United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
QUENTIN C. WARD, Plaintiff,
MARY SAUVEY, JEAN LUTSEY, HANNAH UTTER, MARY ALSTEEN, and KATHY LEMENS, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Quentin C. Ward, a prisoner at the Green Bay Correctional
Institution, alleges that prison officials have failed to
properly treat the severe pain he suffers from his
degenerative spine condition and carpal tunnel syndrome. He
brings Eighth Amendment claims against one of the doctors and
several nurses who he says were involved in making decisions
about his pain treatment. He has filed a motion for summary
judgment, which I will deny because he fails to show that he
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The case will
proceed to trial. Ward has also filed a motion for
preliminary injunctive relief, which I will deny, and several
other motions that I will address in the opinion below.
the following facts from the parties' summary judgment
Quentin C. Ward is a prisoner at Green Bay Correctional
Institution (GBCI). Ward suffers from degenerative disk
disease, spinal stenosis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. He
suffers severe pain in his neck and back and pain and
numbness in his left arm and hand.
was transferred from Oshkosh Correctional Institution to GBCI
in September 2012. At some point prior he had been prescribed
methadone to treat his severe pain, but that medication was
discontinued before he got to GBCI. In June 2013 a doctor at
GBCI prescribed Ward methadone. But Ward did not receive the
medication. Defendant Nurse Jean Lutsey, who served as the
health service manager for at least part of the events in
question, told Ward that “Madison” did not
approve the doctor's request for methadone. Ward suggests
that a “special needs committee” denied the
request. (Ward brings claims against defendant nurses Kathy
Lemens, Hannah Utter, and Mary Alsteen for denying his
requests for methadone when they sat on special needs
committees, although the parties do not provide any proposed
findings about specific committee decisions they took part
the ten-year period preceding this lawsuit, Ward had been
prescribed many different pain medications. He says that none
of them have truly been effective other than methadone. Ward
says that his condition worsened throughout his time at GBCI.
Mary Sauvey was a physician at GBCI from October 2013 to
September 2016. In 2013 she reviewed Ward's prior care
and noted that he had “good functionality” over
the past year being off narcotic pain medication. Sauvey says
that narcotics generally are not used for
“non-malignant” chronic pain. At that time, Ward
had been prescribed acetaminophen by his previous doctor, and
I take Sauvey to be saying that she kept that order in place.
saw Ward multiple times in 2014, mostly regarding a
urinary-tract infection. The parties dispute whether Ward
complained about back or neck pain at those appointments. But
pain must have been discussed at some point, because Sauvey
says that in June 2014 she switched him from ibuprofen to
Celebrex for his carpal tunnel pain. It is unclear when the
ibuprofen was added or if it replaced the acetaminophen. In
September 2014, she referred him for surgery. The parties do
not explain whether he received surgery as the result of that
referral, but it does not appear that he did.
saw Ward five times from April to July 2015 regarding
urinary-tract symptoms, and he did not report pain from his
orthopedic problems. In October 2015 she referred Ward to an
orthopedist to consider surgery. In January 2016, Ward
requested methadone. Sauvey decided to give him a course of
Tramadol, a nonnarcotic medication for pain relief, and
referred him to pain specialists at Aurora Hospital for
another opinion. In February 2016 she told Ward that
methadone would not be effective, nor was it indicated, to
treat his type of pain. Ward says that at some point, Sauvey
told him that it was her practice to not provide opioids to
her patients unless they were cancer patients, suggesting
that Ward's pain was not sufficient for such a
prescription. In March 2016, Ward had carpal-tunnel-release
surgery on his left arm.
says that he saw nurses Lutsey, Lemens, Utter, and Alsteen
numerous times in the Health Services Unit over the years,
complaining about his severe pain. The records provided by
Ward show that the nurses generally followed up in some way,
mostly by setting an appointment with a doctor.
brings claims that defendants violated his rights under the
Eighth Amendment. To succeed on his motion for summary
judgment, Ward must show that there is no genuine issue of
material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). “A genuine
issue of material fact arises only if sufficient evidence
favoring the nonmoving party exists to permit a jury to
return a verdict for that party.” Brummett v.
Sinclair Broad. Grp., Inc.,414 F.3d 686, 692 (7th Cir.
2005). All reasonable inferences from ...