United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Stephen C. Fiebiger, Esq. and Stephen C. Fiebiger Law Office, counsel for plaintiff.
C. David Dietz, Esq., Kyle M. Thomas, Esq. and Office of the Ramsey County Attorney, counsel for defendants.
DAVID S. DOTY, District Judge.
This matter is before the court upon the motion for summary judgment by defendants Ramsey County, Eric Earl Anderson, Roy Irving, Melissa Jimenez and Jodi Leifeld (collectively, defendants). Based on a review of the file, record and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court grants the motion in part.
This civil-rights dispute arises out of the detention of plaintiff Marc Hall on August 7 and August 8, 2011. On the evening of August 7, the Eagan Police Department responded to a call after Hall crashed his bicycle into the garage door of a home. Dietz Aff. Ex. 1, at 2. At the scene, Eagan Police Officer Tom Nelson observed that Hall smelled strongly of alcohol. Id . Hall refused a preliminary breath test and Nelson took Hall to the Ramsey County Detox Center (Detox). Id . Nelson turned Hall over to the staff at Detox and declined to pursue any charges. Id . Hall was admitted to Detox at 10:44 p.m, went through the intake process and went to sleep. Id . Ex. 2, at 4-5; Hall Dep. 48:2-4.
At approximately 5:20 a.m. on August 8, Hall complained of knee pain to Leifeld, a nurse at Detox. Leifeld Dep. 22:4-6. Hall was able to walk but was unable to put his full weight on his leg. Hall Dep. 50:14-20. Hall informed Leifeld that he thought his leg was broken and requested medical treatment. Id. at 51:10-12. Leifeld told Hall to wait until Detox processed those patients that were set to be discharged around 5:30 a.m. Leifeld Dep. 22:14-23:22. Leifeld did not examine Hall's leg. Id. at 24:19-21.
Thereafter, at approximately 5:30 a.m., Hall called 911 from the Detox pay phone and requested medical treatment. Moses Dep. 18:16-25. The 911 dispatcher phoned Detox and informed an aide that Hall had called 911. A Detox nurse then informed Hall that his telephone privileges were suspended and that he would be put into seclusion if he called 911 again. Hall Dep. 52:18-53:2. Hall then placed another telephone call. Id. at 53:4-5. Hall alleges that he was calling an attorney that he had found in the yellow pages and was not dialing 911. Id. at 63:4-64:3. Leifeld called Anderson, Irving and Jimenez (collectively, Aides) to place Hall in a seclusion room. The Aides hung up the phone and led Hall down the hallway towards the seclusion room. Id. at 64:15-19. Anderson and Irving escorted Hall by his wrists and forearms. Id. at 66:25-67:18; Anderson Dep. 65:2-4. Jimenez walked behind Anderson and Irving. Anderson Dep. 65:5-6.
During the escort, Anderson and Irving lost their grip on Hall, and, during the ensuing struggle, pinned Hall against the wall. Hall Dep. 64:20-21; Irving Dep. 30:1-2. Hall alleges that Anderson twisted and yanked his arm behind him and that Hall heard a popping sound. Hall Dep. 85:19-20, 92:19-21. While Anderson was allegedly twisting Hall's arm, Irving pinned him against the wall with his shoulder. Irving Dep. 43:4-9. Irving and Anderson allege that they pinned Hall against the wall to regain control of him. Id. at 45:8-10
After regaining control of Hall, the Aides led Hall to the seclusion room, where Anderson and Irving performed a take-down maneuver and placed Hall face-first onto a mat on the floor. Hall Dep. 100:15-16. In the seclusion room, Hall fell asleep until approximately 7:30 a.m. See Fiebiger Aff. Ex. 18. Detox employees checked on Hall approximately every fifteen minutes. See id. At 7:30 a.m., Hall was let out of the seclusion room. Barrett Dep. 60:3-8. Hall was then assessed and a Detox nurse noted that Hall complained of right elbow pain, left leg pain and left pectoral pain. Keeling Dep. 30:10-12.
Hall was taken to Regions Hospital (Regions) around 11:30 a.m., where he was seen by Dr. Cullen Hegarty. See Hegarty Dep. 16:22-17:3. Dr. Hegarty ordered x-rays on Hall's elbow and leg. The elbow x-ray displayed a nondisplaced fracture of the elbow. Id. at 30:7-8. The knee x-ray showed a nondisplaced fracture of the fibula. Id. at 27:2-10. Dr. Hegarty placed Hall's arm in a sling and immobilized his left leg. Id. at 28:19-29:7. Hall was released from Regions at 3:30 p.m.
On February 27, 2013, Hall filed an amended complaint, alleging claims for excessive force, denial of medical care and denial of due process under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and state-law claims for assault, battery, false imprisonment and negligence. Defendants move for summary judgment.
I. Standard of ...