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Bady v. Murphy-Kjos et al.: US District Court : 1983 - Questions of fact regarding excessive force, tasing and diabetic; injury & immunity Questions

15
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
KENNETH BADY,
Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICERS ANN MURPHY-KJOS,
JERRY JOHNSON,
PATRICIA NELSON,
PETER HAFSTAD, PETER STANTON,1
SGT. CHARLES PETER, FIRE
DEPARTMENT CAPT. RITA JURAN,
in their individual capacities, and
JOHN/JANE 1-5 DOES,
Defendants.
Civil No. 06-2254 (JRT/FLN)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS
MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT
Jill Clark, JILL CLARK, PA, 2005 Aquila Avenue North, Golden Valley,
MN 55427, for plaintiff.
C. Lynne Fundingsland and Sara J. Lathrop, Assistant City Attorneys,
MINNEAPOLIS CITY ATTORNEYS OFFICE, 333 South Seventh
Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55402-2453, for defendants.
Plaintiff Kenneth Bady brought this action under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that
defendants used excessive force against him by force-feeding him from a glucose tube,
striking, kneeing, and taking him down, and tasing him multiple times after he had been
1 Plaintiffs amended complaint does not include officer Peter Stanton as a named
defendant in the caption. However, the parties stipulated [Docket No. 10] to the addition of
defendant Stanton, and the Magistrate Judge granted plaintiffs request to file an amended
complaint adding Stanton as a named defendant in this action [Docket No. 11]. The Clerk of
Court is therefore respectfully directed to add officer Peter Stanton as a defendant sued in his
individual capacity.
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handcuffed. Bady also alleges that defendants violated his substantive due process rights
and committed a battery under Minnesota law. This case is now before the Court on
defendants motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, the Court
grants in part and denies in part defendants motion.
BACKGROUND2
Plaintiff Kenneth Bady went to his friend Billie Waltons house between 6:30 and
7:00 p.m. on the evening of February 24, 2006. Also present at the house were Waltons
wife, Sheila Perrell, Perrells son, and Robert Thames. Bady suffers from diabetes, and it
is undisputed that he had not taken his diabetes medication that day. Bady did not eat
anything while at Waltons house, although he did consume[] part of an alcoholic
beverage. At approximately 10:22 p.m., Bady started sweating profusely. He
experienced chest pain and was having difficulty breathing. Perrell asked Bady whether
he had taken his diabetes medication that day. Bady replied that he had not. Perrell gave
Bady a piece of candy, and a short time later Bady lost his balance and kind of passed
out.
Perrell called 911. Perrell told the 911 dispatcher that Bady may have been having
a heart attack, that Bady was experiencing pain in his neck and having difficulty
breathing, and that he was diabetic. Bady then went out to the front porch to get some
fresh air. Around this time, firefighters from the Minneapolis Fire Department arrived on
2 For purposes of this summary judgment motion, the Court views the facts and evidence
in a light most favorable to Bady, the non-moving party.
- 3 -
the scene. Defendant Rita Juran, a captain of the Minneapolis Fire Department, had
received a heart call dispatching her and other first responders to 1711 Sheridan
Avenue in Minneapolis, Waltons home address. When Juran arrived on the scene, she
encountered Bady on the front porch of Waltons house. Juran approached Bady and
asked how he was feeling, but Bady did not respond. Juran noticed that Bady was
stumbling, and she and another firefighter helped Bady back into the house and onto a
couch.
Juran encountered three people inside Waltons house. Juran was told that Bady
was diabetic, that he had not taken his diabetes medication that day, and that he had not
checked his blood sugar. According to Juran, she was not told that Bady was having a
heart attack or that he was having difficulty breathing. Bady was non-responsive to
Jurans questions. Based on her observations, Juran was concerned that Bady might be
having a diabetic emergency. Juran directed a fellow firefighter to hand Bady a tube of
glucose so that Bady could administer the glucose and regulate his blood sugar
concentration.
According to Bady, several unidentified firefighters held him down on the couch
and force-fed the glucose to him, so that he was unable to breathe. Badys eyes were
closed throughout the encounter with the firefighters, so that he was later unable to
visually identify the firefighters who allegedly force-fed the glucose. Juran denies that
any of the firefighters attempted to force-feed the glucose to Bady. Juran testified in
deposition that she asked Bady to squeeze the glucose into his mouth, and that Bady
tasted the glucose and threw the tube to the ground. According to Juran, she handed the
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tube back to Bady and asked him to try the glucose a second time, but Bady threw it to
the ground again.
Bady jumped up from the couch and said, I need some air. Juran placed her
hands on Badys shoulders, told him everything was okay, and asked him to sit down.
According to Juran, Bady then pushed through the group of firefighters on his way out of
the house, knocking the glasses off the face of one of the firefighters. Bady stated that he
does not recall whether he pushed up against any of the firefighters as he walked
toward the door.
Based on Badys conduct and disoriented demeanor, Juran radioed for police
backup to assist with a combative client. Bady alleges that he was not combative
during this time. According to Juran, she requested police backup because she needed to
assess Badys medical condition and the firefighters and personnel on the scene were not
trained to contain a non-cooperative client.
After calling for police assistance, Juran walked to the front of the house and went
outside. Bady was walking on the sidewalk in front of Waltons house. According to
Perrell, Bady was strolling slowly and appeared to be weak. No one was running or
arguing in front of the house. Moments later, Minneapolis police officers arrived at the
scene. Robert Thames stated that six to eight squad cars arrived simultaneously in front
of Waltons house, with most of the cars containing two police officers. According to
Thames, the officers immediately asked firefighters to identify Bady. Several officers
then came up from behind Bady and grabbed him, wrapping their arms around Badys
shoulders and essentially jumping on him.
- 5 -
The officers kneed Bady in the leg. One officer was smashing [plaintiff] in the
face with a closed fist. (Thames Aff. 15.) Bady alleges that the officers then took him
down to the ground. According to Thames, who observed the incident, two male police
officers kneed Bady, one male officer placed his foot on Badys neck, and another male
officer punched Bady with a closed fist. Thames stated that the officers then handcuffed
Bady. After Bady was handcuffed and on the ground, officers tased Bady four times.
Bady was convulsing on the ground. Around this same time, Perrell came out of
Waltons house and observed Bady handcuffed on the ground. Perrell observed the
officers tasing Bady despite the fact that Bady was already in handcuffs. Thames stated
that Bady did nothing to deserve how they were treating him. (Thames Aff. 21.)
Bady also stated that he did not throw any punches at the officers, did not kick the
officers, and generally did not resist their attempts to seize him. Bady alleges that he was
face-down on the ground when the officers tased him.
Defendants provide a different account of the events that transpired that evening,
much of which is disputed by Bady. According to Minneapolis Police Officer Charles
Peter, he responded to a firefighter or paramedic call for assistance and was the first
officer to arrive on the scene. Peter testified that when he arrived, one of the paramedics
told him that Bady had just assaulted a firefighter. Peter, along with Minneapolis Police
Officer Peter Stanton, approached Bady to handcuff him, but Bady pulled his arm away.
It is undisputed that Peter and Stanton then used force on Bady to effect an arrest. Peter
admitted to using knee strikes to get Bady to the ground. Stanton testified that, during the
ensuing struggle, Bady attempted to grab hold of his gun. Stanton responded by
- 6 -
punching Bady several times. Officer Patricia Nelson also arrived at this time and tried
to subdue Bady. Nelson attempted to pull Badys arms behind his back, but Bady
continued to resist by pushing himself off the ground and pulling his arms underneath his
body.
Officer Jerry Johnson arrived on the scene and saw the other officers struggling
with Bady. According to Johnson, one of the officers yelled Does anybody have a
taser? (Johnson Dep. at 15-16.) Johnson had a taser and had been trained to use the
taser when empty hand techniques were not effective to overcome resistance.
According to Johnson, he believed the use of a taser was justified, and he tased Bady.
Also around this time, Sergeant Ann Murphy-Kjos yelled taser. Officer Peter moved
away from Bady, and Murphy-Kjos tased Bady. Peter then approached Bady to handcuff
him, but Bady again pulled away and tried to stand up. Murphy-Kjos tased Bady a
second time, at which point Bady allegedly said I give up. Peter then handcuffed Bady.
Johnson and Murphy-Kjos do not dispute that they used a taser on Bady. However, the
parties dispute whether Bady was handcuffed before or after Bady was tased.
After Bady was handcuffed, paramedics from North Memorial Hospital attended
to him. Bady was placed on a stretcher and was administered an I.V. According to
Thames, Bady was unable to move after the incident and had to be transferred to the
ambulance in a stretcher. According to Perrell, the paramedics covered up Badys face
with a cloth. Bady was then transported in an ambulance to North Memorial Hospital.
The treating physician at North Memorial noted that Bady had a blunt head trauma and
a puncture wound. The physician also stated his opinion that Bady had been drinking
- 7 -
heavily. (Norton Aff., Ex. H.) Bady disputes this claim, alleging he had no more than a
few sips of an alcoholic beverage prior the incident.
As a result of the officers use of force, Bady suffered bleeding taser marks on his
back, abrasions to his arms, wrists, and elbows, and scratches and cuts on his face. Bady
also experiences back, shoulder, and neck pain, nervousness and anxiety, difficulty
sleeping, and loss of memory. Bady alleges that he has not sought treatment for his
injuries because he does not have health insurance and cannot afford medical care. Bady
saw a chiropractor for several months but had to stop because he could not afford it.
Bady brought this 1983 action against Minneapolis police officers Murphy-Kjos,
Johnson, Nelson, Stanton, and Hafstad; Minneapolis police sergeant Charles Peter; Fire
Department captain Rita Juran; and John/Jane Does 1-5. Bady alleges that defendants
used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment by force-feeding glucose to
him, kneeing and striking him, and tasing him multiple times after he had been
handcuffed. Bady further alleges that defendants conduct violated his substantive due
process rights. Finally, Bady contends that Juran and other unnamed firefighters
committed a battery against him by trying to force-feed glucose to him without his
consent.
ANALYSIS
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Summary judgment is appropriate in the absence of any genuine issue of material
fact and when the moving party can demonstrate that it is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit,
- 8 -
and a dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a reasonable jury to
return a verdict for either party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A court considering a motion for summary judgment must view the facts in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party and give that party the benefit of all
reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
II. EXCESSIVE FORCE
The use of force is excessive under the Fourth Amendment if it is not objectively
reasonable under the particular circumstances. Greiner v. City of Champlin, 27 F.3d
1346, 1354 (8th Cir. 1994). When considering the particular circumstances, courts
consider factors including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect posed an
immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he actively resisted
arrest or attempted to evade arrest by flight. Winters v. Adams, 254 F.3d 758, 765 (8th
Cir. 2001). Force that later seems unnecessary does not violate the Fourth Amendment if
it was reasonable at the time, giving consideration to the fact that the officer was forced
to make a split-second judgment[] in a tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving
situation. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396-97 (1989).
Bady first argues that Juran and other unidentified firefighters used excessive
force against him by force-feeding him glucose despite his protestations.3 Even viewing
3 Although Juran disputes that she or any firefighter force-fed the glucose to Bady, for
purposes of this summary judgment motion the Court views the facts in a light most favorable to
Bady.
- 9 -
the facts in a light most favorable to plaintiff, however, the record suggests that the
firefighters who arrived on the scene reasonably believed Bady was undergoing a
potentially life-threatening diabetic episode. Upon arriving at Waltons home, Juran was
informed that Bady was diabetic and that he had not taken his diabetes medication that
day. Bady appeared visibly disoriented and non-responsive to Jurans questions. His
eyes remained closed throughout much of the incident. Based on Jurans experience and
medical training, she believed that Bady needed glucose to regulate his blood sugar
concentration and to prevent potentially severe injury. The Court finds that, under these
circumstances, a firefighters attempt to administer glucose to a person believed to be
undergoing a diabetic emergency is not unreasonable. Moreover, the Court notes that
Bady has not alleged any injury, much less a de minimis injury, directly resulting from
the force-feeding incident, further supporting the conclusion that the firefighters use of
force in this instance was not unreasonable. See Crumley v. City of St. Paul, 324 F.3d
1003, 1007 (8th Cir. 2007) (stating that a de minimis use of force or injury is insufficient
to support a finding of a constitutional violation). The Court therefore grants defendants
motion on Badys claim that the glucose incident constitutes excessive force.
Bady next alleges that Minneapolis police officers, including Officers Murphy-
Kjos, Johnson, Stanton, Nelson, and Peter,4 used excessive force by kneeing and striking
4 Defendants argue that Bady has been able to identify only Murphy-Kjos and Johnson as
officers who used force against him, and that the other officers named in the complaint
Hafstad, Nelson, Peter, and Stanton should be dismissed from the case. However, the Courts
review of the record clearly demonstrates that Nelson, Peter, and Stanton were also involved in
the use of force against Bady. The record further shows that Officer Hafstad was present but did
not engage in any interaction with Bady, and was instead focused on controlling another person
(Footnote continued on next page.)
- 10 -
Bady, taking him down to the ground, and tasing him multiple times after he had been
handcuffed. Defendants argue that their use of force was reasonable under the
circumstances, noting that they were responding to a combative client call and that at
least some of the officers were told when they arrived on the scene that Bady had
assaulted a firefighter. Defendants further contend that Bady resisted their attempts to
handcuff him, tried to grab Stantons gun, and refused to go down to the ground, all of
which justified their increased use of force, including the use of a taser.
Viewing the facts in a light most favorable to Bady, a jury could reasonably
conclude that the use of force by these officers was unreasonable under the
circumstances. The record suggests that at the moment the officers arrived on the scene,
Bady was undergoing a significant medical emergency, was pacing slowly along the
sidewalk, and appeared to be weakened and disoriented. Rather than investigating and
inquiring into the circumstances, however, the officers approached Bady and immediately
attempted to take him down to the ground. Although assaulting a firefighter is a severe
crime, a reasonable officer on the scene observing Badys behavior may have questioned
whether Bady was indeed combative and whether he posed any threat to the officers. See
Ngo v. Storlie, 495 F.3d 597, 603 (8th Cir. 2007) (finding officers observations after
_________________________________
(Footnote continued.)
present at the scene. Accordingly, the Court finds that Hafstad was not involved in the use of
force against Bady and is dismissed from the case. Further, discovery is largely completed in
this case, and Bady has identified the primary officers who used force against him. Because it is
unlikely that plaintiff will identify any additional defendants through discovery, the Court
dismisses the remaining John/Jane Does 1-5 as named defendants in this case. See Munz v. Parr,
758 F.2d 1254, 1257 (8th Cir. 1985).
- 11 -
arriving on the scene may have diminished the perceived threat posed by a plaintiff who
allegedly shot a fellow officer). As such, a jury may reasonably conclude that the
officers immediate use force against Bady to effect an arrest was unreasonable under the
circumstances.
Similarly, Bady and Thames both testified that Bady did not resist the officers
attempts to arrest or control him, did not try to grab Stantons gun, and did not kick or
strike the officers. In addition, both Bady and Thames testified that the officers tased
Bady multiple times after he was already handcuffed, lying in a prone position face-down
on the ground. While the defendants dispute this version of events, the Court finds that a
genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Bady resisted arrest, and whether the
officers use of force, including kneeing and striking Bady and taking him to the ground,
was unreasonable under the circumstances. The Court further finds that a jury could
reasonably conclude that tasing a non-resistant suspect who is already in handcuffs, lying
prone on the ground, constitutes excessive force in the circumstances presented here.5
Defendants argue that summary judgment is nonetheless appropriate because Bady
suffered only de minimis injury from the alleged use of force. The Court disagrees. Bady
suffered bleeding taser marks on his back, abrasions to his arms, wrists, and elbows, neck
5 Bady also alleges that Juran and other firefighters and paramedics should be liable
under 1983 for their failure to intervene while the officers used force against him. See Putnam
v. Gerloff, 639 F.2d 415, 423-24 (8th Cir. 1981). However, Juran was trained as a firefighter and
medical responder, and not as a law enforcement officer. See Cole v. City of Chicago, No.
06C4704, 2008 WL 68687, at 4-5 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 4, 2008) (dismissing 1983 failure to intervene
claim against paramedic defendants because they were not acting under color of state law when
they allegedly failed to intervene). The Court finds that, in these circumstances, Juran and other
firefighters are not liable under 1983 for failing to intervene.
- 12 -
and back problems, as well as general anxiety and sleeping problems. Although Bady
initially saw a chiropractor for his back problems, Bady avers that he has not sought
additional medical treatment largely because he lacks adequate health insurance. Had
Bady sought professional medical care, he likely would be able to claim more significant
monetary damages as a result of the use of force. In these circumstances, the Court finds
that Badys injuries are sufficient to support his excessive force claim.
III. QUALIFIED IMMUNITY
Defendants argue that even if there is sufficient evidence supporting Badys
excessive force claims, they are entitled to qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is a
defense available to government officials who have not violated clearly established
statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.
Young v. Selk, 508 F.3d 868, 871 (8th Cir. 2007). The qualified immunity defense
allows officers to make reasonable errors so that they do not always err on the side of
caution. Habiger v. City of Fargo, 80 F.3d 289, 295-96 (8th Cir. 1996) (internal
quotations and citations omitted). The Court conducts a two-step analysis to determine
whether qualified immunity is appropriate. The first step is to determine whether the
facts alleged, viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, show that the officers
conduct violated a constitutional right. Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201 (2001). If the
Court finds a constitutional violation, it then asks whether the right was clearly
established. Id. As discussed above, Bady has set forth sufficient facts to allow a
reasonable jury to conclude that defendants use of force violated his Fourth Amendment
- 13 -
right to be free from excessive force. Thus, the Court must determine whether Badys
constitutional right was clearly established.
The right to be free from excessive force is a clearly established right under the
Fourth Amendments prohibition against unreasonable seizures of the person. Crumley,
324 F.3d at 1007. The salient question is whether the state of the law at the time of the
violation gave officers fair warning that their alleged conduct was unconstitutional.
Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 739-40 (2002). Taking the facts in a light most favorable
to Bady as the Court must, the officers in this case jumped, kneed, and punched a nonresistant
suspect who was experiencing a medical emergency, could not breathe, and
appeared weak and disoriented. Two officers then tased the non-resistant suspect four
times, despite the fact that Bady was handcuffed and lying face down on the ground. The
Court finds that a reasonable officer would be on notice that the use of such force on a
non-resistant suspect would violate the plaintiffs clearly established constitutional rights.
Accordingly, the Court finds that defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity on
Badys excessive force claim. The Court therefore denies defendants motion for
summary judgment on Badys claim that defendants used excessive force in the course of
arresting him.
IV. DUE PROCESS
Bady also alleges that the defendants conduct violated his federal due process
rights. Specifically, Bady alleges that Juran violated his right to refuse unwanted medical
care, that defendants conduct resulted in a state-created danger, and that defendants
generally engaged in a conspiracy to cover up their conduct. In addition, Bady alleges
- 14 -
defendants failed to properly investigate the incident before using force in arresting him
and failed to provide adequate medical care.
The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits conduct that is so outrageous that it shocks
the conscience or otherwise offends judicial notions of fairness, [or is] offensive to
human dignity. Weiler v. Purkett, 137 F.3d 1047, 1051 (8th Cir. 1998) (en banc)
(internal quotations omitted). It is well established, however, that the Fourth Amendment
provides the explicit textual source of constitutional protection against physically
intrusive government conduct. Graham, 490 U.S. at 395. As such, all claims that law
enforcement officers have used excessive force deadly or not in the course of an
arrest, investigatory stop, or other seizure of a free citizen should be analyzed under the
Fourth Amendment and its reasonableness standard, rather than under a substantive
due process approach. Id. (emphasis in original).
Here, Badys 1983 claim arises from the use of force by both Minneapolis
firefighters and police officers, invoking Badys right to be free from unreasonable
seizure under the Fourth Amendment. As such, the Court finds that, with the exception
of Badys conspiracy claim, the alleged due process violations in this case are
appropriately subsumed in the Fourth Amendment analysis discussed above, and should
not be addressed under the more general substantive due process framework advocated
by Bady. See County of Sacremento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 843 (1998) ([I]f a
constitutional claim is covered by a specific constitutional provision . . . the claim must
be analyzed under the standard appropriate to that specific provision, not under the rubric
of substantive due process.); see also, e.g., Hill v. Scott, 349 F.3d 1068, 1072 (8th Cir.
- 15 -
2003) (analyzing defendants failure to investigate on the scene before using force as part
of plaintiffs Fourth Amendment claim). Accordingly, the Court grants defendants
motion for summary judgment on Badys due process claims.
Bady also asserts a 1983 conspiracy claim against defendants, alleging that the
officers conspired to cover-up their unconstitutional behavior in violation of Badys
substantive due process rights. To support a 1983 conspiracy claim, a plaintiff must
demonstrate (1) that the defendant conspired with others to deprive him of constitutional
rights, (2) that at least one of the alleged co-conspirators engaged in an overt act in
furtherance of the conspiracy, and (3) that the overt act injured the plaintiff. Askew v.
Millerd, 191 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1999). The plaintiff must also demonstrate a
deprivation of a constitutional right or privilege in order to prevail on a 1983
conspiracy claim. Id. Even viewing the facts in a light most favorable to Bady, the
Courts review of the record reveals no evidence that would allow a reasonable jury to
conclude that any of the defendants agreed to cover up the incident, much less that any
defendants took an overt act in furtherance of that agreement. The Court therefore grants
defendants motion for summary judgment on Badys 1983 conspiracy claim.
V. BATTERY
Finally, Bady alleges that Juran and other firefighters committed a battery by
force-feeding the glucose to him. Under Minnesota law, battery is the intentional,
unpermitted offensive contact with the person of another. Paradise v. City of
Minneapolis, 297 N.W.2d 152, 155 (Minn. 1980). Consent to the alleged contact is a
defense to battery. See K.A.C. v. Benson, 527 N.W.2d 553, 561 (Minn. 1995).
- 16 -
Assuming disclosure sufficient to make such a consent informed, consent may be
implied from the conduct of a patient as well as from emergency conditions. Kohoutek
v. Hafner, 366 N.W. 2d 633, 638 (Minn. Ct. App. 1985), revd on other grounds, 383
N.W.2d 295 (Minn. 1986).
Defendants argue that Juran was acting in an emergency situation, and that Badys
consent to the administration of the glucose was implied from the nature of the
emergency.6 Juran notes in particular that she had been informed that Bady was diabetic
and that he had not taken his diabetes medication that day, that Bady appeared
disoriented, had his eyes closed, and was non-responsive to her questions, and that she
was concerned that Bady might be experiencing a life-threatening diabetic episode. Bady
responds that his resistance to the firefighters would have made his non-consent apparent.
Ultimately, however, the Court need not decide this issue. Even assuming that
Badys consent could not reasonably be implied from his conduct, defendants are
immune from Badys tort claim under the doctrine of official immunity. The doctrine of
official immunity protects public officials from liability for discretionary actions taken in
the course of their official duties. Bailey v. City of St. Paul, 678 N.W.2d 697, 700
(Minn. Ct. App. 2004). Official immunity exists to protect public officials from the fear
of personal liability that might deter independent action and impair effective performance
of their duties. Id. (internal quotations omitted). Proof that the official committed a
6 Defendants also deny that they force-fed the glucose to Bady, contending instead that
they handed the tube to Bady, and Bady threw the tube to the ground. Viewing the facts in a
light most favorable to Bady, however, the Court assumes Badys version of events is true for
purposes of this motion.
- 17 -
willful or malicious wrong can defeat claims of official immunity. Elwood v. Rice
County, 423 N.W.2d 671, 679 (Minn. 1988). The Court finds that, under the
circumstances here, the firefighters decision to administer a glucose tube to a diabetic
patient who appeared to be undergoing a potentially life-threatening diabetic emergency
was discretionary in nature. Further, Bady has pointed to no evidence in the record that
would allow a reasonable jury to conclude that Juran or other firefighters acted with
malice or bad faith, or otherwise knew that what they were doing was wrong, in
administering the glucose to Bady. See Semler v. Klang, 743 N.W.2d 273, 279 (Minn.
Ct. App. 2007) (stating that a finding of malice must be based on specific facts
evidencing bad faith). As such, the Court agrees that defendants are entitled to official
immunity with respect to Badys battery claim. The Court therefore grants defendants
motion for summary judgment on Badys battery claim.
This case will be placed on the Courts next available trial calendar.
ORDER
Based on the foregoing, all the files, records and proceedings herein, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that defendants Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket No. 20]
is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, as follows:
1. Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment on all claims asserted against
defendants Rita Juran, Peter Hafstad, and John/Jane Does 15 is GRANTED.
Defendants Rita Juran, Peter Hafstad, and John/Jane Does 15 are DISMISSED from
this action.
- 18 -
2. The Clerk of Court is respectfully DIRECTED to correct the court caption
by adding Peter Stanton as a named defendant.
3. Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment on plaintiffs excessive force
claim against defendants Ann Murphy-Kjos, Jerry Johnson, Patricia Nelson, Charles
Peter, and Peter Stanton is DENIED.
4. Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment on plaintiffs due process
claims against all defendants is GRANTED.
5. Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment on plaintiffs battery claim is
GRANTED.
DATED: August 7, 2008 s/ John R. Tunheim _
at Minneapolis, Minnesota. JOHN R. TUNHEIM
United States District Judge
 

 
 
 

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Copyright © Michael E. Douglas, Attorney at Law, Saint Paul MN. All Rights Reserved.
Minnesota Law Firm representing Personal Injury, Car / Auto Accident, Workers Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Social Security Disability claims.
Dedicated to Injured Workers, Victims of Negligence, Car Accidents, Victims of Fraud, and those in need of legal assistance.