United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
Marcus Henry, appearing pro se, is an inmate at Green Bay
Correctional Institution. He alleges that when he was
incarcerated at New Lisbon Correctional Institution,
defendant nurses Angela Stetter and Jamie Barker
intentionally failed to get him prompt treatment for surgical
stitches that had come undone, causing him a more painful
have filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that
Henry's stitches remained intact until they were removed
two weeks after the surgery. But Henry maintains that both
Stetter and Barker told him that some of the stitches had
come undone. And it is undisputed that his incision reopened
shortly after the stitches were removed. Because I conclude
that a reasonable jury could conclude that defendants harmed
Henry by ignoring the “popped” stitches, I will
deny defendants' motion for summary judgment.
did not follow this court's procedures by preparing a
document in which he responded to each of defendants'
proposed findings of fact. See Dkt. 17, at 14-20
(explaining court's summary judgment procedures). But the
dispute here is relatively simple, and Henry has provided a
declaration explaining his version of events, Dkt. 37, so I
will accept his declaration as his response. I draw the
following facts from defendants' proposed findings and
Henry's declaration; the facts are undisputed unless
Marcus Henry was an inmate at the New Lisbon Correctional
Institution (NLCI) during events at issue in this lawsuit.
Defendants Jamie Barker and Angela Stetter both held the
title “Nurse Clinician 2” at NLCI.
February 8, 2013, Henry had a cyst removed from his back. The
wound site was closed with about 10 sutures. Two or three
hours later, another prisoner told Henry that blood was
soaking through the back of his shirt. Henry returned to the
Health Services Unit (HSU).
removed the dressing and looked at the wound. She says that
she did not find active bleeding or that any stitches had
become loose or had broken or “popped.” But Henry
says that Stetter told him that about three stitches had
popped, and that the doctor had gone home for the day. Henry
says that he told Stetter to call the doctor and tell him to
come back, but she said no.
asked Barker to look at the wound. Barker says that she
looked at the wound and also determined that no stitches had
broken or popped. Henry says that Barker stated that it
“look[ed] as if a couple at the bottom popped.”
Dkt. 37, at 2, ¶ 11. Henry says that he again asked for
the doctor to come back to re-stitch him, but that Stetter
and Barker talked with each other and decided that they would
not call the doctor back, and that Henry could come back
tomorrow when the doctor was in. Defendants applied new
dressing and Henry was sent back to his unit.
did not record the February 8 incident in any treatment
notes. They acknowledge that a nurse would usually record
this type of meeting in the prisoner's chart. Defendants
say that the omission was not intentional.
says that he went to the HSU the next day, February 9, and
Stetter and Barker told him that it was too late to re-stitch
him because doing so would risk infection; instead he would
have to have the wound packed with gauze twice a day. There
is no record of this visit in Henry's treatment notes,
and Stetter and Barker do not say anything about seeing him
on February 9. I infer that they dispute Henry's account
on this point.
February 10, Nurse Toni Johnson saw Henry in the HSU for a
dressing change. Nurse Johnson recorded in Henry's chart
that the suture line had bruising but that the sutures were
intact. This means that there were no loose, popped, or
broken stitches. Nurse Johnson washed the area and re-dressed
the wound. A plan was made to have the dressing re-checked
the next day.
February 11 and 14, Stetter checked Henry's dressing and
noted that the incision site was clean, dry, and intact.
Stetter did not observe any popped or broken stitches or sign
February 20, Henry saw Johnson for the removal of the
sutures. Johnson noted that the sutures were removed without
difficulties. She found no signs or ...