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Haynie v. Butler

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

September 23, 2019

MARK HAYNIE, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. KAREN BUTLER, DR. ABDUL DURRANI, and REBECCA S. SWENSON, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT. NOS. 57, 64, 71) AND DISMISSING CASE

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Mark Haynie is a federal prisoner representing himself. He alleges that the defendants denied him proper medical care when he was confined at the Kenosha County Detention Center, in violation of his constitutional rights. The three defendants, who are represented by different lawyers, have filed motions for summary judgment. Dkt. Nos. 57, 64, 71. The court grants the defendants' motions and dismisses the case.

         I. Procedural Background

         The plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that then-unknown defendants violated his constitutional rights when he was confined at the Kenosha County Detention Center (KCDC). Dkt. No. 1. Magistrate Judge David E. Jones screened the complaint under 28 U.S.C. §1915A and determined that the plaintiff had stated a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need under the Eighth Amendment, based on allegations that KCDC staff denied him his medically necessary prescription medication and failed to monitor his high blood pressure/hypertension condition, resulting in harm. Dkt. No. 18 at 5. Judge Jones allowed the plaintiff to conduct limited discovery to learn the names of the individual involved in the alleged violation. Id. at 6. He gave the plaintiff a deadline by which to file an amended complaint, identifying the defendants involved. Id. at 7.

         The plaintiff filed his amended complaint on March 2, 2018, naming Dr. Karen Butler, Nurse Rebecca Swenson and Dr. Abdul Durrani as defendants. Dkt. No. 32. Judge Jones screened the amended complaint and determined that the plaintiff could proceed on deliberate indifference claims against (1) Butler and Swenson because they allegedly refused to provide the plaintiff his necessary medication for twenty months and failed to monitor him, resulting in harm, and (2) Durrani and Swenson because they allegedly prescribed the plaintiff the wrong medication, which complicated his medical condition. Dkt. No. 34 at 1-2.

         On April 24, 2018, the clerk's office reassigned the case to this court because at least one of the parties had not consented to the magistrate judge's authority to decide the case.

         II. Facts[1]

         The plaintiff was confined at KCDC from May 12, 2015 to April 3 or 4, 2017. Dkt. Nos. 76 at ¶1; 66 at ¶1; 104 at ¶1; 102 at ¶1; 99 at ¶1. During this period, defendant Swenson was a licensed nurse practitioner working at KCDC in that capacity. Dkt. Nos. 76 at ¶2; 104 at ¶2. Defendant Butler was a physician at KCDC when the plaintiff arrived there. Dkt. Nos. 66 at ¶2; 102 at ¶2. Defendant Durrani worked at KCDC during the relevant period.[2] Dkt. No. 99 at ¶4.

         A. May 12, 2015 through January 11, 2017

         When the plaintiff arrived at KCDC on May 12, 2015, a medical screening questionnaire reported that he took “high blood pressure meds.” Dkt. Nos. 76 at ¶4; 104 at ¶3. The plaintiff reported on some medical forms that previously he had been treated for hypertension. Dkt. No. 66 at ¶4. The plaintiff did not have any medications with him when he arrived at KCDC. Id. at ¶5. The plaintiff states that he did not bring his medication “when he was arrested at home but a Prisoner Custody Alert Notice was prepared by the U.S. Marshal.” Dkt. No. 102 at ¶5.

         The day after the plaintiff arrived at KCDC, Dr. Butler ordered that his blood pressure and arterial pressure be monitored for three days, and that she be notified if his blood pressure exceeded 140/90 and/or if his arterial pressure was not between 60 and 100. Dkt. No. 66 at ¶7. On May 13, 2015, the plaintiff's blood pressure was 120/84, and his pulse was 98; on May 14, 2015, the plaintiff's blood pressure was 124/86, and his pulse was 97; and on May 16, 2015, his blood pressure was 132/82, and his pulse was 97. Dkt. No. 76 at ¶6.

         On May 16, 2015, Butler ordered the nurses to recheck the plaintiff's vital signs within two days, and to call if the results did not fall within the stated parameters. Dkt. Nos. 76 at ¶7; 66 at ¶10. On May 18, 2015, a nurse documented that the plaintiff's blood pressure was 118/84, with a pulse of 87. Dkt. No. 76 at ¶8.

         On May 18, 2015, Nurse Swenson ordered a re-check of the plaintiff's blood pressure and pulse in one month. Dkt. No. 76 at ¶13. Butler co-signed this order. Dkt. No. 66 at ¶12. One month later, on June 18, 2015, the plaintiff's blood pressure was 122/86, and his pulse was 90, which are normal results. Dkt. Nos. 76 at ¶13; 66 at ¶13.

         The plaintiff's medical records indicate that his blood pressure was checked during a correctional physical exam on May 20, 2015. Dkt. No. 66 at ¶14. Medical notes from the exam indicate that his blood pressure was 124/90, a normal result, and that his “B/P is being monitored.” Id. at ¶15.

         A normal medical standard to determine the presence of hypertension (high blood pressure) is 140/90. Dkt. No. 76 at ¶14. If a patient's blood pressure exceeds 140/90, he is considered for use of hypertensive medication. Id. The plaintiff's blood pressure was checked and rechecked and did not indicate the need for ordering hypertensive medication. Id. Based on Swenson's medical training and experience, she believed that it was not medically necessary to order hypertension medications for the plaintiff based on his condition and blood pressure. Id.

         Given the normal blood pressure readings between May 13 and June 18, 2015, Butler did not believe that medication for high blood pressure was medically indicated. Dkt. No. 66 at ¶16. If the plaintiff was suffering from hypertension and needed medication for it, his blood pressure would have demonstrated that need by June 2015. Id. at ¶17. Giving medications when they are not needed can cause harm. Id. at ¶18. Butler did not have any further contact with the plaintiff, and she did not see any requests from the plaintiff for medical attention in 2015 or 2016. Id. at ¶19. Butler stopped working at KCDC on April 15, 2016. Id. at ¶22.

         The plaintiff's medical records show no further activity regarding his blood pressure from June 18, 2015 until early January 2017. Dkt. No. 76 at ¶15. He did not file any Inmate/Detainee Medical Request forms (HSRs), which an inmate fills out to request medical attention. Id.

         According to the plaintiff, Swenson's initial excuse for not supplying him hypertension medication was that it was very expensive and that KCDC could not afford to supply him with the medication because his blood pressure was normal. Dkt. No. 104 at ¶6. Swenson disputes this. Id.

         B. January 12, 2017 through April 3 or 4, 2017

         On January 12, 2017, at his yearly physical, the plaintiff had a blood pressure of 170/120. Dkt. No. 76 at ¶16. That day, Swenson ordered for the plaintiff:

Clonidine 0.2 mg by mouth now, then Clonidine 0.2 mg by mouth 2 x a day until medications arrive, then discontinue.
Lisinopril 20 mg daily x 365 days.
HCTZ (Hydrochlorothiazide) 25 mg by mouth daily x 365 days.
Metoprolol 25 mg 2 x a day x 365 days.
Blood pressure and applicable pulse daily until blood pressure is below 140/90.

Id. at ¶17. She also ordered laboratory tests in two to three weeks-sooner if possible. Id. at ¶18. That same day, a nurse entered into the Progress Notes: “Blood pressure and pulse reported to R Swenson, APNP. Blood pressure 163/123, heart rate 95, see new Order.” An order for blood pressure/pulse check twice daily was issued for January 12 through January 15, 2017. Id. at ¶19. A re-check that day showed a blood pressure of 114/78, with a pulse of 71. Id. On January 13, 2017, a nurse recorded the plaintiff's blood pressure of 144/88, with a pulse of 75. Id.

         On January 13, 2017, Swenson ordered the plaintiff's blood pressure and pulse to be checked three times, and to report any abnormal results. Dkt. No. 76 at ¶21. On January 14, 2017, the plaintiff's blood pressure was 132/92, with a pulse of 70; on January 15, 2017 the plaintiff's blood pressure was 146/92, with a pulse of 70; and on January 16, 2017, the plaintiff's blood pressure was 180/120, with a pulse of 65. Id. at ¶22.

         On January 16, 2017, a nurse entered the following Progress Note: “Blood pressure/pulse re-checked in patient's left arm using electronic cuff. Blood pressure equals 197/127, with a pulse of 72. Rebecca Nurse Practitioner notified. See new Orders.” Dkt. No. 76 at ¶23. That same day, Swenson ordered:

Clonidine 0.2 mg by mouth x 1 dose now.
Re-check blood pressure/pulse in (two) 2 hours using electronic cuff.
Increase Lisinopril to 40 mg by mouth daily.
Spironolactone 25 mg by mouth daily.
Re-check blood pressure/applicable pulse daily x seven (7) days using electronic cuff only; call United States Marshal to get stat labs approval.

Id. at ΒΆ24. Following Swenson's order to re-check the plaintiff's blood pressure and pulse in two hours, a nurse recorded that the plaintiff's blood pressure was 111/73, and his pulse was 72, ...


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