United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE.
Alphoncy Dangerfield, a prisoner at Oshkosh Correctional
Institution, alleges that when he was housed at Wisconsin
Secure Program Facility (WSPF), prison officials failed to
properly treat his diabetes and hyperglycemia and provide him
with a yoga mat to perform physician-ordered yoga.
the defendants except Cynthia Griffin are represented by the
state, and they have filed a motion for summary judgment.
Dkt. 51. I will refer to these defendants as the “state
defendants.” Defendant Griffin has filed her own motion
for summary judgment. Dkt. 57. Those motions are fully
briefed. Dangerfield has renewed his previously denied motion
for recruitment of counsel. Dkt. 73.
reasons stated below, I will grant aspects of defendants'
motions. But because I conclude that Dangerfield is unable to
fully litigate his claims about his treatment for
hyperglycemia, I will grant his motion for the court's
assistance in recruiting him counsel.
following facts are drawn from the parties' summary
judgment materials and Dangerfield's deposition, Dkt. 50,
and are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
the events of this case, plaintiff Alphoncy Dangerfield was
housed at Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF). At some
point in the past, Dangerfield was diagnosed with type 2
diabetes. By the time of the events in question here,
Dangerfield was not taking mediation to treat his diabetes
because his glucose levels had been kept under control for
about a year.
2015, Dangerfield complained of shoulder pain. He received
several types of treatment, including physical therapy and
ice. On three occasions, Dangerfield met with defendant
Cynthia Griffin, a nurse practitioner at Gundersen Boscobel
Area Hospital and Clinics, by “telemedicine”:
Dangerfield stayed at WSPF and communicated to Griffin over
video on a computer screen. After a January 15, 2016
telemedicine appointment, Griffin prescribed Dangerfield
ibuprofen, ice packs, and muscle rub. Dangerfield continued
to complain of pain and decreased range of motion. Two weeks
later, Griffin referred him for an evaluation by an
March 11, 2016, Dangerfield was taken off-site to Gundersen
Hospital to be evaluated by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Edward
Riley. Riley examined Dangerfield and diagnosed bilateral
rotator cuff disease. He recommended rest, cross-training,
and yoga. He also injected Dangerfield in both shoulders with
a steroid treatment. Dangerfield says that Riley told him
that his glucose levels would be monitored in prison. But
Riley did not order that WSPF Health Services Unit (HSU)
staff or Griffin monitor Dangerfield's blood-glucose
end of March, Dangerfield started having blurry vision,
needed to urinate every 30 minutes, had dry mouth, fatigue,
and joint and muscle pain, all of which are symptoms
associated with hyperglycemia. Although he submitted a series
of health service requests and medication requests about his
shoulder pain and other medical issues, he did not submit a
request about his hyperglycemia symptoms until early May
2016. Dangerfield says that two or three times before he
filed a request, he spoke with defendant Nurse Sonya Anderson
at his cell about his symptoms, but she responded only by
saying that he was scheduled to see a provider at some point
in the future. Anderson says that she does not informally
meet with inmates at their cells, and that Dangerfield did
not report his hyperglycemia symptoms to her.
Dangerfield filed his formal health services request about
his hyperglycemia symptoms in early May, Nurse Bethel (who is
no longer a defendant) met with him, placed him on the list
to see an advanced care provider, and told him to submit a
urine sample. That sample resulted in a reading of
“1000.” Dkt. 52-1, at 99. No. scale of
measurement was included on that document, but I take the
parties to agree that it was an exceptionally high reading.
saw Dangerfield on May 17, 2016, by telemedicine. Dangerfield
mentioned his hyperglycemia symptoms. Griffin checked
Dangerfield's blood glucose via finger poke, which showed
that his blood glucose was “578, ” a “very
high” result. Griffin gave Dangerfield five units of
insulin and rechecked his blood sugar twice. One of the
recheck results was too high to be measured on the meter.
Griffin recommended Dangerfield be sent to the emergency
room, and he was. After speaking with the emergency room
doctor, Griffin prescribed Dangerfield medication and
insulin, and ordered that his blood glucose be measured four
times a day. She also discontinued his further shoulder
2016, Dangerfield filed an inmate grievance, stating that
WSPF staff had neglected his hyperglycemia symptoms until he
was taken to the ER. After speaking to defendant Health
Services Manager Jolinda Waterman, the complaint examiner
recommended dismissing the grievance. ...