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Wade v. C.O. Payne

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

January 15, 2020

C.O. PAYNE, et al., Defendants.


          NANCY JOSEPH United States Magistrate Judg.

         Plaintiff Marcus Jamar Wade, a Wisconsin inmate representing himself, brings this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket # 1.) Wade alleges that the defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights by providing inadequate medical care. (Id.) Before me are the defendants' motions for summary judgment.[1] (Docket # 34, Docket # 40.) For the reasons explained below, I will grant the motions.

         RELEVANT FACTS[2]

         1. The Parties

         At all times relevant to this case, Wade was a pre-trial detainee at the Milwaukee County Jail. (Docket # 1 at ¶ 1.) The Correctional Officer Defendants-Payne, [3] Jeffrey Ericson, Brian Dragoo, Tonaya Hintz, Vincente Santana, Derrick Spidell, Nancy Romo, Mario Dantzler, and Daniel Carroll (“Correctional Officer Defendants”)-are all employed by Milwaukee County at the Milwaukee County Jail. (Id. at ¶ 5.) Defendant Nurse Practitioner Brandon Decker was employed by Armor Correctional Health Services and at all times relevant to this case worked at the Milwaukee County Jail. (Docket # 15 at 1; Docket # 35 at ¶ 2.)

         2. Events Involving the Nine Correctional Officer Defendants

         On October 20, 2017, Wade got into a fight with another inmate at the jail. (Correctional Officer Defendants' Proposed Findings of Fact (“DPFOF”) ¶ 6, Docket # 41-1.) The fight started as a verbal altercation and escalated into a physical fight where correctional officers needed to forcibly separate Wade and the other inmate. (Id. ¶¶ 8-10.) Immediately after the fight, Wade was examined by Nurse Jackie.[4] (Id. at ¶ 12.) Nurse Jackie asked Wade about the pain and whether he could move his fingers. (Plaintiff's Response to DPFOF (“Response to DPFOF”) ¶ 14, Docket # 58.) Wade asserts that he did not ask for an X-ray because he was told it was a sprain and thought he would be okay. (DPFOF ¶¶ 16-18; Response to DPFOF ¶¶ 16-18.) It is undisputed that Wade said, “I'm fine-it's just my hand, ” and Nurse Jackie cleared him to be released into unit 4D, which is a segregation unit. (DPFOF ¶¶ 11, 15, 18; Response to DPFOF ¶¶ 11, 15, 18.) To be released into unit 4D, policy required that Wade be cleared by medical personnel. (DPFOF ¶ 21.) At the time, Wade did not believe his hand pain constituted a medical emergency. (Deposition Tr. 21, Docket # 49-3 at 7.) At no point did Wade ask to go to the hospital or fill out a health services request (a “pink and white”). (Deposition Tr. 23, Docket # 49-3 at 8; DPFOF ¶¶ 11, 15; Response to DPFOF ¶¶ 11, 15.)

         After his transfer to unit 4D, but still on October 20, 2017, Wade states that he complained to defendants Ericson, Dragoo, Spidell, and Payne about the pain in his hand. (Docket # 1 at 4-5.) According to Wade, Ericson stated that he couldn't do anything for him; Dragoo “went about his job as if [Wade] had said nothing”; Spidell told him a story about his own broken hand; and Payne stated that he would look into whether he could do something for Wade. (Id.; Deposition Tr. 73-74, Docket # 49-3 at 20-21.) The defendants stated that they do not recall whether Wade made requests for medical care that day. (Docket # 41-1 at ¶ 37.)

         Wade was in unit 4D from October 20, 2017 to October 30, 2017. (Deposition Tr. 65, Docket # 49-3 at 18.) At no point did he request to go to the health services unit or fill out a “pink and white.” (Deposition Tr. 22-25, Docket # 49-3 at 8.) However, he states that over the course of this ten-day period, he spoke to the nine Correctional Officer Defendants, telling them that there was something wrong with his hand. (Deposition Tr. 76-77, Docket # 49-3 at 21.) Of those nine defendants, Romo, Payne, and Carroll offered to look into or assist Wade with his hand in some way. (Id.) Wade stopped Romo, a “CERT officer, ” while she was in unit 4D and showed her his hand. (Id.) She stated that she would speak to the “pod officer.” (Id.) Wade states that Payne told him he “would look into it for me.” (Id.) Wade states that he talked to Carroll on October 28th asking him to follow up on whether Nurse Decker ordered an X-ray. (Deposition Tr. 30, Docket # 49-3 at 10.) Carroll stated that he would make some calls. (Id.) Two days later, Wade was taken to have his hand X-rayed. (Docket # 41-1 at ¶ 35.) As for Romo and Payne, Wade does not know what, if anything, happened after they said they would look into things. (Deposition Tr. 78-79, Docket # 49-3 at 22.)

         The other six Correctional Officer Defendants-Ericson, Spidell, Dragoo, Hintz, Santana, and Dantzler-did not offer to do anything. (Id.) Their interactions with Wade during this ten-day period were limited to letting Wade out for rec time. (Deposition Tr. 74- 75, Docket # 49-3 at 21.) Wade notes that when they brought him out for recreational time, they had to use handcuffs and observed his hand. (Id.) Wade admits that he did not think the Correctional Officer Defendants were deliberately ignoring him or acting maliciously, but “just being lazy.” (Deposition Tr. 78-79, Docket # 49-3 at 22.)

         3. Events Involving Nurse Practitioner Decker

         On October 25, 2017, Decker was conducting nursing rounds on unit 4D. (Deposition Tr. 25, Docket # 49-3 at 8.) Wade states that he stopped Decker and explained that he got in a fight a few days ago and his hand was discolored and swollen. (Id.) Decker looked at Wade's hand through the cell door window and told Wade, “I'm going to put in an X-ray order, and we'll get you down there soon.” Id. Wade admits that he does not know whether Decker placed an order for an X-ray on October 25, 2017. (Response to Decker's Proposed Findings of Fact (“Response to Decker PFOF”) ¶ 8, Docket # 57.) However, Wade contends that Decker should have sent him to the medical clinic that day and gotten him an X-ray immediately because it was a medical emergency. (Id. ¶¶ 15, 19.) It is undisputed that the X-ray was scheduled for October 26, 2017, and then was rescheduled because there was no available staff to transport Wade to the clinic. (Id. ¶ 25.)

         4. Wade's Diagnosis and Grievances

         Wade got an X-ray on October 30, 2017. (Deposition Tr. 30, Docket # 49-3 at 10.) The next day, Wade was diagnosed based on the X-ray with a “metacarpal neck fracture with angulation.” (DPFOF ¶ 67.) Mild swelling was noted. (Id.) On November 2, 2017, Wade had an appointment with Nurse Practitioner Tia Medley (not a defendant) because he was experiencing pain, especially at night. (Id. ¶ 68; Docket # 1 at 6.) Wade was prescribed 800mg of Ibuprofen. (Id.) Wade took Ibuprofen from November 2, 2017 through November 16, 2017 for pain in his hand. (Id. ΒΆ 69.) Wade also asked Medley about his X-rays. (Docket # 1 at 6.) She was ...

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