United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
JEFFREY D. LEISER Plaintiff,
DR. KARL M. HOFFMAN, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
STEPHEN L. CROCKER MAGISTRATE JUDGE
se plaintiff Jeffrey Leiser, a prisoner currently
incarcerated at Redgranite Correctional Institution
(Redgranite), is proceeding in this lawsuit on Eighth
Amendment claims related to how three defendants handled his
severe back problems. On April 10, 2019, I granted Leiser
leave to proceed against Dr. Hoffman and Nurses Toni Johnson
and K. Frisk, for their allegedly inappropriate decisions
related to Leiser's pain management and the timing of
when he saw a doctor. However, I denied Leiser leave to
proceed against Nurses L. Dobbert, N. Krahenbukl, and Rink,
Health Services Unit (HSU) managers Warner and Baker, as well
as an unidentified number of John and Jane Doe correctional
officers. (Dkt. 17.)
has filed a motion to amend his complaint to include
additional allegations as to Krahenbukl, Baker, Rink and the
Doe defendants. (Dkt. 18.) I will grant his motion to amend,
construe Leiser's allegations in his motion as a
supplement to his complaint, and screen these new allegations
as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that
follow, Leiser's supplemental allegations are sufficient
to allow him to proceed on Eighth Amendment claims against
Krahenbukl and Baker, but he may not proceed against Rink or
any Doe correctional officers.
incorporate by reference the facts from Leiser's original
complaint as set forth in the leave to proceed order (dkt.
17, at 2-7), but will provide a summary and repeat the facts
relevant to Krahenbukl, Rink, Baker, and the Doe defendants:
has severe back problems, for which he had a longstanding
prescription for tramadol to relieve his pain. In March of
2018, Dr. Hoffman terminated Leiser's prescription of
tramadol because he suspected that Leiser was not taking it
as prescribed. Thereafter, Leiser submitted multiple health
service requests (HSRs), complaining about withdrawal
March 8, 2018, Leiser submitted an HSR on March 8, 2018,
writing: “I was sent to seg today, I was told that Dr.
Hoffman cancelled my tramadol. WHY? I have not abused my meds
in any way. My ticket has nothing to do with my meds. Now I
will go through withdrawals [due] to sudden
stop.” (Comp. (dkt. 1) ¶ 65.)
March 9, Nurse Krahenbukl met with Leiser, although it
appears this was not in response to Leiser's March 8,
HSR. After Leiser described his symptoms, Krahenbuhl
contacted the on-call doctor, Dr. Fuller, who prescribed
naproxen and an increased Tylenol dose.
March 10, 2018, Nurse Rink responded in writing to
Leiser's March 8 HSR, explaining that Dr. Hoffman
discontinued Leiser's tramadol because Dr. Hoffman
suspected misuse. Rink also noted that Leiser already had
been seen for withdrawal symptoms, a reference to
Leiser's March 9 meeting with Krahenbuhl.
March 11, 2018, Leiser submitted another HSR, this time
directing it to HSU manager Baker and stating that he had
been suffering from chest pain for more than two days. He
received a response on March 13 explaining that Dr. Hoffman
had discontinued the tramadol and it would not be restarted.
supplemental allegations provide a different context for his
complaints about withdrawal symptoms. Specifically, he
alleges that on March 9, he told Krahenbukl that he was
having “sharp, shooting, stabbing chest pain, ”
but she never discussed or followed up with him or with the
on call doctor about this chest pain, even though she noted
in the treatment record that Leiser had reported these
symptoms. (Pl. Exhs. 25, 26 (dkt. 1-2 at 37-38).) Leiser
further alleges that his medical chart showed that Dr.
Hoffman already had scheduled him for a cardiac
catheterization: Exhibit 26 to Leiser's complaint shows a
note from Dr. Hoffman, dated March 1, 2018, to schedule
Leiser for that procedure. (See Pl. Ex. 26 (dkt.
1-2, at 39).) According to Leiser, these two pieces of
information should have prompted Krahenbukl to discuss his
chest pains further and alert Dr. Fuller to his report of
chest pains. Because she did not do either of these things,
Leiser continued to suffer chest pains.
further alleges that on April 20, 2018, he was sent to
Gunderson Health in La Crosse for his chest pain. A physician
named Dr. Brown performed a cardiac catheterization that
revealed that Leiser needed two stents due to two 90%
blockages. Leiser claims that the sudden discontinuation of
tramadol caused him irreversible heart damage. Before leaving
Gunderson, Dr. Brown called Dr. Hoffman and ordered
Clopidogrel 75 mg, a blood thinner, for Leiser to start
taking immediately upon his return to NLCI.
Leiser returned to NLCI that evening, Krahenbukl saw him in
the HSU. Leiser asked for the medication Dr. Brown ordered;
Krahenbuhl responded that she knew nothing about a new
medication. Leiser left the HSU without receiving any
Clopidogrel, and Krahenbukl did not follow up, leaving Leiser
with no blood thinning medication.
week later, Dr. Hoffman met with Leiser, and Leiser reported
that he had not been taking the Clopidogrel. Dr. Hoffman
allegedly got upset, telling Leiser that he had ordered
Leiser to start the Clopidogrel “STAT.” Leiser
claims that he overheard Dr. Hoffman yell at Krahenbukl about
failing to get Leiser his medication. A week later, Leiser
still reported chest pains to Dr. Hoffman, so Hoffman
referred him back to Dr. Brown at Gunderson. Dr. Brown had to
perform a second ...