff
reported to work because he was afraid he would receive a
conduct report if he did not. Id. at ¶11.
his work shift on March 1, 2017, nursing staff evaluated the
plaintiff's knee. Id. at ¶15. The plaintiff
reported that his knee was feeling better, but it still hurt.
Id. A nurse extended his no-work restriction to
March 8, 2017. Id. Despite the extension of his
no-work restriction, the plaintiff continued to work his
normal schedule, which generally was every other day,
sometimes for shifts that lasted all day. Id. During
this time, there were certain duties that he could not do
because they required too much lifting; as he did when his
light-duty restriction was in place, he would tell kitchen
staff what he wasn't able to do. Id. at
March 8, 2017, nursing staff saw the plaintiff for a
follow-up evaluation. Id. at ¶17. After noting
the care plan-applying ice, not working and avoiding
recreational activities-the nurse extended the
plaintiff's no-work restriction to April 8, 2017,
“pending an evaluation by the prison's
physician.” Id. at ¶18. Nothing in the
nurse's notes indicate that the plaintiff complained that
he was still working despite the no-work restriction.
Id. at ¶19.
March 14, 2017, the plaintiff told defendant Wilson that he
was on the no-work restriction. Id. at ¶35. He
asked Wilson why he continued to work when he was on a
no-work restriction; Wilson responded that she hadn't
received anything from health services about the plaintiff
being on a no-work restriction. Id. at ¶36. The
plaintiff asserts that after he told Wilson the restriction
was in the computer, she responded that she didn't
usually get the information on the computer system but that
she would look into it. Id. at ¶37. According
to Wilson, she did not learn the plaintiff was on a no-work
restriction until after the plaintiff was injured on March
19, 2017. Id. at ¶38.
plaintiff states that he also told Manthei that he was on a
no-work restriction, although he doesn't remember when.
Id. at ¶39. According to the plaintiff, Manthei
thought the plaintiff was joking. Id. Manthei
responded to an interrogatory from the plaintiff, in which
Manthei said that he knew that the plaintiff had been placed
on the light duty restriction in mid-February 2017, but said
that he did not know about the no-work restriction until
March 21, 2017. Id. at ¶¶39-40. The
plaintiff also informed his psychologist (who informed a
lieutenant who informed the cell hall sergeant) and unnamed
nurses that he was still working despite being on a no-work
restriction. Id. at ¶¶41-43. None of these
individuals are defendants, and there is nothing in the
record to indicate that any of them informed the kitchen
staff of the no-work restriction. Id.
afternoon of March 19, 2017, the plaintiff was working in the
kitchen. Id. at ¶20. Wilson was not working
that day, Manthei was the sergeant in charge of food service
for first shift (until around 12:30 p.m.) and Sanchez was the
food service sergeant for second shift (starting at 2:00
p.m.); Rilling was working in the bakery. Id. At
about 4:30 p.m., the plaintiff was carrying a stack of food
trays when his right knee made an audible popping sound and
buckled. Id. at ¶21; Dkt. No. 28 at ¶32.
The plaintiff dropped the trays and fell into the counter of
the service table. Dkt. No. 28 at ¶32. Two inmates
helped the plaintiff to “the north side tray disposal
bench area”; Sanchez approached the plaintiff. Dkt. No.
28 at ¶33; Dkt. No. 31 at ¶22. The plaintiff told
Sanchez that he wasn't supposed to be working. Dkt. No.
31 at ¶23. Sanchez told the plaintiff that the schedule
indicated he was on a light-duty restriction. Id.
(The schedule continued to show that the plaintiff was on
light duty. Id. at ¶24.) Sanchez then checked
the computer and saw that, contrary to what the work schedule
indicated, the plaintiff was on a no-work restriction.
Id. at ¶25. The plaintiff was escorted to
health services around 5:00 p.m. Id. at ¶26.
plaintiff says that earlier in the day on March 19, he had
told Sanchez that he was on a restriction, but he did not
clarify that he was on a no-work restriction. Id. at
¶28. The plaintiff told Sanchez that he was not supposed
to be working, but Sanchez responded that the schedule said
the plaintiff was on a light duty restriction. Id.
at ¶23. The plaintiff also told Sanchez that his knee
hurt and that he wanted to go to health services.
Id. at ¶30. Sanchez responded that health
services would not see the plaintiff at that point for an
injury that Sanchez believed was “a few days
federal court complaint, the plaintiff recounted the
following under the heading “RELEVANT FACT(S) OF INMATE
On [March 19, 2017], I was stationed at my assigned post, as
the Northside Window Server. Before meals started, I informed
C.O. Kickerbaul as well as Sergeant Sanchez that I had
injured my knee recently and I was in a [l]ot of pain because
I had been standing up all day and needed to be seen by HSU,
because the pain medication that HSU prescribed to me was not
working. Sergeant Sanchez then responded in front of C.O.
Kickerbaul, Inmate Timothy Wilks, Inmate Jackson and others,
that since it has been a couple of days, he knows for a fact
HSU will not see me. I then told him could he call and tell
them I need ...